Nas, "The Don." Nas has more millenarians than fans, all waiting for the second coming of Illmatic. "The Don," the latest track from his forthcoming album Life Is Good, won't remind anyone of his masterpiece, but that's only because musically it feels like such a radical departure. Produced by Salaam Remi and the late Heavy D, the beat is inspired and schizophrenic, like a clipped King Tubby bassline over dancehall spasms. And lyrically, Nas is as incisive as ever, describing a far less sanitized NYC ("New York is like an Island, a big Rikers Island/The cops be out wilding, all I hear is sirens") than the Bloomberg geographies of "Empire State of Mind." Manan Desai
Lotus Plaza, "Strangers." "Strangers" is in league with Deerhunter guitarist Lockett Pundt's excellent contribution to the band's Halcyon Digest, "Desire Lines"; the song beautifully combines elegant electronic adornments and deftly applied guitar work. Pundt's maturation as a one-man band is evident throughout: his vocals are fuller, less scratchy; his wordplay is increasingly alluring; and, as is indisputable by the song's sophisticated instrumental final section, his ability to orchestrate fluid, climactic moments comparable to Deerhunter's best work is a sign that he's on to something more meaningful than just a flash-in-the-pan side project. Mike LeChevallier
Boys from Patagonia, "Rimini '80." More than once I've heard it said that the lower the BPM in a neo-disco track, the sexier it sounds. Among the songs getting dance floors all steamy lately: 6th Borough Project's "Do It to the Max," Onra's "High Hopes," Dead Rose Music Company's "Bad Desire," and Giorgio Luceri's "Far Away." To that list you can now add the comparatively uptempo Italo tribute act Boys from Patagonia. Well, actually it isn't so much the slow pulse that gets "Rimini '80" all hot and bothered as it is those pitch-perfect arpeggiated scales that periodically swirl from out of the proggy din like a rainbow-speckled flock of sparrows, sending the track into some blissful higher plane. Eric Henderson
House Playlist is a series dedicated to highlighting our favorite new singles, leaked songs, and album tracks.