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

The Round-Up: The Best Albums of May 2017


After a pair of phenomenal months of music, May's slate looked decidedly more low-key. However, now as I look back at it, there was still a handful of solid releases that deserve your time. Here are a few of my favorites. J Hus Common Sense Black Butter When I looked at the release schedule Read more

Hot Jam of the Day: Lil Durk, "Pressure"


Lil Durk “Pressure” Digital Single Five years into his career, the Chicago native seems to be at a crossroads. After kicking off his career with a string of devastating mixtapes (including my favorite song of 2013), the 24 year-old has been a bit up and down of late, crafting a slew of Read more

Hot Jam of the Day: Kommode, "Fight or Flight or Dance All Night"


Kommode “Fight or Flight or Dance All Night” Analog Dance Music (out June 2017 on Random Two Syllable Word) Good things come to those who wait, and Kings of Convenience fans have been waiting for the debut from Eirik Glambek Bøe’s side project for more than 10 years. Since announcing this project Read more

Hot Jam of the Day: Jlin, "Holy Child"


Jlin "Holy Child" Black Origami (out 05.19 on Planet Mu) Though there's only one more day until the Gary, Indiana footwork innovator's second LP drops, this brilliant and beguiling cut is more than worthy of standing on its own. Like her masterful debut, Dark Energy, this track features multiple, intricate polyrhythms that collide freely without Read more

Images & Words

Images & Words: MO, “Pilgrim” (Yours Truly Session)

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“Pilgrim” (Live in New York)

We finally get a glimpse of the mercurial Danish vocalist at work in this new Yours Truly clip. The Grimes comparisons may be lazy, but they are also quite substantive. If/when she finally delivers her debut, it’ll be a huge one.

MØ “Pilgrim” from Yours Truly on Vimeo.

Images & Words: Inc., “The Place” (Live in LA)

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Inc.
“The Place” (Yours Truly Session)
From No World (out now on 4AD)

Our friends at Yours Truly are at it again. This time they’ve treated us to a delicious live performance from moody, minimalist brothers in groove, inc. The LA duo might be a couple of the weirdest looking dudes in music, but their downtempo R&B is all kinds of sexy. If you haven’t gotten into No World, get on it.

 

Images & Words: Disclosure x AlunaGeorge, “White Noise”

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Disclosure x AlunaGeorge: “White Noise”

Rising Brits, Disclosure & AlunaGeorge, treat us to some of the fiercest dude-dancing-by-himself action since Kevin Bacon tore up that factory.

Images & Words: Weekly Video Round-Up, 11.18

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When MTV stopped playing music videos, many prognosticators claimed that the music video would go the way of the dodo. How wrong they were. Nowadays, music videos are better than they’ve ever been, and every weekend, I’m going to round up the best music videos released that week.

Note: Please read all of the blurbs in a sultry, Daisy Fuentes accent.

5. Miguel, “The Thrill” (Live For Yours Truly)
I know it’s not a real music video, but when a new clip is released of Miguel doing Miguel things, I make an exception. A truly seismic performer at the peak of his powers. Perfect.

4. Flight Facilities (f/ Christine Hoberg): “Claire De Lune”
After cooing everyone’s clothes off with their unfuckwitable 2011 single “Crave You,” the randy Australians’ are back with a single that’s a little less dancy but no less sultry. The etherial cut gets a beautifully shot video, courtesy of Dave Ma, who has worked with the Horrors, Foals, and many others.

3. Purity Ring, “Lofticries”
I have no clue what’s happening, but it’s pretty dope. I’m talking about the video, but the exact same can be said about the Canadian duo’s mercurial, excellent debut, released earlier this year.

2. Foals, “Inhaler”

Truth be told, the video is basically stock rock video fare, but it’s still awesome to hear a new track from the Oxford quintet. Holy Fire — the follow-up to their brilliant sophomore LP, Total Life Forever — is out in early 2013, and based on this, it sounds like it’s going to be an explosive affair. Color me stoked.

1. King Krule, “Rock Bottom”
A year on from releasing the near-perfect, “The Noose of Jah City” (my third favorite track of 2011), the teenaged South Londoner returned with the devastating “Rock Bottom.” While it might not hit the top 3, it’s definitely one of my ten favorite tracks of the 2012, and Archy “King Krule” Marshall is rapidly becoming one of the most fascinating artists on the planet right now. Its video sums up everything that I love about his music; it is brooding, disorienting, and dark, while maintaining a exploratory, youthful spirit and a twisted sense of humor. Brilliant.

