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: 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.

Images & Words: Blood Orange, “Jewelry” & “Charcoal Baby”

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Blood Orange
“Jewelry” / “Charcoal Baby”

Negro Swan (out 08.24 on Domino)
Devonté Hynes returns with the first two tracks from his upcoming fourth LP as Blood Orange. Both tracks are affecting slices of the unique sound that he’s crafted, which features pieces of soul, R&B, indie rock, jazz, and pop. Though I’m trying not to get too carried away at this stage, both tracks feel important and could be big pieces of a truly special collection.

Images & Words: Tyler, The Creator x A$AP Rocky, “Potato Salad”

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Tyler, The Creator x A$AP Rocky
“Potato Salad”
Digital Single
This super easy new single reminds me of two of my favorite videos: Odd Future’s freewheeling “Oldie” and A$AP Mob’s Pitchfork freestyle. Though both guys are capable of crafting thought-provoking music (especially, Tyler), they are both so potent when they’re having fun on toss-off tracks like this. I’d love to hear an entire project with the two of them going bar for bar.

Images & Words: Wet, “Lately”

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Wet
“Lately”
Still Run (out now on Columbia)
I’ve waded slowly into the Brooklyn duo’s new project, mostly due to its pre-release singles being a little bit all over the place. However, the more I listen, the more I’ve found myself impressed with Kelly Zutrau’s evolution as a songwriter and — for all intents and purposes — solo artist.

She deals most openly with this change on album centerpiece, “Lately,” the sweetest expression of frustration you’ll ever hear. Her voice is soft but her words are scathing. She pushes back against bandmates (past and present), producers, and her label, annoyed that she must constantly be considering non-essential people’s opinions without getting much back from them in return. It’s a powerful, defiant step from an artist who is sick of being just a face in the group and is ready to come into her own.

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

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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”

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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