The 5 Best Songs Of The Week
Look, for some of us, every week is Britpop Week, but for all practical purposes, Britpop Week is over. Just like Britpop itself, sadly. There’s not much in this week’s 5 Best Songs that bears even a tangential connection to that bygone moment. Well, there’s British singer Hannah Diamond. And there’s White Lung, whose Mish Way just wrote a piece for Noisey anticipating an Oasis reunion. But that ain’t happening, man. Still, it would be cool to hear White Lung do “Rock ‘N’ Roll Star.” Even cooler, though, to hear them do “Snake Jaw.” Do just that below, and check out the rest of the week’s 5 Best while you’re at it.
In his coverage of last year’s Hangout Festival, rock critic Chris Weingarten noted that Ellie Goulding’s voice, which sounds like the glow of a smartphone screen, sometimes seems inhuman. If Goulding occasionally dips her toes into the digital streams at the bottom of the uncanny valley, Hannah Diamond is swimming around in there. “Attachment” is a jarring bit of vaporwave-flavored bubblegum, far more chilling a caricature than Aqua’s famous plastic pop sendup “Barbie Girl” because rather than winking at you, Diamond never breaks her dead-eyed stare. I am very impressed, and I never want to listen to this again. –Chris
Did you even realize you were missing them? I didn’t. But nearly 20 years after we heard them, the two ladies at the front of Veruca Salt (as well as the two dudes who smash out seismic rhythm-section shit behind them) are back together, and all of a sudden it’s like the motherfucking skies parted and we’re feeling sunlight on our faces in a way we haven’t in forever. Those harmonies? That gleaming stadium-crunch riffage? That exploding-into-your-soul classic-rock chorus? We’ve been without that for the better part of two decades? I can’t tell if the Simon & Garfunkel reference on the outro is sincere or ironic, but the gleeful, disbelieving laughter at the end of the video has me leaning toward the former. Jubilation: They’re back again. –Tom
In an interview with Rookie Mag, White Lung frontwoman Mish Way said her band’s incredible new song deals with “body dysmorphia and its residuals. I feel like I there are two women battling in my head sometimes: my completely confident self who can tell anyone to fuck off at the flick of a finger, and this other woman who hates herself, her body, and her mind, not because she actually hates herself, but because she has been told by her culture to hate herself for not being MORE, BETTER, THINNER, PRETTIER. Being crippled by a hatred for your own body — why?” That’s some heavy shit to deal with — not just raging against the system that fosters oppression and insecurity, but raging against the self who sometimes can’t help being influenced by those forces. And Way’s commanding, dynamic vocal performance on “Snake Jaw” allows for a range of emotions: frustration, fear, fury, pride. Her bandmates back her up with squealing, frenetic guitars, a careening rhythm, and a couple 10-ton hooks. “Snake Jaw” is the second single from White Lung’s forthcoming third LP (and Domino Records debut), Deep Fantasy. I loved its first single, “Drown With The Monster.” But now I think the album has a chance to be something really goddamn special. –Michael
On Young Thugga Mane La Flare, Thug’s already-weird new collaborative tape with Gucci Mane his solo bugout “OMG” feels like a trip off the deep end, a late-album curio destined to become a cult favorite for people who make it to the end of the tape and then mutter to themselves, “Wait, what was that?” And now Thug is releasing it as a single, bless him. Over a minimal strut of a Bay Area beat, Thug gets room to go nuts, and nuts he goes, doing hallucinatory and rubbery Plastic Man things with his voice and abandoning any idea of making sense whatsoever. (“Cut my mouth off, put it in a Ziploc bag and zip”?) I have nothing but admiration and pity for whoever attempts to transcribe and explain this thing on RapGenius. Cali rapper IamSu!, added to the single version, knows enough to keep his head down, bemusedly knock out a breezy verse, and get the fuck out of there. –Tom
Jack White ended up with a #1 album, and he’s a big enough deal now that he can headline festivals on his own, without his fake sister or Brendan Benson or anyone else. He is playing with house money, and he does not have to make you feel welcome, or comforted. There is nothing, in fact, to prevent him from releasing a fearsome blast of insane bravado as his new album, so here you go. First line on “Lazaretto”: “My veins are blue and connected, and every single bone in my brain is electric.” Last line: “I’m so Detroit, I make it rise from the ashes.” In between: Squealing feral guitar solo, discordant down-home bluegrass-fiddle freakout, noise-blues breakdown, a central riff that could’ve come from either Deep Purple or Braniac. There is a bad motherfucker at work right here. –Tom