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

The Round-Up: The Best Albums from April '18


Grouper “Grid of Points” Yellow Electric Though only 21 minutes, the haunting beauty of Liz Harris' eleventh studio LP will linger for many years to come. Penned and recorded in just 10 days, "Grid of Points" feels like a moment suspended in time — a distant memory that you just can't Read more

Images & Words: Oneohtrix Point Never, "Black Snow"


Oneohtrix Point Never "Black Snow" (f/ Anohni) Age of (out 06.01 on Warp) Though the Massachusetts native is probably best know for his otherworldly, chaotic experimental electro, some of his best tracks are his quietist. Whether it's his recent stunner with Iggy Pop or the beautiful Anohni-lead "Returnal," OPN (né Daniel Lopatin) Read more

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

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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.

Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 3.48.01 PM21 Savage
Issa Album
Slaughter Gang
What: The heartfelt, personal debut solo studio LP from the sharp-tongued MC
Where: Atlanta, GA
In a Tweet: Issa adds more deft, subtle melody to his singular, nihilistic, uncompromising sound. 21 is ready for prime-time. On God.
Start Here: “Nothin New” “Famous” “Bank Account”

Screen Shot 2017-09-01 at 11.55.47 AMBruno Major
A Song For Every Moon
July Records
What: The velvet-voiced, cheeseball crooner’s debut LP, built off one year of monthly singles
Where: London, UK
In a Tweet: Journey deep into the heart of a modern softboi. He matches R&B and adult contempo influences with a jazzy heart.
Start Here: “Cold Blood” “Second Time” “On Our Own”

Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 3.49.41 PMDJ Python
Dulce Compañia
Incienso
What: Brian Piñeyro’s first LP under this moniker. You might know him as DJ Wey, Luis, or Deejay Xanax.
Where: Queens, NY
In a Tweet:
The kind of gentle, deep house that’s easy to get lost in with just enough touches of reggaeton and dembow to maybe dance to. So well balanced.
Start Here: “You Ran (Do)” “Todo Era Azul – Siempre Dub” “Acostados”

Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 3.50.46 PMJapanese Breakfast
Soft Sounds From Another Planet
Dead Oceans
What: Michelle Zauner’s follow-up to her gorgeous, dream-pop debut, “Psychopomp” (2016)
Where: Brooklyn, NY
In a Tweet: MZ drags her dreamy sound even deeper into space. Slinky pop jams collide with heart-crushing ballads. A writer with rare honesty.
Start Here: “Machinist” “This House” “Road Head”

Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 3.52.02 PMJay Boogie
Jesus Loves Me Too
Self-Released
What: The new mixtape from Jay Boogie, his first since 2015’s “My H.O.E.”
Where: Brooklyn, NY
In A Tweet: Sonically versatile and adventurous, Boogie’s breakout LP is modern and magnetic, driven by his melodic flow and exuberant storytelling.
Start Here: “Malandrina” “Venti”(f/ Lily The Body) “Featherweight”

Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 3.52.42 PMJim-E Stack
It’s Jim-ee
Self-Released
What: The EP is the LA producer’s first project since his 2014 breakthrough, Tell Me I Belong
Where: LA via SF
In A Tweet: Driven by a break-up, it’s a taut, sharp collection of emotional dance music. Beautiful exploration of how club music can heal the heart.
Start Here: “I Did The Best I Could” “Moments Noticed” “Deadstream”

Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 3.53.36 PMKodak Black
Project Baby 2
Atlantic
What: The follow-up to his breakthrough Project Baby mixtape from late 2013
Where: Pompano Beach, FL
In A Tweet: The walls are closing in on the troubled 20 y/o, but PB2 hints that he knows that he must change if he is to fulfill his infinite potential.
Start Here: “Change My Ways” “Versatile” “Transportin'”

Screen Shot 2017-05-19 at 5.37.31 PMKommode
Analog Dance Music
Random Two Syllable Word
What: The guy from Kings of Convenience who isn’t Erlend Øye’s long-awaited side project
Where: Bergen, Norway
In A Tweet: Romantic, luxurious dance(ish) music with the voice of a Scandinavian man-angel. Beautiful, sharp, languid, and disastrously underrated.
Start Here: “Not The Bigger Picture” “Fight or Flight or Dance All Night” “Lady-Logic”

