Monthly Archives: November 2015

Images & Words: Stormzy, “Standard”

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Stormzy “Standard” Digital Single Michael Omari’s storming (pun intended) 2015 continues with this ravenous new single, debuted on the first episode of his Beats 1 show, #MERKY. While the South Londoner is also an accomplished singer, he brings an extra helping of bars to “Standard,” and they come in an unrelenting series of waves, like a Mauricio Pochettino press. There’s a real magnetism to Omari’s lyrics, and while he’s far from a punchline rapper, each line seems to stick in your head …

Images & Words: One Direction, “Perfect”

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One Direction “Perfect” Made in the A.M. (out now on Columbia) It’s kind of incredible that the world’s biggest boy band and one of the most popular male artists dropped albums on the same day. And while the Biebs’ fourth LP has grabbed most of stateside column inches, One Direction first post-Zayn effort deserves more acclaim than it has received. Sharp, joyful, and chock-full of unforgettable melodies, Made in the A.M. is the rare 17-song album that doesn’t feel bloated, …

Hot Jams of the Day: Goldmund, Three Songs from “Sometimes”

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Goldmund “A World I Give” (f/ Ryuichi Sakamoto) / “As Old Roads” / “Sometimes” Sometimes (out 11.13 on Western Vinyl) Judging from these three tracks, prolific composer Keith Kenniff may be about to unleash one of the finest albums of the fourth quarter. The Berklee College of Music graduate’s beautiful, contemplative ambient music got the attention of legendary composer, Ryuichi Sakamoto, who lends his golden fingers to the stirring “A World I Give.” Its melody is both graceful and angular, and …

Hot Jam of the Day: Foxing, “Indica”

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Foxing “Indica” Dealer (out now on Triple Crown) While traveling through the Australian outback in my teens, my group and I were having the age-old “would you or wouldn’t you?” debate about whether you would kill someone if you were forced to go to war, when our grizzled guide turned around and gave our hypothetical some heavy reality. He recounted being confronted with child soldiers, whilst deployed at the height of the Rwandan Genocide. It was one of those stories …

Hot Jam of the Day: Jlin, “Nandi”

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Jlin “Nandi” Free Fall (out 11.27 on Planet Mu) Fresh off releasing one of 2015’s strongest debuts, April’s Dark Energy, the Gary, IN footwork producer (né Jerrilynn Patton) treats us to a victory lap in the form of a new EP. First single, “Nandi,” is sparser than much of her frenetic debut with sensual vocal samples laced through skittering hi-hats and rolling hand drums. The track has an aerobic quality, almost as if it’s trying to catch its breath. And …

Hot Jam of the Day: Wet, “Losing All We Knew”

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Wet “Losing All We Knew” Digital Single Though it’s billed as a b-side to their excellent recent single, “Weak,” this crushing, gorgeous track is far from a throwaway. In fact, it’s atypical of much of the trio’s bulletproof back catalog. For one, vocalist Kelly Zutrau pushes her affecting voice into the highest register we’ve heard so far, straining to deliver devastating lines “Did you ever want something so much that your world came apart?” Another exciting new development is its …

Images & Words: Grimes, “Flesh without Blood/Life in the Vivid Dream”

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Grimes “Flesh without Blood/Life in the Vivid Dream” Art Angels (out 11.06 on 4AD) While the blogosphere rages about whether Claire Boucher has ‘gone pop’ (whatever the fuck that means), the 27 year-old has simply got on with it. Over the last 18 months, she’s crafted a clutch of bangers that defy labels and genres (other than “fucking great”), and it all looks to be building up to what could be a 2015-defining LP — her fourth full-length, Art Angels. …

Hot Jam of the Day: DJDS, “Stand Up and Speak”

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DJDS “Stand Up and Speak” Stand Up and Speak (out 01.29 on Body High) Samo Sound Boy is already responsible for one of the best dance albums of this year, and it looks like he has his eyes set on making one of the best of next year, as well. Along with bandmate, Jerome LOL, DJDS might have a monster on their hands, judging from its three exquisite pre-release singles. The most recent, “Stand Up and Speak,” matches soulful vocals …