Images & Words: The 1975, "Give Yourself A Try"


The 1975 "Give Yourself A Try" A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships (out in October on Dirty Hit) Though it's been out for about two weeks, I've listened to the Manchester quartet's new single roughly two million times. Compositionally, it's totally unremarkable. Built around a repetitive, simplistic guitar riff and three chords, Read more

Images & Words: The Rhythm Method, "Chin Up"


The Rhythm Method "Chin Up" Digital Single Every two years*, I get afflicted with the same illness. It usually starts up a few weeks before every major international football tournament and lasts until somewhere around the quarterfinals. Who knows how long my believesthatEnglandcanwinthewholething-itis will last for this year, but I'm hoping that Read more

Images & Words: Chromatics, "Black Walls"


Chromatics "Black Walls" Dear Tommy (out PROLLY NEVER on Italians Do It Better) Goddamn it, Johnny Jewel. Just when I'd moved on from the idea that I'd ever hear "Dear Tommy," this guy drags me back in with a luscious new track and a (probably fictional) release date for Fall of 2018. "Black Read more

Snail Mail, "Let's Find An Out"


Snail Mail "Let's Find An Out" Lush (out 06.08 on Matador) Though I've somehow not written about them yet, I've been loving the Baltimore trio's pre-release singles for their hotly-anticipated debut LP. The stripped-back third single, "Let's Find An Out," is my favorite of the bunch, pairing songwriter Lindsey Jordan's plaintive vocals Read more

Rae Sremmurd: "Offshore" (f/ Young Thug)


Rae Sremmurd "Offshore" (f/ Young Thug) Swaecation Though I'm still processing the Mississippi superstars' excellent, new 27-song project, the free-flowing "Offshore" feels like an instant classic. Producer Mike Will is a genius at negotiating sonic space, and his gooey, descending synth chords leave plenty of room for Thug to play in. And Read more

Hot Jam of the Day

Hot Jam of the Day: The Saxophones, “Aloha”

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Screen Shot 2017-09-22 at 2.57.43 PMThe Saxophones
“Aloha”
Aloha 7″ (out 11.17)
As a highly wifed individual in my early 30’s, I can seriously relate to the married Oakland duo’s hushed ballad “Aloha.” Over languid fingerpicked guitars, vocalists Alexi Erenkov and Alison Alderdice coo together, “Aloha, do you even know how wild I can get?” — in a tone that is far more ‘new parent’ than ‘new Freshman’. As feeble as it sounds at first listen, there’s actually a ton of comfort and acceptance here, which underlines the subtle beauty of growing up.

Hot Jam of the Day: Dark0, “QARIN”

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Screen Shot 2017-09-21 at 4.40.39 PMDark0
“QARIN”
XENOTYPE (out 10.02 on Adult Swim)
The reliable Londoner is back with the first single off his forthcoming new EP for Adult Swim (which is evidently a full-blown record label now). “QARIN” is the kind of expansive grimewave that we’ve come to expect from him, and the results are as explosive as you’d expect. Maximalist, neon keyboards and propulsive sub-bass slowly build to form a massive crescendo that wouldn’t sound out of place soundtracking just about any futuristic, Hollywood blockbuster.

Hot Jam of the Day: Jay Boogie, “Malandrina” (Night Version)

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Screen Shot 2017-09-20 at 3.38.53 PMJay Boogie
“Malandrina” (Night Version)
Digital Single
One of the standout’s from the East New York performer’s excellent recent mixtape, “Jesus Loves Me Too,” gets a delicious, club-focused remix from its original producer Orlando. The extra production bite fits beautifully with Jay Boogie’s fierce but playful original, and its grime influences fit seamlessly with his ravenous flow. This track mirrors the tape’s experimental spirit and genre-defying sound, which deserves much more press and praise than it has received so far.

Hot Jam of the Day: Now Now, “Yours”

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Screen Shot 2017-09-20 at 12.33.19 PMNow, Now
“Yours”

Digital Single
Synth-pop is rarely known for its restraint, but the second single from the Minneapolis duo’s first album in 5+ years manages to shoot for the stars while keeping its feet firmly planted on the ground. A lot of that comes from vocalist KC Dalager, who isn’t really a CRJ-style belter. Rather, she prefers to move with an arrangement rather than bombastically wrestle it into submission. “Yours” is indicative of this approach. In most hands, this same track would have the BPM, vocals, and drums amped up, turning this into a hands-up, shout-along instead of the mid-tempo, swishy seducer that it became.

