Frank Ocean, The Kills, and Passion Pit bring the hits in this week’s must-hear rundown

Frank Ocean, The Kills, and Passion Pit bring the hits in this week’s must-hear rundown

We get a lot of records sent to us here at The A.V. Club. Fortunately, we end up liking some of them. That’s why we launched Playlisted, to share our latest recommendations of tracks music fans have to hear.

Frank Ocean, “Bad Religion”
This week’s big musical story is Odd Future crewmember and soul singer Frank Ocean. After endless hype about his new record and talk about his sexuality, Ocean performed Monday on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and then promptly released his record, Channel Orange, on iTunes a week before it hits stores. The song Ocean performed on Fallon, “Bad Religion,” is an almost mournful meditation on lost love and taxi drivers that’s one of the album’s standout tracks, and was just named “Best New Music” by Pitchfork and almost everyone else on the Internet. It’s a must-listen for anyone in the know, wanting to know, or pretending to know about music this week.

The Kills, “Dreams”
With Stevie Nicks teasing that Fleetwood Mac might be back together in 2013, it’s great timing for a new track from the forthcoming indie-centric tribute album to the incestuous and tumultuous band. So far, cuts from Lee Ranaldo, Antony, Best Coast, The New Pornographers, Lykke Li, Karen Elson, and MGMT have popped up on the net, but this week listeners got a peek at The Kills’ take on “Dreams.” It’s dark jangle-pop at its best, with singer Alison Mosshart channeling Nicks at her most coked-out and clad in her most bewitching dress. 

The Kills x Fleetwood Mac on Nowness.com.

Blood Red Shoes, “Je Me Perds” 
In the spirit of The Kills comes Blood Red Shoes, another English duo with a penchant for buzzy guitars and rip-roaring singles. The band’s new record, In Time To Voices, isn’t out in the U.S. until July 24, but if the first single, “Je Me Perds,” is any indication, fans are in for a hell of a fast ride. It sounds like something Scott Pilgrim band Sex Bob-Omb would write, and that’s a very good thing.

Passion Pit, “Constant Conversations”
When Passion Pit hit the mainstream with its first single, “Sleepyhead,” back in 2008, it wasn’t immediately evident that the band would have staying power. The band’s latest single, “Constant Conversations,” proves otherwise. While “Sleepyhead” is tweely hyper, “Constant Conversations” is quietly morose. Singer Michael Angelakos spins depression into sonic gold in this slow burner that’s well worth leaving on repeat.

The Helio Sequence, “October”
Farther down the path to slow-jam city is The Helio Sequence’s “October.” The first single off the group’s new record, Negotiations, the track features a melodic rise and fall that’s simultaneously uplifting and heartbreaking, calling out to listeners and reminding them that nothing lasts forever. The track is an exercise in time and space, weaving through headphones like all good stereo recordings should. 

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