Lana Del Rey, "Doin' Time"


Lana Del Rey"Doin' Time"Sublime OST (out soon on Universal)If you grew up in California in the early 2000's, it was just about impossible to get in someone's car or go to a party that wasn't playing one of those two Sublime albums. Evidently, the same was true in wherever Read more

Images & Words: Stormzy, "Vossi Bop"


Stormzy"Vossi Bop"Digital SingleAfter a little while away, the London kingpin looks to be getting back in the game. "Vossi Bop" is a perfect comeback track because it is such a pure distillation of what makes Stormzy a true-one off. Over a tasty, yet simple beat, Big Mike goes in Read more

The Round-Up: The Best Songs of 2019 (1st Quarter)


Even though we're a solid week into the second quarter, better late than never right? Here's a quick round-up of some of my favorite songs of the last three months. To keep numbers manageable, I didn't include anything from any of my favorite albums list and prioritized songs I Read more

The Round-Up: The Best Albums of 2019 (First Quarter)


Gah, I can't believe we're already 25% through 2019. That said, Spring is in the air, and we've enjoyed an excellent, diverse crop of music during these first three months. Have a look at some of my favorite LPs of the year so far in no particular order. Dawn Richard
 “New Read more

Chief Keef, "Ain't Gonna Happen"


Chief Keef "Ain't Gonna Happen" GloToven (Glo Gang / RBC) The Chicago stalwart's new project with the legendary Zaytoven is unsurprisingly full of weird and wacky sounds, moving in innumerable unexpected and exciting ways. Its most powerful moment is its starkest, as a heartbroken Keef floats freely over Zay's gorgeous piano. "Face dried Read more

Featured

Since U Been Gone: The Best Of What I Missed Last Week

Posted on by TP1.COM in Featured, Since U Been Gone | Comments Off on Since U Been Gone: The Best Of What I Missed Last Week

I was on vacay in England last week, and as I sat back down at my desk this morning, I realized that a massive amount of new music came out while I was gone. I’m going to try something new with quick one to two sentence recaps of some songs I loved. And we’ll see, maybe I’ll start doing this every week.

Mariah Carey
“GTFO”

Digital Single
It’s been out for a few weeks, but I keep coming back to Mariah’s stunning new kiss off ballad. It reminds me so much of “H.A.T.E.U.” — her most underrated perfect song. And though it’s likely too low-key to become a smash, her ability to deliver a track this emotive and raw more than 30 years into her career is remarkable. She’ll always be remembered as a legendary vocalist and artist, but her bravery and the emotional heft of her music is just as special. People should be making more of this song.

Robyn
“Honey”
Honey (out Oct 26 on Konichiwa)
Robyn SZN is rapidly approaching, and “Honey” is our second taste of the project. Though it seems a bit of an off-speed pitch following the anthemic “Missing U,” it is also one of the most directly romantic Robyn tunes of recent years and is growing on me with each listen.

SOB x RBE
“Vibes”
Gangin II (out now on EMPIRE)
Vallejo’s finest returned with a follow-up to their excellent “GANGIN” tape from earlier in the year. Though I haven’t been through it all yet, low-RPM banger “Vibes” is a perfect example of the lyrical interplay and Bay Area slap that makes them such standouts.

Empress Of
“Love For Me”

Us (out 10/19 on Terrible)
Somehow, I didn’t write about Lorely Rodriguez’s irresistible lead single “When I’m With Him” (don’t worry, it’ll be HIGH on my year-end list). Her new track, “Love For Me,” is a bit more pulled back, but she still sounds beautiful on it, gliding over a characteristically clever, synth-driven arrangement from DJDS.

Quando Rondo
“Bacc To The Basics”

Life After Fame (out now, self-released)
One of my favorite new rappers of the year, the Savannah MC just dropped an excellent new tape. Lead single, “Bacc To The Basics,” highlights Rondo’s raspy delivery and evocative, personal storytelling. One to watch for 2019.

Col3trane
“Tyler”
BOOT (out now on Cole Basta)
The rising London vocalist with the awful name feels like a star in the making. Though it’s hard to write about the teenager’s music without mentioning its palpable Frank Ocean influence, his easy tenor and evocative songwriting stand on their own.

