SPIN Singles Mix: Christine and the Queens, Young Galaxy, Hinds, 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 Madrid indie-pop collectives, chilly R&B chanteuses, West Coast metal monarchs, and more, these are the songs you need to know right now.
Christine and the Queens feat. Tunji Ige, “No Harm Is Done” (Neon Gold)
Christine (real name Heloise Letissier) has a unique way of contorting her voice around a melody, her French-accented singing weaving and darting around a song’s core as she mines it for new emotional depths. On “No Harm,” the first real taste of her upcoming debut U.S. album, Christine links with Philly-area rapper Tunji Ige amidst an army of percolated clanks and gurgles. It’s the sort of art that requires your interaction and attention, and that’s why Christine and the Queens can demand such devotion — even when her lyrics aren’t exactly the clearest to understand. — BRENNAN CARLEY
DâM-FunK and Nite Jewel, “Can U Read Me” (Self-Released)
The funk troubadour and the ‘80s-tinted nocturnal songstress (respectively) first met in person on an episode of XLR8R’s series Tune in an Afternoon, where the two sexy-voiced Angelenos made good of their longstanding mutual appreciation and desire to collaborate. The result was “Am I Gonna Make It,” a slithering, hydraulic jam that paved the way for their latest collaboration: “Can U Read Me?” This one really seals the deal, with subtly booty-swiveling bass, tingling background triangles, and each of their voices intertwining with just the right amount of drama. — HARLEY BROWN
Ezra Furman, “Androgynous (Replacements cover)” (Bella Union)
Sure, it doesn’t have the weight of Laura Jane Grace and Joan Jett performing it, but the Replacements’ proto-pro-trans standard sounds great by just about anyone. Ezra Furman’s echoing howls and whimpers fit his roomy solo-electric version like it’s some kind of lost Raspberries or Chris Bell power-pop tune. And why can’t it be? — DAN WEISS
Hinds, “Garden” (Mom + Pop)
For the lead track of their upcoming debut full-length, Leave Me Alone, Madrid quartet Hinds again soar with ramshackle dreaminess, distorted twin lead vocals and shimmering guitars echoing sweetly over rolling bass and tambourine. The band recalls no one so much as late-’60s Tommy James and the Shondells, able to manage their rare combination of laconic psychedelia and guitar-pop prettiness, charming and intoxicating and totally out of time. — ANDREW UNTERBERGER
Kelela, “Rewind” (Cherry Coffee/Warp)
Kelela’s made interstellar R&B before, but the time-traveling ballad “Rewind” takes her work to new bodily highs. Pitched drum sounds take the track’s buoyant physicality and turn it inside out, something like exposing the body to the vacuum of the universe — grotesque, violent, icy, and somehow, still human. — COLIN JOYCE
Microwave, “But Not Often” (SideOneDummy)
“I’ve been wasting all my time,” cries Nathan Hardy, lead singer of this Atlanta alt-emo project. Projecting the sort of ’90s slacker ethos typically found in the era’s more awkward guitar slingers, the band’s shrugging lyrics might sound like the stuff of Gen X apathy (“spending all our paychecks at the liquor store”), but Hardy’s pitchy vocals reveal a warm heart within the Microwave: With defeatist verses like “Why do you even need to know me?” we bet they’re more in love with love and lousy poetry than folk-punk forefather John K. Samson. — RACHEL BRODSKY
Tory Lanez feat. BenZel, “Initiation” (Mad Love/Interscope)
Everything BenZel — the Canadian rapper and production duo of Benny Blanco and Ben Ash— touches turns to gold, whether it’s with pop gem-setter Ryn Weaver or Juicy J, and the same holds fast for Tory Lanez. “Initiation” unfurls with the same sleepy tick-tocks of Ontario’s most nocturnal poster rappers, like PARTYNEXTDOOR and the Weeknd: an inky bloom of amorphously dark synths sinking Lanez’s own gravelly melodic croons and accusations. — H.B.
VHÖL, “The Desolate Damned” (Profound Lore)
For all the thundering moodiness of their component acts (YOB, Agalloch, Hammers of Misfortune), pseudo-supergroup VHÖL places a fair amount of emphasis on roiling riffage as the currency of their new track “The Desolate Damned.” Over thrashing drum beats, they thunder through a whole host of jaw-dropping guitar acrobatics (and even a harmony or two). There was a traveling metal festival a few years back called “The Power of the Riff,” and let’s just say these guys would’ve been a good fit. — C.J.
Young Galaxy, “Factory Flaws” (Paper Bag Records)
It’s tricky to say what sucks you in first: the swelling disco strings, the irresistible ’80s minor-key synths, or the winking, punny title. Regardless of entry points, Montreal’s Young Galaxy has a potential post-summer jam here with their latest synth-stacked dance-floor monster. You might as well lean into its clutches. — R.B.