Images & Words: The 1975, "People"


The 1975"People"Notes on a Conditional Form (out 02.22.20 on Dirty Hit)The Used, Head Automatica/Glassjaw, Primal Scream, Marilyn Manson, Blur, The Refused. And that's only six of the roughly 600 random bands that the new 1975 track brings to mind. And somehow, just like mother-fucking always, they pull it off. Read more

Caroline Polachek, "Ocean of Tears" & "Parachute"


Caroline Polachek"Ocean of Tears" / "Parachute"Pang (out this fall on Columbia)Ok, now I'm getting really excited about the ex-Chairlift vocalist/composer's first album under her real name. Following up on her wonderful first single "Door," these two new tracks highlight Polachek's spellbinding voice and evocative, powerful songwriting. Though you can Read more

The Round-Up: The Best Albums of the 2nd Quarter


Ana Roxanne~~~Leaving RecordsThe Oakland bedroom artist’s debut project is a staggering slice of ambient music that pulls subtly from the R&B and pop vocalists that she grew up on. Her voice sounds far away but pulls you in close (think: Grouper’s “Ruin”) and is ready to tell you its Read more

The Round-Up: The Best Songs of 2019, So Far (Honorable Mention)


As promised, here is the rest of my favorite tracks of the year that didn't quite make the cut for my main list. Songs are in no particular order. Chromatics “Time Rider”bahahahahah (Italians Do It Better) “Dear Tommy” is obviously never coming out. But I did get to hear this Read more

The Round-Up: The Best Songs of 2019 (So Far)


A little bit late this year due to real-world commitments, but here is my annual list of the best songs of the first half of 2019. Look for my honorable mention coming later in the week. This year, instead of going with an actual ranking system, I'm going to Read more

Hot Jam of the Day

Francis and the Lights, “Take Me to the Light”

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Francis and the Lights
“Take Me to the Light” (f/ Bon Iver, Kanye West)
Take Me to the Light (out soon)

I genuinely don’t believe in guilty pleasures, but I have to admit that I’m feeling some shame for loving this new song by Francis and the Studio Wizards. Only an absolute murderers’ row of producers (Francis, Kanye, Justin Vernon, Benny Blanco, Cashmere Cat, BJ Burton, Caroline Shaw) could make a song with lyrics like “Tree gotta listen, tree gotta mind. It can feel the vibe. It can touch the sky” feel life affirming. But, goddamnit, they pull it off. They dial the synth warmth up to Icelandic spa levels and wash the Super Friends’ vocals in delicious filters. Maybe they’re empty calories, but they’re motherfucking delicious.

Kate Teague, “Sweetheart”

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Kate Teague
“Sweetheart”
Kate Teague (out 09.20 on Muscle Beach)

Don’t let its soothing, languid guitars fool you, the Oxford, MS native’s wonderful “Sweetheart” is anything but. A frustrated pushback of our sexist work culture, Teague warns over-friendly men “don’t call me sweetheart.” And though the tone of her voice is warm, you can tell that she’s dead fucking serious.

Images & Words: The 1975, “People”

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The 1975
“People”
Notes on a Conditional Form (out 02.22.20 on Dirty Hit)
The Used, Head Automatica/Glassjaw, Primal Scream, Marilyn Manson, Blur, The Refused. And that’s only six of the roughly 600 random bands that the new 1975 track brings to mind. And somehow, just like mother-fucking always, they pull it off.

“People” is easily the most ferocious ever track from the Mancunians. Opening with crashing, driving toms, Matty Healy smears his vocals all over the place, screaming manically about who we are and why we’re fucked. The track does a wonderful job of fusing Healy’s love of (mostly) American (scr)e(a)mo and swaggering Brit Pop, balancing them to perfection and finding their shared spirit. Though I’m not sure I need an entire album of #mattyrage, “People” is yet another thrilling reminder that these four guys are capable of doing just about anything… except being boring.

Charli XCX, “Cross You Out” (f/ Sky Ferreira)

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Charli XCX
“Cross You Out” (f/ Sky Ferreira)
Charli (out 09.13 on Asylum)
The powerful pair snarl through a dense, icy arrangement on this delicious kiss off track. One of Charli’s greatest strengths is her versatility, and she shows it off here, seamlessly sliding into a sound that feels like the gothic sound that Sky’s been perfecting on her recent work. Though her shapeshifting nature has made it hard for me to love any of her projects, it basically guarantees there’ll always be a few things in there I like. This is one of them.

Great Grandpa, “Mono No Aware”

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Great Grandpa
“Mono No Aware”
Four of Arrows (out 10.25 on Double Double Whammy)

“Do you feel the same thing that I do?” asks vocalist Carrie Goodwin, giving voice to the fundamental question that we most want an answer to but can never quite know for sure. Though her words are heavy, they’re delivered with a light touch, framed by shimmering guitars, an aqueous melody, and a gentle, yet driving backbeat. It’s the first Great Grandpa song that I’ve heard, but I’ll look forward to hearing more from the Bloomington quintet in the next few months.

Caroline Polachek, “Ocean of Tears” & “Parachute”

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Caroline Polachek
“Ocean of Tears” / “Parachute”
Pang (out this fall on Columbia)
Ok, now I’m getting really excited about the ex-Chairlift vocalist/composer’s first album under her real name. Following up on her wonderful first single “Door,” these two new tracks highlight Polachek’s spellbinding voice and evocative, powerful songwriting. Though you can hear hints of a few different things in her sound (on this one, I’m getting a little Bjork and some Imogen Heap), her work is unique and getting better from project to project. Can’t wait to hear this one.

Clairo, “Bags”

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Clairo
“Bags”
Immunity (out 08.02 on FADER)

Though I wasn’t super high on her buzzy, ultra-twee debut EP, “Bags” is the real damn deal. Over driving power chords and playful keys, the 20 year-old digs deeper emotionally than she has before, picking through the bones of a relationship that has gone stale. “I don’t wanna watch TV anymore,” she deadpans, mirroring those rudderless, restless words with her tone and adding the emotional heft that her early work struggled to deliver.

Lana Del Rey, “Doin’ Time”

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Lana Del Rey
“Doin’ Time”
Sublime OST (out soon on Universal)

If you grew up in California in the early 2000’s, it was just about impossible to get in someone’s car or go to a party that wasn’t playing one of those two Sublime albums. Evidently, the same was true in wherever Lana grew up (Westchester, I think), because her cover of the Long Beach skate-rats sun-scorched classic features the care and love that can only be delivered by a true Badfish. Del Rey manages to walk the line between paying homage to the original while making the new version her own. Summer can finally start for real now, y’all.

Finn, “Do What You Want Forever”

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Finn
“Do What You Want Forever”
Do What You Want Forever (out 05.29 on Local Action)

Chase away your Tuesday blues with this uplifting slice of house music from the Manchester producer. Boosted by an ecstatic vocal sample and a hypnotic loop, “Do What You Want” is gorgeous and life-affirming, while reminding you of exactly what’s important in life.

Holy Ghost!: “Escape from Los Angeles”

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Holy Ghost!
“Escape from Los Angeles”

Work (out 6.21 on West End)
After six years away, the former DFA disco dudes of yester-decade are returning with another collection peak-era Williamsburg analog vibes. “Escape from Los Angeles” is the third (and tastiest) new single from their forthcoming third LP, featuring lush beds of synth pads, tasteful percussion, and nostalgic, faraway vocals.

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