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Young Thug, “Hot” (f/ Gunna)

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Young Thug“Hot” (f/ Gunna)So Much Fun (300 Entertainment)Just like the triumphant project it comes from, everything you need to know about Young Thug’s new collab with Gunna is right there in its title. “Hot” is a speaker melter, crawling like the thick Southern, August air and dripping with sonic sweat. When he’s locked in, Thugger is unrivaled, and it’s great to hear him rejuvenated, focused, and back to his best. It’s all just so much fucking fun.

Charli XCX, “Cross You Out” (f/ Sky Ferreira)

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Charli XCX“Cross You Out” (f/ Sky Ferreira)Charli (out 09.13 on Asylum)The powerful pair snarl through a dense, icy arrangement on this delicious kiss off track. One of Charli’s greatest strengths is her versatility, and she shows it off here, seamlessly sliding into a sound that feels like the gothic sound that Sky’s been perfecting on her recent work. Though her shapeshifting nature has made it hard for me to love any of her projects, it basically guarantees there’ll always be …

Great Grandpa, “Mono No Aware”

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Great Grandpa“Mono No Aware”Four of Arrows (out 10.25 on Double Double Whammy)“Do you feel the same thing that I do?” asks vocalist Carrie Goodwin, giving voice to the fundamental question that we most want an answer to but can never quite know for sure. Though her words are heavy, they’re delivered with a light touch, framed by shimmering guitars, an aqueous melody, and a gentle, yet driving backbeat. It’s the first Great Grandpa song that I’ve heard, but I’ll look …

Infinity Crush, “Minnesota”

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Infinity Crush“Minnesota”Virtual Heaven (out now on Joy Void)Caroline White’s breathtaking new project is full of subtly stunning, stripped-back, resonant folk-adjacent music. Each of the disc’s 13 tracks deserve your time, but the intimate “Minnesota” is an early favorite. Like many of Virtual Heaven’s tracks, it plays out more like a poem than a pop song — chorus free and linear — laying out the intoxicating, yet uncertain early days of a crush. This record deserves so much more press than …

Images & Words: Odunsi, “Wetin Day” / “Better Days” (f/ WANI)

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Odunsi“Wetin Day” / “Better Days” (f/ WANI)Digital SingleOne of the most exciting young talents on the planet right, the Nigerian now drops a pair of slithering new singles that do not disappoint. Already a star in his home country, the Lagos native is setting his sights on world domination with his breakthrough project “Rare” and an upcoming maiden European Tour. Both of these tracks highlight the easy star-power, effortless vocals, and magnetic sound that make his work so undeniable and …

Images & Words: Devon Welsh, “Somebody Loves You”

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Devon Welsh“Somebody Loves You”True Love (10.11 on You Are Accepted)Everything you need to know about Devon Welsh’s penetrating, majical* music is right there in the title of his record label, “You Are Accepted.” For his entire career, the Montreal vocalist’s main mission is to connect with his audience in the most visceral way possible. With stripped-back production and intense lyrics, Welsh’s songs make direct eye contact with you, hellbent on breaking down the barriers between us and tapping into something …

Taylor Swift, “The Archer”

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Taylor Swift“The Archer”Lover (out 🤷🏽‍♀️on self-released) The frustrating thing about Taylor Swift’s recent singles isn’t that they’re bad songs. There are plenty of other bad songs out there. The frustrating thing about Taylor Swift’s recent singles is that she’s barely even there. This is a ‘capital G’ musical Genius who should be entering her peak years, and I can’t find her anywhere on those songs. All of the perspective, strength, vulnerability, and emotional resonance that made her a star has …

Caroline Polachek, “Ocean of Tears” & “Parachute”

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Caroline Polachek“Ocean of Tears” / “Parachute”Pang (out this fall on Columbia)Ok, now I’m getting really excited about the ex-Chairlift vocalist/composer’s first album under her real name. Following up on her wonderful first single “Door,” these two new tracks highlight Polachek’s spellbinding voice and evocative, powerful songwriting. Though you can hear hints of a few different things in her sound (on this one, I’m getting a little Bjork and some Imogen Heap), her work is unique and getting better from project …

Images & Words: Burna Boy, “Anybody”

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Burna Boy“Anybody”African Giant (out now on Atlantic)Though this weightless single has been out for a month or so, I wanted to use it as an excuse to wax lyrical about the Nigerian vocalist’s masterful new LP. For the last few years, Burna has been dropping potent, wavey material that fuses Afrobeats, R&B, hip-hop, and dancehall for a sound that sets trends, not follows them. And “African Giant” is his crowning achievement so far. “Anybody” is a perfect distillation of the …

Images & Words: 100 Gecs, “Money Machine”

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100 Gecs“Money Machine”1000 Gecs (Dog Show)Even though I’m probably almost 20 years older than the target demo, I’ve fallen in love with the hyper-speed magic of the rising duo’s uncategorizable debut LP. Though many have made obvious comparisons to people like PC Music and SOPHIE, I also hear a lot of the mid-2010’s post-mall-core bands like Attack Attack!, I Set My Friends on Fire, and anyone on Rise Records — groups that merged electronic pop with elements of metal and …