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Liza Anne, “Dreams”

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Liza Anne “Dreams” Dreams EP (out 09.14 on Arts & Crafts) I almost never write about covers on here, mostly because I struggle to keep up with all the great original music that’s coming out every day. But every once in a while, one jumps out at me that is simply too good to pass up. Rising Nashville artist Liza Anne’s haunting take on this timeless Cranberries tune more than qualifies. Her elegiac, crushing vocals are worthy of the eternal …

Devon Welsh, “Dreams Have Pushed You Around”

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Devon Welsh “Dreams Have Pushed You Around” Dream Songs (out now on You Are Accepted) Only ex-Majical Cloudz frontman Devon Welsh could make a line like “I snuck into your room last night / I stayed in the dark, it was innocent” sound normal. The Montreal native’s simple, intense ballads have always tiptoed in the half-space between tenderness and creepiness. His stark honesty is unsettling at first listen, but Welsh has this odd way of making you feel like his …

boygenius, “Me & My Dog” / “Stay Down” / “Bite The Hand”

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boygenius “Me & My Dog” / “Stay Down” / “Bite The Hand” boygenius (out in November on Matador) Talk about a power trio, boygenius is made up of Phoebe Bridgers (the author of my 2nd favorite album of 2017), Julien Baker (the author of my 13th favorite album of ’17), and Lucy Dacus (author of one of the best debuts of this year). Though each of the three songs is led by a different member, you can feel their fingerprints …

Wild Pink, “Mount Erie”

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Wild Pink “Lake Erie” Yolk in the Fur (out now on Tiny Engines) Though I’m about six months late to the NYC trio’s outstanding second LP, I’m extremely glad that I finally found it. While their AM Radio sound has been relentlessly compared to War on Drugs, frontman John Ross is such a more emotionally direct songwriter than Adam Granduciel. And his illustrative lyrics are a beautiful foil for their windswept, expansive guitar rock. “Lake Eerie” is a potent example …

The 1975, “TooTimeTooTimeTooTime”

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The 1975 “TooTimeTooTimeTooTime” A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships (out in October on Dirty Hit) Though it lacks the drama of the stunning “Love It If We Made It” and the bite of “Give Yourself a Try,” the 1975’s weightless new single showcases the playful side that has been one of their core elements since the beginning. Slathered in auto-tune, frontman Matty Healy blithely details the games that we play in the early days of a relationship. The new record …

Images & Words: City Girls, “Period (We Live)”

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City Girls “Period (We Live)” Period (out now on QC) Though JT, one half of the exciting Miami duo, is behind bars on a minor fraud charge, City Girls aren’t planning on slowing down. This week, they dropped a video for the drumline-driven title track from their incredible debut. The clip highlights the rich South Florida culture that they represent and highlights the effortless charisma and endless bars that make them a good bet to outlast JT’s legal setback.

Mitski, “Two Slow Dancers”

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Mitski “Two Slow Dancers” Be The Cowboy (out 08.17 on Matador) Every slow dance with someone you care about feels like a moment suspended in time. I mean, that’s the point, right? Your hands are tied, your bodies are connected, and even your gaze is limited. Mitski, the fantastic New York songwriter, captures the transportive moment of a last dance — the way it can silence even life’s cruelest realities for a few minutes. An absolutely magical ballad.

Images & Words: Ruston Kelly, “Faceplant”

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Ruston Kelly “Faceplant” Dying Star (out 09.07 Rounder) If you’re like me and have a soft spot for early Ryan Adams (specifically, Whiskeytown), Ruston Kelly’s sadsack alt-country will locate it and stick its talons straight through it. “Faceplant,” the fourth single off his second big project, is an honest, unflinching look at a time in his life where he was getting fucked up and fucking up, delivered through dusty, languid acoustic guitars. Though it’s far from a new sound, Kelly …

Future: “Translator”

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Future “Translator” Digital Single Fresh off one of his best projects, Fewtch is keeping the momentum going with a pair of tasty loose singles. Though “Scammalot” is a solid schemer’s anthem, the ultra-smooth “Translator” is the pick. The delirious vocal melodies recall a few of his classics — “Neva End” and “Magic” —  and this cut doesn’t nothing to dampen the feeling that the big man is well and truly back. 

Images & Words: DJ Khaled, “No Brainer” (f/ Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper)

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DJ Khaled “No Brainer” (f/ Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper) Father of Asahd (out in 2018 on Epic) Though the perennial Dad of the Year’s new star-studded single has been panned by some joyless outlets, “No Brainer” is the exact kind of breezy, summer blockbuster that Khaled and co. are so apt at cranking out. The Michael Bay of music, Khaled’s not going to be winning any gold statuettes with this one, but his A-list cast comes through with …