Hot Jam of the Day: Sampha, "(No One Knows Me) Like The Piano"


Sampha "(No One Knows Me) Like The Piano" Process (out 02.03 on Young Turks) The soft-spoken Londoner's delicate piano ballad feels like the first truly great song of 2017. Over his nimble, mantric piano melody, Sampha bares his soul, expounding on the way music can allow you to be yourself beyond the constraints of your Read more

Best of '16: My Favorite Songs of 2016


2016 was trash, but goddamn, the music was good. Here is a handful of the songs that kept me positive, no matter how bad the news was. Thanks to everyone for the continued support and readership. 61. MUNA “I Know A Place” About U (out 02.13.17 on RCA) The LA trio’s ode to the Read more

Hot Jam of The Day: MUNA, "I Know A Place"


MUNA "I Know A Place" About U (02.03.17) The fact that this emotional, heartfelt single dropped the same week as the tragic Ghost Ship fire in Oakland is the cruelest irony. This gorgeous single champions the kind of special, inclusive space that Ghost Ship purported to be — places where people can safely Read more

Images & Words: Wiley, "U Were Always Pt. 2" (f/ Skepta & Belly)


Wiley "U Were Always Pt. 2" (f/ Skepta & Belly) Godfather (out 01.13.17 on CTA) Though known more for his muscular bars, the Godfather indulges his soft side on this sultry new single from his hotly anticipated 11th album. The cut is a little reminiscent of Skepta's "Ladies Hit Squad," as the three MC's Read more

Hot Jams of the Day: Burial, "Young Death" / "Nightmarket"


Burial "Young Death" / "Nightmarket" Young Death / Nightmarket (out now on Hyperdub) Just in time for the holidays, the legendary South London producer (né William Bevan) returns with two tracks that help make 2016 suck just that little bit less. The emotional former jives nicely with his incredible 2014 EP, Rival Dealer, matching a Read more

Hot Jam of the Day: Teen Daze, “First Rain” (f/ S. Carey)

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Screen Shot 2017-01-18 at 12.25.49 PMTeen Daze
“First Rain” (f/ S. Carey)
Themes For Dying Earth (out 02.10)
Though it’s been unseasonably warm in New York, we’ve had a steady stream of rain, which has been an excellent backdrop for the placid new single from Vancouver-based musician Jamison Isaak. Though neither Isaak nor Bon Iver member Sean Carey have ever been strong singers, they are unarguably adept at crafting lush, soothing instrumentals. Built around a descending keyboard melody, “First Rain” is built to soundtrack staring aimlessly out windows, finishing puzzles, laying around, and doing whatever the hell else you like doing when it rains.

Hot Jam of the Day: Sampha, “(No One Knows Me) Like The Piano”

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Sampha-Noisey-1-7Sampha
“(No One Knows Me) Like The Piano”
Process (out 02.03 on Young Turks)
The soft-spoken Londoner’s delicate piano ballad feels like the first truly great song of 2017. Over his nimble, mantric piano melody, Sampha bares his soul, expounding on the way music can allow you to be yourself beyond the constraints of your everyday life. The song conjures up the image of a young, shy kid, running his fingers across the keys, slowly growing into the instrument as he grows into himself. It might not have been a piano for you — maybe it was a basketball hoop, a tree you used to climb, or (like me) your father’s guitar — but the experience is just about universal and illustrated beautifully by Sampha here.

Hot Jam of the Day: Julie Byrne, “I Live Now As A Singer”

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4321767Julie Byrne
“I Live Now as a Singer”
Not Even Happiness (out 01.13.17)
The Buffalo native’s sophomore album is one of the albums I’m most looking forward to in this young year. Its third single, “I Live Now as a Singer,” is another perfect demonstration of the warming, gentle power of her sound and the evocative timbre of her voice. Though much of her excellent debut featured dusty, fingerpicked guitars, this track is built on lush, cinematic synth chords that actually remind me of Enya, which, frankly, couldn’t be a more exciting development.

Best of ’16: My Favorite Songs of 2016

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2016 was trash, but goddamn, the music was good. Here is a handful of the songs that kept me positive, no matter how bad the news was. Thanks to everyone for the continued support and readership.

screen-shot-2017-01-09-at-6-15-06-pm61. MUNA
“I Know A Place”
About U (out 02.13.17 on RCA)

The LA trio’s ode to the healing power of sweaty dancefloors took on an even deeper meaning, as it was released only a few hours before 36 people tragically passed away at a 100% Silk event at Ghost Ship in Oakland. And though I’ve never been to that particular venue, I grew up going to many similar spaces around the Bay Area. As rents soar and cities continue to prioritize condos and Whole Foods’ over then its long-term residents, these spaces are becoming less regulated, more dangerous, and more important than ever.

60. Grizzle
“Entreaty”
Black Label II (Blacklink Sound)

Though little is known about young UK producer Griffin Haworth, we do know that his debut single is a goddamn banger. “Entreaty” twists a line from Trey Songz’s middle school dance classic, “Can’t Help But Wait,” in Eagle Scout-level knots, then slowly lets it unravel over skittering hi-hats and kaleidoscopic synths. It’s the kind of single that should be setting dancefloors ablaze everywhere, but my earbuds will more than suffice.

59.Lloyd
“Tru”
Digital Single

Everybody loves a comeback story, and the velvety-voiced Atlanta crooner is hopefully gearing up for a big one. Over bluesy, contemplative guitars, the 30 year-old lays bare the scars of 20 hard years in the music business. And weary as he may be, his voice has retained the same playful, youthful timbre that we first feel in love with all those years back.

