viral fashion 2012 mix playlist music lifestyle madonna mdna jack white blunderbuss azealia banks 1991 watch the throne kanye west jay-z gossip a joyful noise sleigh bells reign of terror scissor sisters magic hour lmfao sorry for party rocking

What we’re listening to, impotent and why, here at

Azealia Banks | Jumanji

Ever since “212” first dropped and Azealia Banks surged onto our radar, teeming with repeated C-bombs and youthful swagger against pulsing dance-inflected beats, we at have been waiting with bated breath to see what else Ms. Banks has in store for us. While we were given a slight taste with her just-released 1991 EP, we received an extra treat in the form of “Jumanji,” the first single from her FANTASEA mixtape, to be released on July 4. The track, produced by Hudson Mohawke, is indeed a trip — with banging, tropical-tinged steel drums, cheery handclaps, soaring strings and triumphant horns — not to mention, of course, Azealia’s razor-sharp tongue and delivery — “Jumanji” marks the young rapper’s true arrival with much force.

A$AP Rocky | Goldie

In this post-Kanye world, the old trope of rappers being interested in fashion has become something of a tired cliche. Few emcees, however, can seem to match the sartorial acumen of Harlem-repping A$AP Rocky. In “Goldie,” the lead single from Rocky’s studio album debut, LongLiveA$AP, he alludes to the usual suspects (Christian Louboutin, Maison Martin Margiela), as well as some more obscure names (denim label Naked and Famous), proving that he knows his stuff.The sparse, bleep-bloopy production on “Goldie” signifies a slight evolution from the rapper’s LIVELOVEA$AP mixtape, but Rocky’s as trill as ever on the track. When he assures us that we’re “in the midst of greatness” in the song’s opening line, we’re taking his word for it.

Gossip | Move In The Right Direction

The catchy, upbeat vibe of Gossip’s latest, straight off of their album A Joyful Noise, melds all things current in pop with iconic singer Beth Ditto’s ABBA-influenced vocals for a self-empowering anthem of a song that seems designed to stay on “repeat” in your mind all through the day. Good luck forgetting this one.

Jack White | Sixteen Saltines

There’s only one man who can make the organ rock as hard as a Gretsch…Jack White. Since his days in the White Stripes, he’s been bending and blending the rules of rock music with his signature style and his latest album, Blunderbuss, is a solo project complete with his tricks of the trade. Packing a raw rock ‘n’ roll punch and that Hammond organ, this single is just another shining example of why we love Jack White.

Jai Paul | Jasmine

If you haven’t heard the name Jai Paul yet (and odds are you haven’t), please allow us to formally introduce you. With nary more than a MySpace music page (consisting of one singular yet brilliant demo, titled “BTSTU”) to his name up until very recently, the British artist has since signed with independent label XL Recordings, and “Jasmine” is the first real evidence of this nascent union. With a warped and distorted synth-y ambiance and a heavy, thumping bassline offsetting Jai’s chopped-up to the point of being unintelligible vocals, it’s weird in the best way imaginable and impossibly beautiful. If this doesn’t send you salivating over what the elusive singer/songwriter’s next move will be, we recommend that you get your ears checked.

Kanye West & Jay-Z | No Church In The Wild

A bleakly philosophical hook clashes with Jay and Ye’s trademark flawless rhymes against a background arrangement of near-cinematic proportions in track one from the dynamic duo’s Watch The Throne. The thumping beat and moments of orchestral grandeur would be right at home in an old-school Hollywood film…or, you know, a new big-screen version of The Great Gatsby. Describing it as “epic” would be a massive understatement.

LMFAO feat. Natalia Kills | Champagne Showers

As if the rest of their songs and videos weren’t suggestive enough, LMFAO promises to “get you wet” with this track from their latest album, Sorry For Party Rocking. This upbeat track is fun enough to incite a party wherever you play it. Having seen these guys live in action, we can attest to the fact that the champagne does fall like rain when you stick close to this crew.

