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Listen Up: Twin Sister Gets Hyper, Robyn Covers Prince

Plus: Jay-Z hits up a cabaret with new signing Jay Electronica

November 18, 2010 5:53 PM ET

Twin Sister, "All Around and Away We Go"
The neon-bright video for this burbling bit of Krautrock-inspired pop brings to mind the most blissed-out sketches from vintage Sesame Street episodes. And if the images are inspiring restlessness, this Long Island band invites listeners to remix its tracks, even going so far as to put the songs' GarageBand files online for free download.

Robyn, "When Doves Cry"
The shape-shifting Swedish pop singer takes on one of Prince's most iconic songs — and while it takes a few seconds to gel, her spot-on interpretation of the Purple One's between-verse exclamations sends the whole enterprise into "fantastic" territory. [Via]

Jay Electronica, "The Shiny Suit Theory (feat. Jay-Z and Charlotte Gainsbourg)"
Jay-Z's newest signing sounds like he's headlining a nightclub in 1958 on this track, which has a lush backing section that brings to mind expertly mixed cocktails. There are also cameos by his new boss and Charlotte Gainsbourg, whose strangled wail sounds like it's beamed in from another, sadder dimension's top-40 station.

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

More Song Stories entries »
 
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