58. JSTJCK
“Honest” (f/ Yxng Bane)
Digital Single

There’s more than a hint of vintage Craig David vibes on this ultra-slick single from the rising East London vocalist. The recipe is straight forward — nimble keys, a tasty hook, jazzy drums — but the execution is first class, leaving me hungry for from him in 2017.

57. Boosie Badazz
“Wanna B Heard” (f/ Slim Thug)
Out My Feelings In My Past (Self-Released)
If there’s one thing we aren’t doing in 2016, it’s hearing one another. For the last 15 years, the Baton Rouge native has been dutifully speaking for our country’s most marginalized, historically disenfranchised folks. On the striking “Wanna B Heard,” the 34 year-old shares the stories of members of his community, aiming to highlight some of their humanity that is constantly threatened by the media, police, politicians, and trash people on social media.

56. Skepta
“Man”
Konnichiwa (Boy Better Know)
An anthem in an album full of them, I could have picked a number of tracks from Skeppy’s Mercury Prize-winning fourth LP, but I decided to go with the unapologetic, cocky swagger of “Man.”  Over an unexpected Queens of the Stone Age sample, the 34 year-old lets us know how awesome and annoying it is to be the face of UK hip-hop.

gemininegative55. Negative Gemini
“Body Work”
Body Work (100% Electronics)

Queens producer Lindsey French’s second LP is one of the best balanced electronic albums of the year. Living somewhere in the nether zone between the dancefloor and the bedroom, Body Work is filled with rave music with heart. Its standout track is a perfect distillation of that potent sound, as French’s longing, wistful vocals float between trance-inspired keys, new wave drum pads, and an energizing bassline.

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Hot Jam of The Day: MUNA, “I Know A Place”

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muna3MUNA
“I Know A Place”

About U (02.03.17)
The fact that this emotional, heartfelt single dropped the same week as the tragic Ghost Ship fire in Oakland is the cruelest irony. This gorgeous single champions the kind of special, inclusive space that Ghost Ship purported to be — places where people can safely lose themselves under neon lights and loud music. As a Bay Area native who has spent many nights in such places, it breaks my heart to know that more than 30 people lost their lives, simply looking for that feeling. Though anthemic at its core, “I Know a Place” feels elegiac to me now — both as tribute to those we lost that night and to the people who are fighting provide safe, enriching spaces that are driven by love and respect, not profit.

Images & Words: Kodie Shane, “Sad” (f/ Lil Yachty)

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screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-3-24-32-pmKodie Shane
“Sad” (f/ Lil Yahcty)

Zero Gravity (out now on Epic)
On the day the rising Atlanta native drops her debut EP for Epic, her tasty Lil Yachty collab gets some visuals. Though Zero Gravity features a couple of tracks from her excellent EP, Little Rocket, it will hopefully propel the 18 year-old to her rightful place among the most exciting young talents in hip-hop.

Hot Jam of the Day: Julien Baker, “Decorated Lawns”

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screen-shot-2016-12-01-at-11-55-03-amJulien Baker
“Decorated Lawns”

Jingle Yay! (out now on Punk Talks)
When you are in your late teens and early twenties, coming home for the holidays is always strange. You find yourself in cars, on porches, and at bars with people you used to make out with, sleep with, or even love. Of course, these people are mostly just mini-diversions from your actual life, exciting glimpses of what could be but almost definitely won’t be. The 21 year-old bottles up those confusing feelings beautifully on this strummed confessional. Baker returns to her native Memphis and struggles to reconnect with her surroundings before running into someone from her past. There’s no hint to whether it will last or be substantive, but that’s really not the point.

Images & Words: Wiley, “U Were Always Pt. 2” (f/ Skepta & Belly)

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wiley-006Wiley
“U Were Always Pt. 2” (f/ Skepta & Belly)

Godfather (out 01.13.17 on CTA)
Though known more for his muscular bars, the Godfather indulges his soft side on this sultry new single from his hotly anticipated 11th album. The cut is a little reminiscent of Skepta’s “Ladies Hit Squad,” as the three MC’s put their exes on blast over some delicious, laid-back Adina Howard vibes. Just like on the other pre-release singles, the 37 year-old sounds refreshed and sharp here, and Godfather is shaping up to be one of the standout albums of the early year and potentially one of the strongest efforts of Wiley’s legendary career.

Stream This Shit: MssingNo, M1 Personal Trainer Mixtape

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screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-6-42-18-pmMssingNo
M1 Personal Trainer (Mixtape)
It wasn’t quite Lemonade, but the progressive grime maestro had me shook this afternoon when he surprise released his first mixtape on my unsuspecting head. The hyper-melodic, 24-minute track is made of all original material. And in the way only he can, the Londoner flips a-listers like Ariana Grande, Zara Larsson, and the Biebz to absolute perfection. Mssingno’s work almost always flawlessly balances radio-ready melodies with dancefloor heft for a sound that is often imitated but remains all his own.

Hot Jams of the Day: Burial, “Young Death” / “Nightmarket”

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screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-2-34-09-pmBurial
“Young Death” / “Nightmarket”
Young Death / Nightmarket (out now on Hyperdub)
Just in time for the holidays, the legendary South London producer (né William Bevan) returns with two tracks that help make 2016 suck just that little bit less. The emotional former jives nicely with his incredible 2014 EP, Rival Dealer, matching a hopeful, comforting vocal sample with spare keyboards and percussion. The latter is built around a snake-like keyboard riff that slowly builds to an overwhelming, yet gorgeous crescendo. Both cuts are reminders of what a special talent Bevan is and the unique sonic space that he inhabits.

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