Images & Words: The 1975, "Give Yourself A Try"


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, Read more

Images & Words: The Rhythm Method, "Chin Up"


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 Read more

Images & Words: Chromatics, "Black Walls"


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 Read more

Snail Mail, "Let's Find An Out"


Snail Mail "Let's Find An Out" Lush (out 06.08 on Matador) Though I've somehow not written about them yet, I've been loving the Baltimore trio's pre-release singles for their hotly-anticipated debut LP. The stripped-back third single, "Let's Find An Out," is my favorite of the bunch, pairing songwriter Lindsey Jordan's plaintive vocals Read more

Rae Sremmurd: "Offshore" (f/ Young Thug)


Rae Sremmurd "Offshore" (f/ Young Thug) Swaecation Though I'm still processing the Mississippi superstars' excellent, new 27-song project, the free-flowing "Offshore" feels like an instant classic. Producer Mike Will is a genius at negotiating sonic space, and his gooey, descending synth chords leave plenty of room for Thug to play in. And Read more

Images & Words

Images & Words: Káryyn, “Moving Masses”

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tumblr_mxwe17lAJ61qzx2qxo1_500Káryyn
“Moving Masses”

Digital Single
One of the brightest and most vital new voices I’ve heard this year, the Syrian-American musician follows up her fabulous, two-part QUANTA series with an arresting vocal-led single. Somewhat reminiscent of Julianna Barwick’s timeless early work, “Moving Masses” is a dense mosaic of layered vocals that build to an overwhelming crescendo. The lyrics aren’t decipherable here, but her words still carry weight. And as the track unravels, it slowly beckons you further out to sea, untill there’s nothing you can do but let the waves overtake you.

Stream the beautiful QUANTA series at Spotify.

Images & Words: Samantha Urbani, “Hints & Implications”

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20160322-sxsw-samantha-urbani-23Samantha Urbani
“Hints & Implications”

Policies of Power EP (out now on Lucky Number)
Though the buzz has been pretty tepid, Samantha Urbani’s solo debut EP is a rock-solid collection of elastic, 80’s-inspired pop rock. The songwriting on the record is as sharp and effective as anything you’d find on Carly Rae’s last record, for example. And lead single, “Hints & Implications,” is indicative of that, pairing chunky barre chords with reverb-drenched electro drums and neon synths. It’s really an album that more people should be talking about.

Images & Words: LCD Soundsystem, “Tonite”

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screen-shot-2016-01-02-at-8-46-37-pmLCD Soundsystem
“Tonite”

American Dream (out 09.01 on DFA)
Let’s be real, no matter how good ‘American Dream’ turns out to be, it’s always going to kinda be a bummer. Nothing will change that. Then again, good tunes trump good narratives, and “Tonite” is firmly in that camp. The strongest pre-release single yet, it’s got all the hallmarks of prime-era LCD: a repetitive through line, quasi-intellectual cool bro lyrics, taught guitars, sneaky little hooks. I’m not sure I’ll actually want to dance to this, but it’s not a total disaster, which is more than I was realistically expecting from this record.

Images & Words: King Krule, “Czech One”

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Screen Shot 2017-08-23 at 6.22.16 PMKing Krule
“Czech One”

Digital Single
I first covered the 22 year-old when he was just a random London teen named Zoo Kid. And while his potential was obvious, I doubt many predicted what an original and sonically restless artist Archy Marshall would become. In the four years follwing his excellent debut LP, 6 Feet Beneath the Moon, Marshall released the excellent ambient-leaning, beat tape, A New Place 2 Drown, and has collaborated with artists from all over the indie landscape.

Now, he’s is returning with new music under the King Krule moniker, and this single is another of the twisted lullabies that he’s always been so adept at crafting. On “Czech One,” Marshall pairs spare, jazzy instrumentation with his languid, almost-spoken vocals. The result is a subtle and majestic waking dream.

