SPIN Singles Mix: D.R.A.M., Merchandise, Eluvium, 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 mask-wearing producers, Northwest ambient soundscapers, solo Social Experimenters, and more, these are the songs you need to know right now.
Ariana Grande, “One Last Time” (Lliam Taylor Remix)” (Self-Released)
Grande’s airy vocals often seem to drift on by inconsequentially (save for those killer show-stopping notes she’s able to land with poise), which is why Lliam Taylor’s remix of the last My Everything single chops her voice up and doles it back out in neatly parceled puffs. Bringing the club to the church steeple, Taylor wraps his synthesized organs with a fairly rote 4/4 beat that nonetheless floats skyward thanks to the ever-present Grande. — BRENNAN CARLEY
D.R.A.M., “Caretaker (feat. SZA)” (Self-Released)
The snap’n’bass groove of “Caretaker” was exquisitely slow-and-low simply as a D.R.A.M. interlude on the Social Experiment’s Surf album. But the extended version, an advance from the Chicago multi-threat’s upcoming GAHDAMN! EP, stretches it out to further delectability, adding the heavenly aerated vocals of St. Louis singer/songwriter SZA for the most seductive duet to ever include the line “I’ve been f**king fans, now.” And though SZA’s rejoinder of “It’s a little bit too late to take care of me” has nothing to do with Drake, it’s a well-timed accidental subtweet. — ANDREW UNTERBERGER
Eluvium, “Confessor” (Temporary Residence LTD)
In Matthew Cooper’s preparation to release the follow-up to his 2009 box set, Through Bombardment, the Portland-based ambient aficionado has released a resplendent new single that showcases his masterful key and string placement. Leading with thundering piano chords, “Confessor” circles around and around the same ponderous theme, slowly adding layers of violin, flute, and electronic accents until you’re caught in a sonic maelstrom that sounds every bit as contained as it does omnipresent. — RACHEL BRODSKY
Olivver the Kid, “BBBlue” (Self-Released)
Youth isn’t wasted on Olivver the Kid: Bryan Sammis left his Neighbourhood drumming gig last year to forge his own path, and on his new single, “BBBlue,” the L.A.-based singer-songwriter shows off his solo skills with aplomb. The second single from his new EP, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, showcases Sammis’s falsetto over buoyant synths, while the beat steadily pulses beneath hushed electric guitars. Sammis throws in silky Auto-Tuned accents, sounding like a kid in an indie-pop candy store.— NATHAN DILLER
Merchandise feat. Dum Dum Girls, “Red Sun” (Sub Pop)
For Merchandise’s latest oblique approach to the goth-pop godheads, they’re taking a different tact than they ever have before. Carson Cox’s Morrissey-esque moan remains a constant, but on “Red Sun” he’s enlisted Dum Dum Girls’ Dee Dee Ramone as a seasick counterpoint. The result is a woozy ballad not entirely unlike what happens when you put Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush in a room — dizzily disorienting and as casually affecting as anything that either has released on their own. — COLIN JOYCE
Prayer, “Hope” (Grade 10)
A choir of wordless and tangled vocals provide the bedrock for anxious sacrilege, chants gone awry, drums that thump more like pagan rite than sacred song. Despite professing “Hope” the unfamiliar ritual can seem sinister to the uninitiated. — C.J.
Roland Tings, “Hedonist” (Soothsayer)
With his slick blend of futuristic disco-techno and warm melodic house accents, Australian producer Roland Tings has been swept up in a somewhat global circuit of lesser-known imprimatur dance music labels: He’s released giddily entrancing anthems on Los Angeles label 100% Silk (Ital, Octo Octa) and Mod Club, the fittingly titled imprint of Tame Impala’s record label, Modular People. “Hedonist” introduces Tings’ own imprint, Soothsayer, with a similarly beguiling combination of sibilant sounds: The track’s chugging rrrra-ta-tat builds up so much momentum it emits hissing steam, eventually finding release in the gentle undulations of ’80s-redolent synth melodies. — H.B.
SBTRKT, “Flicker” (Young Turks)
Masked producer SBTRKT continues to make the most of his BBC 1 Radio residency by dropping an album’s worth of new one-off songs; but his latest, “Flicker,” might be the closest he’s come to hinting at something larger. That’s because it’s just a snippet: one minute and 50 seconds of an ominous arpeggiator that sounds distant and murky, as though underwater, textured with the pitter-patter of synthetic droplets. A briefly repetitive background yelp counteracts the single, deep throbs intermittently blaring like foghorns throughout. — H.B.