SPIN Singles Mix: Juan Wauters, Refused, George FitzGerald, and More
SPIN staffers handpick their can't-miss tracks to get you through the week
Welcome to SPIN‘s Singles Mix! SPIN staffers have rounded up their favorite, must-hear tracks for your personal playlists. Collecting the finest from reunited Swedish hardcore punks, Down Under dance-poppers, British electronic hit-makers, and more, these are the songs you need to know right now.
Alesso featuring Roy English, “Cool” (Autograf Remix)” (Def Jam Recordings)
Autograf seems to share Swedish DJ Alesso’s sense of lightheartedness, which beams out of his music, as well as his likable performance as a vindicated nerd in the video for “Cool.” The Chicago-based trio, who made a name for themselves with neon, animal-shaped pictures they pasted all over their home city, infuse Alesso’s original with a similarly jaunty bounce, propelling the track to song-of-summer heights without sacrificing the tropicalia-referencing melody for its new, even more dancefloor-ready drive. — HARLEY BROWN
Brayton Bowman, “…Baby One More Time” (Self-Released)
This is it: the definitive Britney Spears cover, the one you need to add to your portable music devices and never let go of. Bowman’s “Baby” takes hold of the current dance-n-b trend and elevates it to the clouds. Produced by 20-year-old burgeoning British star and Madonna ally MNEK, it’s a remix that both pays proper homage to the once and former pop princess’ legacy while scooping enough of the original out of its shell to allow for Bowman’s windswept vocals to rise above the mass. — BRENNAN CARLEY
CAPPA, “Killin’ It” (Youngblood Music Co.)
Carla Cappa’s breathy vocals are reminiscent of Lorde’s dizzy crooning, the Philadelphia singer weaving them in and out of cool, ominous synths. The electronic melodies sound like something out of a spooky Passion Pit song, which makes sense given the singer’s previous work singing backup for the indietronica group at live shows. Still, Cappa’s music has a darker feel to it than Michael Angelakos’ sublime melancholy, with a casual griminess that’s a delight to slink into. — JAMES GREBEY
Casey Veggies featuring DeJ Loaf, “Tied Up” (Vested in Culture)
It’s becoming a dangerous proposition for rappers to add DeJ Loaf to their own songs, as the firecracker newbie tends to outshine anyone she’s paired with. Veggies does his part to maintain an even give-and-take between himself and the Detroit upstart, but DeJ’s warbling chorus seals the deal every time: “I’ll be a lady in the streets / In a dress with her hair tied up / Or I can be freak in the sheets / In the room with her hands tied up.” Commence the baby-making. — BRENNAN CARLEY
Dotter, “Dive” (Warner Music Sweden)
A follow-up to debut single “My Flower,” the sublime Swedish chanteuse charms all over again with “Dive,” a booming pop track with a triumphant ‘tude to boot. The opening verse transitions from silky smooth to high-energy, as the singer born Johanna Maria Jansson’s honest, striking songwriting (“The strive for perfection forced you to cross every line”) adds a refreshing edge to the sugary sweetness. — CAITLIN GALLAGHER
Future Love Hangover, “Infinity 1003″ (Self-Released)
Example #3,473 that all of the most euphoric dance-pop is coming out of Australia these days, the Sydney-based Future Love Hangover (alias of multimedia artist Jack Prest) has made one of the year’s inarguable bliss-out jams with “Inifnity 1003.” Keyed around a recurring “I’m falling in love with you!” hook, waves of glistening synths and a whole lot of tambourine — never enough tambourine — the song is all the more winning for the thin reediness of Prest’s voice, making it more of an everyman anthem than a transmission beamed down from the heavens. Doesn’t mean we’re not going there anyway, though: “All the angels’ll join us / In a home up in the sky.” See you there, bros. — ANDREW UNTERBERGER
George FitzGerald, “Call It Love (If You Want To)” (Domino / Double Six)
Like a technicolor trip to Candy Cane Mountain, George FitzGerald’s new album is rife with the kind of barely bubbling-under ecstatic marvels like “Call It Love.” Featuring Lawrence Hart on vocals, the new track ostensibly offers in invitation for all to let their hair back and dance, but there’s something inherently dark about FitzGerald’s frenzies that make the thing a chilly, jagged beast that’s impossible to turn away from. — B.C.
Juan Wauters, “This Is I” (Captured Tracks)
This synth-lined cut from the Queens-based singer-songwriter poses a lot of Big Questions. “Are you happy being you?” Wauters asks someone who never “lived your life through you” and now insists on “living life through me.” It sounds like an observation lodged against a parent figure, which is fitting in Wauters’ case, seeing as how his family moved to Jackson Heights from Uruguay when he was a teen. However the peaceful Wauters, who releases his sophomore album, Who Me?, on May 12, has a gift for confronting situations without sounding accusatory. Therapists could take note. — RACHEL BRODSKY
Lee Bannon, “Stasis” (Ninja Tune)
The title of Lee Bannon’s new single fits the shape-shifting producer, whose solo material flows like quicksilver compared to the early Stones Throw-era, jazz- and soul-inflected grooves he laid on Joey Bada$$ tracks like “Hilary Swank” and “Enter the Void.” From his forthcoming sophomore album, Patterns of Excel, “Artificial Stasis” moves in a slow drone, recalling contemporary musique concrète collagists like Nicolas Jaar. Bannon, whose influences span the dark recesses of the deep web, incorporates dialogue from a photographer who was shooting the producer at his house. Like his explorations of the internet’s underworld, “Artificial Stasis” has no problem exposing music’s less sexy backstage mechanics and using them to his advantage. — H.B.
Refused, “Elektra” (Epitaph)
The cult-favorite Swedish throat-shredders have risen from the punk-rock grave on their first new single in 17 years. Titled “Elektra,” the song from the quartet’s forthcoming Freedom album (out on June 30 via Epitaph) is a tad more accessible than Dennis Lyxzén & Co.’s previous blasts, perhaps thanks to the frontman’s work in post-punk project INVSN. Steeped in eardrum-bursting guitar-work, Lyxzén wails such sweet nothings as “Nothing has changed” and “There is no escape.” You won’t find us complaining. — R.B.