Images & Words: Real Lies, "The Checks"


Real Lies "The Checks" Digital Single Longtime TP favorite and the trio behind my favorite song of 2014, London's Real Lies are back with their first new music in a couple years. Few artists are as good at capturing the mood of being young and on your own in a big city like Read more

Father John Misty, "Just Dumb Enough to Try"


Father John Misty "Just Dumb Enough To Try" God's Favorite Customer (out 06.01 on Sub Pop) Though his last LP "Pure Comedy" had its moments, it was an overwritten project that was weighed down by grand, mostly superficial proclamations about the frivolity of modern life. His usually sharp pen often landed with Read more

Images & Words: Yxng Bane, "Vroom"


Yxng Bane "Vroom" Digital Single When I first wrote about the East Londoner back in July 2016, he didn't even have CDQ versions of his tracks on SoundCloud. In less than two years, Bane's career has grown like wildfire with multiple videos doing crazy numbers. The hot streak looks set to continue with Read more

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


To be totally honest, I'm not sure it's been a vintage first quarter for music, as I had fewer albums that I wanted to write about than usual. That said, there are some truly excellent albums on this list, and there's a lot to look forward coming up soon. Kacey Read more

Kacey Musgraves, "Golden Hour"


Kacey Musgraves "Golden Hour" Golden Hour (out now on UMG) At this point, you probably already know that the 29 year-old Texan’s new album is something special. The disc is a stunning collection of impeccably sung and written modern country tunes, all of which deserve your time. However, I wanted to Read more

Hot Jam of the Day

Hot Jam of the Day: Kareem Lotfy, “Fr3sh”

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Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 5.58.43 PMKareem Lotfy
“Fr3sh”
mono no aware (out now on PAN)
I don’t know much about the man behind the first track from the new PAN Records compilation. But “Fr3sh” is a gorgeous, delicate piece of ambient music, that matches deep synths with a swelling string arrangement. Lotfy is a graphic designer and artist from Cairo who has a handful of affecting, experimental tracks on his SoundCloud that should appeal to anybody who is feeling this single.

Hot Jam of the Day: Charli XCX, “Drugs” (f/ Abra)

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Screen Shot 2017-03-21 at 2.27.59 PMCharli XCX
“Drugs” (f/ Abra)
Number 1 Angel
The trouble with shapeshifters is that as soon as you find a form that appeals to you, they’ve already moved on. That’s been my experience with the hard-to-pin down Brit, who has dabbled in more trends than H&M. So while I was ready roll my eyes at her new ‘mixtape’ (lol), I was immediately grabbed by this track’s intoxicating, slow-mo baseline and its undeniable hooks. Sure, the second verse completely jacks the melody from Dream’s classic, “He Loves You Not,” and it has a grating, totally unnecessary drop tacked on at the end. But it’s also a mean, strong pop record that will get stuck in your brain. It’s a good look for Charli, but she’s unlikely to wear it for long.

Hot Jam of the Day: Julien Baker, “Distant Solar Systems”

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Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 6.55.00 PMJulien Baker
“Distant Solar Systems”
Funeral Pyre / Distant Solar Systems (out now on Matador)
The Tennessee songwriter returns with another haunting lament. Her vocals hang like stars over reverb-soaked open strings, as she considers the insignificance of her life. It may be a very middle school topic, but it’s executed with real mastery. And if you aren’t careful, it will leave you staring up at the sky (or the ceiling) right along with her.

Hot Jam of the Day: Mabel, “Finders Keepers” (f/ Kojo Funds)

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Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 7.49.52 PMMabel
“Finders Keepers” (f/ Kojo Funds)
Bedroom EP (out 05.26 on Polydor)
Valentine’s Day was last month, but two English rising stars want to keep the love flowing on this gooey, sweet duet. I’m getting serious early Jessie Ware vibes from the London vocalist, and her cohort Kojo comes through with a characteristically slick verse of his own. “Finders Keepers” is a solid follow-up to Mabel’s buzzy, seductive 2016 single, “Thinking of You,” and should do nothing to slow her rapidly accelerating career trajectory.

Hot Jam of the Day: MoStack, “Let it Ring”

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mostack-1MoStack
“Let it Ring”
Digital Single
The North Londoner’s glorious and airy banger has been on heavy rotation for me all month. And while you might be sick of the Island vibes meet trap drums combo, “Let it Ring” is more magnetic than just about anything else of its type. MoStack is an spark plug of charisma and swagger, slaloming between the beat and driving it forward like a seasoned vet. While it’s blowing up in the UK, it is still just crackling stateside. If we’re lucky, that fire will keep building and will be blazing by this summer.

Hot Jam of the Day: Njomza, “Sad For You”

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Screen Shot 2017-03-10 at 2.56.15 PMNjomza
“Sad For You”

Sad For You (out 04/07 on Remember)
The Chicago vocalist has been threatening to break out for the last couple of years, and we might be finally getting a taste of the record that does it. On the seductive “Sad For You,” Njomza picks through the bones of a relationship that has lost its spark, admitting that she must move on, no matter how difficult it will be for the one she leaves behind.

Hot Jam of the Day: Joan Shelley, “Wild Indifference”

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Screen Shot 2017-03-08 at 11.48.29 AMJoan Shelley
“Wild Indifference”

Joan Shelley (out 05.05 on No Quarter)
Though the Louisville native is perhaps best known for having one of the most beautiful voices in folk, the lead single from her fifth LP highlights her impressive writing chops as well. Over a tasteful, gentle guitars, Shelley opens up about the frustration of dealing with a particularly self-centered person. However, instead of lashing out, she offers empathy, seeing through the facade and centering on the loneliness and sorrow that such behavior often tries to hide. And though she offers her thoughts, she stops there. Admitting that she’s grown tired of chasing lost causes.

Hot Jam of the Day: Demen, “Niorum”

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Screen Shot 2017-03-06 at 4.52.13 PMDemen
“Niorum”
Nektyr (out 05.19 on Kranky)
The new single from Swedish songwriter Irma Orm is a perfect soundtrack to your impending weekend… if your weekend plans involve cemetery lurking, dropping by an exorcism, or some light grave robbing. This creepy, atmospheric single features traces of shoegaze, goth, ambient, and devotional music. Though personal details about Orm remain scarce, her ghostly, breathtaking sound says more than enough about the artist.

Hot Jam of the Day: J Hus, “Did You See”

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JHusJ Hus
“Did You See”
Digital Single
The ascendent Londoner arrives with some more melodic mastery. “Did You See” is a low-key affair that pairs airy, island percussion with Hus’ trademark charismatic, winding delivery. Though it doesn’t feature one of his biggest hooks, the chorus is incredibly catchy, leaving Hus’ vehicle of choice replaying in your head all day. 2017 is starting to feel like his year, and hopefully this will only be the tip of the iceberg.

Hot Jam of the Day: Jean-Michel Blais & CFCF, “In a Landscape” (Rework)

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Screen Shot 2017-02-24 at 4.23.33 PMJean-Michel Blais & CFCF
“In a Landscape” (Rework) 
Cascades (out 03.15 on Arts & Crafts)
The weather is beautiful today in New York, but it’s still February. And when that wind chill returns, you’ll want to curl up in the gorgeous, ruminative piano playing of Jean-Michel Blais and CFCF. Both artists hail from Montreal and are known for crafting reflective, careful instrumental music. “In a Landscape” — the second single from their forthcoming EP — is a characteristically well-constructed, stirring version of  a John Cage composition that builds beautifully to a string-laced crescendo.