Monthly Archives: August 2016

Images & Words: Chromatics, “Dear Tommy”

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Chromatics “Dear Tommy” Dear Tommy (hopefully out soon on Italians Do It Better) It’s fitting that in the week we finally got the album formerly known as Boys Don’t Cry, another long-awaited project looks set to poke its head out. The Johnny Jewel-fronted quartet famously announced that their follow-up to 2012’s beloved Kill For Love would be out in time for Valentine’s Day…in 2015. Now 18 months later, we still don’t have a release date, but we have a tracklist — …

Images & Words: Frank Ocean, “Nikes”

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Frank Ocean “Nikes” Blonde (out now on Boys Don’t Cry) About two minutes into his long-awaited new album, Frank Ocean’s pitched-up vocal hangs in the air and sings “RIP Trayvon. That n**ga look just like me.” With that simple lyric, Ocean humanizes a young man whose life was taken in the most inhumane way possible before being dehumanized repeatedly by media vultures and the uniformed, endless social media echo chamber. Throughout his career, the 28 year-old has consistently demonstrated this …

Hot Jams of the Day: Lydia Loveless, “Same To You” / “Longer”

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Lydia Loveless “Same to You” / “Longer” Real (out now on Bloodshot) While I — along with the rest of America — spent most of my weekend in a Blonde-induced k-hole (more on that later), I took a detour today to give the Columbus, OH singer-songwriter’s fourth LP a couple of spins. What I found was rock-solid songwriting and delicious guitarwork with a welcome dose of Whiskeytown vibes. The disc’s first two tracks — “Same to You” and “Longer” — highlight all …

Hot Jam of the Day: serpentwithfeet, “blisters”

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serpentwithfeet “blisters” blisters (out 09.02 on Tri Angle) Though it’s been out for a couple of weeks, I had to write a little bit about the second single from Jonah Wise’s debut EP for Tri Angle. Like the spellbinding, “flickering,” “blisters” is a mesmeric, unique ballad with devotional touches that pairs Wise’s haunting vocals with a deft, orchestral accompaniment. While he dials back the trill a touch, his vocal remains aching and stretched, overflowing with emotion and heart. True originality is hard …

Hot Jam of the Day: Dej Loaf, “Miami”

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Dej Loaf “Miami” Digital Single In the D***ld Tr**p Era, we need as many sweet love songs as we can get, and Young Deja comes through with a heartfelt swoon-fest that is sure to chase the Newsfeed blues away. To my ears, she’s at her best when she’s jumping genres, effortlessly shifting between singing and rapping, as she does here and in classics like “Easy Love,” “Me U Hennessy,” and the smash Lil Durk collab, “My Beyoncé.” The track’s sunny …

Hot Jam of the Day: The Tallest Man on Earth, “Rivers”

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The Tallest Man on Earth “Rivers” Digital Single Swedish folk singer, Kristian Matsson, returns with his second new track of 2016. “Rivers” is a potent example of the 33 year-old’s light, dexterous fingerpicking and evocative, Dylan-inspired vocals. I tend to like Matsson most when his arrangements are at their sparest, which made it tough to get into the fuller sound of his 2015 LP, Dark Bird is Home. That said, he’s back to his best here, as he impressively frames the track’s gentle guitar …

Images & Words: Camp Cope, “Done”

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Camp Cope “Done” Camp Cope (out now on Poison City) I completely whiffed on the Melbourne trio’s excellent self-titled LP when it dropped back in June, so you can consider this my apology. Driven by singer-songwriter Georgia Maq, the eight-song project is full of cathartic, intimate songwriting and jangly, sticky guitar melodies. And while lead single, “Done,” isn’t quite at the top of my list of standout songs (I’d go for “Song for Charlie” or “Flesh and Electricity“), it is …

Hot Jam of the Day: Jacques Greene, “You Can’t Deny”

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Jacques Greene “You Can’t Deny” Digital Single The ever-reliable Montreal producer has been uncharacteristically quiet since 2014’s purple patch, but his new single proves that he’s still on top of his game. Built around bouncy snyth droplets and a pitched-up vocal sample, “You Can’t Deny” is a delicious, swirling slab of modern house that I’ll look forward to hearing in a packed, sweaty room when I next catch one of his bulletproof sets.

Images & Words: How to Dress Well, “Lost Youth / Lost You”

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How to Dress Well “Lost Youth / Lost You” Care (out 09.23 on Domino) “Lost Youth / Lost You” is the first taste of the longtime TP favorite’s forthcoming fourth LP. It’s a lush, emotional love song that continues his progression from ambient, weirdo lo-fi toward direct, powerful adult contempo-inspired pop. I’m getting light Celine Dion/Jon Secada/Everything But the Girl vibes from this one and even hearing little touches of “Drops of Jupiter” in the chorus. If that sounds like it’s …

Hot Jam of the Day: J Hus, “Playing Sports”

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J Hus “Playing Sports” Digital Single After a monster 2015 (and one of the best songs of last year), the London MC had been conspicuously quiet in recent times. However, he emphatically broke that silence this week with this massive new single. Living in the sweet spot between grime and dancehall that he’s made his own, “Playing Sports” is yet another example of his sharp, hooky songwriting and intoxicating sound. More like this please.