Monthly Archives: October 2013

Images & Words: Julianna Barwick, “Ash Day” (A Take Away Show)

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Julianna Barwick “Ash Day” (A Take Away Show) The Brooklyn-based purveyor of ethereal, sweeping ultra-gorgeousness performs a new song that is as beautiful as the serene streets of Iceland where it was filmed. Standing on a chilly-looking urban avenue, the Missouri-native graciously passes out candy to passing children while she performs a celestial, layered hymn, as only she can. Sah-wooooon.

Hot Jam of the Day: Disclosure, “Apollo”

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Disclosure “Apollo” Digital Single Getting a massive raise. Finding diamonds floating in your coffee. Meeting your new deskmate, Morrissey. Besides those three things, I can’t think of many better ways to start a workweek than with a new track from TP’s favorite sons, Disclosure. “Apollo” is very much a classic Disclo track, harkening back to their dancefloor-focused roots. Armed with a faraway vocal sample, the brothers Lawrence lace an unrelenting four-to-the-floor backbeat and wonky synths to devastating effect — reminding everyone of …

Quick Jam: Shy Girls, “Second Heartbeat”

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Shy Girls “Second Heartbeat” Timeshare (out 10/29 on HIT USA) Sensitive R&Bros, Shy Girls, are officially batting 3-for-3 in 2013’s Hot, Bedroom Traxxx game. Following the sensational, “Under Attack” and “Still Not Falling,” “Second Heartbeat” rides a sparse, steamy arraignment and vocalist Dan Vidmar’s exquisite falsetto to downtempo, satin-sheeted glory.

Hot Jam of the Day: John Talabot, “Without You”

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John Talabot “Without You” John Talabot DJ-Kicks (out 11/12 on !K7) Barcelona’s reigning king of the decks, John Talabot, has the incredible ability to full maximum feelings out of the tiniest sliver of  a vocal sample. The sweltering, “Without You,” is no different, as he builds he an engulfing sonic narrative using nothing but a slowly-building beat, an unstoppable bassline, and a far-away sample. It’s the kind of thing that peppered his super-underrated 2012 LP, ƒIN and cemented his status as an essential voice in …

Hot Jam of the Day: Say Lou Lou, “Better in the Dark”

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Say Lou Lou “Better in the Dark” Better in the Dark (single out November 25th on Columbia) As much as “Better in the Dark” is another majestic, sweeping slab of magic from the Swedish/Australian Kilbey sisters, the fact that isn’t linked to an impending full-length is a bit disappointing. The duo has been teasing us with near-perfect dream-wave ballads for nearly 18 months, and I expected their newest single to be a harbinger of a long-awaited debut. Though the long wait continues, some …

Images & Words: Wet, “You’re The Best”

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Wet “You’re The Best” Wet (out now on Neon Gold) Every once in a while, a band comes along that you just kind of want to paint your flag on. That’s currently happening for me with this downtempo, unGoogleable Brooklyn trio. Their debut EP is an affecting collection of simple, direct songs that dig their little fingers into you and simply refuse to let go. Vocalist Kelly Zutrau’s haunting vocals and plaintiff lyrics are deftly framed by swaths of reverb-soaked guitars and …

Hot Jam of the Day: Katy Perry, “Birthday”

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Katy Perry “Birthday” Prism (out October 22 on Capitol) No matter how many records she sells, the Santa Barabra native remains an under-appreciated force in pop music. At her best, Perry is capable of transcendent slabs of window-down magic, and I’d argue that “Teenage Dream” is easily one of the best, most intoxicating pure pop songs of the last ten years. Admittedly, she’s also responsible for her fair share of tepid, paint-by-numbers arena rock dross (see: Prisim‘s lifeless first single, …

Stream This Shit: CFCF, Outside

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CFCF Outside (out 10/22 on Paper Bag) Montreal’s keyboard genius Michael Silver threw his hat into the “Best Album of the Year” ring today with the stream of his sumptuous, essential second LP. Only a few months after his stunning Music for Objects EP dropped, the young composer’s Outside is a cavernous, reflective masterclass, bridging the gap between the head and heart masterfully. He is truly one of the unique, fascinating, and versatile voices in music today.

Images & Words: Kwes, “36”

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Kwes “36” ilp. (out 10/15 on Warp) The South London R&B dreamer’s debut LP drops tomorrow and is one of my most anticipated albums of the year. Its undeniable second single, “36,” gets an adorable, touching treatment, dealing with a high school love in a way that everyone can relate to. All hail, King Kwes!

Hot Jam of the Day: Lee Bannon, “Place/Crusher”

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Lee Bannon “Place/Crusher” Place/Crusher EP (out now on NinjaTune) Listed as a one-song EP, the Sacramento native’s debut for legendary UK label Ninja Tune is an engulfing 23-minute ride through the murky mind of one of the best young beatsmiths around. Bannon gained notoriety through his excellent work with Pro Era (Joey Bada$$, especially), but he truly shines on his experimental, expansive solo work. Place/Crusher‘s genre-hopping movements keep the journey fresh, and Bannon’s deft use of negative space and urbane, melancholic …