Monthly Archives: December 2015

Stream This Shit: The-Dream, IAMSAM

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The-Dream IAMSAM (self-released) It’s a Christmas miracle! Yesterday, King Terius blessed us with a surprise EP of faithful Sam Cooke covers, inspired by his late mother. Nash sang poignantly about her on 1977‘s stunning, “1977 (Miss You Still),” and IAMSAM gives us more insight on Nash’s strong relationship with his mother and their shared love of Sam Cooke. Aside from the affecting backstory, Nash’s voice is a perfect match for Cooke’s timeless songwriting and melancholy lyrics.  It’s been a difficult …

Hot Jam of the Day: Jack Red, “Sometimes”

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Jack Red “Sometimes” Digital Single It’s the day before your wedding — what are you thinking about? The flowers, your hair, keeping your stepdad away from the bridesmaids? Not Jack Red. Jack Red is THINKING ABOUT ANOTHER GIRL?!?!? DUDE, WHAT ARE YOU DOING??? While his wedding is likely to go worse than Mark’s from Peep Show, at least it yielded a breathtaking song, and “Sometimes” highlights the Chicago singer’s evocative vocals and affecting storytelling. At the risk of being hyperbolic, there’s a …

Hot Jam of the Day: Ryn Weaver, “Promises” (MssingNo Remix)

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Ryn Weaver “Promises” (MssingNo Remix)  Promises Remixes Undaunted by the mediocre, plodding Tumblr-pop source material, the ever-reliable MssingNo pinpoints the best part of the original — Weaver’s strong, stately vocals — and brings them to life with a beautiful, swirling arrangement. From Brandy to R. Kelly to (my all-time fave) Teedra Moses, the shadowy Londoner is a master of isolating a vocal and twisting it around itself until it is nearly unrecognizable. While Weaver’s vocals aren’t as chopped as much of his work, he …

Hot Jam of the Day: Sevdaliza, “One Armed Lullaby”

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Sevdaliza “One Armed Lullaby” Digital Single One of the brightest breakout artists of 2015, the talented vocalist puts a cap on her excellent year with this wistful bedtime story. She’s already crafted two extremely strong, underrated EPs — The Suspended Kid and Children of Silk — and one of the finest videos of the year, and “One Armed Lullaby” features many of the hallmarks of that excellent work. Her music has real restraint, and she uses negative space more effectively …

Hot Jam of the Day: Kamaiyah, “How Does it Feel”

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Kamaiyah “How Does it Feel” Digital Single Along with excellent projects from artists like Nef the Pharoah, Kehlani, Main Attrakionz, and Kossisko, this irresistible single caps off an excellent year for East Bay hip-hop and R&B. “How Does it Feel” is an intoxicating slab of updated G-Funk, pairing Kamaiyah’s sing-song flow with neon keyboards, a sticky bassline, and more than enough Bay Area slap. Though she’s only released two other proper songs (which are both worth checking out), it certainly feels like …

Hot Jam of the Day: FIFTY GRAND, “Time Will Darken It”

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FIFTY GRAND “Time Will Darken It” Helena’s Skin (out now, self-released) While Elliott Onofrio’s new EP is teaming with darkness, there’s always just enough light seeping through the blinds to illuminate the subtle beauty in each of its six songs. The one that grabbed me most is probably its most palpably light number: the eery, cinematic “Time Will Darken It.” Its harp loop feels like one of those horror movie scores that somehow conveys both calmness and dread. It’s the …

Hot Jam of the Day: ANOHNI, “4 Degrees”

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ANOHNI “4 Degrees” HOPELESSNESS (forthcoming on Secretly Canadian) In a Facebook post announcing her 5th album, ANOHNI (formerly known as Antony) described the disc as ” an electronic record with some sharp teeth.” That is an apt description of its HudMo/Oneohtrix Point Never-assisted lead single, “4 Degrees,” a ferocious internal investigation into her (read: our) role in the myriad sins of the human race. Flanked by crashing, industrial percussion and skyscraping synths, ANOHNI’s unassailable, unique vocals are at their mellifluous best, soaring over the …