This week's selections are arranged from gloomiest to sunniest, with a stuttering
hip-hop intermission. Expect, for example, Evian Christ's wobbling trap-step
Armageddon to provide a rocky entrance. But by the time Quilt's track concludes,
you'll have forgotten there was ever a black hole leading into this kaleidoscopic
Evian Christ - "Salt Carousel"
It's tough to imagine what sort of images run through the minds of doomy womp artisans like Evian Christ when they're en creative res. Do they visualize a bedazzled Frankenstein, thrashing and pummeling revelers on some hellish dance floor? Do they imagine buxom Viking women, seven feet tall and mad as hell, razing a village in slow motion? Or, more realistically, do they picture the inevitable massnof glaze-eyed molly-hounds, throbbing amoebically at next year's music festivals? This is a formidable snowball of a song -- one that picked up shards of trap, hip-hop and dubstep, and gulped them into something dangerous and full of forward momentum. Its throbbing doompath will soon be hard to escape.
Little Spoon - "Connection"
So gradually does "connection" build -- clinking percussion here, a wavering synth line there -- that it feels at times like watching reverse footage of a skyscraper being demolished. Cameron Potter's vocals are so mixed-down and drowned in reverb that they're essentially non-discernible; instead, they operate as yet another swooping, swirling layer in a song already awash in its own textures. A sedate, dreamy and utterly pleasing acid jam.
OverDoz - "These Niggas (Ft. Nipsey Hussle)"
A jerky, swerving track from (yet another) impossibly young L.A.-based hip-hop
collective, "These Niggas" is an exercise in youthful nihilism. Blunts are smoked.
Women are casually disrespected. And yet there's a playfulness at work here -- a sort of tongue-in-cheek posturing that suggests these kids are just riffing skillfully on their genre's tropes while they wait for real life to kick in. In the meantime, we'll take their bouncy braggadocio. Good to know that as Odd Future's members start growing up, another legion of whip-tongued youngsters is revving their engines, pants low and middle fingers raised high, ready to spit verses and blow their blunt smoke in our faces.
Quilt - "Tired and Buttered"
Though the title may seem incoherent at first, "tired" and "buttered" are actually
feasible adjectives for describing this jangly surf-pop anthem. From start to finish, it
wriggles paradoxically: dreamy but insistent, sluggish but giddy, earnest but playful.
"Now I adorn you/With tinsel, ivy and butter," Shane Butler sings, before stitching in
a bit of sobriety. "Slowly call upon you/With all the strength of another." It's perhaps
no surprise that even the song's tempo fluctuates wildly -- just another sharp kink in
a song built out of them.
Temples - "Mesmerise"
There are strange and only semi-pinpoint-able debts to a few different sixties bands here -- the Monkees, the Zombies, the Byrds. But what separates this track from dusty throwback kitsch is its whistling, spacey momentum. It's prim but powerful, shifting from jittery verses to booming, Zeppelin-esque choruses. And, for your own good, just go ahead and leave that sugar-sweet guitar hook where it's stuck now - in your brain, corkscrewing deeper and deeper, without any hope of ever exiting.