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

Hot Jam of the Day

Hot Jam of the Day: Now Now, “Yours”

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Screen Shot 2017-09-20 at 12.33.19 PMNow, Now
“Yours”

Digital Single
Synth-pop is rarely known for its restraint, but the second single from the Minneapolis duo’s first album in 5+ years manages to shoot for the stars while keeping its feet firmly planted on the ground. A lot of that comes from vocalist KC Dalager, who isn’t really a CRJ-style belter. Rather, she prefers to move with an arrangement rather than bombastically wrestle it into submission. “Yours” is indicative of this approach. In most hands, this same track would have the BPM, vocals, and drums amped up, turning this into a hands-up, shout-along instead of the mid-tempo, swishy seducer that it became.

Hot Jam of the Day: Grizzle, “Sermon” (f/ ShaqyDread)

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Screen Shot 2017-09-19 at 6.08.28 PMGrizzle
“Sermon” (f/ ShaqyDread)
Consort (out 10.20 on Liminal Sounds)
The shadowy architect of one of the best songs of last year drops the first taste of his solo debut EP. Like the spellbinding, “Entreaty,” “Sermon” is monstrous, unique slab of neo-grime that aims for the body and the heart. The London/Manchester producer gets an assist from rising Tottenham MC, ShaqyDread, who matches the beat’s intensity, ducking in and out of the neon synths and staccato percussion with ease.

Hot Jam of the Day: Jesse Kivel, “Endless”

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Screen Shot 2017-09-13 at 5.26.14 PMJesse Kivel
“Endless”
Content (out 10.6 on New Feelings)
The former Kisses/Princeton frontman drops the second single from his debut solo EP. On “Endless,” the Santa Monica native amps up the adult contempo vibes, marrying lonely sax with twinkling piano. Don’t think of it as Yacht Rock; think of it as ‘Lost at Sea on a Pontoon’ Rock. Gorgeous.

Hot Jam of the Day: Bruno Major, “Cold Blood”

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Screen Shot 2017-09-01 at 11.55.47 AMBruno Major
“Cold Blood”

A Song for Every Moon (July Records)
Over the past year, the talented North Londoner dropped a new song every month, resulting in an engaging 12-song collection of jazz-influenced pop songs that recall talented (and alliterative) folks like Jamie Woon, Jamie Isaac, and James Blake. My favorite of the bunch came out in August. “Cold Blood” is a perfect example of Major’s subtle songwriting and powerful voice, as he glides over a spare arrangement that feels both classic and modern.

Hot Jam of the Day: Kodak Black, “Change My Ways”

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Screen Shot 2017-08-24 at 3.29.19 PMKodak Black
“Change My Ways”

Project Baby 2 (self-released)
Still just 20 years old, Dieuson “Kodak Black” Octave has already seen enough highs and lows to fill twenty lifetimes. His powerful, underrated new mixtape, “Project Baby 2,” features the most honest and frank introspection that we’ve ever heard from him. On “Change My Ways,” Octave sounds exhausted — beaten down by a lifetime of trying to outrun his own disastrous decisions and an unrelenting spotlight that glows brighter with each court case and social media story. Moreover, he sounds legitimately contrite, explaining the brutal environment that he came from without skirting responsibility. As crushing as it is, there’s still hope there. Now, it’s up to Octave to back up his words with actions.

Hot Jam of the Day: Julien Baker, “Appointments”

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Screen Shot 2017-08-18 at 6.50.48 PMJulien Baker
“Appointments”
Turn Out the Lights (out 10.27 on Matador)
“It’s the hope that kills you,” goes the old saying. But it can also be the thing that saves you and drives you through life’s dark stretches. It’s what the 21 year-old is reaching for on this breathtaking first single from her highly-anticipated second LP. Baker has the ultra-rare ability to distill life’s most complex and difficult moments into gorgeous, insightful songs that often tell you more about your life than hers.

“Appointments” is the next in a long line of stunning, stripped-back guitar ballads from the Memphis native. Over a lonely, reverb-drenched single-string riff, Baker tries desperately to old on to the hope that she knows she needs. Baker confesses all this to a disappointed lover, admitting that she’s reached a point where there’s nothing she can do but believe in the process, even though she is far from convinced that it will work. Unbelievably moving.

Hot Jam of the Day: Jae Stephens, “Every Time”

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Screen Shot 2017-08-17 at 1.37.01 PMJae Stephens
“Every Time”

Digital Single
After dropping one of the best singles of 2017, the LA singer returns with a low-key follow up that continues to hint at her massive potential. “Every Time” is a sweltering love letter to her hometown, from her roots in Studio City to the packed freeways that connect its residents to a wealth of possibilities. Buoyed by the pulsing, soulful production of London singer-songwriter, Burno Major, Stephens captures the excitement and anxiety of exploring an endless maze that offers a million different ways to come back home.

Hot Jam of the Day: Car Seat Headrest, “War is Coming (If You Want It)”

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car-seat-headrest-will-toledoCar Seat Headrest
“War is Coming (If You Want It)”

Digital Single
If you aren’t worried about what is happening on this planet, you aren’t an actual human. Will Toldeo is a certified human and a very talented songwriter, and he displays both on this this world-weary new single. During a tight, tuneful three and a half minutes, Toldeo decries a number of popular, corrosive views that are currently polluting the globe and calls out a need for healing. The message may not be particularly novel, but we need as many positive voices as we can in these troubled times.

Hot Jam of the Day: Jesse Kivel, “LA Story”

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kisses-03Jesse Kivel
“LA Story”
Content (out 10.06 on New Feelings)

After a couple years away, the Kisses/Princeton frontman returns with a gorgeous, slow-burning solo single. It’s unclear whether the 1991 Steve Martin film of the same name inspired this track, but the seductive keys, jazzy fretless bass-line, and massive horn chorus melody makes sure it wouldn’t sound out of place on the soundtrack. Kivel’s warm tenor is as smooth as ever, gliding high above the lush arrangement and capturing the city’s beauty and ennui.

Hot Jam of the Day: Kelela, “LMK”

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KelelaKelela
“LMK”

Take Me Apart (10.06 on Warp)
Our agonizing wait for the first taste of Kelela’s proper studio debut* is finally over, and my GOD, our girl came through with a banger. In lieu of just typing 4,000 fire emojis, I’ll just say that “LMK” is such a perfect distillation of what makes her such a special artist. The track lives in that ambiguous space between the club, the bedroom, and the radio. And the D.C. native devouring a club-ready Arca production and turning it into a slick, intoxicating slab of ultra-modern R&B.

And though everything about it sounds pristine, Kelela’s lyrics are never mere empty calories. She effortlessly deconstructs modern ghosting culture, reminding your local neighborhood fuckboi (or girl) that the main thing most people are looking for in the early going is honesty.

*Let’s be real, Cut 4 Me is an album

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