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

Hot Jam of the Day

Silk Road Assassins, “Bloom”

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Silk Road Assassins
“Bloom”

State of Ruin (out 02.08 on Planet Mu)
A few years on from their excellent debut EP, Reflection Spaces, the Bath-based instrumental grime experimenters are back with their first full-length project. The disc’s cinematic first single, “Bloom,” is packed with the creeping dread, futuristic keys, and skittering percussion that they’re known for. This is definitely one to look out for early next year.

American Football, “Silhouettes”

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American Football
“Silhouettes”

American Football (out 03.22 on Polyvinyl)
It’s year-end season at ThunderPenguin, so our writing staff (of one) is a little bit pre-occupied by our annual songs and albums lists. However, this gorgeous, atmospheric new track from the dreamo Ohio vets is simply too good to pass up. The expansive slow-burner starts pairs lush beds of vibraphones with their signature arpeggiated, melodious guitar work. Nice to know that we won’t have to wait another 15 years for an American Football record.

Jessica Pratt, “Poly Blue”

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Jessica Pratt
“Poly Blue”

Quiet Sings (02.08.19 on Mexican Summer)
The second taste of the San Francisco singer-songwriter’s third LP is a characteristically gorgeous, atmospheric slice of pastoral folk. Pratt’s voice has a mystical quality that takes me back to falling in love with my mother’s Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez records when I was a kid. This will be one of the soundtracks of my winter.

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, “Tides IV”

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Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith
“Tides IV”

Tides: Music For Meditation And Yoga (out January 2019 on Touchtheplants)
I’m not much for Yoga, but the Washington-born, LA-based composer’s new album might change that. The project was penned for her mother’s yoga practice, and the first track from it is gorgeous, ambient piece that breathes right along with the listener. Any project like this will be best heard in context, but this is a delicious first taste.

Lapalux, “ABOVE”

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Lapalux
“ABOVE”

ABOVE_BETWEEN_BELOW (out now on Brainfeeder)
Low-key London producer Stuart Howard recently dropped a 3-track, ambient collection, and its lead-off track is an expansive, aqueous number. Though he’s somewhat known as a club-friendly producer, the Essex artist couldn’t be further from a night out here, gradually guiding the listener deeper out into the track’s placid waters.

Otha: “I’m On Top”

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Otha
“I’m On Top”

Digital Single
Oslo native Othalie Husøy’s first single, “Other Girls,” made some waves this summer, and now she’s back with another slab of uplifting indie dance pop. Her restrained, perma-cool vocals wouldn’t sound out of place on an Italians Do It Better track, and her production beautifully straddles the line between lo-fi and hi-energy. Its empowering message rounds out the good vibes, which are plentiful. “I’m on Top” is another step in her cementing herself as one of the most exciting independent young artists around.

Ian Isiah: “Bedroom”

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Ian Isiah
“Bedroom”

Shugga Sextape (Vol. 1) (out now on UNO NYC)
After five long years away, the NYC R&B innovator has finally returned with his follow-up to 2013’s “The Love Champion.” First single, “Bedroom,” has been out for a little while, but it sounds so much better in the context of the record. Over blippy production from (I think) Sinjin Hawke, Isiah lays out what’s going down in his bedroom, which seems to not involve just about everything except sleep.

Sade, “The Big Unknown”

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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, minor-key keys and languid percussion. As the fires crackle and swell, so does she, and her mesmerizing vocal drives the track toward its devastating crescendo. “I will rise again,” she declares defiantly. You’d have to be an idiot not to believe her.

Claire George, “Lonely or Alone”

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Claire George
“Lonely or Alone”
Bodies of Water (out 11.16 on Cascine)
I missed the LA singer-songwriter’s stunning debut single, “Orbits,” but I’m glad I caught her second one. “Lonely or Alone” is a moody, mid-tempo slice of electro-pop that is fraught with tension and full of unexpected aqueous synth droplets. George’s confident, impactful vocals rise above the fray, imploring a loved one to reconsider their current place in the world and aiming to transform their solitude into solidarity. An exciting new talent.

Sufjan Stevens: “The Lonely Man of Winter”

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Sufjan Stevens
“The Lonely Man of Winter”

Digital Single
We all know that the Holidays are #SufjanSeason, and Santa’s cutest elf is back with a touching new song to warm your chilly hands. Originally recorded back in 2007, “The Lonely Man of Winter” finally gets a proper release, and it’s just as melancholy as you’d imagine. Though it is built around his signature uber-soft vocals and fingerpicked acoustic guitar, it concludes with a stunning, almost jazzy piano outro that seems to arrive from nowhere but resolves the song in the most unexpected, yet perfect way.

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