The Needle Drop

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Favorite Singles of 2011

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1. Fleet Foxes- Helplessness Blues2. Death Grips- Takyon (Death Yon) 3. James Blake- The Wilhelm Scream 4. PJ Harvey- The Words that Maketh Murder 5. Shabazz Palaces- Swerve... the reeping of all that is worthwhile (Noir not withstanding) 6. Holy Ghost!- Do It Again 7. Bon Iver- Holocene 8. Battles- Ice Cream 9. Liturgy- Returner 10. Africa Hitech- Out In the Streets 11. Kendrick Lamar- HiiiPower 12. Active Child- Playing House ft. How to Dress Well 13. Timber Timbre- Black Water 14. The Roots- Make My 15. La Dispute- King Park 16. John Maus- Believer 17. Macklemore x Ryan Lewis- Wings 18. Reks- 25th Hour 19. Big K.R.I.T.- Dreamin’ 20. Cunninlynguists- Hard As They Come ft. Freddie Gibbs 21. Crystal Stilts- Shake the Shackles 22. Foo Fighters- Walk 23. Smith Westerns- Weekend 24. Theophilus London- Flying Overseas 25. SBTRKT- Wildfire 26. St. Vincent- Surgeon 27. Rustie- Ultra Thizz 28. TV On the Radio- Will Do 29. Radiohead- The Daily Mail 30. Metronomy- The Look 31. Rival Sons- Pressure and Time 32. Kate Bush- Wildman 33. Wild Flag- Future Crimes 34. Das Racist- Michael Jackson 35. Veronica Falls- Bad Feeling 36. The Horrors- Still Life 37. Craft Spells- After the Moment 38. Nas- Nasty 39. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart- Belong 40. Fucked Up- Queen of Hearts 41. Little Dragon- Nightlight 42. Colin Stetson- The Righteous Wrath of an Honorable Man 43. Gotye- Somebody That I Used To Know 44. Beastie Boys- Make Some Noise 45. M83- Midnight City 46. Tyler, The Creator- Yonkers 47. Purity Ring- Belispeak 48. Wild Beasts- Reach A Bit Further 49. Balkans- Edita V 50. The Drums- Money

Princeton- "Clamouring For Your Heart"

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MP3

Princeton is a band that is fronted by two identical twins Jesse and Matt Kivel. How neat is that? It's not particularly relevant to their music, but it sure makes for a great press release statement.

Anyway, the band is set to release a digital single on August 30th, which features two new tracks full of gooey, disco-tinged synth pop. The a-side "Clamoring For Your Heart"--let's be honest, there aren't any actual sides to this digital single--has a bubbly synth loop and some catchy vocals that are all held together by a really strong, equally catchy drumbeat. It's nothing amazing, but it's good single material.

The b-side "This Weather, A Swimmer" has a little more going for it, in the form of some interesting strings and even some acoustic guitar strums during an instrumental break. The percussion is similarly great. Check that song out here.

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The War On Drugs- "Baby Missles" / "Come To the City"

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"Baby Missles" MP3

"Come To the City" MP3

Two tracks from the War On Drugs' Slave Ambient, a forthcoming album on Secretly Canadian records. This project is fronted by Philly singer-songwriter Adam Granduciel, but this guy is not your average guitar strummer with a drawl.

The sounds and textures behind Granduciel's voice are pretty rhythmic, rocking, and repetitive--not to mention atmospheric. It sounds like Neil Young or Bob Dylan fronting a kraut rock band. I have to say, though, Neil came closer to doing that than Bob did.

The War On Drugs' new LP will be dropping on August 16th.

Cymbals Eat Guitars- "Rifle Eyesight (Proper Name)"

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New Jersey's Cymbals Eat Guitars have big plans in the coming months. They're set to release their sophomore album Lenses Alien on August 30th, and will hit the ground running with a lengthy United States tour soon thereafter that includes stops in Connecticut, California, and everywhere in between. Fans can now get their first taste of the new record, in the form of the album's opening track "Rifle Eyesight (Proper Name)," which clocks in at nearly nine minutes. "Rifle Eyesight" lives up to its intimidating name in terms of length. That length is split up into three distinguishable movements, each of which finds the band copping a different 90s indie rock sound and slyly twisting it to suit the sound that they established on Why There Are Mountains back in 2009.

Like on that record, listeners will hear plenty of Stephen Malkmus in singer Joseph D'Agostino's vocals on "Rifle Eyesight," while its instrumentation is derived more from groups like Modest Mouse and Sunny Day Real Estate. There's even a bit of incomprehensible Sonic Youth-style guitar noise going on in the middle, which separates two of the song's movements nicely. After working with producer John Agnello, these guys clearly know how to work a studio.

If "Rifle Eyesight" is any indication of what the rest of Lenses Alien is going to be like, this new record will find the band further establishing their sound and adding enough mature flourishes to keep things interesting. Download the track for the price of an e-mail address via the widget below:

Mac Miller- "I'll Be There" / "Donald Trump"

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In my SXSW travels, I ended up meeting Boston MC Reks. It kinda developed into a long hip hop conversation, and I eventually asked him what shows he was going to. Out of all the rappers he listed, Mac Miller stuck out in my head.

As popular as the guy is, he's got a lot of negativity following him, too. I'm not sure why. The fastest answer you'll get from a hater is that he "sucks." However, even when he puts out a song I don't like, I can't go to that extreme.

Though I'm not in love with him, what appeals to me about Mac's music is that he chooses good beats, he's got a great flow, his personality is poured into the music, and he acts like himself. His music is completely devoid of posing or a smoke and mirrors routine. For me, coming off fake is the only mistake you could truly make in hip hop. Mac raps about shoes, weed, family, and girls because that's what he knows about. I guess I just don't get the hate.

Mac has a new mixtape out titled Best Day Ever. Click here to find a download of it. Dig on two tracks from it below:

MP3s: Mac Miller- I'll Be There Mac Miller- Donald Trump -