Images & Words: The Weather Station, “Thirty”

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Screen Shot 2017-08-23 at 12.16.37 PMThe Weather Station
“Thirty”

The Weather Station (out 10.6 on Paradise of Bachelors)
Don’t let the acoustic guitar fool you, the first single from Canadian folk-singer Tamara Lindeman’s upcoming fourth LP is fierce and powerful. Though it starts sweetly, it slowly unravels into a driving rock song that explores the innumerable, small moments which define lengthy relationships, causing them to grow and shift over time. Her vocals are breathy, but muscular. In fact, they are more than a little reminiscent of a certain legendary, blonde Canadian folkie who shall remain nameless (cuz blasphemy). Suffice it to say, I’m really looking forward to hearing the rest of this record.

Images & Words: Moneybagg Yo, “Important”

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MoneyBagg-Durk-VideoMoneybagg Yo
“Important”

Federal 3x (out now on Interscope)
A week after releasing his excellent new mixtape, the rising Memphis rapper drops some visuals for one of Federal 3x’s early standout singles. One of the most exciting new talents in the country, Moneybagg Yo (né Demario White) is blessed with a flow that is smooth, muscular, and naturally melodic. Like many of his Memphis cohorts, he’s at his best on slow-mo tracks like this and is a master of exploring the negative space in between the beat.

Listen to Federal 3x on Spotify.

Images & Words: Waxahatchee, “Recite Remorse”

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Screen Shot 2017-08-10 at 2.55.06 PMWaxahatchee
“Recite Remorse”
Out in the Storm (out now on Merge)
I’ve been loving Katie Crutchfield’s break-up album for the last month or so, and it’s gorgeous centerpiece recently got some starry-eyed visuals. The clip captures the track’s celestial beauty and underwater feel. Over five transfixing minutes, Crutchfield captures the emotional paralysis of not knowing whether to escape a troubled relationship or to come back in and start working to fix it.

Images & Words: Lil Durk x Lil Reese, “Distance”

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Screen Shot 2017-08-09 at 6.05.33 PMLil Durk x Lil Reese
“Distance”

Supa Vultures (out 08.11 on OTF/Empire)
Two of the lynchpins of early/mid 10’s Chicago drill link back up for a melodic. piano-laced heater. Though the duo’s styles couldn’t be less similar — Durk is melodic without even trying, while Reese raps through gritted teeth — they are also perfect foils. Longtime collaborator Young Chop matches their fire and ice flows with a tasty combination of ultra-melodic keys, potent sub-bass, and rolling trap hats.

Images & Words: Jessie Ware, “Midnight”

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Screen Shot 2017-08-03 at 11.58.13 AMJessie 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 in. It all culminated with her stunning 2012 debut, Devotion, which is still one of the best albums of the decade.

Though her 2014 follow-up Tough Love accelerated her commercial progression, it left me a bit cold and felt burned by overpacked arrangements that felt more Sam Smith than Sade. Disappointed as I was, it was hard to argue with her decision. The disc was a commercial success that grew her fanbase and led to collabs with people like Ed Sheeran and Nicki Minaj. And her affable, low-key persona made her easy to root for, regardless of how I felt about the new sound.

All of that makes her comeback single, “Midnight,” so exciting. It doesn’t sound like Devotion, but it feels like it. Her best music tackles heavy, human topics with a weightless quality, and this gorgeous single captures recaptures that magic. Met with a descending pianos, the 32 year-old pushes her evocative voice to its upper register, capturing the baited breath and quickened heartbeat of a late-night rendezvous. The relationship she’s singing about may be rooted in deep ‘devotion’, but it still feels like the first time. Bravo.

Images & Words: Nite Jewel, “How it Was”

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Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 11.44.22 AMNite Jewel
“How It Was”

Real Low (out now on Gloriette)
Ramona Gonzalez has been on an absolute tear this year. She’s already dropped an excellent LP and a 12” on Italians Do It Better, and now there’s a new collection of b-sides for us to sink our teeth into. The disc also comes with a new video for the seductive and gentle ballad, “How it Was,” which originally appeared on the IDIB release.