Images & Words: SOPHIE, "It's Okay To Cry"


SOPHIE "It's Okay to Cry" Digital Single Every once in a while, somebody puts out something that takes your breath away. "It's Okay to Cry" is absolutely one of those moments. After spending her early career lurking behind faceless, chaotic, schizophrenic experimental dance music, the 32 year-old has stepped into the light and up to the microphone. The result is Read more

Hot Jam of the Day: King Krule, "Logos"


King Krule "Logos" The OOZ (out now on XL) Archy Marshall's excellent new album feels like a collection of those wonky dream states that exist somewhere in that nether region between being wake and sleep. Though I'm still digesting all 19 of its songs, the hypnotic, jazzy "Logos" immediately stuck out. Over languid jazz chords Read more

Hot Jam of the Day: The World is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die, "For Robin"


The World is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die "For Robin" Always Foreign (Epitaph) There are many, many awful things about addiction, but little is as insidious as the way it pushes its victims away from loved ones from their previous life and deeper into their illness. Anybody who has lost someone to Read more

Images & Words: Stormzy, "4PM in London"


Stormzy "4PM in London" Digital Single Turning freestyles into anthems is nothing new to the ultra-talented Londoner. And though the ravenous "4PM in London" was probably written, it feels alive in the same way that many of those aforementioned tracks did. Unlike Drake (the man who originally rapped on this beat), Stormzy's got the rare ability to Read more

The Round-Up: The Best Albums of The Third Quarter


As you may have noticed, I've done my annual "fall behind on a monthly column" thing over the last couple months. That said, that just gives me more ammo for a proper Q3 round up, featuring the best records of that period in alphabetical order. 21 Savage Issa Album Slaughter Read more

Hot Jam of the Day

Hot Jam of the Day (04.19.12): Jessie Ware, “110%”

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Jessie Ware
“100%”

This alluring, soulful South London native wriggled her way into my earbuds early last year via her collaboration with SBTRKT mouthpiece Sampha, the devastating “Valentine’s Day.” Though she hasn’t yet achieved the stateside notoriety that Sampha has, it became clear that she wasn’t a one-off when she released the impossibly sexy, simmering “Running,” a few months ago. Excellent as they both were, neither can touch this track. Ware’s effortlessly sexy, (dare I say?) Aaliyah-ish delivery is a perfect match for the beat’s spacey synths, busy hi hats, and screwed vocal sample. Ware has all the tools to be a big, huge, gigantic star, and if this and “Running” are anything to go by, her debut LP is going to be one to remember.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/42986441″ iframe=”true” /]

Also check out “Running”

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/36508318″ iframe=”true” /]

Hot Jam of the Day (04.17.12): Beach House, “Lazuli”

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Beach House
“Lazuli”
Bloom (Sub Pop)

I’ve been trying to hold off on listening to this album before its release date, but each new song is making that harder and harder to do. As impossible as topping their perfect-in-every-way 2010 LP Teen Dream seemed two months ago, judging by its two pre-release singles — this and the stunning “Myth” — it now seems impossible that Bloom is going to be anything other than an absolute classic. The thing that has stood out most about the two tracks is Victoria Legrand’s progression as a vocalist. She was always a dreamy powerhouse, but she has just continued to get better and better and now has to be considered one of the most important of modern music. I’m already looking forward to talking myself into paying some rando from Craigslist $75 for a ticket to their inevitably sold-out summer 2012 tour.

 

And just cause it’s great, here the incredible first single from Bloom, “Myth.”
[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/39109061″ iframe=”true” /]

Hot Jam of the Day (04.16.12): Disclosure, “Boiling” (f/ Sinead Harnett)

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Disclosure
“Boiling” (f/ Sinead Harnett)
The Face EP (Greco-Roman)

After a run of successful singles, the fraternal post-dubstep duo of Guy and Howard Lawrence has finally prepared a full meal for us to sink our teeth into. The South London duo’s debut EP drops on June 4th on the label of burgeoning Berlin/London forward-thinking dance collective Greco-Roman. It’s led by this airy, surprisingly vocal-rich single that sounds a little bit like Burial remixing a particularly moody Araabmuzik track on a heavy dose of demerol. Like their influences (the aforementioned Burial, Mount Kimbie, early James Blake), the brothers have an impressive sense of sonic space and geometry, resulting in the kind of sparsly engulfing tracks that have allowed the uniquely British sound to resonate in car stereos and dancefloors around the world. Easily one of my most anticipated debuts of the year.

[soundcloud url=”http://soundcloud.com/disclosuremusic/boiling-feat-sinead-harnett”]

Hot Jam of the Day (04.13.12): Black Vanilla, “Woman on Woman”

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Black Vanilla
“Woman on Woman”
Unreleased

Here’s what we know about Black Vanilla.

1. It’s more than one guy, and one of those guys is definitely the guy behind shadowy, R&B outfit Guerre.

2. This Black Vanilla is not this Black Vanilla.

3. They are from somewhere in Australia.

4. They released one of the sexiest weirdo R&B singles of recent times.

That is all that is known about Black Vanilla.