Pinegrove
“Paterson & Leo”

Skylight (self-released, out now)
Without wading into the morality of songwriter Evan Stephens Hall (read these pieces, make up your own mind), the first few spins of their restrained new project have been encouraging. This subdued, pretty track captures the specific kind of big-hearted feeling that makes their best songs so special.

Westerman
“Albatross”
The Arc EP (out 11.09 on Blue Flowers)
Another curious song from the elusive London singer-songwriter, “Albatross” is a gorgeous slice of synthetic folk music. He balances synths and drum machines with washes of electric guitar and his forlorn voice in a unique way, resulting in tunes that live between a ton of different styles but are beholden to none.

It Looks Sad.
“Bike”

Sky Lake (out 11.02 on Tiny Engines)
Besides being the clear favorites for “Best Band Name of 2018,” the Charlotte duo has been cranking out sweet, gauzy dream pop this year. New single, “Bike,” is a languid late summer jam that pairs reverb-soaked guitars with Jimmy Turner’s laid-back vocals to deliciously nostalgic effect.

Lil Uzi Vert, “New Patek”

Posted on by TP1.COM in Featured, Hot Jam of the Day | Comments Off on Lil Uzi Vert, “New Patek”

Lil Uzi Vert
“New Patek”

Digital Single
Easily one of most joyful songs of the year, the hyperactive, hypertalented Philadelphian returns with six (6!) electric minutes of swirling, tuneful hip-hop. Over Dolan Beats’ glorious crystallized piano keys and tiptoeing hi-hats, Uzi goes the fuck in as only he can, slaloming through the beat with ease.

What’s most impressive is the way that he commands your attention for all six minutes, and if anything, it feels like “New Patek” could have been even longer. Already one of the true singular stylists in music, somehow Uzi keeps revealing new abilities and stretching his creativity beyond our expectations. What a talent.

Images & Words: How To Dress Well, “Nonkilling 6 | Hunger”

Posted on by TP1.COM in Featured, Images & Words | Comments Off on Images & Words: How To Dress Well, “Nonkilling 6 | Hunger”

How to Dress Well
“Nonkilling 6 | Hunger”

The Anteroom (out 10.19 on Domino)
Though it was a little bit buried on my “Favorite Songs of 2018, So Far..” list, I’m extremely excited about the experimental direction Tom Krell seems to be going in on his fifth LP. This stunning two-parter pairs his evocative falsetto with a rave-y backbeat and opaque, occasionally harsh instrumentation.

If you follow his social media, you’ll know that he is deep into uncompromising, blistering techno, and he does such a good job of marrying those influences with his love of heartfelt pop music on this track. His tender vocals immediately soften the rough edges and inject palpable humanity into the mix. Though it may not appeal to genre purists (I can hear the FACT writers sharpening their daggers), it’s an exciting, unique sound and a more natural home for Krell than the streamlined pop of his last album.

Wild Pink, “Mount Erie”

Posted on by TP1.COM in Featured, Hot Jam of the Day | Comments Off on Wild Pink, “Mount Erie”

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 of just how good Wild Pink is when both elements of their sound are hitting on all cylinders. The first thing you notice is the gorgeous, reverb-soaked arrangement — the kind of thing that just screams “open road, windows down.” But after a few spins, Ross’ lyrics start to dig in. A coming of age story, the New Yorker considers the journey we all take from adolescence to adulthood and why we never really change.

Mitski, “Two Slow Dancers”

Posted on by TP1.COM in Featured, Hot Jam of the Day | Comments Off on Mitski, “Two Slow Dancers”

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.

Future, “Hate the Real Me”

Posted on by TP1.COM in Featured, Hot Jam of the Day | Comments Off on Future, “Hate the Real Me”

Future
“Hate the Real Me”

Beastmode 2 (out now on Epic)
The peak of a quietly excellent year, Future goes super deep on his worthy follow-up to 2015’s legendary “Beast Mode” tape. Of all its stirring moments, nothing emotionally hits harder than its last track, as Future pours his heart out over triumphant, lush keys from the masterful Zaytoven.

