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The 10 Best Songs Of The Week: Rihanna, Blood Orange, PACES And More

Written By Sam Murphy on 07/01/2016

10SongsJulyRanking these like the funnest ballot paper you’ve seen in your life…

10. Rihanna
Sledgehammer

Rihanna’s been dropping music like it’s going out of fashion lately. Sledgehammer is for the new Star Trek movie and it sees her team up with Sia once more for a mighty, hyperbolic ballad. It’s a huge departure from the twisted sounds that graced ANTI but she’s apparently a big fan of Star Trek so we’ll let her get away with this one. Sia and RiRi are a good match and while this is not either of their finest work this year it’s a welcome treat.

9. Porches
Blood To A Shark

We haven’t heard anything from Aussie duo Porches this year but they’ve come back fighting fit with Blood To A Shark today. The track takes cues from RÜFÜS pairing deep bass with flighty vocals. It’s the most euphoric thing they’ve done to date and is surely destined to light up the airwaves on triple j. It’s great that they’ve had a break in releasing music and have returned sounding more confident and self-assured than ever.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/porsches/blood-to-a-shark[/soundcloud]

8. Smino
Lemon Pon Goose

If you’re not already all over Chicago rapper Smino you should be. He’s part of a visionary hip-hop crew Zero Fatigue and is making some of the most charismatic rap tunes around right now. For his latest drop Lemon Pon Goose he’s teamed up with Soulection producer Sango and together they have made a dancehall-tinged anthem for the warmer months. That’s not going to help us now in the middle of winter but it’s so infectious that it’s difficult not to imagine you’re lapping up the sunshine. Fellow Chicago rapper Jean Deaux has jumped on the track adding a female flavour and some added flair with a banging verse.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/sminoworld/lemonpongoose[/soundcloud]

7. Kanye West
Wolves (PACES Remix)
PACES announced a bloody massive tour this week because the whole country is falling in love with him and also dropped a remix just to further prove he’s the most generous guy around. This time, he’s taken on Kanye’s Wolves pulling it from the darkness and introducing it to a world of PACES beats. That’s not to say that it’s a sunny remix. It’s not the type of thing you’d listen to sitting around the pool on vacation, rather this is for the later portion of the night when the holiday enters the depths of the club.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/pacesmusic/wolves-paces-bootleg-1[/soundcloud]

6. Tory Lanez
LUV

Tory Lanez has pulled in a superstar production team of Benny Blanco and Cashmere Cat for his latest track LUV. The pair’s different stylings come together on this ’90s-leaning R&B track which sees Lanez trading in a similar style to what he did on Say It. With a slight dancehall feel to it, it’s got hit written all over it and will likely match the success of Say It. Lanez is fast becoming the antidote to bland commercial R&B usually served up by Jason Derulo.

5. Mabel
Thinking Of You

Swedish-born singer Mabel was one of 2015’s most hyped names thanks to the singles Know Be Better and My Boy My Town but then things went quiet. Until now. Mabel has finally unleashed her first proper single of 2016 in Thinking Of You and it’s well worth the wait. It’s a slippery, sensual R&B-flavoured tracks that showcases her smokey vocal in the best setting possible.

4. Brian Fresco
Heavy (Feat. Chance The Rapper & Blue Hawaii)

Chance The Rapper‘s Chicago crew and label Save Money keep proving just how good their roster is. Chance The Rapper’s Coloring Book and Joey Purp’s III are two of the year’s best releases and it looks like they might add a third to that with Brian Fresco‘s Casanova mixtape out 5th July. Fresco has been dropping tracks for a few years now but it seems he’s ready to make his strike for the big time recruiting Chance The Rapper for a verse on his excellent new track Higher. Higher is a subtle, dancefloor stormer with a groovy, dance beat sitting below a string of charismatic verses from Chance and Fresco. It’s in the same lane as Chance’s All Night and Vic Mensa Down On My Luck and should spread his name far and wide.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/brianfresco/higher-feat-chance-the-rapper-and-blue-hawaii[/soundcloud]

3. Metronomy
Hang Me Out To Dry (Feat. Robyn)

Hang Me Out To Dry is the centrepiece of Metronomy‘s new record Summer ’08, taking advantage of Joe Mount and Robyn’s perfectly matched vocals. It’s a throwback, pristine pop song that has Mount deliver the melancholic verses and Robyn rush ahead with the tempo-racing bridges. It’s nice to hear Robyn back on record again as we haven’t heard anything from her since last year’s Love Is Free EP. It’s also nice to hear Metronomy back in their pop lane again after detouring slightly for the ’70s-leaning Love Letters.

2. Clams Casino
A Breath Away (Feat. Kelela)

We’re just over a fortnight away from the release of ‘s 32 Levels LP and he’s shared some pearlers already. The last we heard from him he was pairing-up with Vince Staples on the club-stormer All Nite and now he’s collided with Kelela for A Breath Away. The beautifully airy, down-tempo track debuted on Benji B’s BBC Radio 1 show this week and can be heard below around the 33:48 mark. Kelela slips into Clams Casino’s production like a glove with her velvet voice moving effortlessly with subtly climatic instrumental. It’s the slowest track we’ve heard from the record yet but it shows another very welcome dimension. 32 Levels is out 15th July.

Listen to the track here.

1. Blood Orange
Hands Up

Blood Orange‘s new album Freetown Sound is one of the most beautifully detailed and cohesive albums of the year but if for some crazy reason you’re only going to listen to one track, let it be Hands Up. Hands Up is the album’s most straight-up pop track taking the subtly of Carly Rae Jepsen’s All That while adding the groove from his own Chamakay. It plods along at its own pace but sets a twilight atmosphere so warm that it’s impossible not to let it sink into your skin.