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Images & Words: Káryyn, “Moving Masses”

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Káryyn “Moving Masses” Digital Single One of the brightest and most vital new voices I’ve heard this year, the Syrian-American musician follows up her fabulous, two-part QUANTA series with an arresting vocal-led single. Somewhat reminiscent of Julianna Barwick’s timeless early work, “Moving Masses” is a dense mosaic of layered vocals that build to an overwhelming crescendo. The lyrics aren’t decipherable here, but her words still carry weight. And as the track unravels, it slowly beckons you further out to sea, untill there’s nothing you …

Hot Jam of the Day: Bruno Major, “Cold Blood”

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Bruno Major “Cold Blood” A Song for Every Moon (July Records) Over the past year, the talented North Londoner dropped a new song every month, resulting in an engaging 12-song collection of jazz-influenced pop songs that recall talented (and alliterative) folks like Jamie Woon, Jamie Isaac, and James Blake. My favorite of the bunch came out in August. “Cold Blood” is a perfect example of Major’s subtle songwriting and powerful voice, as he glides over a spare arrangement that feels both classic and …

Images & Words: Samantha Urbani, “Hints & Implications”

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Samantha Urbani “Hints & Implications” Policies of Power EP (out now on Lucky Number) Though the buzz has been pretty tepid, Samantha Urbani’s solo debut EP is a rock-solid collection of elastic, 80’s-inspired pop rock. The songwriting on the record is as sharp and effective as anything you’d find on Carly Rae’s last record, for example. And lead single, “Hints & Implications,” is indicative of that, pairing chunky barre chords with reverb-drenched electro drums and neon synths. It’s really an album that more people …

Images & Words: LCD Soundsystem, “Tonite”

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LCD Soundsystem “Tonite” American Dream (out 09.01 on DFA) Let’s be real, no matter how good ‘American Dream’ turns out to be, it’s always going to kinda be a bummer. Nothing will change that. Then again, good tunes trump good narratives, and “Tonite” is firmly in that camp. The strongest pre-release single yet, it’s got all the hallmarks of prime-era LCD: a repetitive through line, quasi-intellectual cool bro lyrics, taught guitars, sneaky little hooks. I’m not sure I’ll actually want to dance to this, …

Hot Jam of the Day: Kodak Black, “Change My Ways”

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Kodak Black “Change My Ways” Project Baby 2 (self-released) Still just 20 years old, Dieuson “Kodak Black” Octave has already seen enough highs and lows to fill twenty lifetimes. His powerful, underrated new mixtape, “Project Baby 2,” features the most honest and frank introspection that we’ve ever heard from him. On “Change My Ways,” Octave sounds exhausted — beaten down by a lifetime of trying to outrun his own disastrous decisions and an unrelenting spotlight that glows brighter with each court case and social media story. Moreover, he …

Images & Words: King Krule, “Czech One”

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King Krule “Czech One” Digital Single I first covered the 22 year-old when he was just a random London teen named Zoo Kid. And while his potential was obvious, I doubt many predicted what an original and sonically restless artist Archy Marshall would become. In the four years follwing his excellent debut LP, 6 Feet Beneath the Moon, Marshall released the excellent ambient-leaning, beat tape, A New Place 2 Drown, and has collaborated with artists from all over the indie landscape. Now, he’s is returning with new music under the King Krule moniker, …

Images & Words: The Weather Station, “Thirty”

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The Weather Station “Thirty” The Weather Station (out 10.6 on Paradise of Bachelors) Don’t let the acoustic guitar fool you, the first single from Canadian folk-singer Tamara Lindeman’s upcoming fourth LP is fierce and powerful. Though it starts sweetly, it slowly unravels into a driving rock song that explores the innumerable, small moments which define lengthy relationships, causing them to grow and shift over time. Her vocals are breathy, but muscular. In fact, they are more than a little reminiscent of a certain legendary, blonde Canadian folkie who shall …

Hot Jam of the Day: Julien Baker, “Appointments”

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Julien Baker “Appointments” Turn Out the Lights (out 10.27 on Matador) “It’s the hope that kills you,” goes the old saying. But it can also be the thing that saves you and drives you through life’s dark stretches. It’s what the 21 year-old is reaching for on this breathtaking first single from her highly-anticipated second LP. Baker has the ultra-rare ability to distill life’s most complex and difficult moments into gorgeous, insightful songs that often tell you more about your life than hers. “Appointments” is the …

Images & Words: Moneybagg Yo, “Important”

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Moneybagg Yo “Important” Federal 3x (out now on Interscope) A week after releasing his excellent new mixtape, the rising Memphis rapper drops some visuals for one of Federal 3x’s early standout singles. One of the most exciting new talents in the country, Moneybagg Yo (né Demario White) is blessed with a flow that is smooth, muscular, and naturally melodic. Like many of his Memphis cohorts, he’s at his best on slow-mo tracks like this and is a master of exploring the negative space in between the beat. Listen to Federal 3x …

Hot Jam of the Day: Jae Stephens, “Every Time”

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Jae Stephens “Every Time” Digital Single After dropping one of the best singles of 2017, the LA singer returns with a low-key follow up that continues to hint at her massive potential. “Every Time” is a sweltering love letter to her hometown, from her roots in Studio City to the packed freeways that connect its residents to a wealth of possibilities. Buoyed by the pulsing, soulful production of London singer-songwriter, Burno Major, Stephens captures the excitement and anxiety of exploring an endless maze that offers …