Madonna | I’m Addicted

Why yes, we are! In all fairness to the Material Girl, that title should provide ample warning about the nature of this synth-laden dance floor doozie from her newest release MDNA, so be warned: there’s no listening to it only once. This is one dangerously narcotic jam, impossible not to get down to. We double-dog dare you to control yourself when the song’s unapologetically euphoric, neon-colored chorus comes whizzing into your ears at light speed. Just try it, you’ll like it.

Maxine Ashley (Feat. Pharrell) | Cookieman

We first heard Maxine Ashley’s “Cookieman” in a video for Lanvin’s Spring/Summer 2012 collection campaign where the song made for a fun, if not somewhat unusual, soundtrack. Well, a few months have passed since then, and a finished version of the song has finally made the rounds…and, just as we suspected, it’s a banger. With none other than Pharrell Williams at the production helm, “Cookieman” features a stripped-down yet percussion-heavy beat, a tried and true Skateboard P trademark. Yes, it’s pretty light and mindless, and yes, in our eyes Pharrell can do no wrong, but above anything else, the song makes us want to dance — when all’s said and done, what more could you want from a summer jam?

NERVO feat. Afrojack & Steve Aoki | We’re All No One

The Australian sister-act of Mim and Liv Nervo has been building a buzz in clubland for quite some time. Their collaboration with big names in the EDM biz like Afrojack and Steve Aoki, We’re All No One is the single we’ve been waiting for. With a steady beat and singable vocals, NERVO delivers a fresh, new hit.

Para One | Mother (Mr. Oizo Remix)

From the moment we heard this pulse-pounding, ear-ringing electro number on the runway at Joseph Altuzarra’s Fall Winter 2012 runway show, we haven’t been able to get it out of our heads. This white-hot remix of French electronic producer Para One’s already solid track answers the age-old question “what would robotic street drummers sound like?” As it turns out, pretty amazing. Like us, you’ll be tapping your feet — or anything else really — to this infectious beat.

Scissor Sisters | Let’s Have a Kiki

We have absolutely no idea what a “kiki” is, and we’re probably not even cool enough to even hope to find out, but it really doesn’t matter. This camp-fabulous party-in-a-can off of the Sisters’ brand-spankin’-new album Magic Hour is equal parts danceable and delirious. Don’t even bother trying to make sense of things; there’s really no point. There’s more fun jam packed into this four minutes than should really be possible, though we can hardly complain about that!

Sleigh Bells | You Lost Me


Reign of Terror, the bombastic second album from Brooklyn-based Sleigh Bells, technically came out this past February, but many of the tracks are excellently suited for summer. Although on paper, Alexis Krauss’ cooing vocals and Derek Miller’s face-melting, eardrum-shattering guitar riffs would seemingly be at odds with one another, the duo somehow manages to defy logic and create music that is equal parts cheerful and brutal. With lyrics that tell the narrative of a young couple who committed suicide, it’s an unlikely love song that closes with a heavy-metal breakdown, delivering that signature Sleigh Bells jolt. Much like the band itself, the song is hard to definitively describe yet utterly exciting and refreshing.

Tiesto and Wolfgang Gartner feat. Luciana | We Own The Night

Not to be confused with Pitbull and Havana Brown’s, “We Run the Night”, it’s safe to say that the radio stations must have misread their song requests. Though the god of trance is clearly evolving his style to include more of a pop/progressive sound, we don’t question Tiesto. His collaboration here with Wolfgang Gartner is a hit, and Luciana’s vocals will have you singing along- “if it feels good do it.”

Azealia Banks | Van Vogue

Another new release from the already hotter-than-hot Mz. Banks, this bouncing head-bopper from the overnight superstar’s new 1991 EP, “Van Vogue” is a guaranteed crowd pleaser, a wicked mix of barking dogs, sharp clapping, street-ready electronic beats and tongue-twisting rhymes, all with the recommended daily dose of pure attitude courtesy of Banks’ spitfire vocals. If there was an ounce of doubt that Azealia Banks is the next big thing, this song should put it to rest. Ms. Thing go pow, indeed.

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by The Staff