Hot Jam of the Day: Jae Stephens, "24k"


Jae Stephens "24k" Digital Single Fuck one of the best debuts of the year. The LA-based newcomer just dropped one of the best songs of the year out of thin air. Featuring inch-perfect production from Jam City, Stephens weaves a devastating slow jam that captures the growth of a relationship from anxious first Read more

The Round-Up: The Best Albums of May 2017


After a pair of phenomenal months of music, May's slate looked decidedly more low-key. However, now as I look back at it, there was still a handful of solid releases that deserve your time. Here are a few of my favorites. J Hus Common Sense Black Butter When I looked at the release schedule Read more

Hot Jam of the Day: Lil Durk, "Pressure"


Lil Durk “Pressure” Digital Single Five years into his career, the Chicago native seems to be at a crossroads. After kicking off his career with a string of devastating mixtapes (including my favorite song of 2013), the 24 year-old has been a bit up and down of late, crafting a slew of Read more

Hot Jam of the Day: Kommode, "Fight or Flight or Dance All Night"


Kommode “Fight or Flight or Dance All Night” Analog Dance Music (out June 2017 on Random Two Syllable Word) Good things come to those who wait, and Kings of Convenience fans have been waiting for the debut from Eirik Glambek Bøe’s side project for more than 10 years. Since announcing this project Read more

Hot Jam of the Day: Jlin, "Holy Child"


Jlin "Holy Child" Black Origami (out 05.19 on Planet Mu) Though there's only one more day until the Gary, Indiana footwork innovator's second LP drops, this brilliant and beguiling cut is more than worthy of standing on its own. Like her masterful debut, Dark Energy, this track features multiple, intricate polyrhythms that collide freely without Read more

Hot Jam of the Day

Hot Jam of the Day: The 1975, “By Your Side”

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The-1975-Madrid-2017The 1975
“By Your Side”

Digital Single
While covering one of an icon’s most beloved songs is always risky business, the 1975’s Sade cover captures a little bit of the overwhelming warmth and love of the original. Though auto-tune seems like a wonky choice for a song as intimate as “By Your Side,” frontman Matt Healy’s robo-croon is surprisingly successful, and that left-field approach offers some much needed divergence from the unmatchable original. This version is obviously never going to hit Ms Adu’s dizzying heights, but it will hopefully expose some young people to its timeless source material and inspire a few IRL tender moments in a time where everyone can really use them.

Hot Jam of the Day: Mr. Mitch, “Priority” (f/ P Money)

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Mr-MitchMr. Mitch
“Priority” (f/ P Money)
Devout (out 04.21 on Planet Mu)
Today, the London grime-ish producer announced his second LP, the follow-up to 2014’s excellent Parallel Memories. Lead single, “Priority,” is a contemplative, mid-tempo cut that features the twinkling, emotional synth melodies that he’s known for. And Lewisham veteran P Money comes through with some reflective, low-key verses that touch on parenthood, sobriety, and growing up. Mitch is that rare artist who has crafted a signature sound without being beholden to it, constantly looking for new ways to branch out while staying true to his sound. Can’t wait to hear the whole project.

Hot Jam of the Day: Kingdom, “What Is Love” (f/ SZA)

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Screen Shot 2017-02-14 at 6.32.43 PMKingdom
“What Is Love” (f/ SZA)

Tears in the Club (out 02.24 on Fade to Mind)
The third track from the Fade To Mind honcho’s debut LP is the perfect soundtrack for your Valentine’s Day. Kingdom (né Ezra Rubin) has a sparkling track record of crafting forward-thinking slow jams, and “What is Love” is another notch on his musical bedpost. His seductive synths and choppy percussion sets the mood, and SZA knocks it out of the park, never raising her voice but still pushing all the right buttons.

Hot Jam of the Day: The XX, “Performance”

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Screen Shot 2017-02-01 at 3.27.32 PMThe xx
“Performance”

I See You (out now on Young Turks)
Unlike most, I am an xx classicist. Jamie xx seems like a talented guy, but I tend to prefer Romy and Oliver-centric, hyper intimate tracks like this (see also: “Night Time,” “Fiction,” “Stars,”), my favorite moment on their very good third LP. “Performance” ranks right up there with Romy Madley Croft most affecting compositions. Never one to spill her guts, Croft would rather pull you in and whisper in your ear, achieving the sweetest, most delicate catharsis possible.

