The best thing about fall is hands down all the new records and bands that show up on the pop culture radar. Everybody drops their albums in the fall because autumn is the season of potential! Anything is possible in September. It’s back-to-school, it’s Fashion Week, it’s starting your new job, it’s getting a new girlfriend. Plus, you just got a shiny new iPod with your MacBook Air, so now you need to fill that bitch up! Here are five songs you should definitely be listening to right now, or at least ones I can’t seem to turn off from my internal playlist.
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, “Thrift Shop”
My friend posted this video on my Facebook wall a few days ago, and I’ve been obsessed ever since. The song itself, which is all about the art of thrifting and working your grandaddy’s old clothes, is sandwiched somewhere between joke rap and kitch, like a marriage of Das Racist and everybody’s favorite Iowan Leslie Hall. But Macklemore turns the dial of ridiculousness all the way up. Macklemore is Seattle-based rapper Ben Haggerty. Look for his debut album The Heist, out October 9th, and soon you too will be saying, “Dayum, that’s a cold-ass honkey.”
Purity Ring, “Crawlersout”
Isn’t it funny to name your band Purity Ring, a thing that evokes virginity and a heightened, purified state of the body? But there isn’t anything virginal about this Canadian witch-house outfit, so don’t get it twisted. “Crawlersout,” from the band’s debut record Shrines, is one of those songs you hear and know instantly whether you love it or hate it. The song itself is slow, ghostly, and it’s there and not there in a way. Musically, it kind of always floats above you while offering enough punch to keep you hitting “repeat.”
How to Dress Well, “Cold Nites”
Leave it to a Philosophy graduate student to make one of the most ambitious, soul-searching albums of the season. How to Dress Well is the overachieving Tom Krell, who in addition to dropping the mind blowing R&B-meets-dubstep album Total Loss can totally school you on Wittgenstein, a philosopher whose name I still don’t know how to pronounce even after six years of graduate school.
Azealia Banks, “Luxury”
Azealia Banks is kind of sickening. “Luxury,” which is available for free on her new mixtape Fantasea, shows the multi-faceted Ms. Banks singing and rapping over an infectious hip-house beat. In terms of flow, “Luxury” is really different from her break out hit “212,” but it’s certainly a change of pace I’m into. Who knows what’s in store for her upcoming full-length LP, but here’s hoping for lots of songs like this.
SSION, “Listen 2 the Grrrls”
SSION is a little ridiculous, and that’s why they’re one of my favorite bands. Pronounced “shun” — as in faSHUN, pasSHUN — SSION is more multi-media arts project than just your run-of-the-mill indie band. SSION serves a mixture of queer camp and kitch that’s juuuuuuuuuust on the border of bad taste in that John Waters kind of way. Overall, SSION is pure dance-punk fun, which you can enjoy in all of its transgressive glory on their new expanded release BENT.