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The 10 Best Songs We Heard This Week: Boards of Canada, Talking Heads

It’s Friday, which means everyone at Flavorwire central is getting pretty excited at the prospect of three whole days off, and also that it’s time to round up the best songs we’ve heard this week. This week there’s actual new music from Boards of Canada, a long-buried Talking Heads/Arthur Russell collaboration, new songs from Susanna (of Magical Orchestra renown), Cold Cave and Melvins, along with Scout Niblett deconstructing TLC, a whole mixtape from Inga Copeland, and plenty more. All this goodness is streaming now, and it all awaits you after the jump. Click through to listen!


Boards of Canada — “Reach for the Dead”
However annoying it’s been, you can’t deny the effectiveness of Boards of Canada’s ongoing viral marketing campaign — they’ve gone from being a well-respected but ultimately niche electronic act to one of the year’s most talked-about bands. Having a gimmick never hurts, eh? Anyway, after all the hype comes some actual new music, and it’s… well, it’s Boards of Canada, basically. If you’re a fan, you’ll certainly enjoy this, but it’s hard to imagine it might


Talking Heads and Arthur Russell — “Psycho Killer”
Well, this is fascinating: an alternate version of “Psycho Killer” featuring alternate lyrics, a slightly better attempt at a French accent from David Byrne during the bridge, and a cello part played by the late Arthur Russell. It was apparently released on the b-side to the original single, and has been hard to get hold of ever since — it’s resurfaced in advance of the Movement Festival in Detroit, which will be staging a tribute to Russell as part of its program.


Scout Niblett — “No Scrubs”
As in, yes, the TLC “No Scrubs.” This pleasantly menacing cover appears on Niblett’s new album It’s Up to Emma, which is out now and is most excellent. (She’s always been a dab hand with a cover — you should also check out her awesome version of Althea & Donna’s “Uptown Top Ranking” from a few years back if you’ve not heard it.)


Susanna — “Death Hanging”
You may know Susanna Wallumrød from her work as Susanna and the Magical Orchestra, who make gorgeous minimalist emotional pop music (and are also responsible for one of the very few worthwhile covers of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”) This solo track explores similar territory, containing lyrics like “Death hanging over you/ Death hanging over me/ Death hanging over us to come/ There’s nothing we can be/ To prevent the forthcoming event/ Of death coming to we” and yet somehow managing to be beautiful and even, gulp, uplifting.


Pharmakon — “Ache”
Trigger warning: don’t listen to this if you’re feeling fragile. As I’ve mentioned before, Pharmakon’s Abandon is pretty heavy going — but if you’re feeling up to it, this is definitely pretty compelling listening.


Glass Candy — “Warm in the Winter”
This isn’t strictly new — it’s been around since 2011 — but it’s the lead track on the much-anticipated Italians Do It Better compilation After Dark 2, which was released digitally this week. So fuck it — play it again, Johnny.


Cold Cave — “Black Boots”
“You give me half of what I need,” complains Wes Eisold in the first verse of this new track, which is nevertheless actually pretty upbeat as far as Cold Cave goes. Maybe Eisold is mellowing a little now that he’s cold and sober.


Melvins — “Dr Mule”
In which Melvins make a track for this curious compilation celebrating the 10-year anniversary of a car company. The song is exuberantly loud and pleasantly silly. We trust they’re enjoying the cash.


Ikebana — “Rose”
This Japanese duo’s press release suggests they’re “for fans of Grouper, Mirrorring and Juliana Barwick,” and while I generally regard such “recommended if you like” pitches with deep suspicion, in this case it’s pretty much spot on. Their minimalist-drone-and-ethereal-vocals does indeed fall somewhere in between those artists — not quite as dark as Grouper, not as floatily gorgeous as Barwick — and has a charm all its own.


Inga Copeland — Higher Powers mixtape
And finally, a suitably strange and spacey mixtape from Hype Williams’ Inga Copeland. Enjoy the long weekend!

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