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Lana Del Rey, “Doin’ Time”

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Lana Del Rey“Doin’ Time”Sublime OST (out soon on Universal)If you grew up in California in the early 2000’s, it was just about impossible to get in someone’s car or go to a party that wasn’t playing one of those two Sublime albums. Evidently, the same was true in wherever Lana grew up (Westchester, I think), because her cover of the Long Beach skate-rats sun-scorched classic features the care and love that can only be delivered by a true Badfish. Del …

Images & Words: Vampire Weekend, “This Life”

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Vampire Weekend“This Life”Father of the Bride (out now on Columbia)I was absolutely not prepared for how much I was gonna like the new album from Ezra & the Freshly Pressed Oxfords. But shit, it is good. “Father of the Bride” is a sweet, insightful, and age-appropriate look at domestic life, set to sunny guitars and undeniable melodies. And though “This Life” isn’t one of my favorites from the album, the song and video are a solid first step in for …

Finn, “Do What You Want Forever”

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Finn“Do What You Want Forever”Do What You Want Forever (out 05.29 on Local Action)Chase away your Tuesday blues with this uplifting slice of house music from the Manchester producer. Boosted by an ecstatic vocal sample and a hypnotic loop, “Do What You Want” is gorgeous and life-affirming, while reminding you of exactly what’s important in life.

The National: “Hairpin Turns”

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The National“Hairpin Turns”I Am Easy to Find (out 05.18 on 4AD)My god, the Brooklyn mainstays have been on a hot streak in the last few years. Just two years since their excellent return to form, “Sleep Well Beast,” the brooding brownstoners are back with what looks set to be another compelling project. “Hairpin Turns” poetically picks through the bones of a relationship on the brink, dissecting the fear and confusion that comes with a turbulent present and an uncertain future.

Images & Words: Cat Power, “Horizon”

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Cat Power“Horizon”Wanderer (out now on Domino)One of the standouts from Chan Marshall’s 2018 return to form, “Wanderer,” gets deeply personal, stirring visuals. Beside the touching familial lyrics and the delicate, cyclical melody, the really magic of “Horizon” is in the way Marshall harmonizes with various forms of her own voice. The layers are subtle, yet majestic and build a sense of community, even in a solitary performance.

Big Thief, “Open Desert”

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Big Thief“Open Desert”U.F.O.F. (out now on 4AD)The subtly sublime centerpiece of the Brooklyn quartet’s wonderful third LP features some of the most beautiful guitar playing this side of prime Mark Kozelek. Over a carefully arpeggiated, open-stringed melody, vocalist Adrianne Lenker paints beautifully impressionistic lyrics. Though she’s often been known for her unflinching, emotionally direct lyrics, “Open Desert” finds her wandering across a vast open plane and uncovering a lot more questions than answers.

Images & Words: Stormzy, “Vossi Bop”

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Stormzy“Vossi Bop”Digital SingleAfter a little while away, the London kingpin looks to be getting back in the game. “Vossi Bop” is a perfect comeback track because it is such a pure distillation of what makes Stormzy a true-one off. Over a tasty, yet simple beat, Big Mike goes in like only her can, effortlessly dropping ultra-charismatic, memorable bars in the spirit of the early freestyles that made him an instant legend. There’s no word on whether an album is coming, …

No Rome, “Rimbaud, Come Sit for a While”

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No Rome“Rimbaud, Come Sit for a While”Crying in the Prettiest Places (out now on Dirty Hit)I’m not sure this tears of a fuckboi ballad is quite as good as that album title, but that is a pretty damn high bar. The Filipino artist’s second EP is a solid step forward from 2018’s RIP INDO HISASHI. Though things still feel quite low-stakes, Rome really knows his way around an ear-worm and has a knack for making subtly sweet sad songs like …

Bruce Springsteen, “Hello Sunshine”

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Bruce Springsteen“Hello Sunshine”Western Stars (out 06/14 on Columbia)The Boss rolls back the years and delivers a vintage performance in the shape of this haunting road song. The first single from his first studio LP since 2014, “Hello Sunshine” unpacks Springsteen’s long, now public battle with depression. Backed by gorgeous keyboard and slide guitar filigree and a rolling bass-line, Springsteen basks in the open road’s healing properties, hoping to hold on the freedom and relief it delivers long after his journey …

Images & Words: Bedouine, “Echo Park”

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Bedouine“Echo Park”Bird Songs of a Killjoy (out 05.31 on Spacebomb)Fuuuuck. Azniv “Bedouine” Korkejian’s beautiful, windswept picker is really making me miss LA. Languid and subtly majestic, “Echo Park” is a plainspoken love letter to the bustling community and all its perfect imperfections. She rolls her eyes at rising rents and lame scenesters, but can’t help be swept away by the gentle breeze and that beautiful view. Which, unlike just about everything else, arer still free.

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