Images & Words: Jamie Isaac, "Doing Better"


Jamie Isaac "Doing Better" Digital Single After a year or so away, the low-key Croydon singer-songwriter returns with the first song from his forthcoming sophomore LP. "Doing Better" is another tasty slab of the bleary-eyed, late-night soul that made his debut, "Couch Baby," my 14th favorite album of 2016. Isaac is blessed Read more

Images & Words: Mabel x Not3s, "Fine Line"


Mabel x Not3s "Fine Line" Digital Single Mabel and Not3s both appeared on my "Best Songs of 2017" list as solo artists, so it's not surprising that their second single together is an absolute heater. "Fine Line" has more crossover potential than anything either artist has released before, bringing an anthemic, radio-ready chorus to go with their signature, lithe, Read more

Images & Words: 03 Greedo, "Never Bend"


O3 Greedo "Never Bend" Money Changes Everything (out now on Golden Grenade Empire) Not gonna lie, I slept on 03 Greedo last year, but I'm not going to make the same mistake twice. The Watts rapper is one of the most unique, exciting new voices rising today, pairing soulful crooning and sticky bars for a Read more

Best of '17: The Best Songs of 2017


So that's it. 6 years of ThunderPenguin are in the books. As always, here's a round-up of my favorite songs of the year. This was one of the toughest lists I've ever made, and I hope something on this list brings you the light it brought me. Thanks so Read more

Hot Jam of the Day: T-Pain, "Textin' My Ex" (f/ Tiffany Evans)


T-Pain “Textin’ My Ex” (f/ Tiffany Evans) Oblivion Tomorrow, T-Pain drops his long-awaited fifth LP, the culmination of the most trying era of the R&B innovator’s career. Through no real fault of his own, Pain (né Faheem Najm) went from the jolly ringmaster of a multi-million dollar radio empire to a Read more

Hot Jam of the Day

Hot Jam of the Day: Sampha, “(No One Knows Me) Like The Piano”

Posted on by TP1.COM in Featured, Hot Jam of the Day | Comments Off on Hot Jam of the Day: Sampha, “(No One Knows Me) Like The Piano”

Sampha-Noisey-1-7Sampha
“(No One Knows Me) Like The Piano”
Process (out 02.03 on Young Turks)
The soft-spoken Londoner’s delicate piano ballad feels like the first truly great song of 2017. Over his nimble, mantric piano melody, Sampha bares his soul, expounding on the way music can allow you to be yourself beyond the constraints of your everyday life. The song conjures up the image of a young, shy kid, running his fingers across the keys, slowly growing into the instrument as he grows into himself. It might not have been a piano for you — maybe it was a basketball hoop, a tree you used to climb, or (like me) your father’s guitar — but the experience is just about universal and illustrated beautifully by Sampha here.

Hot Jam of the Day: Julie Byrne, “I Live Now As A Singer”

Posted on by TP1.COM in Hot Jam of the Day | Comments Off on Hot Jam of the Day: Julie Byrne, “I Live Now As A Singer”

4321767Julie Byrne
“I Live Now as a Singer”
Not Even Happiness (out 01.13.17)
The Buffalo native’s sophomore album is one of the albums I’m most looking forward to in this young year. Its third single, “I Live Now as a Singer,” is another perfect demonstration of the warming, gentle power of her sound and the evocative timbre of her voice. Though much of her excellent debut featured dusty, fingerpicked guitars, this track is built on lush, cinematic synth chords that actually remind me of Enya, which, frankly, couldn’t be a more exciting development.

Hot Jam of The Day: MUNA, “I Know A Place”

Posted on by TP1.COM in Featured, Hot Jam of the Day | Comments Off on Hot Jam of The Day: MUNA, “I Know A Place”

muna3MUNA
“I Know A Place”

About U (02.03.17)
The fact that this emotional, heartfelt single dropped the same week as the tragic Ghost Ship fire in Oakland is the cruelest irony. This gorgeous single champions the kind of special, inclusive space that Ghost Ship purported to be — places where people can safely lose themselves under neon lights and loud music. As a Bay Area native who has spent many nights in such places, it breaks my heart to know that more than 30 people lost their lives, simply looking for that feeling. Though anthemic at its core, “I Know a Place” feels elegiac to me now — both as tribute to those we lost that night and to the people who are fighting provide safe, enriching spaces that are driven by love and respect, not profit.

Hot Jam of the Day: Julien Baker, “Decorated Lawns”

Posted on by TP1.COM in Hot Jam of the Day | Comments Off on Hot Jam of the Day: Julien Baker, “Decorated Lawns”

screen-shot-2016-12-01-at-11-55-03-amJulien Baker
“Decorated Lawns”

Jingle Yay! (out now on Punk Talks)
When you are in your late teens and early twenties, coming home for the holidays is always strange. You find yourself in cars, on porches, and at bars with people you used to make out with, sleep with, or even love. Of course, these people are mostly just mini-diversions from your actual life, exciting glimpses of what could be but almost definitely won’t be. The 21 year-old bottles up those confusing feelings beautifully on this strummed confessional. Baker returns to her native Memphis and struggles to reconnect with her surroundings before running into someone from her past. There’s no hint to whether it will last or be substantive, but that’s really not the point.

