Hot Jam of the Day: Julien Baker, "Appointments"


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 Read more

Hot Jam of the Day: Kelela, "LMK"


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 Read more

Images & Words: Jessie Ware, "Midnight"


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 Read more

The Round-Up: The Best Albums of 2017, So Far...


Rating albums at the mid-point of the year, just to re-rate them in six months seems dumb, so I decided to go with an NBA Draft-style tier system to pick out a few of my favorites so far. TIER 1: THE FAVORITE Stormzy Gang Signs and Prayer #Merky The Londoner's debut LP is an Read more

Hot Jam of the Day: Jae Stephens, "24k"


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 Read more

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Hot Jam of the Day (03.16.12): Lemonade, “Neptune”

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Lemonade
“Neptune”
Diver (True Panther)

At first listen, it’s easy to write off the debut single from the San Francisco-cum-Brooklyn trio’s second LP as mere Wham!/Culture Club pastiche. But give it a shot, and you’ll realize that kitsch officially stops being kitsch when it’s this fucking good. The track is so reminiscent of fellow Brooklyn transplants Violens’ stunning “Acid Reign (In The Trees Mix)” from a couple of years back. Like the Violens track, this is straight out of left field for the group; their breakthrough EP Pure Moods was very much a hyperactive Balearic pop record, in the vein of groups like Tanlines. “Neptune” is a clear-eyed, synth-slathered 80’s-influenced slow jam that sees vocalist Callan Clendenin dripping with regret over something that everyone can relate to: a fight with a lover at a party. Direct, heartfelt, and melodically rich, this is easily one of my favorite tracks of the young year.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/39122557″ iframe=”true” /]

Hot Jam of the Day (03.15.12): Hot Chip, “Flutes”

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Hot Chip
“Flutes”
In Our Heads (Domino)

At their best, Hot Chip tracks always feel like a warm blanket. Their last LP, 2010’s sumptuous One Life Stand, was chock full of warm, languid mid-tempo dancefloor cuts (title track, “We Have Love”) and lush, emotive slow jams (the disc’s standout “Alley Cats,” “I Feel Better”). If this track is anything to go by, their fifth full-length (due out June 12) will be no exception. The 80’s influence is turned up to 11 here — just listen to that snare — and “Flutes” gradually drifts to a characteristically gentle crescendo. Like the Beach House track from yesterday, it feels like a fresh take on a familiar sound. Nice.

Also, if you missed it, check out my interview with vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Joe Goddard.

Hot Jam of the Day (03.14.12): Beach House, “Myth”

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Beach House
“Myth”
Bloom (Sub Pop)

Coming off their mega-huge (and mega-wonderful) 2010 breakthrough Teen Dream, this is the first single from the New Jersey dream poppers hotly-anticipated fourth LP, due out May 15th. While this is still unmistakably Beach House  — Victoria Legrand’s soaring vocals, Alex Scally’s reverb drenched guitars and gauzy soundscapes — it’s more direct and anthemic than much of their past material, which definitely isn’t a bad thing. Always one of the most evocative groups in the indie rock zeitgeist, they’ve always had the uncanny ability to transport you into their world, and this track is no exception. Roll on May 15th.

Hot Jam of the Day (03.13.12): Bobby Womack, “Please Forgive My Heart”

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Bobby Womack
“Please Forgive My Heart”
The Bravest Man in the Universe (XL) 

Like pro wrestlers, soul singers don’t often age gracefully. The Cleveland native’s biography is eyebrow-raising even when compared to his most troubled musical contemporaries (Stone, Brown) — herion addiction, wife beating, the death of two of his sons, an alleged affair with his wife’s 14 year-old daughter — the list goes on. But like many of his peers, the tragedy was balanced by brilliance, and in his legendary career, Womack released a litany of absolute classic soul tracks, including “Across 110th Street,” which is one of my 50 favorite songs ever. On this, the lead-off single from his Damon Albarn and Richard Russell-produced LP, the toll of 68 years of hard living is evident in his voice, but that doesn’t stop it from being an emotive, memorable performance. This could be the I’m New Here of 2012.

Download Here (right click).

Hot Jam of the Day (03.12.12) Fort Romeau: “Say Something”

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Fort Romeau
“Say Something”
Kingdoms (100% Silk)

Deep house is the best house, and UK producer Mike Norris’ debut effort under the Fort Romeau moniker is teeming with the best aspects of the genre. Subtle, smooth, and absolutely delicious, its first single is a lush, effortlessly sexy affair that expertly sets an undulating backtrack to a seductive vocal sample. Norris’ pop music background (he worked on La Roux’s explosive debut) is very apparanent all through Kingdoms, as he crafts tracks that have that open, airy deep house feel with just the right amount of pop hooks to stick in your head.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/38112965″ iframe=”true” /]

New Video Alert: Memoryhouse, “The Kids Were Wrong”

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In the interest of full disclosure, I’m totally in love with this band. The only thing that truly troubles me about them is finding a way to break up the boyfriend-girlfriend duo romantically without ruining the band. Until I figure out a way to do that (and convince vocalist Denise Nouvion to marry me), I guess I’ll have to just sit back and enjoy their wonderful, sleepy dream pop magic. This video, the first off their debut LP The Slideshow Effect, tells a pretty little love story, while the band gets as close to rocking as they can. Lovely.

HJ of the Day (03.06.12) Evy Jane: “OHSO”

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Evy Jane
“Sayso”
S/T 12″ (King Deluxe)

Hear that? That’s the sound of me physically restraining my hyperbole gene from making wild pronouncements about this rising, Canadian experimental R&B duo’s debut single. While I don’t think it’s necessarily a fair comparison, I simply can’t listen to this track without thinking of the Weeknd’s stunning, similarly out-of-the-blue breakthrough single, “What You Need.” While there are subtle stylistic differences, vocalist Evelyn Mason’s alluring, vulnerable vocal tiptoes the line between unbelievably sexy and batshit crazy in much the same way that Abel Tesfaye’s did. Both are impeccably framed by sparse, undulating synths and perfect drum machine droplets. More than anything though, both songs are just so fucking sexy. And that goes a hell of a long way in this business. Between this and that new Usher track, condom sales are about to go through the roof…and if they don’t, expect diaper sales to skyrocket at the turn of the new year.

Check Julien Mier’s incredible remix after the jump.

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The Best Tracks of 2011 (20-11)

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20. Holy Other
“With U”
With U (Tri Angle)

In lieu of waxing lyrical about the ghostly, undulating debut from this masked Mancunian, I’ll let my buddy AJ — a man who doesn’t give a shit about music — explain it. In response to a Facebook status update of mine that claimed With U was my favorite EP of the year, Apple Jack posted simply and succinctly “Yeah, maybe of [sic] you want to meditate.” Replace “meditate” with “fuck,” and I think AJ’s in business. The sexiest indie record since The XX’s debut.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/15628329″ iframe=”true” /]

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