The Round-Up: The Best Songs of 2019 (1st Quarter)


Even though we're a solid week into the second quarter, better late than never right? Here's a quick round-up of some of my favorite songs of the last three months. To keep numbers manageable, I didn't include anything from any of my favorite albums list and prioritized songs I Read more

The Round-Up: The Best Albums of 2019 (First Quarter)


Gah, I can't believe we're already 25% through 2019. That said, Spring is in the air, and we've enjoyed an excellent, diverse crop of music during these first three months. Have a look at some of my favorite LPs of the year so far in no particular order. Dawn Richard
 “New Read more

Chief Keef, "Ain't Gonna Happen"


Chief Keef "Ain't Gonna Happen" GloToven (Glo Gang / RBC) The Chicago stalwart's new project with the legendary Zaytoven is unsurprisingly full of weird and wacky sounds, moving in innumerable unexpected and exciting ways. Its most powerful moment is its starkest, as a heartbroken Keef floats freely over Zay's gorgeous piano. "Face dried Read more

Tierra Whack, "Only Child"


Tierra Whack "Only Child" Digital Single Tierra Whack's 2018 debut "Whack World" was one of the most promising debut albums I've heard in a very long time. However, I found it super hard to write about (and ultimately, fall in love with), because of her decision to chop all the tracks off Read more

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

Hot Jam of the Day

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.

070 Shake, “Accusations”

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070 Shake
“Accusations”

Digital Single (G.O.O.D. Music)
Kanye’s G.O.O.D. Music has been around for almost 15 years and has produced exactly one bona-fide star: Travis Scott. Aside from him, you’ve got perpetual nearly man Big Sean, professional mumbler Kid Cudi, and Teyana Taylor whose biggest musical moment involved dancing in a someone else’s music video. Not great, Kanye. Not great.

For that reason, I’ve been a little slow on the 070 Shake bandwagon. Sure, her performances on Kanye’s turgid new album were just about the only bright spots, but we’ve seen plenty of newcomers steal a track on a Kanye project then never get anywhere near that again (hi, Desiigner?). However, this moody, starry-eyed new single is starting to convince me to get on board. Something about her voice and delivery is convincing in a way that someone like Post Malone could never be, but her sing-song delivery scratches many of the same angsty itches that has made Post such a star. And that’s good news for G.O.O.D. Music.

Future, “Hate the Real Me”

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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 triumphant, lush keys from the masterful Zaytoven.

It’s hard to imagine another A-list artist speaking this honestly about his own pain and addiction (especially, while making it sound so damn beautiful), but Future is a one-off. And though it hurts to hear him detail the depths of his anguish, it’s also exciting to hear him get back to his musical best. That dichotomy has been central to the Future experience and is precisely why his music has connected so viscerally with so many people.

Troye Sivan, “Dance To This” (f/ Ariana Grande)

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Troye Sivan
“Dance To This” (f/ Ariana Grande)

Bloom (out 08.31 on EMI Australia)
The candlelit, whispered two-step of “Dance To This” might seem a surprisingly low-key choice for two artists with such big voices. But Troye and Ariana’s obvious chemistry and subtle vocal inflections (especially in the gorgeous verses) make this track a winner, even though it likely won’t turn into a smash. It’s the rare modern collab where it feels like both artists are in the same room (though they likely weren’t), and that palpable intimacy provides the little bit of electricity that every good duet requires.

Future: “What’s Up With That” (f/ 21 Savage)

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Future
“What’s Up With That” (f/ 21 Savage)

SUPERFLY Soundtrack (out now on Epic)
Apologies for the weeks without a post, but I went on a long Euro vacation and got engaged. Now that I’m officially an honest man, I can’t think of a better first post than the most romantic man on the planet, Mr. Future Vandross.

Though he’s been a little bit quiet — in fact, this is the first time the Hot 100 hasn’t had a Future song in it since April 2015 — Nayvadius has hinted that he readying another double-barreled assault on the charts. His Superfly Soundtrack feels more like an appetizer than a proper entrée, but it’s got some fantastic moments, namely this heartfelt, mid-tempo collab with 21 Savage. Future SZN approaching.