Monthly Archives: February 2016

Hot Jam of the Day: ZAYN, “It’s You”

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ZAYN “It’s You” Mind of Mine (out 03.25 on RCA) As we hear more of Zayn Malik’s solo singles, it’s becoming more clear why the 23 year-old decided to leave the group that made him famous. Press originally reported that he left One Direction to pursue a radically different, Drake-inspired sound. But this gorgeous, cinematic ballad and his smoldering debut single, “Pillowtalk,” hint that he actually left the group for much simpler reasons — he wanted to sing the kind …

Images & Words: FKA Twigs, “Good To Love”

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FKA Twigs “Good to Love” Digital Single Tahliah “FKA Twigs” Barnett knows that stripping things out is often the way to make the biggest statements. Visually, musically, and lyrically, the 28 year-old deals in simplicity and directness, giving a rare, powerful intimacy to her music. Ambiguity is easy, and we’re overstocked with lyricists using a lot of words to not say much. True to form, her most recent single, “Good to Love,” says a hell of a lot, as she …

Hot Jam of the Day: The 1975, “Somebody Else”

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The 1975 “Somebody Else” I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It (out 02.26 on Dirty Hit) So little of the chatter around the divisive Manchester four-piece has anything to do with what they sound like. The group’s ridiculously-titled second album has ignited myriad Twitter #hottakes and commenter bitchfests, focusing on who vocalist Matthew Healy is or isn’t fucking, what he’s doing with his hair, and whether music this poppy is fit …

Hot Jam of the Day: All Saints, “One Strike”

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All Saints “One Strike” Red Flag (04.08 on London Records) Not gonna lie, writing about All Saints in 2016 feels pretty damn good. Like many other 80s babies, the slinky, London four-piece has a little place in my heart (and high school mixtapes). And while I tend to favor their ballads (i.e. “War of Nerves” and “Never Ever“), the energetic, mid-tempo “One Strike” is a tasty return to form, pairing spectral synths with chunky guitars and their still youthful four-part …

Stream This Shit: Brumes, Soundings in Fathoms

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Brumes Soundings in Fathoms I completely missed the Portland trio’s debut LP when it dropped last May. But I just found it, and holy hell, I’m glad I did. Their sound mixes ambient, Grouper-vibes with touches of folk, drone, and dream-pop (dreamwave? dreamgaze?). Whatever the genre, Soundings in Fathoms is a subtle, gorgeous collection, built around Desireé Rousseau’s faraway vocals and layers of delicate instrumentation. Rousseau’s vocals are framed by beautifully fingerpicked nylon-string guitars (“oh, zia), stirring violins (“the color of light and …

Hot Jam of the Day: et aliae, “Sober” (f. DAWN)

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et aliae “Sober” (f. D∆WN) Rose (out 03.04 on Cascine) The London via Singapore producer first appeared on my radar screen last year, courtesy of a pair of delicious Rita Ora and Aaliyah flips. Since then, she has continued her journey from Soundcloud producer to artist, and we are now just a couple of weeks away from her first long-form statement. “Sober” — the third of five songs we’ve heard from Rose — is her most ambitious, streamlined single yet and features …

Images & Words: Raider, “4 In The Morning”

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Raider “4 In The Morning” Digital Single The Wolverhampton hard-hitter returns with an introspective new clip. A grime veteran who hasn’t gotten the shine that his consistent work deserves, Raider laces muscular, no-frills bars over a spare piano sample and buoyant percussion. Hopefully, grime’s recent international revival will highlight some of the genre’s solid contributors rather than just lifting up a few big stars (i.e. Stormzy, Skepta). That said, Raider seems like he’ll continue doing him regardless, mainstream recognition or …

Images & Words: Jeff Buckley, “I Know It’s Over”

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Jeff Buckley “I Know It’s Over” You & I (out 03.11 on Legacy) While it doesn’t hold a candle to the live version from the mid 90’s, it’s still nice to hear one the best singers of all-time sing one of the best songs of all-time by one of the best bands of all-time (especially on one of the best blogs of all-time). Joking aside, I’m a little unsure about how I feel about the fact that we’re still tilling the soil …

Starting V: The Best of Future’s Two New Albums

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We’re only five weeks into 2016, and Future has already #blessed us with two records — mixtape Purple Reign and album EVOL. While his recent prolificacy has delighted his ever-growing core fanbase, I know a lot of casual fans who are finding it difficult to keep up with his relentless pace. For that reason, I picked out five of my highlights from the two albums, which will hopefully provide a foothold into both discs and give you a vibe of where …

The Round-Up: 10 Musical Things I Loved About January ’16

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If Jens Lekman can write, record, and produce a new song every week, I can write a monthly blog post rounding up my favorite musical goings-on from the last 28-31 days. These aren’t in order, and this isn’t a Best Of List. Rather it’s a random collection of ten things (i.e. scenes, songs, albums, new directions, etc) that caught my attention. I’ll mostly be picking things I didn’t have a chance to write about, so as to avoid repeating myself. Let’s see …