CFCF, "Closed Space"


CFCF "Closed Space" Liquid Colours (out 03.01) Though I haven't listened to it as much as his ree-fucking-dick-u-lus J.Lo remix (aka: the best song of 2019 so far), the first single from Montreal mainstay Michael Silver's new album is an instant keeper. It kicks off with luxurious beds of neo-geo synths that Read more

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

Images & Words

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

Images & Words: Chromatics, “Blue Girl”

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Chromatics
“Blue Girl”

Dear Tommy (out LOL on Italians Do It Better)
As much as I hate to admit it, with every new pre-release track from “Dear Tommy,” I can feel Johnny Jewel and co sucking me back in. Like, last month’s “Black Walls,” “Blue Girl” is the exact kind of inch-perfect, gorgeous synth ballad that makes the idea of a world with “Dear Tommy” in it so exciting. On the other hand, I know that the album’s never fucking coming out, so GAHHHHHH.

Please, Johnny. Stop fucking with our emotions. (But keep putting out music, because, my GOD, you are good at it.)

Images & Words: Chromatics, “Black Walls”

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Chromatics
“Black Walls”
Dear Tommy (out PROLLY NEVER on Italians Do It Better)
Goddamn it, Johnny Jewel. Just when I’d moved on from the idea that I’d ever hear “Dear Tommy,” this guy drags me back in with a luscious new track and a (probably fictional) release date for Fall of 2018.

“Black Walls” is the exact kind of track that makes the forever pushed-back project so frustrating, as it’s another reminder that nobody else makes music that sounds like this. The snyths are impossibly romantic and lush, and they’re beautifully framed by chunky guitars and vocalist Ruth Radelet’s forever haunting vocals. If this album comes out this year (it won’t), there’s nothing else that I’m more excited to hear.

Images & Words: Lil Peep, “4 Gold Chains” (f/ Clams Casino)

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Lil Peep
“4 Gold Chains” (f/ Clams Casino)
Digital Single
Posthumous music is always dicey, but this druggy, heartbreaking new single from the late Lil Peep is too haunting to ignore. Over dreamy, reverb-soaked guitar chords, Peep grapples with the dichotomy of a fame that he never seemed comfortable with but was seemingly destined for. You can see it in the way he interacts with the camera. Though he spends much of the clip trying to avoid the camera’s unrelenting gaze, in the moments that he gives in, his piercing eyes command it like only a true star can. What a loss.

Images & Words: Nines, “I See You Shining”

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Nines
“I See You Shining”

Crop Circle (out now on XL)
Though not as flashy as many of his peers, the 27 year-old Londoner is one of the UK’s biggest talents. His new project, “Crop Circle,” is a consistent collection of heartfelt, insightful lyrics and cracking, versatile production that lives somewhere between grime, road rap, and modern American trap. “I See You Shining” is a great get-to-know-you track, as it highlights Nines’ low maintenance style, sharp storytelling, and subtly catchy flow. Don’t sleep on this guy.