Hot Jam of the Day: Grizzle, “Sermon” (f/ ShaqyDread)

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Screen Shot 2017-09-19 at 6.08.28 PMGrizzle
“Sermon” (f/ ShaqyDread)
Consort (out 10.20 on Liminal Sounds)
The shadowy architect of one of the best songs of last year drops the first taste of his solo debut EP. Like the spellbinding, “Entreaty,” “Sermon” is monstrous, unique slab of neo-grime that aims for the body and the heart. The London/Manchester producer gets an assist from rising Tottenham MC, ShaqyDread, who matches the beat’s intensity, ducking in and out of the neon synths and staccato percussion with ease.

Hot Jam of the Day: Jesse Kivel, “Endless”

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Screen Shot 2017-09-13 at 5.26.14 PMJesse Kivel
“Endless”
Content (out 10.6 on New Feelings)
The former Kisses/Princeton frontman drops the second single from his debut solo EP. On “Endless,” the Santa Monica native amps up the adult contempo vibes, marrying lonely sax with twinkling piano. Don’t think of it as Yacht Rock; think of it as ‘Lost at Sea on a Pontoon’ Rock. Gorgeous.

Hot Jam of the Day: Bruno Major, “Cold Blood”

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Screen Shot 2017-09-01 at 11.55.47 AMBruno Major
“Cold Blood”

A Song for Every Moon (July Records)
Over the past year, the talented North Londoner dropped a new song every month, resulting in an engaging 12-song collection of jazz-influenced pop songs that recall talented (and alliterative) folks like Jamie Woon, Jamie Isaac, and James Blake. My favorite of the bunch came out in August. “Cold Blood” is a perfect example of Major’s subtle songwriting and powerful voice, as he glides over a spare arrangement that feels both classic and modern.

Hot Jam of the Day: Kodak Black, “Change My Ways”

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Screen Shot 2017-08-24 at 3.29.19 PMKodak Black
“Change My Ways”

Project Baby 2 (self-released)
Still just 20 years old, Dieuson “Kodak Black” Octave has already seen enough highs and lows to fill twenty lifetimes. His powerful, underrated new mixtape, “Project Baby 2,” features the most honest and frank introspection that we’ve ever heard from him. On “Change My Ways,” Octave sounds exhausted — beaten down by a lifetime of trying to outrun his own disastrous decisions and an unrelenting spotlight that glows brighter with each court case and social media story. Moreover, he sounds legitimately contrite, explaining the brutal environment that he came from without skirting responsibility. As crushing as it is, there’s still hope there. Now, it’s up to Octave to back up his words with actions.

Hot Jam of the Day: Julien Baker, “Appointments”

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Screen Shot 2017-08-18 at 6.50.48 PMJulien Baker
“Appointments”
Turn Out the Lights (out 10.27 on Matador)
“It’s the hope that kills you,” goes the old saying. But it can also be the thing that saves you and drives you through life’s dark stretches. It’s what the 21 year-old is reaching for on this breathtaking first single from her highly-anticipated second LP. Baker has the ultra-rare ability to distill life’s most complex and difficult moments into gorgeous, insightful songs that often tell you more about your life than hers.

“Appointments” is the next in a long line of stunning, stripped-back guitar ballads from the Memphis native. Over a lonely, reverb-drenched single-string riff, Baker tries desperately to old on to the hope that she knows she needs. Baker confesses all this to a disappointed lover, admitting that she’s reached a point where there’s nothing she can do but believe in the process, even though she is far from convinced that it will work. Unbelievably moving.

Hot Jam of the Day: Jae Stephens, “Every Time”

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Screen Shot 2017-08-17 at 1.37.01 PMJae Stephens
“Every Time”

Digital Single
After dropping one of the best singles of 2017, the LA singer returns with a low-key follow up that continues to hint at her massive potential. “Every Time” is a sweltering love letter to her hometown, from her roots in Studio City to the packed freeways that connect its residents to a wealth of possibilities. Buoyed by the pulsing, soulful production of London singer-songwriter, Burno Major, Stephens captures the excitement and anxiety of exploring an endless maze that offers a million different ways to come back home.