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

Images & Words

Images & Words: Tommy Kruise, “Hers”

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Tommy Kruise
“Hers”
Upcoming EP

This is a really beautiful clip, in which the Montreal native chronicles the story of one of his fans, Bogdan Chiochiu. Chiochiu suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome and uses music to help him navigate through his life, much like so many others (myself included). Though its protagonist is not where he wants to be at the moment, there is a real undercurrent of hope and an underlying beauty that runs through the whole clip.

It is expertly soundtracked by the buoyant Quebecois producer, whose outstanding original takes a bit of a supporting role to Chiochiu’s story. That said, “Hers” still stands out with its twinkling synths and pounding backbeat, undulating languidly and gracefully over the affecting images. An overall knockout.

Images & Words: Fear of Men, “Luna”

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Fear of Men
“Luna”
Loom (out 4.22 on Kanine)

Longtime TP-favorites, Fear of Men are finally unleashing their proper debut LP. After debut singles, “Alta/Waterfall,” the Brighton outfit released the excellent, “Luna,” a cascade of jangly guitars and Jess Weiss’ ever-emotive vocals and lyrics. Check out its artful visual treatment below.

Images & Words: YG, “Who Do You Love?” (f/ Drake)

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YG
“Who Do You Love?” (f/ Drake)
My Krazy Life (out 03.18 on CTE/Def Jam)

You’ve probably heard this song, and also you’ve seen the video a thousand times. That said, one of Young Angel’s best recent verses gets visuals, and YG and Mustard are putting my home state back on that map. That’s more than enough to warrant a post.

Images & Words: SOHN, “Artifice”

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SOHN
“Artifice”
Tremors (out 04.07 on 4AD)

Another day, another album to get ridiculously excited about. Today the sensitive British-born, Vienna-based R&B/pop vocalist announced that his highly-anticipated debut LP finally has a release date! Considering he’s been releasing tantalizing singles since early last year, April seems just around the corner. If that wasn’t enough, he also graced us with a lush new track and a dramatic, slow-motion visual that is reminiscent of that classic Wax video from the 90s. Good vibes all around!

Images & Words: i do not love., “i like you most”

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i do not love.
“i like you most”
idnl. (out now on limited 7″ on Beko)

I don’t know who he is, and I don’t know what he’s singing about, but the Mansfield, Massachusetts shoegazer’s new 4-song EP is an absolute knock-out. The singer/songwriter sets the way-back machine to the slate-grey Manchester skies of 1982 and comes out with four lovelorn, dreamy gems. I’m not going to tell you the bands the disc reminds me of, because it simply wouldn’t be fair to the kid. That said, it’s pretty obvious as soon as you hear his vulnerable baritone, the undulating basslines, the jangly guitars, and the buoyant drum patterns. One of the real hidden gems of recent times.

While you’re at it, check out the EP’s brilliant first single, “Dreams Please Too.”

Images & Words: Elbow, “New York Morning”

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Elbow
“New York Morning”
The Take Off and Landing of Everything (out 3/10 on Fiction)

After a few years away, Manchester’s kings of wide-eyed triumphant melancholia are back, and evidently they are returning with extra helpings of their life-affirming, windswept Elbow-ness. The lead single from their 6th LP, “New York Morning,” is exactly what you’d think Guy Garvey would write about falling in love with the easiest city to fall in love with in the world. As a somewhat recent NYC transplant, I’d be lying if I claimed that I don’t totally understand his wholehearted, earnest (read: cheesy af) love letter to the city, and I’m sure this will find its way into my earbuds on walks around the city. Simply put, it is Elbow at their unabashed best.

Images & Words: P. Morris, “Hold Tight”

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P. Morris
“Hold Tight”
Cold Confessions (Folie Deuce Compilation)

The young Angelino (formerly known as Morri$) flips Justin Bieber’s “Hold Tight” to perfection in the build-up to his aptly-titled debut LP, Debut, which is due out on February 25. Morris’ work has subtlety that is sometimes hard to find in the genre, and the youngster is rapidly building a very impressive back catalogue,  including production credits for our girl Kelela, LE1F, and Feist.

Images & Words: Memoryhouse, “Get Back”

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Memoryhouse
“Get Back”
Taken from NPR’s World Cafe

Since 2010, there are very few artists that I have devoted more words to than this resplendent Ontario-based dream-wave duo. Simply put, their near-perfect, celestial debut EP, The Years, is one of my favorite albums of the last five years. Its follow-up, The Slideshow Effect, didn’t glitter in quite the same gauzy way, as the group opted for a more upbeat approach, resulting in a slightly uneven effort. That said, I continue to have incredible hope for the duo, and this cut (and the other new ones played at World Cafe) show that The Years may have just been the sound of a young group scratching the surface.

Listen to the whole session, over at NPR.

Images & Words: Arcade Fire, “Afterlife”

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Arcade Fire
“Afterlife”
Reflektor (out now on Merge)

First thing’s first, I like Arcade Fire. I do. However, I’ve found it incredibly difficult to get excited about their critically-acclaimed, fourth album. Yesterday, my good friend and old roommate (who has stubbornly refused to let me ignore Reflektor) finally sent me something that has made me sit up and take notice. “Afterlife” is the kind of engrossing, epic (vomit) statement that made me fall in love with their earlier work, and the video is as disarming and emotive as the track. Hopefully, it will be the foothold that I need to get into the (supposed) majesty of this record, but even if it doesn’t turn out to be, at least there’s now a part of the front-runner for Album of the Year that I understand.

Images & Words: Sampha, “Too Much”

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Sampha
“Too Much”
Too Much/Happens 7″ (out 11/12 on Young Turks)

Fresh off the quality, Dual EP, the Central-ish Londoner takes over the Nothing Was the Same track that he guested on. It’s a gorgeous, spare take on the original (which, he stole the show on) that highlights his distinct, evocative vocals. On repeat.