Images & Words: The 1975, "People"


The 1975"People"Notes on a Conditional Form (out 02.22.20 on Dirty Hit)The Used, Head Automatica/Glassjaw, Primal Scream, Marilyn Manson, Blur, The Refused. And that's only six of the roughly 600 random bands that the new 1975 track brings to mind. And somehow, just like mother-fucking always, they pull it off. Read more

Caroline Polachek, "Ocean of Tears" & "Parachute"


Caroline Polachek"Ocean of Tears" / "Parachute"Pang (out this fall on Columbia)Ok, now I'm getting really excited about the ex-Chairlift vocalist/composer's first album under her real name. Following up on her wonderful first single "Door," these two new tracks highlight Polachek's spellbinding voice and evocative, powerful songwriting. Though you can Read more

The Round-Up: The Best Albums of the 2nd Quarter


Ana Roxanne~~~Leaving RecordsThe Oakland bedroom artist’s debut project is a staggering slice of ambient music that pulls subtly from the R&B and pop vocalists that she grew up on. Her voice sounds far away but pulls you in close (think: Grouper’s “Ruin”) and is ready to tell you its Read more

The Round-Up: The Best Songs of 2019, So Far (Honorable Mention)


As promised, here is the rest of my favorite tracks of the year that didn't quite make the cut for my main list. Songs are in no particular order. Chromatics “Time Rider”bahahahahah (Italians Do It Better) “Dear Tommy” is obviously never coming out. But I did get to hear this Read more

The Round-Up: The Best Songs of 2019 (So Far)


A little bit late this year due to real-world commitments, but here is my annual list of the best songs of the first half of 2019. Look for my honorable mention coming later in the week. This year, instead of going with an actual ranking system, I'm going to Read more

Hot Jam of the Day

Jacques Greene: “Avatar Beach”

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Jacques Greene
“Avatar Beach”

Fever Focus (out 11.16 on LuckyMe)
Originally appearing near the end of his labyrinthe, 55-minute mixtape that dropped in May, “Avatar Beach” gets the official release that it undoubtedly deserves. The swirling track has more of a daytime vibe than we’re used to from Greene, but it still delivers every inch of the emotional house thunder that we’ve come to expect from the ever-reliable Canadian. Now, we need the CDQ version of “Night Service.”

Desire, “Tears From Heaven”

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Desire
“Tears From Heaven”

Digital Single
The most underrated members of the Italians Do It Better crew drop a starstruck, lovelorn new single. As is her wont, vocalist Megan Louise ratchets up the drama, channeling her inner film noir chanteuse and expressing her devotion over beds of Johnny Jewel’s signature synths. “Dear Tommy” is probably never fucking coming out, but as long as the Italians keep feeding me these delicious scraps, I’ll be OK.

Lil Uzi Vert, “New Patek”

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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 with ease.

What’s most impressive is the way that he commands your attention for all six minutes, and if anything, it feels like “New Patek” could have been even longer. Already one of the true singular stylists in music, somehow Uzi keeps revealing new abilities and stretching his creativity beyond our expectations. What a talent.

Tom Demac & Real Lies, “White Flowers”

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Tom Demac & Real Lies
“White Flowers”
White Flowers EP (out now on Kompakt)
The likely London trio link up with techno producer Tom Demac for a magical new track. Vocalist Kev Kharas’ deadpan delivery is warmed by vast layers of synth blankets and a sweltering backbeat. Though it recalls the emotional dance music of groups like Underworld, this is far from a mere exercise in nostalgia. In fact, it feels timely, urgent, and totally alive.

The 1975, “Sincerity is Scary”

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The 1975
“Sincerity is Scary”

A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships (out 11.30 on Dirty Hit)
Aka “Jazz is Jazzy,” the fourth single from Matty & the boys’ forthcoming third LP is another example of the inherent unpredictability that makes following The 1975 so exciting. At its heart, the song is a simple down-tempo ballad about breaking up in 2018, But they inject this wobbly, off-beat drum part, which sounds woefully out of place at first but slowly grows into the most essential part of the track on repeat listens. Consummate shape-shifters, their ability to do so many different things so well sets them apart from any other band making music today.

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.