SPIN Singles Mix: Arca, Dive In, Pity Sex, 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 Venezuelan super-producers, ambient psych experimentalists, bedroom-pop savants, and more, these are the songs you need to know right now.
Alex Feder, “Alcohol” (Self-Released)
Finding the middle ground between Talking Heads’ “Once in a Lifetime” and Baz Luhrmann’s “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)” (one part I-should-know-better foresight and two self-directed admonishment), Alex Feder walks us through a night of 14 shot glasses and a few Shirley Temples in this spoken-word bout of synthy self-analysis. Life’s a little tough right now: He’s just moved from New York to Los Angeles after the breakup of his former band, the XYZ Affair, the first girl he ever loved is married with a baby, and he’s a little worried that the bartender is judging his drink choice and that his cabbie is hosing him. But with an inner-monologue as compelling and relatable as his, we expect things’ll be looking up soon. — RACHEL BRODSKY
Arca, “Soichiro” (Mute)
Arca’s mutated work on his debut full-length of contortionist instrumentals, Xen, showed that he can evoke physical carnage, but new single “Soichiro” shows eroticism isn’t out of the question either. The writhing visual helps, but the smoky atmosphere he conjures over the track’s brief runtime is slinking and bodily, a sly sort of sensuous that climaxes with the ecstasy of his now-standard metallic clanging.— COLIN JOYCE
Chino Amobi, “NEW YORK WILL NOT SAVE YOU” (Non Records)
Non Records weirdo Chino Amobi has been teasing excerpts from “NEW YORK WILL NOT SAVE YOU” on Instagram for the past few weeks, mostly of him slurring along while the then-unknown track played off of his Harman/Kardon speakers. These materialized into a wonderfully terrifying single and accompanying video. Amobi warns New Yorkers of their future disillusionment, lethargically crooning, “New York will never save you” in an Auto-Tuned drawl over his own spellbindingly harsh production. — OLIVER KINKEL
Dive In, “Change In the Weather” (Vagrant Records)
On new single “Change In the Weather,” the Dave Fridmann-approved, Glastonbury-based trio Dive In brew a synth-pop storm. The latest single from their forthcoming EP of the same name, which follows the release of their debut full-length, Eighteen, the song is a danceable downpour of jumbo drums and electrifying guitars as lead singer Matthew Guttridge’s delivery (unmistakably similar to the New Zealand outfit the Naked and Famous’ Alisa Xayalith) coasts over layers of wispy harmonies. If this track any indication for Dive In, the forecast looks good. — NATHAN DILLER
DJ Paypal, “Awakening” (Brainfeeder)
Footwork’s preeminent prankster DJ Paypal is going straight on his debut release for Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder records. That’s right: He’s Sold Out (as the record’s title jokes), and there are fewer winks and nods than ever before, but lead single “Awakening” still possesses an otherworldly weightlessness that the genre usually shuns in favor of bawdy and bodily dancefloor exercises. The production’s still as blunted as ever, but this is a reminder that cannabinoid use can result in intense self-reflection as easily as it can giddiness. — COLIN JOYCE
Eartheater, “Wetware” (Hausu Mountain)
The title of Alex Drewchin’s latest Eartheater single can function as an explainer of sorts for her approach to composition. Take a piece of technology, toss it into the ocean — record the resulting splashes and sputters. That’s no exception on this track either, drawn from her forthcoming second album of 2015, RIP Chrysalis, which treats its shivering samples and stuttered electric guitar lines as mechanical counterbalance for the earthly flutter of her tangled vocalizations. It’s hard to tell at any moment which part comes from technology or nature, but the fatalist lyricism suggests an end to it all, regardless of provenance. — C.J.
Jay Stonez and Tink, “No Love” (Self-Released)
Tink’s been on the ascent all year (Winter’s Diary 2 is an overlooked gem, don’t miss that before year’s end), and now she’s found herself in a position where her name alone is enough to draw eyes as a featured guest. She’s on a (frankly middling) new Pentatonix single, and now she’s hopped on a track with Jay Stonez that’s otherwise perfectly likable. Hers, though, is the standout verse (don’t be shocked anymore) — she’s doing new stuff with her voice now, allowing it to warble and peter off in this monstrous little ad-lib that calls back to Nicki Minaj’s mixtape-barking days. More of this, Tink, and less dribbled-down Timbaland material. — BRENNAN CARLEY
Loco Dice feat. Chris Liebing, “Keep It Low” (Ultra Records)
“You motherf–kers ready?!” When two of the hardest names in techno join forces on a track, the answer is usually somewhere between “probably not” and “hell yeah.” “Keep It Low,” off Loco Dice’s forthcoming full-length Underground Suicide, navigates between pitch-shifted vocals at the highest and lowest ends of the spectrum with steampunk beats increasingly mounting in tension. Almost halfway through, a grinding bass synthesizer bores its way through like a foghorn — but not enough to slow down the track’s relentlessly forward momentum. — H.B.
Lontalius, “All I Wanna Say” (Partisan Records)
Tagging his music as “alternative bedroom pop,” Lontalius, also known as Eddie Johnston, has been self-releasing music from his home in New Zealand since the age of 13, covering artists like Drake and Beyoncé and earning co-signs from Ryan Hemsworth and Spooky Black. Now at 18, he retains the charming minimalism of his R&B covers in his new track, “All I Wanna Say.” Effortlessly layering dulcet vocals and quiet synths, Lontalius offers his song as a small and hopeless consolation while singing, “All I have to offer is my love / It’s not enough.” — MEILYN HUQ
Pity Sex, “What Might Soothe You?” (Run for Cover)
Philly’s finest hitters of that post-Siamese Dream dream-rock sweet spot, Pity Sex have returned with new single, “What Might Soothe You?” Over the group’s trademark streamlined guitar attack, singers Brennan Greaves and Britty Drake trade off verses on one of their most alluring numbers yet: “I’ll pull you down / When there’s no one else around.” Hardly a reinvention of their own sound or the one they’re recalling, but for fans of Clinton-era alternative, the song basically answers its own title. — ANDREW UNTERBERGER