It’s hard to imagine another A-list artist speaking this honestly about his own pain and addiction (especially, while making it sound so damn beautiful), but Future is a one-off. And though it hurts to hear him detail the depths of his anguish, it’s also exciting to hear him get back to his musical best. That dichotomy has been central to the Future experience and is precisely why his music has connected so viscerally with so many people.

The Round-Up: The Best Songs of 2018 (So Far…)

Posted on by TP1.COM in Best of '18, Featured | Comments Off on The Round-Up: The Best Songs of 2018 (So Far…)

Somehow, some fucking way, 2018 is more than half over. And though it might feel like I always say this, I think this was the toughest list I’ve had to make yet. There’s been an overwhelming number of exciting, vital new voices popping up and plenty of fantastic follow-ups from people I already loved.

Here’s my best effort at whittling the list down to about 30. I split it into two tiers.

TIER 1: The Best of the Best: Early contenders for Song of the Year (alphabetical order)

03 Greedo
“Never Bend”
The Wolf of Grape Street (out now on Alamo)
Lemme spell it out for you clearly; 03 Greedo is the most exciting, original, and talented rapper to come up Future and Young Thug, bar none. Though it technically came out last year, “Never Bend” is, for me, the clearest distillation of what makes the LA native such an innovator. Greedo’s music is elated sorrow, triumphant misery. The sound of a weary soul who has been taking punches his entire life, but remains confident — no, certain — that his resilience and commitment will be rewarded with total victory.

That’s one of the biggest reasons why his recent 20-year jail sentence (for a non-violent drug crime) feels so unfair, because he was basically there, against all odds. However, it’s also what gives me hope that this isn’t the end of his story, that somehow Greedo will realize his vast potential and get the validation and financial security that his singular talent so richly deserves.

André 3000
“Me&My (To Bury Your Parents)”
Digital Single
The inimitable ATLien surprise dropped this beautiful jazzy ballad on Mother’s Day. An evocative ode to his late parents, André sketches a few dreamy, yet vivid childhood memories of the kind of simple moments that we tend to miss most when someone we love passes. The rolling pianos and the graceful woodwinds give the track a real “Court and Spark” feel, so much so that I thought it was a Joni sample on the first few listens.

Obviously, nobody knows whether this will usher in a new body of work that will expand on the sound (I hope). But if there’s anything the lyrics teach us, we should enjoy things for what they are because we never know how long they’ll stick around for.

Camp Cope
“The Face Of God”
How To Socialise & Make Friends (out now on Run For Cover)
Few singer-songwriters can tackle difficult topics as gracefully as Georgia McDonald, and she does it again on this heartbreaking track. A harrowing firsthand account of being abused by “a boy in a band,” the Melbourne native’s booming voice offers insight, honesty, and grace, as she takes on an epidemic that is sadly shared by so many others. It’s extra powerful as the trio has just signed for Run For Cover — a label that has poorly dealt with similar situations among some of its biggest bands (Turnover, Pinegrove, Whirr).

Chromatics
“Black Walls”
Dear Tommy (out ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ on Italians Do It Better)
Whether or not “Dear Tommy” ever comes out, tracks like this illustrate exactly why the thirst remains so strong, more than two beyond its original release date. Its chunky rhythm guitars snake together masterfully between washes of keyboard and Ruth Radelet’s angelic croon. In short, “Black Walls” is just a perfectly crafted song, with not a single sonic hair of its perfectly coiffed pompadour out of place.

City Girls
“Where the Bag At?
Period (out now on Quality Control)
Life isn’t fair, but this one is especially galling. Just as her music career was taking off and life-changing money was coming in, JT (né Jatavia Johnson) — one half of the super talented, rising Miami bass duo, City Girls — had to turn herself in to do a two-year prison bid on an old credit card fraud charge.

Still only in her mid 20’s, hopefully their excellent debut “Period” and bandmate Yung Miami will be able to keep their momentum going long enough for this not to be career wrecking. It only takes one spin of this electric, strip-club anthem to realize why their rare combination of charisma, razor-sharp bars, and joie de vivre has so many people talking about them. 

