Monthly Archives: April 2016

Images & Words: Stormzy, “Scary”

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Stormzy “Scary” Digital Single As thrilling as a new Stormzy single always is, the most exciting part of his new clip for “Scary” comes right at the beginning when “THE ALBUM IS COMING” scrolls across the screen. A lot has changed for the Londoner since 2014, when he dropped his only proper project, Dreamers Disease. With success comes pressure, but the big man seems gleefully impervious to any of it, rapping with the same ravenous, joie de vivre flow that he …

Hot Jam of the Day: The Hotelier, “Soft Animal”

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The Hotelier “Soft Animal” Goodness (out 05.27 on Tiny Engines) The Massachusetts quartet’s breakout LP, Home, Like Noplace Is There, was a breathtaking, cathartic tour de force that dug into the darkest, most uncomfortable recesses of suburban American life. The themes weren’t new, but vocalist/lyricist Christian Holden’s fearless, penetrating writing and his bandmates’ evocative, melodic post-rock guitars and crashing drums made the record one of the hardest to shake off of 2014. Two years on, they are no longer just four …

Starting V: The Best Prince Songs on the Internet

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As you know, Prince Rogers Nelson passed away on Thursday at the young age of 57. I am always loathe to pontificate too much about people I’ve never met, but Prince was a special case. In my opinion, he was the single most influential and important pop artist/musician of all-time and the second best electric guitar player ever, trailing only Jimi Hendrix. He did more to push culture forward than any other modern pop musician, challenging people to live more freely while …

Download This Shit: Tommy Kruise, Memphis Confidential Vol. 2

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Tommy Kruise Memphis Confidential Vol. 2 (self-released) The merry Montreal producer’s successor to 2012’s Memphis Confidential is a delicious, Third coast beat tape inspired by the city’s legendary rap scene. Kruise nails the spirit of the Memphis sound — one where beauty and darkness live together in harmony. For example, “HEAD SPIN” is built around a synth line that is both foreboding and enticing, and “BIG 9” opens with soft, atmospheric synths before graduating into a pounding slab of midwestern …

Hot Jam of the Day: Palmistry, “Club Aso”

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Palmistry “Club Aso” Pagan (out 06.17 on Mixpak) After a string of tantalizing solo singles and an underrated EP, Palmistry (né Benjy Keating) is finally ready for his close-up. “Club Aso,” the lead single from his long-awaited debut LP, pairs the Brixton artist’s sentimental tenor with warm synths and subtle, dancehall-influenced percussion. Unlike a lot of artists making pop music in the indie space, Keating is an A-Grade songwriter, rather than just a vibe creator or mood setter. And it’s easy to …

Hot Jam of the Day: Skepta, “Man”

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Skepta “Man” Konichiwa (out 05.06 on Boy Better Know) It’s been nearly two years since the North Londoner announced the name of his fourth LP, and now we are just about three weeks away from finally hearing it. The build-up might be have been Chinese Democracy, but it’s looking like Konichiwa will be pure Appetite for Destruction. Fifth single, “Man,” is another elbows-out banger in the vein of “Shutdown,” with the 33 year-old spitting muscular, memorable bars over a delicious, unexpected Queens of …

Hot Jam of the Day: James Blake, “Timeless”

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James Blake “Timeless” Radio Silence (out TBA on Polydor) For a man who has collaborated with Kanye West, Justin Vernon, and Brian Eno, James Blake has kept a pretty low profile over the last couple of years. His 2014 EP, 200 Press, was a sneaky good nod to his beat-based past, but it didn’t make much of a dent. However, it seems that the Londoner is returning in a major way soon, recently announcing his third LP, Radio Silence. We …

Images & Words: Reeko Squeeze, “Normal Dude” / “Like That” (f/ AJ Tracey)

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Reeko Squeeze “Normal Dude” / “Like That” (f/ AJ Tracey) Digital Single The former member of rising South London crew Section Boyz has been on fire recently, dropping a handful of bangers over the last year or so. Stylistically, Reeko’s aggressive, uncompromising style feels more influenced by Southside Chicago than North London, and his rolling flow is at home alongside spare keys and trap hi-hats. His low-key charisma makes the adhesive  “Normal Dude” one of my favorite hip-hop singles of …

Album Review: m83, Junk

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M83 Junk Mute Records On the dawn of his seventh album — more than 10 years into his career as M83 — Anthony Gonzalez was confronted with massive stakes. His sky-scraping power ballad “Midnight City” had catapulted the unassuming Frenchman on to the mainstage of the festival circuit and mainstream rock radio, changing both his financial position and his artistic one. He could have easily cranked out another album of life-affirming, neon synth pop and spent the summer melting the …

Hot Jam of the Day: T-Pain, “Look At Me”

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T-Pain “Look At Me” Digital Single Millennials. Aren’t they just the worst? With all their goshdern cell phones, emojis, and lack of eye-contact. T-Pain certainly thinks so. On his new single, the Tallahassee Hero decries courting in the Snapchat era. He spends the song shaking his walking stick at a 23 year-old he meets in a club who has the cheek to ignore his beautiful face and focus on the warm glow of her iPhone. The lyrics are predictably ridiculous (sample …