Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

This week’s must-hear songs include cuts by Ke$ha, Robert Smith, and Ben Gibbard

Illustration for article titled This week’s must-hear songs include cuts by Ke$ha, Robert Smith, and Ben Gibbard

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.


Ke$ha, “Die Young”
“Tik Tok” singer Ke$ha is, undoubtedly, a polarizing figure. Simultaneously a mess and a talent, she has made a mark on the collective consciousness with her catchy tunes and bedraggled appearance. Like her or not, Ke$ha is a force in the music industry, thus the inclusion of her new single, “Die Young,” in this week’s Playlisted. Seizing on the whole “we’re young, let’s party” vibe put forth so successfully earlier this year by bands like Fun, “Die Young” is an anthem for teenage middle-class youth who get drunk on one beer and are “looking for some trouble tonight.” Utilizing her signature blend of atonal singing and disaffected rapping, the song is darn annoying—but that doesn’t mean it won’t be a hit.

Robert Smith, “Witchcraft” 
With his black clothes, ratted hair, and sad-goth makeup, The Cure’s Robert Smith looks pretty ghoulish. That, combined with his eerie pipes, makes him a perfect candidate to contribute to the soundtrack of Frankenweenie, Tim Burton’s new animated film about a re-animated dog. Smith’s dirge-like contribution to the album—a cover of Cy Coleman’s “Witchcraft,” made popular in the ’50s by Frank Sinatra—mopes and plods along, making it markedly less fun than the original, but infinitely spookier. Listen to "Witchcraft" here.

Ben Gibbard featuring Aimee Mann, “Bigger Than Love” 
Former Lives, the solo debut from Death Cab For Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard, isn’t due out for a few weeks, but the second single premièred this week on NPR. It’s a jam, too, with Gibbard and Aimee Mann going tit-for-tat on the track as an estranged married couple. “Bigger Than Love” merges the best of both artists, making for a surprisingly robust and catchy track from the duo. Hey, you two: More songs like these, please.

“Bigger Than Love” com Aimee Mann

Hospitality, “Monkey”
New York indie-pop trio Hospitality just put out its debut earlier this year, but the group is already back in the studio working on new material. Some of the fruits of that labor will be released October 30 on Merge Records as part of a new 7-inch. While the track “The Drift” is the album’s A-side, B-side “Monkey” is hardly inferior. Catchy as hell, the track smartly puts singer Amber Papini front and center, letting her vivid vocals guide the rest of the band’s rhythmic explorations.


Jacques Lu Cont, “In The Night”
Earlier this week, Bromance Records released a new EP, the not-so-cleverly titled Bromance EP5. While it also features a track by French producing team Monsieur Monsieur, the real star of the release is “In The Night,” a new song by Stuart Price. Better known as Jacques Lu Cont, Price is a three-time Grammy winner who has worked with Kylie Minogue, The Killers, Madonna, and Scissor Sisters. He’s also helmed solo projects, including the excellent Les Rythmes Digitales. “In The Night” infuses classic disco with plenty of modern bass, resulting in an exceptional warm-up cut for a long night out.