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Images & Words: AJ Tracey, “False 9”

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AJ Tracey “False 9” Digital Single This video combines two of my favorite things, grime and Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. Spurs have let me down many times in my life, but this new single to commemorate the 2017 kit is a 5-0 win against Ar**nal. BRB, gonna go buy three of those new track jackets. 😍😍😍

Images & Words: The National, “Guilty Party”

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The National “Guilty Party” Sleep Well Beast (out 09.08 on 4AD) Though their relevance has wained since their triumphant mid-00’s run, the Brooklyn quintet is still capable of crafting beautiful miserabilism like this. The overarching feeling captured here is resignation, the grim realization that something important to you is slipping through your fingers. As per usual, Matt Berninger’s downcast vocals are the song’s centerpiece, and they are swallowed up gorgeously by its powerful outro. I’ve found it difficult to muster much excitement …

Hot Jam of the Day: Mhysa, “Bb”

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Mhysa “Bb” fantasii (out 07.21 on Halcyon Veil) The new single from the Philly-based, multi-platform artist’s debut LP is a sprawling, modern slice of down-tempo R&B. Across six engulfing minutes, Mhysa lets her mind glide back to memories of a past relationship, wondering if her ex is somewhere out there thinking of her. Her feelings are still strong but aren’t raw anymore, thanks to the way time smooths over our frayed feelings and rough edges. That gives the track a clear-eyed quality …

Images & Words: Future, “PIE” (f/ Chris Brown)

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Future “PIE” (f/ Chris Brown) Digital Single The fuel all your summer midsummer misadventures, Future and Chris Brown’s new surprise single is an infectious bop that celebrates their hedonistic personas. The duo is armed with a pair of earworm verses, a nasty hook, and enough drug references to make Hunter Thompson blush. It’s hard to tell what kind of staying power it will have, but it definitely has the potential to stick.

Images & Words: Turnover, “Super Natural”

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Turnover “Super Natural” Good Nature (out 08.25 on Run for Cover) The Virginia trio has been a longtime favorite around these parts, since their excellent 2015 LP, Peripheral Vision. Much of their previous work reminds me of the alt-rock of my pre-teen years (weirdly, especially the Gin Blossoms). But the lead single from their forthcoming album feels (a little too much) like a Real Estate song to me. It’s a solid, if unspectacular first step that will hopefully lead to much …

Hot Jam of the Day: Dej Loaf, “No Fear”

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Dej Loaf “No Fear” Liberated (out TBA on Epic) When the Detroit native dropped her smash debut “Try Me” in 2014, few could have predicted the versatile career that followed. She’s excelled both as a tough-talking street rapper (“Try Me,” “Back Up,”) and a sensual R&B singer (“Me U & Hennessy,” “Easy Love,” “Miami”), while dropping a handful of potent tracks that feature a little bit of both. That said, we haven’t quite heard Deja like this. “No Fear” is basically …

Hot Jam of the Day: Kommode, “Captain of Your Sinking Ship”

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Kommode “Captain of Your Sinking Ship” Analog Dance Music (out June 2017 on Random Two Syllable Word) After swooning all over the first proper single from Kings of Convenience’s Eirik Glambek Bøe’s long-awaited Kommode project, you won’t be shocked to learn that I also love the second one. “Captain of Your Sinking Ship” is another languid dance song that pairs Bøe’s impossibly smooth vocals with a tasty bassline, windswept guitars, and even a tasty horn line (which is soooo K.O.C.). Simply put, …

Hot Jam of the Day: Jae Stephens, “24k”

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Jae Stephens “24k” Digital Single Fuck one of the best debuts of the year. The LA-based newcomer just dropped one of the best songs of the year out of thin air. Featuring inch-perfect production from Jam City, Stephens weaves a devastating slow jam that captures the growth of a relationship from anxious first fling to a fully realized adult thing. Her vocals are transfixing — seductive, yet powerful — and Jam City’s unexpected choices (see: the dissonant guitar chord at the …

Images & Words: Toro Y Moi, “Girl Like You”

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Toro Y Moi “Girl Like You” Boo Boo (07.07 on Carpark) Throughout his nearly 10-year career, Chaz Bundick has blown hot and cold for me. He’s a solid songwriter, but often his singing voice felt slight and polite to me, too timid to make a real dent. However, on his breezy new single, “Girl Like You,” the 30 year-old treats his vocals with some light autotune, which adds that little bit of oomph that much of his old work was missing. It’s a subtle but impactful adjustment, and hopefully …

Hot Jam of the Day: Japanese Breakfast, “Boyish”

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Japanese Breakfast “Boyish” Soft Sounds from Another Planet (out 07.14 on Dead Oceans) Only one year removed from dropping one of the best albums of last year, Philly songwriter Michelle Zauner is back with what is shaping up to be her best project so far. “Boyish” is the second single we’ve heard from the record (somehow I neglected to write about the wonderful, “Machinist“), and on it, Zauner channels heartache and rejection into a gorgeous synth-kissed ballad. The lyrics are brutal and characteristically candid (“I …