Arthur Russell, "You Did It Yourself"


Arthur Russell"You Did It Yourself"Iowa Dream (out 11.15 on Audika)There's something very fitting about a new project of recordings by the late, great Arthur Russell dropping 6 weeks before the end of the decade. In many ways, the multi-instrumentalist's sound feels at home along the wildly experimental, genre-fluid music Read more

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

Hot Jam of the Day

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.

Playboy Carti, “Shoota” (f/ Lil Uzi Vert)

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Playboy Carti
“Shoota” (f/ Lil Uzi Vert)
Die Lit (out now on AWGE)
Though he doesn’t get the credit he deserves, few producers shaped the sound of rap in 2018 more than Philly native, Maaly Raw. The man behind much of Lil Uzi Vert’s sticky sweet early work comes through with an absolute gem here. Bursting with youthful energy (think: Kirby’s Dream World), the unique beat is the ideal canvas for Uzi and Carti to smear playful, sing-song bars on top of. If this isn’t one of the songs of the summer, I’d be shocked.

Snail Mail, “Let’s Find An Out”

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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 with beds of fingerpicked electric guitar. She captures the freedom and trepidation of making the decision to start over with grace, humanity, and wisdom that belies her 18 years. Magic.