Monthly Archives: January 2015

Hot Jam of the Day: Slim Thug, “All I Know” (f/ Propain)

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Slim Thug “All I Know” (f/ Propain) Hogg Life: The Beginning (out 02.03 on Hogg Life) Slim Thug’s laidback baritone always takes me straight back to college, riding slowly through the potholes of Uptown New Orleans with the windows down and cigarette smoke lingering on my fingers. And though we’re nearly a decade removed from Houston’s short reign as hip-hop’s epicenter, those voices made an indelible, positive imprint on my brain that hasn’t dulled over time. Though his national star …

Hot Jam of the Day: Dan Bodan, “A Soft Opening” (E+E Remix)

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Dan Bodan “A Soft Opening” (E+E Remix) SOFTY SOFT Vol. 2 (out now on DFA) The minds behind two of my favorite albums of 2014 team up on this unraveling, shimmering reimagination of Bodan’s original slow jam. E+E is one of modern music’s most mercurial, talented young producers, and Crampton’s playful insolence is on full display here. The producer tears the original into a wordless, undulating musical tributary that only reveals Bodan’s heavily pitched vocals right at the end in a surprising, …

Hot Jam of the Day: Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, “Love After Love”

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Jefre Cantu-Ledesma “Love After Love” A Year with 13 Moons (out 02.10 on Mexican Summer) A standout track on one of the finest albums of the young year, “Love After Love” is an overwhelming rumination on how the heart heals in the wake of loss. We open encircled in dense, unrelenting, sometimes brutal noise, but the haze slowly drifts and gives way to gauzy, beautiful synths. As in real life, the static doesn’t stay silent forever, battling with the melody …

Hot Jam of the Day: Helena Hauff, “c45p”

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Helena Hauff “c45p” A Tape (out 02.24 on Handmade Birds) The lead single off the Hamburg-based producer’s debut is a taut, monolithic affair with colorful keys swirling around an icy rhythmic backbone. A perfectly balanced track, the busy keyboards add the right amount of warmth and variation to the relentless, chilling backbeat, injecting a dose of humanity into the track’s mechanical heart.

Images & Words: Tobias Jesso Jr., “How Could You Babe”

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Tobias Jesso Jr. “How Could You Babe” Goon (out March 17 on True Panther) Another new single, another timeless piano ballad from the rising Canadian crooner. While neither the subject matter nor the execution are particularly novel, this is the kind of weepy, anthemic piano ballad that speaks to the starry eyes and broken hearts in all of us. We’re not all going through brutal break-ups like the one Jesso sings about here, but we all have, and “How Could …

Hot Jam of the Day: Liturgy, “Quetzalcoatl”

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Liturgy “Quetzalcoatl” The Ark Work (out 3/24 on Thrill Jockey) No strangers to describing their music in embarrassing fashion, the Brooklyn kinda sorta black metallers detail their new album as a combination of “cross-fertilizing hardstyle beats, occult-oriented rap, and the glitched re-sampling of IDM.” Luckily, their third album’s lead single sounds nothing like any of those cringeworthy, imagined genres and really nothing like anything else coming out today. Hypnotic and swirling, “Quetzalcoatl” opens with vocalist/leader Hunter Hunt-Hendrix abandoning his wild shrieks …

Images & Words: Novelist x Mumdance, “1 Sec”

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Novelist x Mumdance “1 Sec” 1 Sec EP (out now on XL) Coming off a monster 2014, Kojo “Novelist” Kankam celebrated his 18th birthday by releasing his debut EP for XL, along with some cinematic visuals for the project’s devastating title track. 1 Sec sees the Lewisham MC rekindling his fruitful partnership with fellow Londoner, Mumdance, who provides him with a characteristically challenging arrangement to annihilate. Novelist gleefully accepts and weaves rapid-fire couplets that move like Frogger, maneuvering through the …

Hot Jam of the Day: Ciara, “I Bet”

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Ciara “I Bet” Digital Single Probably my favorite new song of this very young year, Ciara eviscerates her unfaithful ex, Future, with grace, poise, and just the right amount of vitriol. It’s the rare kiss off song that is empowering and vulnerable, making you cheer for her and feel for her at the the same time. The “Sittin’ Up in My Room,” 90’s R&B vibe is strong here, framing the Atlantan’s heartfelt vocals with a wash of acoustic guitars and …

Best of 2014: The Best Albums of 2014

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25. SD: Truly Blessed (iHipHop Distribution) It takes guts to step out on your own. It takes real guts to walk away from a successful situation to go solo. Sadiki “SD” Thirston has a lot of things (talent, vision, originality), but more than anything, he’s got guts. Stepping away from GBE and the Chicago drill scene that he came up in, Thirston’s debut is filled with wonky, druggy melodies and anthemic, extroverted choruses that are well-balanced by drill’s insular roots. 24. 18+: Trust (Houndstooth) Coming off …

Best of 2014: The Hottest Jams of 2014

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Only a few days late this year, but behold, my Favorite Songs of 2014! Hopefully, everyone had a safe new year and is looking forward to what should be a brilliant year of music in 2015. Thank you for your continued support and readership. It means a lot. 65. Angel Olsen: “Windows” from Burn Your Fire for No Witness The final song from the St. Louis-raised folkie’s glorious second LP doesn’t employ many words, but it says a helluva a …