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The Round-Up: The Best Tracks of the Third Quarter

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Prince Bopp “Bandit” Digital Single In short, the Cincinnati native’s heartfelt single is the most slept-on great song of 2016. In just three and half minutes, the independent newcomer comes full circle, detailing his struggle to bounce back from losing his first love and his journey to find hope. The track’s bleak opening finds the young man battling through heartbreak, drugs, and deep loneliness. But as “Bandit” moves, the darkness slowly fades into light, as he moves far enough away …

Hot Jam of the Day: Hannah Diamond, “Fade Away”

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Hannah Diamond “Fade Away” Digital Single Though the much of the bloom has faded from the PC Music rose, to my ears, Hannah Diamond has always been the label’s most interesting artist, thanks to the fact that her songwriting has never taken a back seat to the label’s tiresome obsession with presentation and concept. Like many of her best songs (“Pink and Blue,” “Attachment” and “Every Night”), “Fade Away” is basically a straightforward electro-pop love song with light trance influences. Lyrics like “I always …

Hot Jam of the Day: Krishane, “Found Da Boi” (f/ Wande Coal)

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Krishane “Found Da Boi” (f/ Wande Coal) Digital Single Why waste your time with the myriad American artists who are scrambling (and mostly failing) to cram African and Caribbean sounds into their formulaic radio pop, when you could get the genuine article? One of those artists to watch is Krishane (né St Aubyn Antonio Levy), the son of reggae/dancehall godfather Barrington Levy. The London-via-Jamaica vocalist’s sound is indicative of the thriving, increasingly international scene, as it features traces of Afro-pop, dancehall, soca, and pure pop all stirred up in a delicious …

The Round Up: The Best Albums of the Third Quarter

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Ezale & DJ Fresh The Tonight Show Foreal Foreal Ent Hottest Jams: “Day Ones,” “Stop Come On” For the first time in my lifetime, the Warriors are good and East Bay rap is popping at the same time. 2016 has seen a clutch of young Oakland rappers like Kamaiyah, Nef the Pharoah, and Eazle make a dent in the national scene, while trumpeting the unique culture and sound of the city. The latter’s glorious 10-song debut uniquely blends the slap of …

Hot Jam of the Day: Kate Bush, “Prologue” (Live)

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Kate Bush “Prologue” (Live at Hammersmith) Before the Dawn (out 11.25 on Concord/Fish People) Back in 2014, when Kate Bush announced her first shows since 1979, I seriously considered flying from New York to London to see the legendary Brit in the flesh. Of course, I didn’t go because money and work, but it looks like we’ll all be able to hear it thanks to the upcoming triple disc concert recording. The first taste is unsurprisingly masterful, as the 58 year-old rolls through an extended version of a cut from …

Hot Jam of the Day: Itasca, “No Consequence”

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Itasca “No Consequence” Open to Change (out 09.30 on Paradise of Bachelors) Just a week away from the most anticipated release of her career, Kayla Cohen drops Open to Change’s beautiful, dusty third single. The LA-based singer-songwriter has a knack for crafting gentle, soothing folk music with a hints of darkness and palpable atmospheres. And on “No Consequence,” she uses a languid slide guitar line to get the desired effect, expertly framing her sublime vocals and nimble fingerpicking. Suffice it …

Hot Jams of the Day: Kelela, Elysia Crampton & Adrian Piper, “Final Exam” / “Reference Track TF Scrape”

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Elysia Crampton, Kelela & Adrian Piper “Final Exam” / “Reference Track TF Scrape” Anthem (The Vinyl Factory) Experimental composer Elysia Crampton has been playing with Kelela’s voice for the last few years, so it’s exciting to hear the duo properly collaborate on two new tracks for the upcoming Total Freedom-produced soundtrack to the 9th Berlin Biennale. Part of the joy of Crampton’s music is its ambiguity, and these tracks both live in that space — part finished product, part work in …

Hot Jam of the Day: Abhi / Dijon, “Ignore”

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Abhi / Dijon “Ignore” Digital Single We all have at least one “DON’T ANSWER” in our phonebooks, and the ultra-smooth Maryland R&B duo’s new single is an ode to the goons of our past who had either broke our heart, creeped us out, or let us down. And next time you are contemplating picking up when they invariably call or text, remember the sage wisdom of this song. One word, six letters: I G N O R E.

Hot Jam of the Day: How to Dress Well, “Can’t You Tell”

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How To Dress Well “Can’t You Tell” Care (out 09.23 on Domino) Ignoring the awkward, highly sus “consent pop” tag that Tom Krell is running with, Care‘s third single should delight the Colorado native’s growing fanbase. “Can’t You Tell” is a slab of swooning soft pop that is mostly about the very legitimate joys of fucking someone you actually care about. Sonically, the single also affirms Krell’s love of the emotional radio pop of yesteryear and highlights its increasing influence, recalling artists like Everything But the Girl and …

Hot Jam of the Day: Jenny Hval, “Period Piece”

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Jenny Hval “Period Piece” Blood Bitch (out 09.30 on Sacred Bones) We are now just two weeks away from hearing the Norwegian composer’s hugely anticipated follow-up to 2015’s Apocalypse, girl — my second favorite album of last year. Third single, “Period Piece,” tells the story of a trip to the OBGYN with an foreboding bassline, spare percussion, and faraway synths. Though the mood is unsettling, Hval reassures us that we shouldn’t be afraid because “it’s only blood.”

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