Chance the Rapper

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The best of this week’s singles: MGMT, Gary Numan, TV on the Radio and more!

Published on August 7th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams

This week’s singles contained so many cast iron corkers that we almost didn’t know what to do with them all.

Then we thought, hey, let’s just do what we usually do with them: you know, round them up in one of those round-uppy round-up type things we like to round things up with.

So here, in loosely ascending order of aceness, are the best of this week’s singles…

MGMT – “Your Life is a Lie”

Doesn’t sound like the new album’s going to spawn another “Kids”/”Time to Pretend”-style megahit, and good thing too; MGMT sound so much better when they’re engrossed in fuzzy psych-pop like this.

“Your Life is a Lie” bangs on cowbell, grinds to a halt, pounds itself back into action and all the while sounds so sweet, so silly and so genuine that we can’t wait to hear more.

We’ve gone from being deeply suspicious of this lot to being utterly, utterly charmed. MGMT might not be bothering the charts these days but they’re going from strength to strength.

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

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Yo La Tengo – “Ohm”

Yo La Tengo set to a psychedelic animated video? Yeah, ta.

Some particulars for you: this was written and directed by Simpsons/Letterman writer Donick Cary and animated by Sugarshack Animation.

But all you need to know is that this is Yo La Tengo set to a psychedelic animated video, and therefore is as worthy of your time as most anything else you might be doing today.

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

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Lightning Bolt – “Barbarian Boy”

Cult Providence racketsmiths contribute to the Adult Swim Singles Series with surprisingly steady results; Brian Chippendale‘s drumming remains clattering and oomph-ful*, but where it usually rumbles all over the shop, here it keeps relatively in situ.

Alongside his ranty vocal and Brian Gibson’s enormous scuzzy bass, it works a treat. This may be conservative for Lightning Bolt but by almost anyone else’s standards this would be considered completely off the wall. We dig the tension.

(* Now a word. Here’s hoping it catches on to the extent whereby we can drop the hyphen.)

Four Quails out of Five!

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Nothankyou – “Oyster”

Tom Vek and Olga Bell team up to bloody marvellous effect on this stomping, jittery spread of electronic colours and textures that might just be the most instantly arresting thing the former’s come out with since “C-C (You Set the Fire in Me)”.

If they do a full album together, we might just have another David Byrne & St. Vincent on our hands. Electro-pop that feeds plenty of delightful idiosyncrasies into both its electro and its pop: tremendous stuff, basically.

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

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Cut Copy – “Let Me Show You”

Screamadelicalicious! Dubby, squelchy acid house all dripped lovingly over by Dan Whitford’s luxuriantly addled vocal; what’s not to like?

And that’s just the first three minutes of its six; searing swarms of synth are yet to crank up the levels of majesty, so sit tight and wait for that.

Australian psychedelic musicians these days. Is there anything they can’t do?

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

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Thomas McConnell – “John”

We recently told you all about how flippin’ ace Thomas McConnell is in this Showcase feature.

Well, here’s yet further evidence of his wonderfully characterful take on ’60s psych-pop. Video’s so uneventful as to be quite hilarious, too.

We love this guy and so should you. Far be it from us to dictate to you, but if you don’t then there’s a distinct possibility that you have no soul. You might wanna get that checked out.

“Where’ve you gone, John?”: could’ve been from the mind and mouth of McCartney himself.

Four Quails out of Five!

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Ground Pilots – “The Entire World”

Four singles, four appearances in our ‘best of the week’ section: that’s all the recommendation you need to check out this Liverpool singer/songwriter’s debut album In the Way of the Oceans, out on August 29th.

Don’t be put off by the term ‘singer/songwriter’, for all four of Ground Pilots’s singles thus far have sounded strikingly different from each other. “The Entire World” is the big ballad required to cap the run of increasingly experimental efforts leading up to it, exploding with soulfully rapturous harmonies and elatingly subtle/subtly elating progressions.

This chap’s got an awful lot about him. Roll on the album, we say.

Four Quails out of Five!

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TV on the Radio – “Mercy”

Dave Sitek is so gifted that he was able to make Beady Eye sound alright, and now he’s repeated the trick with modern garage rock.

The driving power chords and vaguely ‘indie disco’ rhythm might be reconcilable with the reams of trendy toss that the likes of the NME continue to hurl at us like rotting fish heads from a bucket, but it doesn’t even require close inspection to realise how much more it’s got going on within it.

It thunders like a train, unexpectedly calling in on the kind of laterally conceived pitstops that wouldn’t even occur to the majority of bands who strive for this kind of thing.

With any luck, TV on the Radio have thrown down a gauntlet here, and it will no longer be enough to have just a “raw energy” and the right haircuts. Raw energy is a bug that just got splattered on the license plate of the car of “Mercy”.

In other words: woah.

Rocksucker says: Four and a Half Quails out of Five!

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Gary Numan – “I Am Dust”

A whirring, screeching monster of electro-pop – sinister, messed-up electro-pop that burrows deep into your every sensory receptor, not flimsy catwalk electro-pop – from an old master of the game.

Back once again, sounding thoroughly in tune with everything that ever made him great; ladies and gentlemen, roll out the red carpet for the October release of Gary Numan’s forthcoming new album Splinter (Songs From A Broken Mind). Sounds like it’s going to be an absolute belter.

Rocksucker says: Four a Half Quails out of Five!

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Chance the Rapper – “Everybody’s Something”

Chance the Rapper’s not in Odd Future, but he should be.

What an absolute bolt from the blue this is. We could talk about all the kooky twists and turns his slurred ranting takes in conjunction with the subtly busy production, and just how seamlessly each element weaves its way through without surrendering one iota of its disorientating properties…

…but we’d be here all day.

“I used to tell hoes I was dark light, or off-white”: genius. Ending in comedown-y gospel: genius. And so much more besides. Single of the week, and that’s no mean feat in a week like this..

Rocksucker says: Four and a Half Quails out of Five!

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Do you like bad music as well as good? Then watch this space for the worst of this week’s singles!

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About the Author

Editor of Rocksucker and the website's founder, Jonny is passionate about the music he listens to, both good and bad, as well as interviewing his favourite musicians.