Ella Mai
“Boo’d Up”
READY (out now on 10 Summers)
Yes, it originally came out last year. But if a stunning R&B ballad falls in the Internet and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

A classic in any era, the 23 year-old Londoner’s ode to puppy love is guaranteed to take you back to the sweaty palms and sleepless nights of youthful infatuation — the time where a single glance can make your heart stop. And for those of us washed boys and girls who have been wifed up for a minute, it’ll take you back to those everyday, subtle moments when your partner does something random that reminds you just how dope they are and how stupid lucky you are to be Boo’d Up with them.

Father John Misty
“The Songwriter”
God’s Favorite Customer (out now on Sub Pop)
It feels like everyone is officially sick to death of the Father John Misty schtick. And evidently, so is he. On his bleak, exhausted fourth LP, Josh Tillman tears down the “self-referential raconteur” facade and exposes himself for what he actually is: a shitty husband, a frightened man-child, an addict, and crucially, an incredible songwriter. Crestfallen and alone in a hotel room, he turns the harsh glare back on himself on the album’s haunting, brutal centerpiece. For once, Tillman the man considers the damage Father John Misty the character has had on the person he loves most.

Isabella Lovestory
“me gustas”
Juguete (out now, self-released)
I can’t think of anything that’s been more therapeutic for me than the Honduran singer’s debut project. In a year that’s been defined by the boundless suffering of brown people, I’ve found myself reflexively turning to the disc’s simple and sweet Spanish-language love songs to combat the deluge of heartbreaking news that greets me every day.

At first, I listened to it mostly to help me hide from what is really going on (self-care?), but her optimistic spirit and soulful writing has reconnected me to the sounds I grew up on and reminded me how much joy and light there is in our part of the world. More than anything, it has helped drive me to get involved again and actively support other people with Central American roots who don’t have the privilege that I do. That’s what music should be for, and for that, I’m eternally grateful.

Kacey Musgraves
“High Horse”
Golden Hour (out now on UMG)
I could have gone with a handful of tracks from the 29 year-old’s bulletproof third album, but “High Horse” is a tasty example of the disc’s genre fluidity and her versatility as a songwriter and singer. A modern “You Don’t Impress Me Much,” Kacey glides over an effortless disco backbeat (#RandomAccessMusgraves), rolling her eyes at all those annoying dudes who have opinions about everything (i.e. what country is supposed to sound like).

Mitski
“Nobody”
Be The Cowboy (out 08.17 on Dead Oceans)
Can someone who was already a break-out star break out again? Judging by the pre-release singles from the follow-up to Mitski’s beloved 2016 LP “Puberty 2,” the 27 year-old has her sights set on world domination. “Nobody” is disco-tinged anthem that makes loneliness feel triumphant in a way that is reminiscent of Robyn’s seminal “Dancing on My Own.” Raw and honest, she details the hunger for human connection that is only found in the driest of dry spells. We’ve all been there, whether we want to admit it or not.

Playboy Carti
“Shoota” (f/ Lil Uzi Vert)
Die Lit
Sometimes what you take out is more important than what you put in, and influential Philadelphian Maaly Raw proves that with his ecstatic production on “Shoota.” For most of it, there’s a conspicuous absence of drums, which builds a palpable tension under Uzi’s characteristically tuneful opening verse. Then, when the drums come in for Carti’s second verse, the release is absolute magic, one of the most purely joyful musical moments of the year. Even though it’s only 2 and a half minutes, Maaly’s clever production makes it feel like an epic.

 

Rae Sremmurd
“Offshore” (f/ Young Thug)
SR3MM (out now on Ear Drummers)
Even though it’s on the Rae Sremmurd record, let’s be real “Offshore” is all about my guy Jeffery. For three magical minutes, time stops as Thugger goes all the way in, morphing into the R&B Jackson Pollock and smearing his kaleidoscopic vocals all over the space in completely unexpected ways. In a scene that too often celebrates derivatives, there’s nothing like listening to a true original do the thing that only they can. And it’s also nice to remember us that at least one of our faves would still “slap the shit outta Donald Trump any day.” Assemble all of the praying hands emojis.

Snail Mail
“Pristine”
Lush (out now on Matador)
One of the best indie rock songs I’ve heard in a long time, “Pristine” is a stunning slice of guitar music that brilliantly captures the specific feeling of trying and failing to make someone you’re into see you the way you see them. Anybody who has ever been young with a crush will be able relate to this track.

