BS – “Douchebag Aviators” (Tommy Boy)

What separates a pair of “douchebag aviator” sunglasses from the standard ones? Doesn’t matter. Instead, what’s important is that Tommy Boy Entertainment is back to putting out rap music and leading the way is Brooklyn’s BS with “Douchebag Aviators.” While the song’s title and video do point to a sense of humor, what makes the song stand out is how interested BS is in actually rapping well. Instead of letting the already strong beat do all the work by merely adorning it with some disinterested, detached hipster dreck, BS is chock full of references, flow and overall charisma that succeeds on every traditional level that rap music aims for. While it’s unclear if he’s mocking the sunglasses or being self-deprecating in his affection, the fact remains it’s already one of the catchiest hooks of the year, with dope rhymes to match. – Chaz Kangas

Atoms for Peace – “Dropped” (XL)

The pairing of Thom Yorke with Flea seems like a random assignation, as if a claw machine clumsily caught the edges of a couple of CDs and dropped them into the chute. Cool, I’m down with a little OK Computer Sex Magik. I feared a pimped-out contrast, but then again it’s been a while since Flea was taken the stage with only a sock-covered penis. Indeed, Atoms for Peace’s Amok is anything but extreme. “Dropped” begins with that low grade post-everything vibe Yorke imagines so well, with skittering clops and sixteenth note zaps that mirror his vocal melody. It’s a minute and a half before we hear Flea–the transition does not attack, but certainly submerges. Flea isn’t thinking with his dick just now, but he does lend the throb of circulation to an otherwise shuddering and cerebral composition. – Stacey Pavlick

André Obin – “Soft Rain” (Sky Council Records)

This choice cut from Obin’s debut LP The Arsonist builds itself a simple club beat and a soft shower of synths surrounding the Boston-area producer’s delayed, half-awake vocals. “There’s no wasted time/ It’s all about the future,” he chants, and for a moment the lights in the club freeze and everybody moves as one pulsing organism. The song perfectly captures that feeling, right around 1:30 on a Sunday morning, when everything seems to have conspired to leave you dancing beside people you don’t know and will never see again. You close your eyes to ease the double vision and think about what got you here and how you never want to go to work again. Obin creates a space connected by the unity of the dance floor but still separated by the private moments we lose ourselves in while we inhabit it. – Peter A. Pompa

Phosphorescent – “Ride On/Right On” (Dead Oceans)

Matthew Houck’s latest Phosphorescent album, Muchacho, is full of more uplifting tunes and less misery-soaked balladry than some of his past work. “Ride On/Right On” is a perfect example of this. Bittersweet to a degree, sure. Conflicted? You betcha. Houck sings “I hate you turn me right on” moments before commanding “Take your greedy hands/ Lay them on me,” and you get the impression that this meeting of bodies is probably another in a long line of bad decisions. But the infectious bass bounce, jangling tambourine and noodling electric guitar echoes instill a sense of optimism and even joy. It may not be the album’s first single, but it’s Muchacho’s brightest-burning song. – Josh Goller

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