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5 songs you need to stream this week: Madlib, The National, and more

Every week there are hundreds of thousands of new songs hitting the airwaves. It’s too much for just your two ears to handle. With all those options, you can’t be wasting your time on tracks worthy of a thumbs down click. But don’t worry, we’re going to save you the hassle. We listen to some of the most hyped and interesting songs each week, and tell you which are worthy of your precious listening time.

Here are our top 5 songs to stream this week:

J Dilla (produced by Madlib) — The Sickness (Feat. Nas)

A heavy-hitting b-side from one of our most-anticipated record store day releases, The Sickness is a vintage beat-break single with split verses from two hip-hop legends. J Dilla, the now-deceased beat-making legend, spits the first verse in perfect rhythm, with ’90s king Nas grabbing the second. A collaboration which centers on production from longtime Dilla contemporary Madlib, the song rolls in as an armor-clad tank of sound which takes aim at sissy trap records.

Members of The National and Grizzly Bear — Terrapin Station (Greatful Dead cover)

As part of The National’s upcoming all-star Grateful Dead tribute Day of the Dead, which comes out May 20, the band has shared a massively-collaborative cover of the Dead’s classic track Terrapin Station. A 17-minute cut which features members of Grizzly Bear, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, and a total of around 50 musicians, the song meanders gracefully throughout its long form, much like the original. With slowly-developing melodies and perfectly-vintage fidelity, this version of Terrapin Station is incredibly well executed — we can’t wait to hear loud and on big speakers.

Anna Wise — Precious Possession

Kendrick Lamar collaborator Anna Wise hasn’t seen the same meteoric rise in popularity as fellow collaborators Thundercat, Flying Lotus, or Kamasi Washington as a result of her work with the world’s hottest emcee, but she’s still making fantastic music. On her latest offering, a spacious and beat-laden track called Precious Possession, the singer layers her vocals in beautiful patterns, creating a tapestry of sound which is enthrallingly modern.

Eli “Paperboy” Reed — Cut Ya Down

If Eli “Paperboy” Reed’s latest single Cut Ya Down proves anything, it’s that sometimes musicians can actually pull off being unabashedly old school. In fact, if we didn’t know better, we’d probably think it was recorded in the late ’60s. With a vintage beat, James Brown-like vocals, and perfectly-muted bass lines, the track meanders to the top of classic soul playlists — a modern creation which hides easily in plain sight.

Boys — Happy Hour

Swedish rockers Boys may be incredibly hard to track down online, but damn if their music isn’t catchy. A primarily-female quintet, the band does well to craft a vibration-driven single on Happy Hour. The song is a perfect little morsel of pop which uses synths, guitars, and shifting vocal harmonies to latch listeners’ ears for its three and a half minutes. The final result is something breezy and clean, the sort of song we can imagine pumping into a small Volvo’s stereo while puttering along one of Scandinavia’s numerous country roads.

That’s it for now, but check back every week for more new tunes to stream!

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