Monthly Archives: February 2014

Hot Jam of the Day: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, “Simple and Sure”

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The Pains of Being Pure at Heart “Simple and Sure” Days of Abandon (out 4.22 on Yebo) Remember when people used to paint TPOBPAT as everything that was wrong with popular indie? They were presented as the poster-children of the faceless brigade of spineless, jangly American Apparel rock bands coming out of Brooklyn in the late 00’s. Nowadays, guitars are about as popular as Paula Deen at Summer Jam, which makes their reverb-soaked guitars and sugary harmonies sound fresh. Guitar …

Hot Jam of the Day: SD Laika, “Meshes”

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SD Laika “Meshes” That’s Harakari (out 4.28 on Tri Angle) Don’t get it twisted. While the Wisconsin-based producer’s overwhelming work has been lumped into grime, this has about as much to do with grime as Lily Allen’s early singles did. I’d classify this somewhere between “slaughterhouse bop” and “thunderstorm step,” or as the perfect soundtrack to a night of running away from grain threshers. Suffice it to say, SD Laika (né Peter Runge) makes some pretty fucking unsettling tunes. But like all great …

Hot Jam of the Day: Cory Jreamz, “Gods”

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Cory Jreamz “Gods” Digital Single Considering how influential Houston’s screwed sound has been on today’s rappers du jour,  it’s ironic that one of its most promising artists consistently rhymes about how out of touch he feels with the scene. If anybody could be forgiven for piggybacking on the city’s rich history, the 19 year-old could, but his debut EP, Invictus, did nothing of the sort. Chaotic, dreamy, and emotionally direct, the six-song set announced Jreamz as one of the singular …

Album of the Week: Sun Kil Moon, Benji

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Sun Kil Moon Benji (Caldo Verde) It’s a helluva time to be a Mark Kozelek fan. Just six months after releasing my favorite non-black metal LP of 2013, he returned with his sixth album under the Sun Kil Moon moniker. Benji is a masterpiece — an immaculate celebration of storytelling, that reads more like a great novel than a meer collection of songs. It’s 11 tracks are like vignettes in a film, working both as self-contained, digestible stories and key pieces of a …

Hot Jam of the Day: Saint Pepsi, “Baby”

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Saint Pepsi “Baby” Gin City (out 2.25) After releasing an impressive stable of remixes last year, the New York-based beatsmith is ready to take on the task of a proper LP. Gin City‘s Aretha-sampling lead-single “Mr. Wonderful” was a promising first sign, but the youngster outdoes himself on buoyant second single, “Baby.” Combining a heady keyboard line with twinkling trap percussion, “Baby” builds to a beautiful vocal climax, proving that he is far more than a curator or a re-interpreter.

Hot Jam of the Day: Real Estate, “Crime”

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Real Estate “Crime” Atlas (out 03.04 on Domino) Real Estate is coming out with another record, and I haven’t written one single word about it. If that doesn’t tell you 2014 is off to a monstrous start, I don’t know what will. I have a few profound thoughts about the new album. Here they are: Real Estate is the best. PS: Any guitar player will tell you how fun it is to play Real Estate songs, so this tab makes them even …

Hot Jam of the Day: Wild Beasts, “Sweet Spot”

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Wild Beasts “Sweet Spot” Present Tense (out 2.25 on Domino) In the six years since their original, striking debut, it’s been fascinating to watch the British quartet develop their sound. 2008’s Limbo, Panto was an explosive, post-punk/art-rock racket (I mean that in the most positive way), driven by the shrieking, somewhat jarring falsetto of Hayden Thorpe. Since then, the group has evolved into a refined, engulfing outfit, whose tracks gently sweep you away instead of bowling into you. To my ears, Presence Tense, …

Hot Jam of the Day: PARTYNEXTDOOR, “Persian Rugs”

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PARTYNEXTDOOR “Persian Rugs” Digital Single (OVO) Fresh off last year’s solid debut mixtape, PARTYNEXTDOOR (né Jahron Brathwaite) returns with a languid, Rhodes-driven sexxx bomb of a single. Since they are both velvety-voiced friends of Drake, Brathwaite has drawn obvious comparisons with the Weeknd, and “Persian Rugs” is a nice example of what makes the young Canadians so different. This slow-burner veers much closer to classic soul, and his bleary-eyed, reserved style is a nice foil to many of his try-hard peers. …

Hot Jam of the Day: The Weeknd, “Drunk In Love” (Remix)

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The Weeknd “Drunk in Love” (Remix) Digital Single We’ve long established that Abel Tesfaye is at his best when he is at his worst, and suffice it to say, the Bad Guy’s back on this exhilarating/despicable take of Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s flaccid boner jam. The original doesn’t work because it lacks any semblance of real friction or chemistry between its architects, resulting in a track that feels as if it was conceived in a boardroom rather than a bedroom. Tesfaye strips away the corporate synergy …

Hot Jam of the Day: Small Black, “Lines of Latitude” (f/ Frankie Rose)

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Small Black “Lines of Latitude” (f/ Frankie Rose) Real People EP (out 04.01 on Jagjaguwar) Since the inevitable bursting of the chillwave bubble, it’s been fascinating to see the diaspora its core artists have undergone. Ironically, one of the original scene’s least interesting groups has quickly grown into one of the most interesting post-chillwavers. On their underrated 2013 LP, Limits of Desire, the Brooklyn-via-Chicago’s Small Black reinvented themselves as a moody, ultra-serious 80’s synth pop outfit. And, by god, it …