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Lucy Dacus, “Dancing in the Dark”

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Lucy Dacus“Dancing in the Dark”Digital SingleThe Virginia native has quietly been on a tear this year, dropping four excellent new singles with little fanfare. Her detached, low-key vocals are in sharp contrast to Springsteen’s frantic original performance, but it delivers on the listless core of the song just as effectively. It’s unclear if a new LP is forthcoming, but if it sounds anything like these four singles, it’ll be a big step forward for Dacus.

Images & Words: Boy Scouts, “Get Well Soon”

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Boy Scouts“Get Well Soon”Free Company (out now on Anti)Oakland singer-songwriter Taylor Vick’s brilliant new project is full of softly crushing break-up strummers. Lead-off track “Get Well Soon” pairs Vick’s elegiac vocals with stringed guitars and a languid backbeat. The easy feel of the song is belied by the sharp, subtly bitter lyrics that mirror the way we wish our exes luck… without totally meaning it.

Images & Words: Grimes, “Violence”

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Grimes“Violence” (Feat. i_o)Miss_AnthropoceneTwo days after posting about the new Francis And The Lights single, the self-own continues as I am now forced to admit that the new Grimes track is very good. Though her shtick continues to be tiresome, “Violence” is a delicious slice of trance-inspired pop that frames her pitched-up vocals with gorgeous, sugary melodies.

Francis and the Lights, “Take Me to the Light”

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Francis and the Lights“Take Me to the Light” (f/ Bon Iver, Kanye West)Take Me to the Light (out soon)I genuinely don’t believe in guilty pleasures, but I have to admit that I’m feeling some shame for loving this new song by Francis and the Studio Wizards. Only an absolute murderers’ row of producers (Francis, Kanye, Justin Vernon, Benny Blanco, Cashmere Cat, BJ Burton, Caroline Shaw) could make a song with lyrics like “Tree gotta listen, tree gotta mind. It can …

Kate Teague, “Sweetheart”

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Kate Teague“Sweetheart”Kate Teague (out 09.20 on Muscle Beach)Don’t let its soothing, languid guitars fool you, the Oxford, MS native’s wonderful “Sweetheart” is anything but. A frustrated pushback of our sexist work culture, Teague warns over-friendly men “don’t call me sweetheart.” And though the tone of her voice is warm, you can tell that she’s dead fucking serious.

Images & Words: Snoh Aalegra, “I Want You Around”

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Snoh Aalegra“I Want You Around”– Ugh, Those Feels Again (out now on Artium/AWAL)I would say that I’ve been sleeping on the rising Swedish vocalist, but being this late on a project this good is certified coma status. Her gorgeous, sultry Sophomore LP is full of modern R&B that is built around her weightless voice and sharp, hooky songwriting. Lead single, “I Want You Around,” is damn-near narcotic and will take up residency in your brain then simply refuse to vacate. …

Pinegrove, “Moment”

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Pinegrove“Moment”Digital Single (Rough Trade)It’s impossible to talk about the Montclair sextet without bringing up frontman Evan Stephens Hall’s confusing and disconcerting coercion allegations from a few years ago. Everything about the story was hard to get a handle on — from the fuzzy details to Hall’s even more oblique statement — and you can feel the unease on their new single and first for UK powerhouse Rough Trade. The guitars are characteristically gorgeous, but ESH sounds extra strained here, struggling …

Images & Words: Lana Del Rey, “Fuck It I Love You” / “The Greatest”

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Lana Del Rey“Fuck It I Love You” / “The Greatest”Norman Fucking Rockwell (out 08.30 on Polydor)Move over hot girl summer, Lana’s back to deliver a double helping of summertime sadness with a pair of swooning ballads. Lana’s voice is in unbelievable form here, gliding over languid, June gloom guitars and romantic string arrangements. It’s been more than a year since we heard its first single, and now that we’re only one week from finally hearing NFR, it’s looking likely to …

Images & Words: Taylor Swift, “Lover”

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Taylor Swift“Lover”Lover (out 08.23 on Republic)Taylor continues her (2-song) hot streak with this wistful, woozy slice of alt-country. A little bit Mazzy Star, a little bit Whiskeytown, “Lover” is a swooning waltz that feels playful and earnest. She glides over the shuffling chords and the reverb-soaked snare, luxuriating in the joy and possibility of the early days of a new love story. This record really struggled to get out of the blocks, but maybe we should have listened when she …

Images & Words: The 1975, “People”

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The 1975“People”Notes on a Conditional Form (out 02.22.20 on Dirty Hit)The Used, Head Automatica/Glassjaw, Primal Scream, Marilyn Manson, Blur, The Refused. And that’s only six of the roughly 600 random bands that the new 1975 track brings to mind. And somehow, just like mother-fucking always, they pull it off. “People” is easily the most ferocious ever track from the Mancunians. Opening with crashing, driving toms, Matty Healy smears his vocals all over the place, screaming manically about who we are …

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