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Images & Words: Future, “Crushed Up” / “Jumpin On A Jet”

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Future “Crushed Up” / “Jumpin’ On A Jet” THE WIZRD (out 01.18 on Freebandz/Epic) Though his legendary reign was showing signs of slowing down in that 2016-17 period, Nayvadius the Great came back strong last year with a handful of monster singles and Beastmode 2, his best project of the last few years. And judging by the rock-solid pair of pre-release singles from THE WIZRD, his fertile creative streak is well and truly back on. Both tracks are weightless, wobbly, mid-tempo …

Images & Words: Sharon Van Etten, “Seventeen”

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Sharon Van Etten “Seventeen” Remind Me Tomorrow (out 01.18 on Jagjaguwar) It’s impossible not to romanticize your first little stint in New York. Your first apartment, your first go-to bar, your first neighborhood. When you were younger, more fun, and much poorer. Sharon Van Etten, who first moved to NYC in 2005, beautifully stews up that nostalgic brew on her dreamy, but still slightly gritty new single. A love letter to the city, “Seventeen” crackles with the excitement and trepidation …

My Favorite Songs of 2018

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70. Ross From Friends “There’s a Hole in My Heart” Aphelion (Brainfeeder) Don’t let the jokey name fool you, the London deep house producer is cranking out some of the most emotional dance music around. This expansive, meditative cut is maximum tears on the dancefloor, pairing a heartbroken vocal sample with expansive synths and subtle, inch-perfect percussion. I still haven’t seen an episode of “Friends,” but maybe this’ll make me give it a shot.  69. Christina Vantzou x Echo Collective …

Silk Road Assassins, “Bloom”

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Silk Road Assassins “Bloom” State of Ruin (out 02.08 on Planet Mu) A few years on from their excellent debut EP, Reflection Spaces, the Bath-based instrumental grime experimenters are back with their first full-length project. The disc’s cinematic first single, “Bloom,” is packed with the creeping dread, futuristic keys, and skittering percussion that they’re known for. This is definitely one to look out for early next year.

American Football, “Silhouettes”

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American Football “Silhouettes” American Football (out 03.22 on Polyvinyl) It’s year-end season at ThunderPenguin, so our writing staff (of one) is a little bit pre-occupied by our annual songs and albums lists. However, this gorgeous, atmospheric new track from the dreamo Ohio vets is simply too good to pass up. The expansive slow-burner starts pairs lush beds of vibraphones with their signature arpeggiated, melodious guitar work. Nice to know that we won’t have to wait another 15 years for an American Football …

Jessica Pratt, “Poly Blue”

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Jessica Pratt “Poly Blue” Quiet Sings (02.08.19 on Mexican Summer) The second taste of the San Francisco singer-songwriter’s third LP is a characteristically gorgeous, atmospheric slice of pastoral folk. Pratt’s voice has a mystical quality that takes me back to falling in love with my mother’s Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez records when I was a kid. This will be one of the soundtracks of my winter. 

Images & Words: Robyn, “Honey”

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Robyn “Honey” Honey (out now on Konichiwa) One of the best songs of 2018 (more on all that later) gets the moody, sexy visuals it deserves. Without cannibalizing too much of my year-end list, I will say that I much prefer seeing Robyn dancing with other people than on her own. And it’s been wonderful to see her push back against some of the stereotypes that “Dancing On My Own” left her with.

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, “Tides IV”

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Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith “Tides IV” Tides: Music For Meditation And Yoga (out January 2019 on Touchtheplants) I’m not much for Yoga, but the Washington-born, LA-based composer’s new album might change that. The project was penned for her mother’s yoga practice, and the first track from it is gorgeous, ambient piece that breathes right along with the listener. Any project like this will be best heard in context, but this is a delicious first taste. Tides: Music for Meditation and Yoga …

Images & Words: Key Glock, “Since 6ix”

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Key Glock “Since 6ix” Glockoma (out now Paper Route Empire) One of Memphis’ most promising young talents drops his best track yet, sliding effortlessly between an absolute monster of a beat from Tay Keith and 2LeftHand. After blowing up locally, Key has his on international acclaim, and if this mixtape is anything to go by, it’s a question of “when” not “if.”

Images & Words: AMA, “MONOCHROME”

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AMA “MONOCHROME” Digital Single (Dirty Hit) Hailing from West London, the 18 year-old pop/R&B singer is yet another rising new voice coming from the city. Her debut single, “Monochrome,” feels both nostalgic and current, drawing inspiration from the R&B of her youth and fitting comfortably next to fellow Brits like like Jorja Smith and Mabel. Though her career is just getting kicked off, it’s easy to see why she’s already got so many people so excited.

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