Sade, "The Big Unknown"


Sade "The Big Unknown" Windows Soundtrack (out now on Sony) Though she's only a few months shy of her 60th birthday, Helen Folasade Adu remains a force like nobody else. On the stunning "The Big Unknown," Sade proves that her quiet storm is still a Category 5, as she glides effortlessly over oceanic, Read more

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


Miya Folick "Thingamajig" Premonitions (out 10.26 on Terrible) With each new single, the talented LA vocalist is strengthening the case that her forthcoming LP could be one of the best debuts of the year. Her flexible vocals always stretch further than you expect, and she uses her seemingly unlimited range to exact maximum Read more

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


Welp, this is embarrassing. The week I roll out a new round-up column, I respond by posting exactly zero times. My editorial staff (of one) was pretty slammed this week, but that's no excuse. Hopefully this piece can make up for it, dear readers. I'll do better this week, because, Read more

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 Read more

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 Read more

Images & Words

Images & Words: Bad Bunny, “Mia” (f/ Drake)

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Bad Bunny
“Mia” (f/ Drake)

Digital Single
It’s unclear why Conejo Malo and Champagne Papi waited until October to drop the song of the summer, but I’m glad it’s finally here. It’s not Drake’s first attempt at cantando en español, and unsurprisingly, the former actor sounds at home alongside San Juan’s finest. The pair gleefully glide through an carefree earworm, living their best lives, rocking tiny sunglasses, and hanging with exotic birds.

Images & Words: Jon Hopkins, “Feel First Life”

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Jon Hopkins
“Feel First Life”

Singularity (out now on Domino)
If you are the owner of a working heart, prepare to have it crushed by this beautiful new clip from the veteran English producer. Pairing delicate, star-gazing pianos with engulfing synths, Hopkins crafts the kind of life-affirming song will stop you in your tracks and sweep you away.

Images & Words: Miya Folick, “Stock Image”

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Miya Folick
“Stock Image”

Premonitions (out 10.26 on Terrible)
I’m late to the LA native’s quirky sound, but “Stock Image” is simply too strong of a pop song to pass up. Folick’s elastic vocal is the obvious star of the show, but the taut, sharp arrangement catapults that voice into captivating new heights. One to watch.

Images & Words: Lana Del Rey, “Venice Bitch”

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Lana Del Rey
“Venice Bitch”

Norman Fucking Rockwell (out this year)
Lana’s best new single in years, the freewheeling breeze of “Venice Bitch” is a welcome antidote to much of her dense, overcooked recent work. Paired with dusky, Laurel Canyon guitars, the 33 year-old delivers a low-key, yet stunning performance, dripping with all the old Hollywood nostalgia of her unassailable early material. At her best, she has this odd quality which makes clichés like “fresh out of fucks forever” and “nothing gold can stay” feel potent and poetic coming off her tongue. This is very much that.

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

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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.

Images & Words: Phoebe Bridgers, “Scott Street”

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Phoebe Bridgers
“Scott Street”

Stranger In The Alps (out now on Dead Oceans)
The mopey Angelino’s debut album was my second favorite of last year, and I’ve found myself consistently coming back to it in 2018. One of its sweetest moments gets a lighthearted visual that captures the subtle humor and loneliness of the track. The 24 year-old begins the story walking through Echo Park, disassociated from herself and her surroundings. And the clip mirrors that odd feeling by casting a bunch of different Pheobes who all come together to ride an open-top bus through the city, bash her effigy into oblivion, and play trampoline dodgeball.

Images & Words: City Girls, “Period (We Live)”

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City Girls
“Period (We Live)”

Period (out now on QC)
Though JT, one half of the exciting Miami duo, is behind bars on a minor fraud charge, City Girls aren’t planning on slowing down. This week, they dropped a video for the drumline-driven title track from their incredible debut. The clip highlights the rich South Florida culture that they represent and highlights the effortless charisma and endless bars that make them a good bet to outlast JT’s legal setback.

Images & Words: Ruston Kelly, “Faceplant”

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Ruston Kelly
“Faceplant”

Dying Star (out 09.07 Rounder)
If you’re like me and have a soft spot for early Ryan Adams (specifically, Whiskeytown), Ruston Kelly’s sadsack alt-country will locate it and stick its talons straight through it. “Faceplant,” the fourth single off his second big project, is an honest, unflinching look at a time in his life where he was getting fucked up and fucking up, delivered through dusty, languid acoustic guitars. Though it’s far from a new sound, Kelly is a quality storyteller and songwriter and has a rich, affecting voice.

Images & Words: DJ Khaled, “No Brainer” (f/ Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper)

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DJ Khaled
“No Brainer” (f/ Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper)
Father of Asahd (out in 2018 on Epic)
Though the perennial Dad of the Year’s new star-studded single has been panned by some joyless outlets, “No Brainer” is the exact kind of breezy, summer blockbuster that Khaled and co. are so apt at cranking out. The Michael Bay of music, Khaled’s not going to be winning any gold statuettes with this one, but his A-list cast comes through with solid performances and enough easy charisma to keep his worldwide audience hooked. He really is THE BEST (at what he does).

Images & Words: Foxing, “Nearer My God”

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Foxing
“Nearer My God”

Nearer My God (out 08.10 on Triple Crown)
Though the St. Louis quartet has never hid their sonic ambitions, it feels like they’re REALLY shooting for the stars on their hyped third LP. First single, “Slapstick,” hinted at that, but the disc’s title track really underlines their widescreen ambitions. Vocalist Conor Murphy puts forth a sky-scraping vocal performance here, stretching his pained tenor right along with the ecstatic arrangement which wouldn’t sound out of place on an m83 record.