Images & Words: Weekly Video Round-Up, 11.11

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When MTV stopped playing music videos, many prognosticators claimed that the music video would go the way of the dodo. How wrong they were. Nowadays, music videos are better than they’ve ever been, and every weekend, I’m going to round up the best music videos released that week.

Note: Please read all of the blurbs in a sultry, Daisy Fuentes accent.

5. Desire: “Tears from Heaven”
The Italians Do It Better faves returned this week with their first new material in the last three years. Consisting of IDIB mainman Johnny Jewel (Chromatics, Glass Candy, etc.), vocalist Megan Louise, and Nat Walker (Chromatics), the group’s comeback track follows in the footsteps of their synth-pop masterclass, II. If you’ve seen a Johnny Jewel video, I don’t need to tell you about Alberto Rossini’s lo-fi, sepia-toned directorial style. If you haven’t, you’ll get it.

 4. Tensnake: “Mainline” (f/ Syron)
German house DJ Marco Niemerski has never hidden his love for the 90s, but he’s really taken things to a new level with his C+C-tastic new clip. Driven by an intoxicating vocal from brash, South London-native Syron (who does a pretty decent job of channeling Robyn), Niemerski crafts an exhilarating, buoyant, bass-driven slab of classic electro magic. An absolute banger.

3. Kool AD, “Manny Pacquiao”
One half of BK-weirdo hip-hop duo Das Racist, Victor “Kool AD” Vazquez is still riding high off his criminally underrated solo LP, 51. The San Francisco-native weaves his signature laid-back, non-sequitur-heavy flow over a spare, devastating beat from fellow Bay Area boss, Trackademicks. The video is typical Das Racist fare…basically a buncha hipsters doing sweet dances. You know you’re into it.

2. Tamaryn, “Heavenly Bodies”
Though it hasn’t quite blown up like I’ve hoped, San Francisco-based artist Tamaryn’s second LP, Tender New Signs, was one of the best shoegaze albums of the year. Driven by her gauzy vocals and Rex Shelverton’s emotive, reverb-soaked guitar work. This, the first video released from the album, fits the emotive, underwater feel of the song brilliantly. Plus it reminds me of that one Meat Puppets’ “Backwater” video, so extra points for that.

1. Chad Valley (f/ Glasser), “Fall 4 U”
Full disclosure  I love cheesy ass music. Sorry. So, it’s unsurprising that Oxford-born Chad Valley’s Wham!-tastic duet with Glasser (né Cameron Mesirow) has been one of my favorite, favorite songs of the entire year. And while writing this good of a slowdance/make-out jam is an accomplishment, it takes balls to make a video that goes for it this hard. Though many critics have rolled their eyes at the Brit’s debut LP, Young Hunger, his unabashed earnestness has been a breath of fresh air for a scene that still often hides behind irony, anonymity, and pastiche. In short, he fucking owns it, and I really respect him for that.

Images & Words: Weekly Video Round-Up, 10.27

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When MTV stopped playing music videos, many prognosticators claimed that the music video would go the way of the dodo. How wrong they were. Nowadays, music videos are better than they’ve ever been, and every weekend, I’m going to round up the best music videos released that week.

Note: Please read all of the blurbs in a sultry, Daisy Fuentes accent. 

5. M83: “Steve McQueen”
In an era where fully realized albums are few and far between, Anthony Gonzalez’s decision to make the most important album of his career into a double LP was incredibly balsy. Luckily, it paid off, as Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming managed to hit heights not even reached by its seminal predecessor, Saturdays = Youth. The best thing about its length is that a year later, we’re still digesting it, and gems like “Steve McQueen” (the album’s 19th track) keep popping up as I go back through the album. It’ll take some time for the true scope of the Frenchman’s vision to become crystal clear, and you can’t help but feel that a few years from now we’ll be looking at it as one of the high watermarks of this decade.

4. Chromatics: “Looking For Love”
Who wants to spend five minutes checking out a bunch of people who are taller, better looking, and more stylish than them? When it’s backed by a track this deadly? Everybody.

