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Download: MIA "Tekquilla (feat. Nicki Minaj)"

It probably goes without saying, but MIA's upcoming quasi-self-titled third album, /\/\ /\ Y /\, is sure to be oddly accessible, completely meta, and predictably off-center; so it's no surprise that those three phrases go a long way toward describing this extended version of "Tekquilla," the latest cut to creep out from the tightly guarded new record. The track features rap star Nicki Minaj for a quick verse, which, despite being totally tacked on at random, proves a solid wingman for Maya's sing-song vocals. And though they were never mentioned as possible production contributors, we wouldn't be entirely shocked if Basement Jaxx were credited with the instrumental, as it's overwrought with innumerable micro-samples, blaring synths and sound effects from the repertoire of the re-emerging rave era, and an all-around air of bombastic noise pollution. Still, this is pop music at its most modern and innovative form. (via FADER

Average: 6.7 (43 votes)

Download: Copywrite "Forever and a Day"

We usually don't get much in the realm of "downer" music here at XLR8R, so hopefully you'll appreciate the brief change of pace. This somber tune was produced by RJD2 for Ohio-born MC Copywrite, who penned the lyrics for "Forever and a Day." Copywrite wrote the song in remembrance of those who have passed on—specifically, his friend and musical partner Camu Tao and his father Peter James Nelson. It's a sentiment which meshes ideally with RJ's slow-grooving, tastefully mellow instrumental, and even the softly sung chorus from D.C. indie band Middle Distance Runner. "Forever and a Day" will be released on Copywrite's forthcoming full-length, The Life and Times of Peter Nelson, in October. 

Average: 6.5 (14 votes)

Download: El Remolón "Estilo Acapulco (feat. Boogat)"

Label: ZZK

This new jam off of ZZK acolyte El Remolón's forthcoming EP, Pangeatico, kicks off sounding something like a Latin-flavored LCD Soundsystem; the thick bassline bounces slowly, funky synth stabs hop around the percussion elements, and a simple hi-hat-heavy beat carries the whole tune. But after the minute-long intro, guest vocalist Boogat's fiery Spanish vocal comes in, and it's made abundantly clear this is a tune straight from the Southern Hemisphere. Hopefully you can catch El Remolón playing this track on tour in North America—along with Tremor, Chancha via Circuito, and El G—after his Pangeatico is released July 20. 

Average: 8.1 (28 votes)

Download: Keepaway "100"

Label: Lefse

Here's a new track from Brooklyn's Keepaway, which is apparently coming out on a 7" sharing its title with this song. "100" starts out with some looped percussion rolls before being overtaken by bright synth melodies, simple bass work, sparse drumming, subtle guitar upstrokes, and heavily reverberated falsetto vocals, all of which make up most of the short song. The mix is extremely dense, especially for a three-piece band, but every sound works together well enough to simultaneously convey a sense of longing and jubilance—not unlike playing a game of keepaway itself. 

Average: 7.7 (24 votes)

Download: Shlohmo "Post Atmosphere (Baths Remix)"

Shlohmo's (pictured above) original version of "Post Atmosphere" is part of the hazily unhinged beat tunes on his debut release Shlomoshun Deluxe, but this remix comes from the producer's recent EP, Camping. Fellow California-based beat-making youngster Will Wiesenfeld (a.k.a. Baths) translated the tune into a heavily, um, atmospheric piano-led number full of bass rumblings and crunch. Along with the piano, you can make out the distant voice of Wiesenfeld cooing melodies into the expanse of the track—effectively transforming Shlohmo's head-knocking jam into a new version that is as patently poignant and melodic as Baths' original productions. 

Average: 8.3 (73 votes)

Download: Frankie Rose and the Outs "Little Brown Haired Girls"

Brooklyn's Frankie Rose has earned her lo-fi-pop cred spending time in bands Dum Dum Girls, Vivian Girls, and Crystal Stilts, but her new project, Frankie Rose and the Outs, puts the singer/songwriter at the helm of the dreamy garage-pop band. From the quartet's self-titled debut album for Slumberland, "Little Brown Haired Girls" is a jangly, rocking number that puts an emphasis on the steady drum beat, bright cymbal flourishes, and beautifully arranged vocal harmonies. It's an easily digestible piece of precious songwriting, which will undoubtedly be in abundance on the band's full-length album when it's released September 21. 

Average: 7 (12 votes)

Download: MED "Classic (feat. Talib Kweli)"

Apparently, this is from MED's forthcoming new album for Stones Throw, but no real details are available on that release. Regardless, "Classic" is a, um, classically soulful affair produced by Karriem Riggins, and full of softly plucked guitar melodies, ethereal vocal "ahs," and muffled orchestral arrangements. But the elements of the track's soft side are all balanced out by the crisp boom and bap of the slow-grooving hip-hop beat that really carries the song. Over it, both MED and Talib Kweli deliver even-handed flows that highlight their loves for tasteful lyricism and timeless instrumentals—both of which "Classic" has in spades. 

Average: 8 (27 votes)

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