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Images & Words: Wet, “Lately”

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Wet “Lately” Still Run (out now on Columbia) I’ve waded slowly into the Brooklyn duo’s new project, mostly due to its pre-release singles being a little bit all over the place. However, the more I listen, the more I’ve found myself impressed with Kelly Zutrau’s evolution as a songwriter and — for all intents and purposes — solo artist. She deals most openly with this change on album centerpiece, “Lately,” the sweetest expression of frustration you’ll ever hear. Her voice …

Future, “Hate the Real Me”

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Future “Hate the Real Me” Beastmode 2 (out now on Epic) The peak of a quietly excellent year, Future goes super deep on his worthy follow-up to 2015’s legendary “Beast Mode” tape. Of all its stirring moments, nothing emotionally hits harder than its last track, as Future pours his heart out over triumphant, lush keys from the masterful Zaytoven. It’s hard to imagine another A-list artist speaking this honestly about his own pain and addiction (especially, while making it sound …

The Round-Up: The Best Songs of 2018 (So Far…)

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Somehow, some fucking way, 2018 is more than half over. And though it might feel like I always say this, I think this was the toughest list I’ve had to make yet. There’s been an overwhelming number of exciting, vital new voices popping up and plenty of fantastic follow-ups from people I already loved. Here’s my best effort at whittling the list down to about 30. I split it into two tiers. TIER 1: The Best of the Best: Early …

Troye Sivan, “Dance To This” (f/ Ariana Grande)

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Troye Sivan “Dance To This” (f/ Ariana Grande) Bloom (out 08.31 on EMI Australia) The candlelit, whispered two-step of “Dance To This” might seem a surprisingly low-key choice for two artists with such big voices. But Troye and Ariana’s obvious chemistry and subtle vocal inflections (especially in the gorgeous verses) make this track a winner, even though it likely won’t turn into a smash. It’s the rare modern collab where it feels like both artists are in the same room …

Images & Words: The 1975, “Give Yourself A Try”

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The 1975 “Give Yourself A Try” A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships (out in October on Dirty Hit) Though it’s been out for about two weeks, I’ve listened to the Manchester quartet’s new single roughly two million times. Compositionally, it’s totally unremarkable. Built around a repetitive, simplistic guitar riff and three chords, “Give Yourself a Try” would be a trifle in most singers’ hands. As we know, Matty Healy is not fucking most singers. That this track feels so life-affirming …

Images & Words: The Rhythm Method, “Chin Up”

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The Rhythm Method “Chin Up” Digital Single Every two years*, I get afflicted with the same illness. It usually starts up a few weeks before every major international football tournament and lasts until somewhere around the quarterfinals. Who knows how long my believesthatEnglandcanwinthewholething-itis will last for this year, but I’m hoping that Southgate’s men will make this a long, emotionally taxing bout. And every great English World Cup run needs an equally excellent tune, and London duo The Rhythm Method came …

Images & Words: Chromatics, “Blue Girl”

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Chromatics “Blue Girl” Dear Tommy (out LOL on Italians Do It Better) As much as I hate to admit it, with every new pre-release track from “Dear Tommy,” I can feel Johnny Jewel and co sucking me back in. Like, last month’s “Black Walls,” “Blue Girl” is the exact kind of inch-perfect, gorgeous synth ballad that makes the idea of a world with “Dear Tommy” in it so exciting. On the other hand, I know that the album’s never fucking …

Future: “What’s Up With That” (f/ 21 Savage)

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Future “What’s Up With That” (f/ 21 Savage) SUPERFLY Soundtrack (out now on Epic) Apologies for the weeks without a post, but I went on a long Euro vacation and got engaged. Now that I’m officially an honest man, I can’t think of a better first post than the most romantic man on the planet, Mr. Future Vandross. Though he’s been a little bit quiet — in fact, this is the first time the Hot 100 hasn’t had a Future …

Playboy Carti, “Shoota” (f/ Lil Uzi Vert)

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Playboy Carti “Shoota” (f/ Lil Uzi Vert) Die Lit (out now on AWGE) Though he doesn’t get the credit he deserves, few producers shaped the sound of rap in 2018 more than Philly native, Maaly Raw. The man behind much of Lil Uzi Vert’s sticky sweet early work comes through with an absolute gem here. Bursting with youthful energy (think: Kirby’s Dream World), the unique beat is the ideal canvas for Uzi and Carti to smear playful, sing-song bars on …

Images & Words: Chromatics, “Black Walls”

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Chromatics “Black Walls” Dear Tommy (out PROLLY NEVER on Italians Do It Better) Goddamn it, Johnny Jewel. Just when I’d moved on from the idea that I’d ever hear “Dear Tommy,” this guy drags me back in with a luscious new track and a (probably fictional) release date for Fall of 2018. “Black Walls” is the exact kind of track that makes the forever pushed-back project so frustrating, as it’s another reminder that nobody else makes music that sounds like …

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