Each heartbreak just feels so formative at that age, and it’s so easy to see somebody as the answer to all your problems, even if you’d only known them for a short time. What’s even more impressive is that singer-songwriter Lindsey Jordan is still an actual teenager, capturing these feelings with such insight and perspective while she’s theoretically still wrapped up in them.

The 1975
“Give Yourself A Try”
A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships (out in October on Dirty Hit)
With his signature combo of earnestness and self-deprecation, Matty Healy doles out advice to the mass of modern millennials gripped by their quarter life crises. The simplistic arrangement feels like a dud in any other hands, but Healy has that rare knack for tapping into the romantic, hyper-emotional, mostly dumb teenage feelings that we learn to suppress but never totally leave behind. The best band in the world right now.

Troye Sivan
“Bloom”
Bloom (08.31 on EMI)
There’s a lot in 2018 to be disappointed about, but it’s exciting that the best pure, major label pop song of the year is by an openly gay artist singing overtly and clearly about sex. Cheekily described by Sivan as “bop about bottoming,” “Bloom” captures the thrill and trepidation that comes just before doing something for the first time and revels in the trust and connection that is formed between both parties in the aftermath. Though the pronouns might surprise, the feeling is universal. We’ve all been there before and will likely (hopefully) be there again as we grow and develop throughout our lives.

Images & Words: The 1975, “Give Yourself A Try”

Posted on by TP1.COM in Featured, Images & Words | Comments Off on Images & Words: The 1975, “Give Yourself A Try”

The 1975
“Give Yourself A Try”

A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships (out in October on Dirty Hit)
Though it’s been out for about two weeks, I’ve listened to the Manchester quartet’s new single roughly two million times. Compositionally, it’s totally unremarkable. Built around a repetitive, simplistic guitar riff and three chords, “Give Yourself a Try” would be a trifle in most singers’ hands.

As we know, Matty Healy is not fucking most singers. That this track feels so life-affirming is almost impossible and entirely indebted to his ultra-rare charisma, unique lyrics, and passionate, magnetic vocals. Here, Healy wholly embodies and pokes fun at the special kind of feckless world-weariness that only exists among people in their late 20’s and early 30’s who spend way too much time in their own head (slash, on the Internet). He manages to be both self-deprecating and totally committed, skewering his (our) generation and himself while simultaneously giving us something we can feel.

Images & Words: The Rhythm Method, “Chin Up”

Posted on by TP1.COM in Featured, Images & Words | Comments Off on Images & Words: The Rhythm Method, “Chin Up”

The Rhythm Method
“Chin Up”
Digital Single
Every two years*, I get afflicted with the same illness. It usually starts up a few weeks before every major international football tournament and lasts until somewhere around the quarterfinals. Who knows how long my believesthatEnglandcanwinthewholething-itis will last for this year, but I’m hoping that Southgate’s men will make this a long, emotionally taxing bout.

And every great English World Cup run needs an equally excellent tune, and London duo The Rhythm Method came through with one of the strongest in years. It may not be official, but it features the doe-eyed hope, gallows humor, and cheeky arrogance (via a friendly shot at neighbors Scotland and Wales) of all the best ones.

Now, it’s time for the squad to deliver on the pitch. Will they? Probably not, but it’s always fun to see them try.

*Except 2008

Images & Words: Chromatics, “Black Walls”

Posted on by TP1.COM in Featured, Images & Words | Comments Off on Images & Words: Chromatics, “Black Walls”

Chromatics
“Black Walls”
Dear Tommy (out PROLLY NEVER on Italians Do It Better)
Goddamn it, Johnny Jewel. Just when I’d moved on from the idea that I’d ever hear “Dear Tommy,” this guy drags me back in with a luscious new track and a (probably fictional) release date for Fall of 2018.

“Black Walls” is the exact kind of track that makes the forever pushed-back project so frustrating, as it’s another reminder that nobody else makes music that sounds like this. The snyths are impossibly romantic and lush, and they’re beautifully framed by chunky guitars and vocalist Ruth Radelet’s forever haunting vocals. If this album comes out this year (it won’t), there’s nothing else that I’m more excited to hear.