13 Beats for the Week (3/3)

Brad Ramsdell

Sit back, open up 13 tabs, wait the hour it takes to load a Youtube video and give these songs a listen.

1. “Warm Heart of Africa” by The Very Best (Feat. Ezra Koenig)

Don’t ask me to pronounce his name or understand his lyrics, but Malawian Afro-Pop singer Esau Mwamwaya, one half of the duo, The Very Best, has something very special going. Leave it to Vampire Weekend’s frontman Ezra Koenig to feature and capitalize on a track, leaving you with a song that genuinely feels like the warm heart of Africa, whatever that may be.

2. “The Ghost Inside” by Broken Bells

The duo of The Shins lead singer James Mercer and DJ/Producer Brian Burton, aka Danger Mouse, are set to release their collaboration album in the coming weeks. Danger Mouse’s stamp is very apparent just expect a little more Chutes Too Narrow and a little less Grey Album.

3. “Grizzly Bears Panda” by Wolf J

This new artist mixes very nice vocals with the already intoxicating “Two Weeks” by Grizzly Bear, but doesn’t overindulge, letting his rapping and lyrics takeover.

4. “Shake a Shot” by Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson

This singer song writer deserves his recent plaudits just based off his less than idyllic past; at the height of his troubles, he was destitute and suffering from addiction, sleeping on the beaches of Coney Island. Reminds me of a modernized Bob Dylan.

5. “As We Enter” by Damian Marley and Nas

Two stars further merge sounds as genres collide to create an extremely catchy single for their collaboration album coming out in early April.

6. “Now We Can See” by The Thermals

It will have you hooked from the first second. This pop-punk band finally got it right with their mid ‘09 release, a stellar single that doesn’t suffer from a lack of hook.

7. “She’s Got You” by Cosmo Jarvis

Jersey born, selfless plug for the greatest state aside, this singer/song writer has an extremely catchy number about how his best friend’s girl is the devil and he does not realize it.

8. “40 Day Dream” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes

This folk ensemble band struck gold with this song, just maybe not with the name of their band, or more importantly with their debut album. I still strongly encourage you to look up this gem, as its sobering melodies flow over what was a very short four minutes.

9. “Your Friends” by BEARBOT

Can’t go wrong mixing Justice and Ratatat, can you? Honestly, I think you can’t.

10. “Crown on the Ground” by Sleigh Bells

So annoying, you can’t hear the lyrics, but frankly, it’s my favorite song on this list. It’s sort of like listening to your friend drone on and on about their dream, utterly annoying and nonsensical yet entertaining to no end.

11. “Confetti” by 1,2,3

This single from a new band out of Pittsburgh vaguely reminds me of a Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band B-side, yet updated for your listening pleasure. Don’t know much about them, just that they have a first-rate song to build off.

12. “My Turn” by Basement Jaxx (Feat. Lightspeed Champion)

This song makes use of the typical Basement Jaxx house electronic sound with the light poppy air of Lightspeed Champion, resulting in one of the most likeable songs of ‘09.

13. “House of Flying Daggers” by Raekwon (Feat. Inspectah Deck, Ghostface Killa Method Man)

It is crude, raw and completely the opposite of where rap is heading these days, but frankly it is much more genuine. The era of the emcee is not dead as Raekwon and his fellow clan members rap without seemingly taking a breath. This glorified mixtape proves that you don’t need endless production, just a simple beat, real lyrics and samurai movie samples.