Woman on Woman

Hot Jam of the Day (04.12.12): Sean Blackthorn, “[One] Night”

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Sean Blackthorn
“[One] Night”

The man behind one of my favorite tracks of 2012 — the sparse, emotive “The Spirits” — is back with yet another sparse, stunning slow jam. When (not if) he blows up, he’ll inevitably be lumped in with progressive, bedroom R&B troubadours like the Weeknd, Frank Ocean, and to a lesser extent, How To Dress Well. While this is excellent company to be in, in Blackthorn’s limited work so far he has brought his own distinctive sound to the genre. It’s unclear what instruments he is playing (if any), but his work has a very live feel to it, while acts like the Weeknd and Frank Ocean feel very much like studio creations. Think of him as a sort of Maxwell to the Weeknd’s R. Kelly (stylistically, not sonically). Either way, “[One] Night” is another extremely powerful, soulful track from this young Canadian who looks set to have an incredible future ahead of him. I can’t wait to see where it goes.

Hot Jam of the Day (04.11.12): Yuck, “Chew”

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Yuck
“Chew”
Single (Fat Possum)

The 75% British, 25% American quartet’s self-titled debut was one of the best of last year. Though the group wore (and still wears) its influences — Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., Smashing Pumpkins — prominently on the tattered sleeve of its cardigan, the group burrowed out their own sound, thanks mostly to their excellent songwriting. The disc is chock-full of mature, fuzzy guitar pop with undeniable hooks. Songwriters Daniel Blumberg and Max Bloom aimed for my fifth grade heart and scored a direct hit. “Chew” is a slightly noisier take on more of the same, and anybody who loves 90’s alt rock should really sit up and take notice.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/42838337″ iframe=”true” /]

Hot Jam of the Day (04.10.12): Lost in the Trees, “Golden Eyelids”

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Lost in the Trees
“Golden Eyelids”
A Church That Fits Our Needs (-ANTI, 2012)

Sometimes an album comes around that is just really fucking beautiful. It may not be particularly original or speak to you on a deeper level, but it is just really aesthetically pleasing. The sophomore LP from North Carolina’s foremost freak folk collective, Lost in the Trees, is just this sort of album. Blending backwoods-style nylon stringed guitars, lush strings, jangly percussion, and soaring vocal harmonies, Lost in the Trees would be the perfect sunny house band should Sufjan Stevens ever decide to start his own hippy commune (potential name: The Joy Ecstatic).

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/37504596″ iframe=”true” /]

Watch the Video after the Jump.

Read more

Hot Jam of the Day (04.09.12): Waka Flocka Flame, “I Don’t Really Care” (f/ Trey Songz)

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Waka Flocka Flame
“I Don’t Really Care”
Triple F Life: Friends, Fans, And Family

Waka Flocka Flame is the Tyson Chandler of hip-hop. Though both have recently attained superstar status, neither have changed their game at all and are more than happy to put on their hard hats and bang bodies down low. Even when he’s greeted with a radio-friendly club track like this (or 2010’s immortal “No Hands”), the young ATLien just can’t stop himself from going hard in the paint. That’s what makes this collaboration with Trey Songz — the NBA’s Ray Allen (all finesse, great teammate/set-up man, not quite good enough to win a title on his own) — so fulfilling. Waka’s lunchpail flow is a perfect foil to Songz’s sweet stroke, giving the crooner plenty of space to get his shine while holding it all together with two of his trademark, HAM verses. The result is a track that is smooth enough for the radio and hard enough for his core fans.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/39156813″ iframe=”true” /]

Hot Jam of The Day (04.06.12): A$AP Rocky (f/ H-Town All-Stars), “Purple Swag” (Remix)

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A$AP Rocky (f/ Paul Wall, Bun B, Killa Kyleon)
“Purple Swag” (H-Town All-Stars Remix)
Live Love Purple

To deride Harlem’s rising star A$AP Rocky for leaning too much on a sound that isn’t his own would be missing the point completely. Harlem may be more than 2,000 miles away from Houston’s syrup-soaked south side, but in the internet age, it really doesn’t matter. If the world’s leading Chillwave scholar can reside in one of the most decidedly un-chill locales on the planet, A$AP can be inspired by whomever he wants. And while Rocky relies heavily on his influences, he is always quick to big up his inspirations. He shows love to three of his biggest inspirations by getting out of the way entirely, letting three of Clutch City’s most diverse voices get their shine on. You can’t be mad at that.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/40838550″ iframe=”true” /]

And just for the hell of it, here’s one of my favorite ever H-Town (by way of Port Arthur) tracks.

Hot Jam of the Day (04.06.12): Kanye West, “Theraflu”

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Kanye West
“Theraflu”
Unreleased

Most of what’s been written about Kanye’s scathing pre-G.O.O.D. Friday single centers around a throwaway line about a B-List reality star. However, those only interested in Kimye’s potential future are forgetting the most important thing: this cut is all about the past. On “Theraflu,” the Chicago MC is back to his rampant, ferocious pre-808’s best, spitting line after line of his patented “sophisticated ignorance.” As a rule, an angry Kanye is a good Kanye, and while he is capable of crafting some of the most fascinating conceptual work on the planet, nobody can deliver a fuck you track quite like him.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/42276409″ iframe=”true” /]

And because it’ll probably get taken down in the next 18 minutes, here’s another example of new Kanye channeling old Kanye: 2011’s in-fucking-credible “Mama’s Boyfriend.”