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The 10 Best New Songs We Heard This Week: Oneohtrix Point Never, of Montreal

It’s Friday, which means that it’s nearly the weekend, and also that it’s time to look back at the best new music we’ve heard over the last few days. This week there’s a taste of the new Oneohtrix Point Never album, along with Kevin Barnes being Kevin Barnes, Low covering Rihanna (and doing a fine job of it), Swearin’ doing their best Lucinda Williams impression, intriguing new material from 18+ and Grails, a whole Heathered Pearls remix album, and more. All this is streaming for absolutely nothing after the jump, so click through and get listening!

Oneohtrix Point Never — “Zebra”

Daniel Lopatin ending up on Warp’s roster seemed like something written in the stars — his cerebral take on electronic music is a perfect fit for the venerable UK-based label, and so it’s transpired, with his new album R Plus Seven due out via Warp at the end of the month. It’s from that album that this track is taken, and it’s an interesting listen — it’s rather more oblique than much of Lopatin’s past output, although the long slow washes of synth sound that intercut with its more glitch-influenced parts remind us that it’s the work of the man responsible for some of the most gorgeous productions of recent years. Bring on the album.

of Montreal — “Belle Glade Missionaries”

The tracks we’ve heard so far from the new of Montreal album have either been very bad or very good, and on balance this curious country-influenced number falls into the latter category. Its lyrics are so Kevin Barnes that they’re almost self-parody: “I have a sense you want to be the female Henry Miller, cynically referring to your lovers as your pricks and cynically exploiting other people’s madness.” And yet it works.

Low — “Stay”

Sincere indie covers of pop songs are a pretty mixed bunch, although as a whole they’re better than ironic indie covers of pop songs, which are largely insufferable and should be discouraged at any opportunity. Anyway, Low do a fine job of this Rihanna song, reimagining it as a characteristically understated piano ballad. Round of applause.

18+ — “Trunks”

LA duo 18+’s Mixta2e was one of Flavorwire’s favorite releases of the first half of 2013, and this is the first thing I’ve heard from them since. It’s excellent, too, sampling the sound of mobile phone interference and the Facebook chat alert to create something that sounds utterly contemporary.

Phaeleh — “Make You Feel”

Quietly soulful dubstep of the assuredly non-Skrillex variety. YES. (There’s a download link if you click through to Soundcloud, too.)

Royal Headache — “Stand and Stare”

Garage retro types Royal Headache are critical darlings in their native Australia, and you can see why — their songs sound like the sort of thing you might have heard blaring from a tinny FM radio on a sunny day in a more innocent age, and they’re very dab hands indeed with a melody.

Swearin’ — “Watered Down”

Well, this sounds very, very like Lucinda Williams. This is a good thing, clearly.

Grails — “Invitation to Ruin”

Portland-based Grails can always be relied upon to come up with something interesting, especially on their Black Tar Prophecies EPs, wherein they tend to experiment with new sounds and ideas. This is taken from the sixth installment in that series — it sounds like the soundtrack to some sort of cerebral dystopian sci-fi film, and it’s most excellent indeed.

Cass McCombs — “There Can Be Only One”

Quietly introspective alt-country from the indefatigable Cass McCombs. This will feature on his upcoming record Big Wheel and Others, which is out in October. It also features that rarest of musical beasts — an inoffensive bongo part!

Heathered Pearls — Loyal remixes

Heathered Pearls’ gorgeous ambient magnum opus Loyal was one of the best records of 2012, so it’s an absolute pleasure to revisit again with this suite of remixes. Loscil’s drone-y remix of “Beach Shelter” is probably the pick of the bunch, but they’re all worth hearing.

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