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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 …

Hot Jam of the Day: Car Seat Headrest, “War is Coming (If You Want It)”

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Car Seat Headrest “War is Coming (If You Want It)” Digital Single If you aren’t worried about what is happening on this planet, you aren’t an actual human. Will Toldeo is a certified human and a very talented songwriter, and he displays both on this this world-weary new single. During a tight, tuneful three and a half minutes, Toldeo decries a number of popular, corrosive views that are currently polluting the globe and calls out a need for healing. The message may not be particularly …

Hot Jam of the Day: Jesse Kivel, “LA Story”

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Jesse Kivel “LA Story” Content (out 10.06 on New Feelings) After a couple years away, the Kisses/Princeton frontman returns with a gorgeous, slow-burning solo single. It’s unclear whether the 1991 Steve Martin film of the same name inspired this track, but the seductive keys, jazzy fretless bass-line, and massive horn chorus melody makes sure it wouldn’t sound out of place on the soundtrack. Kivel’s warm tenor is as smooth as ever, gliding high above the lush arrangement and capturing the city’s beauty and ennui.

Images & Words: Waxahatchee, “Recite Remorse”

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Waxahatchee “Recite Remorse” Out in the Storm (out now on Merge) I’ve been loving Katie Crutchfield’s break-up album for the last month or so, and it’s gorgeous centerpiece recently got some starry-eyed visuals. The clip captures the track’s celestial beauty and underwater feel. Over five transfixing minutes, Crutchfield captures the emotional paralysis of not knowing whether to escape a troubled relationship or to come back in and start working to fix it.

Images & Words: Lil Durk x Lil Reese, “Distance”

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Lil Durk x Lil Reese “Distance” Supa Vultures (out 08.11 on OTF/Empire) Two of the lynchpins of early/mid 10’s Chicago drill link back up for a melodic. piano-laced heater. Though the duo’s styles couldn’t be less similar — Durk is melodic without even trying, while Reese raps through gritted teeth — they are also perfect foils. Longtime collaborator Young Chop matches their fire and ice flows with a tasty combination of ultra-melodic keys, potent sub-bass, and rolling trap hats.

Hot Jam of the Day: Kelela, “LMK”

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Kelela “LMK” Take Me Apart (10.06 on Warp) Our agonizing wait for the first taste of Kelela’s proper studio debut* is finally over, and my GOD, our girl came through with a banger. In lieu of just typing 4,000 fire emojis, I’ll just say that “LMK” is such a perfect distillation of what makes her such a special artist. The track lives in that ambiguous space between the club, the bedroom, and the radio. And the D.C. native devouring a club-ready Arca production …

Images & Words: Jessie Ware, “Midnight”

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Jessie Ware “Midnight” Digital Single In the years I’ve been covering music, I wrote more about Jessie Ware’s early career than just about anyone else. I first covered her back in 2011 and tracked her progression from a promising, mostly unknown, quiet storm prodigy to a true powerhouse who could command any room she was in. It all culminated with her stunning 2012 debut, Devotion, which is still one of the best albums of the decade. Though her 2014 follow-up Tough Love accelerated her commercial progression, …