The 5 Best Songs We Heard This Week: Nine Inch Nails, Sun Kil Moon

It’s Friday, which means your humble correspondent is kinda excited because he’s about to go on vacation for two weeks, and also that it’s time to survey the best new listening of the week gone by. This week seemed to be all about remixes — perhaps the most fascinating is an old, previously unreleased Coil remix of Nine Inch Nails, but there’s also Factory Floor taking on Wild Beasts, which is similarly interesting. Apart from these, there’s also a beautiful new Sun Kil Moon song, Mykki Blanco’s new single, and some claustrophobic electronic brooding from The Soft Moon. All this is streaming for precisely no money, so click through and start listening!

Nine Inch Nails — “Closer” (Coil remix)

If, like me, you’re still traumatized by Se7en a decade later, you’ll recognize this straight away — it’s the song from the film’s opening credits, which turns out to be a Coil remix of Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer.” And shit, even if you haven’t seen the film, it’s still claustrophobic and kinda terrifying.

Sun Kil Moon — “I Watched The Film The Song Remains The Same”

Mark Kozelek’s new record seems to take an interesting approach to memory, interpreting episodes from the singer’s own life through references to various aspects of culture (see also “Richard Ramirez Died Today of Natural Causes” and “Ben’s My Friend”). This track continues in the same vein, starting with the idea of watching the same film you first saw in 1973, and evolving into a meditation on life, music, melancholy, and growing older. You can hear it at the New York Times website, where Kozelek has also written a rather lovely essay to go with the song.

Mykki Blanco — “She Gutta”

At this point in her career, Mykki Blanco’s recordings have never quite lived up to her roof-raising live performances. This track finds her working with a far more minimal, stripped-back beat than those that have underpinned her recordings to date, and it works well — you keep expecting her to explode on a trademark hyper-speed monologue, but it never quite happens, and the resultant tension is interesting and dynamic.

Wild Beasts — “Wanderlust” (Factory Floor remix)

The new Wild Beasts single “Wanderlust” is pretty great — amongst other things, it features the rather excellent refrain, “Don’t confuse me with someone who gives a fuck,” and finds Hayden Thorpe sounding more like Scott Walker than ever. Factory Floor’s remix sounds precisely nothing like the original. It sounds, well, like a Factory Floor track, which means scattershot beats, oblique rhythms, and strange synth noises galore.

The Soft Moon — “Feel”

The sample around which this track is built is a man saying repeatedly, “I want to be happy,” but let’s be honest — if you make music like this, no one is going to believe you. By the end of four-and-a-half punishing minutes, the sample has assumed an air of bitter irony — which, presumably, is exactly what The Soft Moon intended.