3. Wild Nothing: “Paradise”
My roommate and I had an argument/heated discussion about Michelle Williams last week. I argued that she is a criminally underrated, extremely versatile actress, while he argued that she wasn’t nearly as good as his two favorite actresses, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Katherine Heigl. Ok, that’s not true, but basically, it boiled down to Michelle Williams vs. Heath Ledger. And while emoting into what looks like a flip-phone camera isn’t going to necessarily help my argument, it certainly won’t hurt it…especially when it’s soundtracked by one of the 10 best songs of the year.

2. Connan Mockasin: “Faking Jazz Together”
First off, thanks to my buddy Dan for tipping me off to this. The new video for the trippy Kiwi’s “Faking Jazz Together” is easily one of the most visually stunning of the year. Taking place in a forest scene that is very The Crucible/”An Occurance at Owl Creek Bridge,” something very strange is afoot. Like the best videos, it perfectly captures the mood and feel of the song: shadowy, esoteric, affecting, and ultimately beautiful.

1. Trinidad James: “All Gold Everything”
Now, I’m aware that no credible music writer would rank this video over the preceding four (especially “Faking Jazz Together”), so it’s good that I’m not a credible music writer, because this has to be the best video of the week. How come? Ten reasons.
1. Adorable puppies used as rap props/accessories.
2. “Pop the molly, I’m sweatin'” rhymed with “mama said, boy, count yo’ blessins.”
3. A preponderance of cheetah print clothing. All worn by men.
4. Gold (painted) baseball bats and bikes.
5. Stuntin’ in a panda mask.
6. Chick w/ two gold teeth.
7. James has a Dungeon Family tattoo on his hands. Not a member of the Dungeon Family.
8. Velvet slippers.
9. 4 CHAINZZZZ.
10. Soundtracked by one of the best rap songs of the year and starring one of the most entertaining, seemingly affable new rappers of the year.

Images & Words: This Week’s Video Round-Up

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When MTV stopped playing music videos, many prognosticators claimed that the music video would go the way of the dodo. How wrong they were. Nowadays, music videos are better than they’ve ever been, and every weekend, I’m going to round up the best music videos released that week.

Note: Please read all of the blurbs in a sultry, Daisy Fuentes accent. 

5. Sky Ferriera: “Everything is Embarrassing”
I know that I just claimed that this was a round-up of the “best” videos of the week, but this is not a good video. In fact, it’s a pretty awful video that looks like it was shot for a student project. The lighting is weird, the shots uneven, and worst of all, the gorgeous part-time model that is supposed to be the star of the show is trying way, way, way too hard to be sexy here. Ferriera oozes allure and probably would look sexy mowing the lawn, so all of her hair-tossling, lip-pouting, and body-arching comes across as complete overkill. Luckily, it’s soundtracked by one of the best singles of the year, so it still makes the list, but only just. Some serious Lana Del Cray potential here.

4. Echo Lake: “Another Day” 
Road videos will never go out of style, and “Another Day” beautifully explores the healing powers of being out in nature with people you love. Though the Londoners tragically lost drummer Peter Hayes earlier this year, they are continuing to press on, and with work this excellent, his legacy will be well honored.

3. AlunaGeorge: “Watching Over You”
The video for the new single from the highly-touted Londoners takes us on a night drive through God-knows-where and the conscious of someone who is dreaming about cartoons, Mario Brothers, and nebulous galaxies. The clip nicely highlights the dreamy mood of the track and captures those totally random thoughts you have on long drives.

2. Solange: “Losing You” 
Probably how they should have handled the Ferriera clip, Beyoncés sister galavants aimlessly around beautiful South Africa in quirky digs being whimsical and looking sincere. Well done whoever directed this. An incredible track to boot.

1. Perfume Genius: “Take Me Home”

Seattle-based vocalist/chronic over-sharer Mike Hadreas is no stranger to striking videos. “Hood,” the lead single of his crushing second LP Put Your Back N 2 It, was originally banned by YouTube, due to images of the diminutive singer cuddling up to gargantuan porn star Arpad Miklos. YouTube was rightly chastised for their homophobic response and quickly reinstated the video. As powerful and affecting as his previous videos are, “Take Me Home” goes even further, seeing Hadreas strut, gyrate, and devour a Twinkie as a disheveled, cross-dressing streetwalker. Though his videos force the viewer to confront things that may make many of them (myself, included at times) uncomfortable at first, they all have really incredible moments of beauty that hopefully will serve to open up some of the viewers minds just that little bit. That’s what makes them so special.

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