Screen Shot 2017-08-09 at 6.05.33 PMLil Durk x Lil Reese
Supa Vultures – EP
OTF/EMPIRE
What: A collaborative project featuring two of the key members of Chicago’s mid-10’s drill scene
Where: Chicago, IL / Atlanta, GA
In a Tweet: Two of drill’s core innovators link up for an EP that’s much more than a nostalgic exercise. Both sound fresh and compliment each other so well.
Start Here: “Distance” “Unstoppable” “Nobody Knows”

Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 3.59.16 PMLomelda
Thx
Double Double Whammy
What: The second LP from wistful singer/songwriter Hannah Read
Where: Silsbee, Texas
In A Tweet: Heartsick, imperfect guitar pop from Smalltown, USA. Captures the loneliness of outgrowing your hometown but also the fear of leaving.
Start Here: “Out There” “From Here” “Only World”

Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 3.17.31 PMMhysa
Fantasii
Halcyon Veil
What: The experimental, proper debut LP from the multi-platform artist
Where: Philadelphia, PA
In a Tweet: Arty and seductive deconstructed R&B that dips its toe in many sonic pools. That said, listeners will get more the deeper they dive in.
Start Here: “Bb” “Spectrum” “Strobe”

Moneybagg-YoMoneybagg Yo
Federal 3X
N-Less

What: The third installment of the 26 year-old’s Federal mixtape series
Where: Memphis, TN
In a Tweet: We already knew that Moneybagg has bully bars for days. But on F3X, he spices them up with extra understated hooks and melody. Tasty.
Start Here: “Important” “Blog” “Mind Frame”

la-et-ms-moses-sumney-20150729Moses Sumney
Aromanticism
Jagjaguwar
What: The critically-acclaimed debut from the genre-fluid mystical singer/songwriter
Where: San Bernardino, CA
In A Tweet: Good luck categorizing this LP. He pairs his unforgettable falsetto with indie, chamber pop, blues, soul, and about 4,000 other sounds.
Start Here: “Self-Help Tape” “Plastic” “Lonely World”

Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 1.08.21 PMThe National
Sleep Well Beast
4AD
What: The seventh studio LP from the road-weary, stately indie rock quartet
Where: Brooklyn, NY
In a Tweet: The best of the recent indie-rock old guys revival, SWB is boosted by a gorgeous, heartfelt B-side. A big upgrade from their last effort.
Start Here: “Carin at the Liquor Store” “Dark Side of the Gym” “I’ll Still Destroy You”

Screen Shot 2017-09-21 at 1.11.12 PMPhoebe Bridgers
Stranger in the Alps
Dead Oceans
What: The debut LP from the promising, young singer/songwriter
Where: Los Angeles, CA
In a Tweet: A spooky, heartbreaking collection of folk dirges that are granted levity by her gentle, gorgeous voice and tender guitarwork.
Start Here: “Smoke Signals” “Funeral” “You Missed My Heart”

Screen Shot 2017-08-01 at 10.32.40 AMTurnover
Good Nature
Run For Cover
What: The post-emo trio’s follow-up to 2015’s much beloved Peripheral Vision
Where: Virginia Beach
In a Tweet: Or, how an angsty east-coaster moved to Cali, fell in love, went vegan, got into Real Estate*, and crafted a heartfelt, optimistic guitar-pop masterclass.
Start Here: “Pure Devotion” “Breeze” “Super Natural”
*the band, not like flipping houses

Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 12.59.53 PMTyler, The Creator
Flower Boy

