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“Dolby’s Top 10 Tracks Jan. – Mar. 2018”

This is something new I thought I’d try, like one more celebration of what I find to be the current best beats, rhymes and life out there. I will not do an end of the year tracks list and I will do an albums list, so hopefully some semblance of suspense will be retained within this little operation. But that’s up to little Mikey here.
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10 R. Finn – “Hard Times Again”
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Channeling his inner Gordon Lightfoot with considerable fervor, Finn arranges light organ layers under gentle but twangy slide guitar picks, with general lyrics of undeniable, pervasive melancholy.
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9 Somta – “Aarde”
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This was on one of those Bandcamp best-ambient things I think — this particular project just seem to CLIMB a little more than all the other ones, which I found relatively static, Yellow Swans nods.
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8 tUnE-yArDs – “Coast to Coast”
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tUnE-yArDs is a great organic music-lover’s entity in general in her own right, an electronically rendered tribute to classic rock with scrappy East Coast lyrics. “Coast to Coast” is the obvious single choice from her new I can feel you creep into my private life LP, almost so pliable that it’s unfinished but still fostering of a palpable sense of brevity and sacrifice within the summery jaunt.
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7 Wharfer – “To Alabama”
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On a production level, Wharfer is arguably unmatched, and “To Alabama” is a lugubrious dirge into the the bottoms of ambient post-punk’s basin, a prevailing synthesizer almost impossibly mellow while still occluding astonishingly quaint background and piano guitar. The vocal, sometimes modulated and sometimes pure in a damaged Southern male drawl, tells a story like a more focused and plangent Bonnie “Prince” Billy.
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6 The Go! Team – “Hey!”
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We’re kicking up the notch here a little bit for Britain’s The Go! Team, whose new LP SEMICIRCLE has the name rhythmic, hip-hop-influenced pop-rock as ever but now with a spicy futuristic tinge — a deluge of programmed “Hey!” caterwauls with… no other lyrics in the whole song.
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5 N.E.R.D. – “Don’t Don’t Do it!”
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It was definitely a little disappointing that even though the 2018 NBA All-Star Game was IN So-Cal where Kendrick Lamar resides, he still was not front and center with N.E.R.D. to belt out “Don’t Don’t Do it,” the best song on NO ONE EVER REALLY DIES… part of it might be that the song is a little serious and socially cutting for such a setting, leaving our buddies the Migos to lay down some fun stupidity for the occasion. Still, this track is great on a solitary listen, even devolving into this awesome heavy metal breakdown a couple times. To boot, it’s one of Lamar’s best verses ever.
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4 No Age – “Send Me”
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There’s an undeniable psychedelic tinge about this new No Age album Snares Like a Haircut which significantly came out on Drag City and not Sub Pop. It’s like the shackles are off and the psych/noise tokens are in.
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3 Jack White – “Corporation”
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I could be wrong, but I think this will end up being like this year’s “Float on,” especially given that Boarding House Reach has achieved number one on the Billboard charts already. Like Consequence of Sound, whose review I thoroughly enjoyed, I compared this track to Parliament Funkadelic, one awesome thing being that, much like the N.E.R.D. selection I’ve chosen, there’s this almost metal-ish guitar run permeating the whole thing that gives it a snappy attitude.
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2 Yo La Tengo – “For You Too”
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To be honest you could probably pick any track from There’s a Riot Going on and you wouldn’t be led astray… there’s almost not much to say about just another great Yo La Tengo album, but I personally like the Jesus and Mary Cain or “Big Day Coming” emulating invitation of constant rugged reverb, along with that signature mellow Kaplan vocal and tiptoeing guitar twang.
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1 The Breeders – “Blues at the Acropolis”
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Everybody keeps calling All Nerve remarkable because it’s like new and innovative but I don’t think anything could be further from the truth: it’s significant to me because it’s so regular and human, and Kim Deal in her 40s still even remarkably sounds shy and uncertain on these songs, really selling them. “Blues at the Acropolis” is special for being the finale but still not being dramatic, retaining a frankness and even a geographical specificity to give it that much more authentic brightness.

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