Hot Jam of The Day: Mount Eerie, “Real Death”

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Screen Shot 2017-01-25 at 11.54.02 AMMount Eerie
“Real Death”

A Crow Looked At Me (out 03.24 on P.W. Elverum & Sun)
I don’t have much to say about Phil Elverum’s gorgeous elegy to his late wife except that it is the rare song sucked all the wind out of me. Adjectives fail to capture the depth and heft of “Real Death,” so I won’t try. I will just thank Elverum for his honesty and empathy, which reminds us that no matter how hard you try to wrap your head around real loss, you cannot. You can only decide to keep going and do your god-damndest to never lose sight of the grace and love that person brought into your life while they were still with you.

Hot Jam of the Day: Teen Daze, “First Rain” (f/ S. Carey)

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Screen Shot 2017-01-18 at 12.25.49 PMTeen Daze
“First Rain” (f/ S. Carey)
Themes For Dying Earth (out 02.10)
Though it’s been unseasonably warm in New York, we’ve had a steady stream of rain, which has been an excellent backdrop for the placid new single from Vancouver-based musician Jamison Isaak. Though neither Isaak nor Bon Iver member Sean Carey have ever been strong singers, they are unarguably adept at crafting lush, soothing instrumentals. Built around a descending keyboard melody, “First Rain” is built to soundtrack staring aimlessly out windows, finishing puzzles, laying around, and doing whatever the hell else you like doing when it rains.

Hot Jam of the Day: Sampha, “(No One Knows Me) Like The Piano”

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Sampha-Noisey-1-7Sampha
“(No One Knows Me) Like The Piano”
Process (out 02.03 on Young Turks)
The soft-spoken Londoner’s delicate piano ballad feels like the first truly great song of 2017. Over his nimble, mantric piano melody, Sampha bares his soul, expounding on the way music can allow you to be yourself beyond the constraints of your everyday life. The song conjures up the image of a young, shy kid, running his fingers across the keys, slowly growing into the instrument as he grows into himself. It might not have been a piano for you — maybe it was a basketball hoop, a tree you used to climb, or (like me) your father’s guitar — but the experience is just about universal and illustrated beautifully by Sampha here.

Hot Jam of the Day: Julie Byrne, “I Live Now As A Singer”

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4321767Julie Byrne
“I Live Now as a Singer”
Not Even Happiness (out 01.13.17)
The Buffalo native’s sophomore album is one of the albums I’m most looking forward to in this young year. Its third single, “I Live Now as a Singer,” is another perfect demonstration of the warming, gentle power of her sound and the evocative timbre of her voice. Though much of her excellent debut featured dusty, fingerpicked guitars, this track is built on lush, cinematic synth chords that actually remind me of Enya, which, frankly, couldn’t be a more exciting development.

Hot Jam of The Day: MUNA, “I Know A Place”

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muna3MUNA
“I Know A Place”

About U (02.03.17)
The fact that this emotional, heartfelt single dropped the same week as the tragic Ghost Ship fire in Oakland is the cruelest irony. This gorgeous single champions the kind of special, inclusive space that Ghost Ship purported to be — places where people can safely lose themselves under neon lights and loud music. As a Bay Area native who has spent many nights in such places, it breaks my heart to know that more than 30 people lost their lives, simply looking for that feeling. Though anthemic at its core, “I Know a Place” feels elegiac to me now — both as tribute to those we lost that night and to the people who are fighting provide safe, enriching spaces that are driven by love and respect, not profit.

Hot Jam of the Day: Julien Baker, “Decorated Lawns”

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screen-shot-2016-12-01-at-11-55-03-amJulien Baker
“Decorated Lawns”

Jingle Yay! (out now on Punk Talks)
When you are in your late teens and early twenties, coming home for the holidays is always strange. You find yourself in cars, on porches, and at bars with people you used to make out with, sleep with, or even love. Of course, these people are mostly just mini-diversions from your actual life, exciting glimpses of what could be but almost definitely won’t be. The 21 year-old bottles up those confusing feelings beautifully on this strummed confessional. Baker returns to her native Memphis and struggles to reconnect with her surroundings before running into someone from her past. There’s no hint to whether it will last or be substantive, but that’s really not the point.