Columbia
What: A softer, more mature follow-up to 2015’s noisy, frustrating Cherry Bomb
Where: Los Angeles, CA
In a Tweet: Though he isn’t screaming anymore, his voice has never yielded more power. Over gooey, delicious beats, Tyler speaks his truth with stunning results.
Start Here: “See You Again” (f/ Kali Uchis) “911/Mr. Lonely” (f/ Frank Ocean, Steve Lacy) “Garden Shed” (f/ Estelle)

the-war-on-drugs-tickets_10-05-17_17_591203405f659The War on Drugs
A Deeper Understanding
Atlantic
What:
Adam Granduciel and co.’s all-conquering successor to 2014’s “Lost in a Dream”
Where: Philadelphia, PA
In a Tweet: The LP that saw the stringy-haired sadsacks take over indie-rock. Granduciel is a master of making unspecific ennui feel life-affirming.
Start Here: “In Chains” “Pain” “Clean Living”

waxahatchee_wide-75076e668c79e2e0c496c3eb67963bb1d5ed0f0b-s6-c30Waxahatchee
“Out In The Storm”

Merge
What: The fourth LP from Katie Crutchfield’s alt-rock project, mostly dealing with the end of a relationship
Where: Philadelphia, PA
In a Tweet: Their quietest and most affecting LP yet. Crutchfield picks through the bones of her relationship, writing honestly and singing forcefully.
Start Here: “Recite Remorse” “A Little More” “Sparks Fly”

Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 12.55.02 PMYoungBoy Never Broke Again
AI YoungBoy
Self-Released
What:
The 17 year-old’s first project since his breakthorough 2016 mixtape “38 Baby”
Where: Baton Rouge, LA
In a Tweet: One of the most promising young talents in music. He raps with the poise, versatility, and precision of artists twice his age. Don’t sleep.
Start Here: “Untouchable” “Left Hand Right Hand” “No Smoke”

Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 12.53.16 PMYves Tumor
Experiencing The Deposit of Faith
Self-Released
What: A new compilation from the shadowy ambient-leaning producer. His first since 2016’s exquisite “Serpent Music”
Where: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
In A Tweet:
Few create sonic worlds as engulfing as Yves. This mantric, confounding collection is his best and hardest to pin down yet.
Start Here: “Ayxita, Wake Up” “My Nose My Lips Your Head Shape” “E. Eternal”

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.

Images & Words: Phoebe Bridgers, “Funeral”

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Screen Shot 2017-09-21 at 1.11.12 PMPhoebe Bridgers
“Funeral”
Stranger in the Alps (09.22 on Dead Oceans)
Not sure a folk dirge about death is the best way to get into that #ThursdaySpirit, but Phoebe Bridgers’ crushing new single is beautiful enough for it not to matter. The 23 year-old is on the eve of dropping her long-awaited debut LP, and its third single is a beautiful representation of her emotional sledgehammer songwriting and haunting voice. I can’t wait to hear the rest of it tomorrow.

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.

Images & Words: Creek Boyz, “I’m The One”

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Screen Shot 2017-09-12 at 2.47.40 PMCreek Boyz
“I’m the One”

Digital Single
It’s still very early in their career, but the soulful, melodic Baltimore County crew feel like one of the freshest new groups out. Following up their magnetic debut single, “With My Team,” “I’m the One” is a triumphant, buoyant anthem that showcases their versatile talents as singers, rappers, and songwriters. Though their sound is hard to put your finger on, their nearest sonic analogue is probably Philly’s PNB Rock, a man who hails from about two hours north on I-95. It’s an exciting early statement for the group and for an increasingly promising regional rap scene.

Images & Words: Káryyn, “Moving Masses”

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tumblr_mxwe17lAJ61qzx2qxo1_500Káryyn
“Moving Masses”

Digital Single
One of the brightest and most vital new voices I’ve heard this year, the Syrian-American musician follows up her fabulous, two-part QUANTA series with an arresting vocal-led single. Somewhat reminiscent of Julianna Barwick’s timeless early work, “Moving Masses” is a dense mosaic of layered vocals that build to an overwhelming crescendo. The lyrics aren’t decipherable here, but her words still carry weight. And as the track unravels, it slowly beckons you further out to sea, untill there’s nothing you can do but let the waves overtake you.

Stream the beautiful QUANTA series at Spotify.

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