Mitski, "Two Slow Dancers"


Mitski "Two Slow Dancers" Be The Cowboy (out 08.17 on Matador) Every slow dance with someone you care about feels like a moment suspended in time. I mean, that's the point, right? Your hands are tied, your bodies are connected, and even your gaze is limited. Mitski, the fantastic New York songwriter, Read more

Future, "Hate the Real Me"


Future "Hate the Real Me" Beastmode 2 (out now on Epic) The peak of a quietly excellent year, Future goes super deep on his worthy follow-up to 2015's legendary "Beast Mode" tape. Of all its stirring moments, nothing emotionally hits harder than its last track, as Future pours his heart out over Read more

The Round-Up: The Best Songs of 2018 (So Far...)


Somehow, some fucking way, 2018 is more than half over. And though it might feel like I always say this, I think this was the toughest list I've had to make yet. There's been an overwhelming number of exciting, vital new voices popping up and plenty of fantastic follow-ups Read more

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

Hot Jam of the Day

Hot Jam of the Day: Playboi Carti, “Magnolia”

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Screen Shot 2017-04-20 at 11.47.07 AMPlayboi Carti
“Magnolia”
Playboi Carti (Interscope)
It’s mid-April. The weather’s warming up. And it’s about that time we start thinking about songs of the summer. “Magnolia” — the best moment from the 21-year old rising star’s debut LP — is an early candidate for the crown. For three exhilarating minutes, Carti rides a magical wave of delayed synths, provided by the previously unknown Pierre Bourne. What he lacks as a lyricist, Carti makes up for in raw charisma, dropping a handful of quotable bars that I’m looking forward to hearing blasting out of windows all summer long.

Hot Jam of the Day: Mount Kimbie, “We Go Home Together” (f/ James Blake)

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Screen Shot 2017-04-03 at 1.50.13 PMMount Kimbie
“We Go Home Together” (f/ James Blake)
Digital Single
It’s been nearly five years. But the highly influential Londoners are back with their ol’ pal James, and they brought a gorgeous, organ-kissed love song with them. Though it doesn’t feature their signature, innovative percussion, it boasts one of the duo’s strongest ever melodies. And Blake sounds revitalized here, pushing his tenor into its upper register and pulling all of the emotion out of it. Hopefully, a third LP beckons.

Hot Jam of the Day: Leonce, “Advent”

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Screen Shot 2017-03-27 at 2.51.54 PMLeonce
“Advent”

Insurgence (out 04.12 on Fade to Mind)
Though he is currently based in Atlanta, Leonce’s sound has deep roots in his home city of New Orleans. Late last year, the producer dropped the excellent mixtape Heatwave, one of the strongest dance efforts of the year. The disc featured eight inch-perfect edits that seamlessly fused New Orleans bounce and house with the sound of modern R&B, giving cuts by artists like Beyoncé, Tory Lanez, Jeremih, and Tinashe a dancefloor-ready sheen.

Now, Leonce is ready for his close-up, with a seven-track, debut project for the ever-reliable Fade to Mind. Lead single, “Advent,” pairs characteristically banging percussion with a pair of slithering synth riffs that wind together and unravel over the course of six minutes. Though you can feel the bounce and house influences, it’s far from a throwback track and confirms that the talented young producer is focused on crafting a sound that defies labels.

Hot Jam of the Day: Kareem Lotfy, “Fr3sh”

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Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 5.58.43 PMKareem Lotfy
“Fr3sh”
mono no aware (out now on PAN)
I don’t know much about the man behind the first track from the new PAN Records compilation. But “Fr3sh” is a gorgeous, delicate piece of ambient music, that matches deep synths with a swelling string arrangement. Lotfy is a graphic designer and artist from Cairo who has a handful of affecting, experimental tracks on his SoundCloud that should appeal to anybody who is feeling this single.

Hot Jam of the Day: Charli XCX, “Drugs” (f/ Abra)

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Screen Shot 2017-03-21 at 2.27.59 PMCharli XCX
“Drugs” (f/ Abra)
Number 1 Angel
The trouble with shapeshifters is that as soon as you find a form that appeals to you, they’ve already moved on. That’s been my experience with the hard-to-pin down Brit, who has dabbled in more trends than H&M. So while I was ready roll my eyes at her new ‘mixtape’ (lol), I was immediately grabbed by this track’s intoxicating, slow-mo baseline and its undeniable hooks. Sure, the second verse completely jacks the melody from Dream’s classic, “He Loves You Not,” and it has a grating, totally unnecessary drop tacked on at the end. But it’s also a mean, strong pop record that will get stuck in your brain. It’s a good look for Charli, but she’s unlikely to wear it for long.

Hot Jam of the Day: Julien Baker, “Distant Solar Systems”

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Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 6.55.00 PMJulien Baker
“Distant Solar Systems”
Funeral Pyre / Distant Solar Systems (out now on Matador)
The Tennessee songwriter returns with another haunting lament. Her vocals hang like stars over reverb-soaked open strings, as she considers the insignificance of her life. It may be a very middle school topic, but it’s executed with real mastery. And if you aren’t careful, it will leave you staring up at the sky (or the ceiling) right along with her.

Hot Jam of the Day: Mabel, “Finders Keepers” (f/ Kojo Funds)

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Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 7.49.52 PMMabel
“Finders Keepers” (f/ Kojo Funds)
Bedroom EP (out 05.26 on Polydor)
Valentine’s Day was last month, but two English rising stars want to keep the love flowing on this gooey, sweet duet. I’m getting serious early Jessie Ware vibes from the London vocalist, and her cohort Kojo comes through with a characteristically slick verse of his own. “Finders Keepers” is a solid follow-up to Mabel’s buzzy, seductive 2016 single, “Thinking of You,” and should do nothing to slow her rapidly accelerating career trajectory.

Hot Jam of the Day: MoStack, “Let it Ring”

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mostack-1MoStack
“Let it Ring”
Digital Single
The North Londoner’s glorious and airy banger has been on heavy rotation for me all month. And while you might be sick of the Island vibes meet trap drums combo, “Let it Ring” is more magnetic than just about anything else of its type. MoStack is an spark plug of charisma and swagger, slaloming between the beat and driving it forward like a seasoned vet. While it’s blowing up in the UK, it is still just crackling stateside. If we’re lucky, that fire will keep building and will be blazing by this summer.

Hot Jam of the Day: Njomza, “Sad For You”

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Screen Shot 2017-03-10 at 2.56.15 PMNjomza
“Sad For You”

Sad For You (out 04/07 on Remember)
The Chicago vocalist has been threatening to break out for the last couple of years, and we might be finally getting a taste of the record that does it. On the seductive “Sad For You,” Njomza picks through the bones of a relationship that has lost its spark, admitting that she must move on, no matter how difficult it will be for the one she leaves behind.

Hot Jam of the Day: Joan Shelley, “Wild Indifference”

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Screen Shot 2017-03-08 at 11.48.29 AMJoan Shelley
“Wild Indifference”

Joan Shelley (out 05.05 on No Quarter)
Though the Louisville native is perhaps best known for having one of the most beautiful voices in folk, the lead single from her fifth LP highlights her impressive writing chops as well. Over a tasteful, gentle guitars, Shelley opens up about the frustration of dealing with a particularly self-centered person. However, instead of lashing out, she offers empathy, seeing through the facade and centering on the loneliness and sorrow that such behavior often tries to hide. And though she offers her thoughts, she stops there. Admitting that she’s grown tired of chasing lost causes.

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