Hot Jams of the Day: Burial, “Young Death” / “Nightmarket”

Posted on by TP1.COM in Featured, Hot Jam of the Day | Comments Off on Hot Jams of the Day: Burial, “Young Death” / “Nightmarket”

screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-2-34-09-pmBurial
“Young Death” / “Nightmarket”
Young Death / Nightmarket (out now on Hyperdub)
Just in time for the holidays, the legendary South London producer (né William Bevan) returns with two tracks that help make 2016 suck just that little bit less. The emotional former jives nicely with his incredible 2014 EP, Rival Dealer, matching a hopeful, comforting vocal sample with spare keyboards and percussion. The latter is built around a snake-like keyboard riff that slowly builds to an overwhelming, yet gorgeous crescendo. Both cuts are reminders of what a special talent Bevan is and the unique sonic space that he inhabits.

Images & Words: Cloud Boat, “Man of War”

Posted on by TP1.COM in Hot Jam of the Day | Comments Off on Images & Words: Cloud Boat, “Man of War”

mi0003743318Cloud Boat
“Man Of War”

Man of War EP (out now on Born Electric)
Last month, the low-key London duo with the horrible name quietly released a quality 4-song EP. And today, we got some dystopian new visuals to go with its title track. “Man of War” matches Tom Clarke’s perma-warm vocals with undulating synth waves and a surprisingly aggressive backbeat, which sets a restless, frustrated vibe throughout. The whole disc is one of the fourth quarter’s nicest surprises.

Hot Jam of the Day: Julie Byrne, “Natural Blue”

Posted on by TP1.COM in Hot Jam of the Day | Comments Off on Hot Jam of the Day: Julie Byrne, “Natural Blue”

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-6-03-35-pmJulie Bryne
“Natural Blue”

Not Even Happiness (out 01.27.17 on Grapefruit)
The Brooklyn folk-singer’s first single since her mega-underrated 2014 release, Rooms Without Walls and Windows, is an absolute stunner. Byrne expertly frames her plaintive, evocative voice with her trademark, fingerpicked guitar and a sweeping, expansive string arrangement. “Natural Blue” has a transportive, almost hymnal quality to it, distilling the magical Colorado sky that inspired it into four beautiful, therapeutic minutes of music.

Hot Jam of the Day: The xx, “On Hold”

Posted on by TP1.COM in Featured, Hot Jam of the Day | Comments Off on Hot Jam of the Day: The xx, “On Hold”

The xx
“On Hold”
I See You (out 01.13.17 on Young Turks)
The world is in desperate need of healing. While the kind of healing it needs obviously can’t be mended by a relaxing new album, we’re also really not in a place to turn one down. Late last week, the soothing London trio announced their third LP, led by this spellbinding new single that matches their signature down-tempo lullabies with tasty drum programming and a tongue-twisting Hall and Oates sample. I was one of the few who loved their 2012 sophomore LP, Coexist, and took a hard pass on Jamie xx’s sterile, lifeless In Colour. And thankfully, “On Hold” feels much more in tune with the former rather than the (bizarrely) critically-acclaimed latter. At least that’s one thing we can look forward to in 2017….

Hot Jam of the Day: Metro Boomin, “Forever Young”

Posted on by TP1.COM in Hot Jam of the Day | Comments Off on Hot Jam of the Day: Metro Boomin, “Forever Young”

screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-4-36-44-pmMetro Boomin
“Forever Young”
Digital Single
The Atlanta super-producer comes through with a reflective, instrumental number for Adult Swim. While “Forever Young” would have paired well with an artist like Future, 21 Savage, or Young Thug, it’s nice to hear STL native’s deft keys and inch-perfect percussion naked and unadorned. He’s always been a master of musical geometry, crafting tracks that have the right balance between melody and negative space with each instrument in perfect conjunction with the others. And you can really hear that on this track.

Hot Jam of The Day: Kojo Funds x Abra Cadabra, “Dun Talkin”

Posted on by TP1.COM in Hot Jam of the Day | Comments Off on Hot Jam of The Day: Kojo Funds x Abra Cadabra, “Dun Talkin”

screen-shot-2016-10-31-at-5-09-11-pmKojo Funds x Abra Cadabra
“Dun Talkin”

Digital Single
Two of the UK’s biggest young talents link up on this monstrous new single. “Dun Talkin” works so well because both artists’ booming voices tiptoe the line between melody and malevolence, resulting in a track that is alluring and intimidating. Abra effortlessly switches between a gruff rasp and an R&B tenor, while Kojo’s earworm hook and easy verse ties the whole thing together. It’s definitely one of the biggest collabs in a year full of great ones.