Music review: five songs from this week you need to hear

Weekly roundup by Ryan Hemsworth.


Some of the songs below contain explicit language. The views expressed in them do not represent UNews.

It's been a long week. We know. One of the downfalls of trying to keep yourself busy--studying, working, whatever you're doing--is having the Internet run laps around you. Close your browser for a minute and five new mixtapes are released, 10 albums come out, and a million amazing songs are thrown into cyberspace. But don't worry, we're here to gather up the best and throw away the rest. You'll be the life of the party in no time.

Washed Out, “Amor Fati (Clams Casino Remix)”

Both artists here are poster children for the underground, laptop musicians--both at their respective ends of the spectrum. Washed Out (real name Ernest Greene) usually snuggles with your cochlea, creating music playing off of nostalgia and the feeling of summer heat. Clams Casino is in a much colder place--more like being in the fetal position in your parents' attic than fighting the current in mid-July. When the two musicians merge for the remix of "Amor Fati," you can distinguish the sub-zero synths coming from Clams Casino's computer and the warmth radiating from Washed Out's reverb-soaked voice. It's the best of both worlds.

Drake, "The Ride"

He's back. Drake, Drizzy, Wheelchair Jimmy -- fans of Degrassi: The Next Generation, stand up -- whatever you want to call him, he's on your TV and taking over your favorite sites again. Take Care, Drake's follow-up album to last year's Thank Me Laterleaked on Monday and it was a good way to start off the week--for those not sipping on the haterade. He's back on his confused, gangster-with-a-heart-of-gold shtick, which is easy to ignore when he's working with artists like Just Blaze (responsible for some of hip-hop's greatest hits), Rick Ross, and Andre 3000 (who has been missing from music for far, far too long). "The Ride" is a bonus track from the album, so that illegally downloaded version you have is probably missing it. This is definitely not the one to play before you hit the town; this might be more of a 2 a.m., last call, "we should get out of here" anthem.

David Lynch, "Pinky's Dream (ft. Karen O)"

First off, a little perspective here. David Lynch has been a film director for more than 30 years -- Eraserhead, Elephant Man, and Blue Velvet to name a few. He's one of the weirder humans in the world. Karen O is the frontwoman of the indie thrash-rock band Yeah Yeah Yeahs. She's also not the most normal person. The weirdest thing about "Pinky's Dream" is its cohesiveness and the fact these two lunatics were able to remain stable for the four minutes and six seconds the song lasts. The guitar parts sound like they were taken from a juke box in an old, dusty diner; the drums might be on fire; and Miss O sounds like she's staring death in the face, smiling.

King Krule, "Bleak Bake"

I love a song that opens with the singer coughing. King Krule, an alias of the UK punk Zoo Kid, sounds like he can never quite clear his throat enough. And that's okay, we can't all sing like Carrie Underwood (thank God). The use of 808s here (Roland TR-808 being a drum machine many rappers rely on still to this day) is an example of something better in execution than on paper. This kind of post-post-punk sound is so open that the artificial drum sounds only help to enhance the humanness and vulnerability in Krule's voice and guitar twangs. 

A$AP Rocky, "Out of This World"

The rap scene in New York has grown into a desolate one over the past few years--who would've thought the city's most promising artist in 2011 would sound like every part of America except his hometown? A$AP Rocky has been taking the Internet by storm this year, releasing individual track after track, shining with his snazzy video for "Peso" and then, somehow, eclipsing the hype with his first mixtape. If you're not up on hip-hop as of late, the mixtape is an artist's gateway to the public ear--offering a free project online allows you to either spread like wildfire or get stomped out by the competition. Rocky has been that competition this year. "Out of This World" is a pure crowd pleaser for those who care more about clothes than they should and happier to drive around with the windows down than doing the stuff they should be getting done.

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