SPIN Singles Mix: ASAP Ferg Name-Drops Adam Levine, Sleigh Bells Team With Tink, and More
SPIN staffers handpick their can't-miss tracks to get you through the week
Welcome to SPIN’s Singles Mix! Every week SPIN’s staff writers pick their favorite, must-hear tracks for your mid-week playlists. From tongue-in-cheek goof-rap to bonkers-bananas J-pop to New Jersey jangle-punk, these are the songs you need to hear right now.
A$AP Ferg, “Doe Active” (RCA Records)
It’s been more than a year since the Harlem MC dropped his debut album, Trap Lord, a project that signaled a new talent’s arrival in the most bombastic fashion. “Doe Active,” a cut from the rapper’s upcoming mixtape, reframes the A$AP Ferg narrative. It’s less serious than many of his earlier singles, and even name-drops Adam Levine (there’s a sitcom brewing there), emphasizing Ferg’s goofy side, as he raps, “I got stacks on stacks / Stacks on racks / Racks on top of stacks / And stacks on top of them racks.” BRENNAN CARLEY
Giraffage, “Hello” (Fool’s Gold Records)
Bedroom dubstep (bedstep?) producer Giraffage’s new EP, No Reason, comes out this week, featuring five tracks of sublimely melodic beats and half-volume drops that are better to dream to than to dance to. Opener “Hello” may be the high point, trading the recognizable pop and R&B samples of 2012’s Needs mixtape for even more recognizable computer and telephone sound effects, washed in lite synths and skittering drums. There’s also a squeaking mattress heard sporadically throughout, but the song is so cute and hyper that it’s more likely to be from sugar-high teens jumping on it than anything R-rated. ANDREW UNTERBERGER
Giorgio Moroder, “74 Is The New 24″ (RCA Records)
According to 74-year-old disco vet Giorgio Moroder, fist-pumping twentysomethings would do well to clear out some space on the dance floor for baby boomers. The prolific Italian producer — who once earned his keep knocking out mega-hits for ’70s stars like Donna Summer, and orchestrating myriad memorable soundtracks (Midnight Express) — has since announced his first solo release in three decades. This time, Moroder steps back into the discotheque with “74 Is The New 24,” a pulsating track that mashes together space-house and EDM and serves as a mantra that age truly ain’t nothing but a number. LUIS POLANCO
Gregori Klosman, “Time To Be Alone” feat. Sarah Mount (Big Beat Records)
Best known for his vertigo-inducing EDM bangers, Parisian producer Gregori Klosman slows the strobe lights on “Time To Be Alone,” an even-keeled head-nodder that puts one foot in the club and the other in a pedicure tub. Featuring silky vocals by Sarah Mount, Klosman’s cut layers moody piano chords atop choppy electro-bass beats — a contradictory combination that’s worth turning down for. RACHEL BRODSKY
Kero Kero Bonito, “Build It Up” (Unsigned)
“If you like to get wasted / Pick your favorite and build it up,” bounces Sarah Bonito in this kooky, whacked-out J-pop jam by London-based trio Kero Kero Bonito. And those punch-drunk lyrics are only the beginning: Fused together with a surge of synths, blooping video game samples, and follow-the-leader crossing guard whistles, “Build It Up”‘s electric, frayed arrangements inspire a sonic cross between art-punks Deerhoof and 8-bit nutballs Anamanaguchi. Listen with a grain of coke — erm, salt — and don’t forget to put your flag on top. R.B.
Speelburg, “Kline” (Unsigned)
A slow-burning break-up ballad from American/Belgian electro-jazz newcomer Speelburg, the neo-symphonic “Kline” blends graceful strings and hip-hop horns with a cool, confident delivery. Producer/singer Noah Sacré’s minimalistic verses puncture the song’s dream-like atmosphere, taking a ghostly turn in a graveyard gospel breakdown that unwinds in chills. MAGGIE ROGERS
Sleigh Bells “That Did It” feat. Tink (Red Bull Sound Select)
Artists don’t always consider the benefits of sharing the stage with a second performer, but in Sleigh Bells and Tink’s case, teaming up at Red Bull’s SXSW ’14 showcase has led to a cross-genre party anthem titled “That Did It.” After a surge of choppy, “Bitter Rivals”-esque riffs, the Chicago MC grabs the spotlight to fire off her spinning verse: “They hear when I’m coming / Like, ‘How did she pull up with Sleigh Bells?'” Krauss’ sugary vocals mellow any residual whiplash that listeners might have from Tink’s barrage, and the girls kick back at the end with toned-down, harmonized hooks. MATTHEW LEVINE
Stuyvesant, “Alright” (Sugarblast Music Company)
Scrunch up the Gin Blossoms at their jangle-punkiest with Soul Asylum at their most arena-friendly, throw some “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” horns on it, and you get this blast of ear candy from the Hoboken band. DAN WEISS
Tobias Jesso Jr., “Hollywood” (True Panther Sounds)
There’s a timelessness to Canadian balladeer Tobias Jesso Jr.‘s “Hollywood,” which, with minimalistic arrangement, sonically captures a Los Angeles-centric heartache. Channeling the old-soul words of songwriting greats like Daniel Johnston and Paul McCartney, the Vancouver native’s vulnerable, soft-hued vocals lead the way through this recording with an emotional presence that erupts in a swell of poignant horns. M.R.
Walk The Moon, “Different Colors” (RCA Records)
Sometimes a hook is so catchy that it almost feels unfair. Such is the case with Walk The Moon’s soaring “woo-ooh” chorus in the opening track of their upcoming sophomore release, Talking Is Hard. While the tune doesn’t reach the high-highs of their 2012 hit “Anna Sun,” “Different Colors” achieves a similar feel-good vibe with layered, upbeat guitars and distant-sounding vocals. And man, does that “woo” go a long way. JAMES GREBEY