SPIN Singles Mix: Jose Gonzales Explores ‘The Cave,’ Laura Marling Clings to ‘False Hope,’ and More
SPIN staffers handpick their can't-miss tracks to get you through the week
Welcome to SPIN’s Singles Mix! The SPIN staff has rounded up their favorite, must-hear tracks for your mid-week playlists. From Norwegian disco legends to Swedish folkies to wrist-wringing punk-rock kids, these are the songs you need to know right now.
Alex Winston, “We Got Nothing” (300 Entertainment)
Nobody has the ’80s-gone-Robyn vibe going on quite like Alex Winston, whose breathy, ripped-from-the-Euro-charts single begs to be heard at full volume. “We Got Nothing” is a coiled choral firecracker, ignited by splashes of strings and Winston’s sun-smacked vocals (“It’s ours to share / A memory’s mirage / Lingers on / In endless moons”). BRENNAN CARLEY
Bjørn Torske, “Eight Years” (Smalltown Supersound)
Though it’s not technically “new,” this icy downtempo track, which first appeared on Bjørn Torske’s 1998 album, Nedi Myra, has been newly remastered and given its first digital download (along with the album, of course). Joining the also-remastered Trøbbel (2001), “Eight Years” molds the shape of contemporary Norwegian disco (Lindstrom, Andre Bratten, Todd Terje) with its deep-house percussion and aloof, eerie synths. Better jump in the sauna after this one. RACHEL BRODSKY
CHELAN, “Before It All” (Echo Phone)
California dream pop duo CHELAN — a.k.a. Jen Grady and Justin Hosford — might not make music full-time (Grady is a classical music teacher and Hosford is a film and television producer), but watch out when they do get together. Their new single, “Before It All” (which is set to appear on their forthcoming fourth studio effort, Equal Under Pressure, out February 17), utilizes lush multi-tracks and high-energy electronic beats to create a shimmering soundscape that anyone with a taste for School of Seven Bells or Memoryhouse can appreciate. R.B.
Faith Healer, “Again” (Mint Records)
Exercising their predeliction for ’60s and ’70s psychedelic pop, Faith Healer — which is comprised of Edmonton vocalist Jessica Jalbert and producer Renny Wilson — let their sunny harmonies and octave-scaling “oooh”s shine in the first single for their forthcoming disc, Cosmic Troubles (out March 31). Opening with Strokes-y fuzzy guitar, “Again” quickly escalates with an outpouring of happy-go-lucky handclaps and jubilant tambourine jingles. Consider our faith renewed. R.B.
Giorgio Moroder feat. Kyle Minogue, “Right Here, Right Now” (RCA Records)
Kyle Minogue has always been as famous as she rightfully deserves on the other side of the pond — how are you, in all honesty, going to deny the power of “Can’t Get You Out of My Head,” America? — but her new collaboration with disco’s reigning sultan takes her vocals to another level. It’s a song at odds with itself, turmoiled in the breathiness of Minogue’s cooing and the slicing synthesizers Moroder himself has cued up in the not-so-distant background, but don’t count the collaboration out. B.C.
José González, “Leaf Off / The Cave” (Mute Records)
José González’s warm new song is the antithesis of stress. González’s voice is smooth yet comfortingly weathered, and his guitar moves along with a momentum that’s both relaxing and peppy enough to keep the listener engaged. “Leaf Off / Cave On” invites you to sink into it and linger a while, and it’s a good place to remain until González’s first solo album since 2007, Vestiges & Claws, drops on February 17. JAMES GREBEY
Laura Marling, “False Hope” (Ribbon Music)
If Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” had been written by Ryan Adams, it probably would have sounded something like this: A drunk-dial-ish attempt at ill-advised romantic reconciliation, built around a racing guitar riff and a faster-racing train of thought: “Is it still OK that I don’t know how to be alone? / Would it be OK if I just come home tonight?” OK or not, the conclusion is inevitable. ANDREW UNTERBERGER
Modest Mouse, “Coyotes” (Epic Records)
Would you associate the words “dreamy” or “balladry” with Modest Mouse? No? How about “tender harmonies?” The most surprising thing about “Coyotes,” the second taste of the long-absent band’s upcoming Strangers to Ourselves, is that after “Float On” was a left-field No. 1 hit, they’re still able to surprise us. DAN WEISS
PILE, “#2 Hit Single” (Exploding in Sound Records)
Anxiety attacks are rarely this well-organized: a crashing, circular Drive Like Jehu anti-groove switching-off with a relentless chug, punctuated by drum and guitar stabs that feel like spikes on a polygraph test and yelping Frank Black vocals. Only a #2 hit, then? There’s something to be said for keeping your expectations practical. A.U.