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Top 10 Songs of the Month: Childish Gambino, Pusha-T, Gorillaz, and Mitski

on June 01, 2018, 5:00am
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05. Jorja Smith – “February 3rd”

Release: From Lost & Found, out June 8th via FAMM

Jorja Smith is set to be one of the year’s breakout stars in R&B, and nothing demonstrates her beauty and power better than the song “February 3rd”, off Smith’s debut album, Lost and Found. The singer’s soulful, breathy voice meshes perfectly with laid-back, mellow instrumental beats to create a truly chill vibe. Smith’s vocals are reminiscent of classic artist Sade’s, if only higher — the newcomer has a similar tone and relaxing, deeply moving intention to everything she sings. Watch out for Smith as she rises, because this artist is here to stay. –Clara Scott

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04. Lykke Li – “Deep End”

Release: From So Sad So Sexy, out June 8th via RCA

After the success of her last LP, I Never Learn, Lykke Li has come back with a vengeance with singles off of her upcoming album, So Sad So Sexy, due June 8th. Unlike the melancholy musings of her last record, Li is notably more jovial and electronic-based on single “Deep End”, a collection of hypnotic beats and poetic, almost unintelligible lyrics that fuse together in harmony. Though the only thing you may remember from this song is the chorus, it’s almost a guarantee that “Deep End” will be stuck in your head for days and days. –Clara Scott

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03. Mitski – “Geyser”

Release: From Be the Cowboy, out August 17th via Dead Oceans

Following the success of her 2016 album Puberty 2, Mitski makes a monumental return with the release of “Geyser”, the leading single from her forthcoming album, Be the Cowboy. A hypnotic nexus between the beautiful and the bold, “Geyser” showcases Mitski’s natural flair for producing refreshingly raw lyrics and pairs it with compelling musical climaxes. The result? A final product that can only be described as epic. –Lindsay Teske

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02. Rap Beef: Pusha T vs. Drake

Release: “Infrared”, out now on DAYTONA from Def Jam; “Duppy Freestyle” and “The Story of Adidon” available at fine diss track stores everywhere

Any night that’s going to see an early album drop from Pusha T with Kanye West on production will be a restless night of streaming, downloading, and dissecting over the course of first, second, and seventh listens. Last Thursday night was exactly so, but little did we expect that Pusha had buried deep in the seventh track of the lean, 21-minute DAYTONA the opening salvo to perhaps this decade’s top heavyweight rap beef. With a long history of disses between them, Pusha likens Drake to Trump, calling out his legitimacy and suggesting that he’s benefited from ghost writing. Maybe equally shocking was that Drake fired back the very next day with “Duppy Freestyle”, a track-long put-down of both Pusha and West. It’s absolutely scathing, and to add insult to disses, Drake even invoiced G.O.O.D Music $100,000 for “promotional assistance and career reviving.” Not to be outdone, Pusha responded with “The Story of Adidon”, which accused Drake of being a deadbeat “baby daddy,” featured a real photo of Drake in black face as the single’s artwork, and promised him a full summer of pain. Damn, even vegetarians can’t get enough of this beef. –Matt Melis

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01. Childish Gambino – “This Is America”

Release: Non-album release available now from RCA

In a time when leadership is in short supply, voices can emerge from the most unlikely of places. Enter Childish Gambino (aka actor and comedian Donald Glover), who has largely been maligned over the years for his nerdy raps and viewed as more of a comedian than a legit emcee. But with one song — and a music video that college students will be writing thesis papers on — Gambino reminded us of the black experience in America: joyful one moment and tragically cut short the next due to a ever-brewing storm of chaos, racism, and violence, all while distractions from the trauma and injustice are easy to find. Our publication has a history of awarding Song of the Year to artists whose work shines an uncomfortable light on our culture. It’s hard to believe any other song this year will get us talking and shaking our heads more than Gambino’s. –Matt Melis 

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