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

Lucinda Chua, “Somebody Who”

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Lucinda Chua
“Somebody Who”

Digital Single
Do yourself a favor; stop what you’re doing, and let the gentle, soothing sounds of the London-based composer’s debut single wash over you. Over vast beds of ambient keyboards and touches of her aching cello, Chua laments the simplicity of our condition as mere random bodies who are all reaching out for something. As beautiful as this track is, it feels very much like a small piece of a substantial pie, and I can’t wait to hear it in its proper context.

Troye Sivan, “Postcard” (f/ Gordi)

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Troye Sivan
“Postcard” (f/ Gordi)

Bloom (out now on Universal)
Spoiler alert: the 23 year-old’s spectacular, super consistent second album will be all over my year-end lists. All of Bloom’s ten songs are worthy of further consideration, but this piano ballad is an early standout. Sivan is blessed with the kind of voice that effortlessly gets under your skin. And he puts it to good use here, chronicling the early days of falling in love and the excitement and anxiety that comes with giving your heart to someone.

Images & Words: Blueface, “Deadlocs”

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Blueface
“Deadlocs”

Famous Cryp (out now on 886011)
The next in a line of talented, unique LA artists, Blueface’s simply refuses to adhere to the traditional boundaries of hip-hop. On his breakout single, the young Angelino dips in and out of the skeletal keys and percussion, swerving and accelerating wildly like a drunk driver on the 405. At first listen, his freewheeling, occasionally offbeat style might be a turn-off, but with every successive listen, you’ll find yourself more and more on his wavelength.

Liza Anne, “Dreams”

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Liza Anne
“Dreams”

Dreams EP (out 09.14 on Arts & Crafts)
I almost never write about covers on here, mostly because I struggle to keep up with all the great original music that’s coming out every day.

But every once in a while, one jumps out at me that is simply too good to pass up. Rising Nashville artist Liza Anne’s haunting take on this timeless Cranberries tune more than qualifies. Her elegiac, crushing vocals are worthy of the eternal Dolores O’Riordan, and she captures much of the wistful sorrow that DEFINED one of the best songs of my youth.

Make sure you check out her under-appreciated 2018 LP, “Fine But Dying.”

Devon Welsh, “Dreams Have Pushed You Around”

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Devon Welsh
“Dreams Have Pushed You Around”
Dream Songs (out now on You Are Accepted)
Only ex-Majical Cloudz frontman Devon Welsh could make a line like “I snuck into your room last night / I stayed in the dark, it was innocent” sound normal. The Montreal native’s simple, intense ballads have always tiptoed in the half-space between tenderness and creepiness. His stark honesty is unsettling at first listen, but Welsh has this odd way of making you feel like his heart is in the right place — like he urgently needs to deliver you important information in the only way that makes sense to him. It’s unusual, but it’s usually insightful and always comes from the heart.

boygenius, “Me & My Dog” / “Stay Down” / “Bite The Hand”

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boygenius
“Me & My Dog” / “Stay Down” / “Bite The Hand”
boygenius (out in November on Matador)
Talk about a power trio, boygenius is made up of Phoebe Bridgers (the author of my 2nd favorite album of 2017), Julien Baker (the author of my 13th favorite album of ’17), and Lucy Dacus (author of one of the best debuts of this year). Though each of the three songs is led by a different member, you can feel their fingerprints on all of them and find the through-line that connects these ridiculously talented songwriters to each other. Make sure you catch them all on tour together this fall.

Wild Pink, “Mount Erie”

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Wild Pink
“Lake Erie”
Yolk in the Fur (out now on Tiny Engines)
Though I’m about six months late to the NYC trio’s outstanding second LP, I’m extremely glad that I finally found it. While their AM Radio sound has been relentlessly compared to War on Drugs, frontman John Ross is such a more emotionally direct songwriter than Adam Granduciel. And his illustrative lyrics are a beautiful foil for their windswept, expansive guitar rock.

“Lake Eerie” is a potent example of just how good Wild Pink is when both elements of their sound are hitting on all cylinders. The first thing you notice is the gorgeous, reverb-soaked arrangement — the kind of thing that just screams “open road, windows down.” But after a few spins, Ross’ lyrics start to dig in. A coming of age story, the New Yorker considers the journey we all take from adolescence to adulthood and why we never really change.

The 1975, “TooTimeTooTimeTooTime”

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The 1975
“TooTimeTooTimeTooTime”
A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships (out in October on Dirty Hit)
Though it lacks the drama of the stunning “Love It If We Made It” and the bite of “Give Yourself a Try,” the 1975’s weightless new single showcases the playful side that has been one of their core elements since the beginning. Slathered in auto-tune, frontman Matty Healy blithely details the games that we play in the early days of a relationship. The new record is meant to be all about modern romance, and this one is as relatable as they come.

Mitski, “Two Slow Dancers”

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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, captures the transportive moment of a last dance — the way it can silence even life’s cruelest realities for a few minutes. An absolutely magical ballad.

Future: “Translator”

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Future
“Translator”

Digital Single
Fresh off one of his best projects, Fewtch is keeping the momentum going with a pair of tasty loose singles. Though “Scammalot” is a solid schemer’s anthem, the ultra-smooth “Translator” is the pick. The delirious vocal melodies recall a few of his classics — “Neva End” and “Magic” —  and this cut doesn’t nothing to dampen the feeling that the big man is well and truly back.