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

Images & Words: SOPHIE, "It's Okay To Cry"


SOPHIE "It's Okay to Cry" Digital Single Every once in a while, somebody puts out something that takes your breath away. "It's Okay to Cry" is absolutely one of those moments. After spending her early career lurking behind faceless, chaotic, schizophrenic experimental dance music, the 32 year-old has stepped into the light and up to the microphone. The result is Read more

Hot Jam of the Day: King Krule, "Logos"


King Krule "Logos" The OOZ (out now on XL) Archy Marshall's excellent new album feels like a collection of those wonky dream states that exist somewhere in that nether region between being wake and sleep. Though I'm still digesting all 19 of its songs, the hypnotic, jazzy "Logos" immediately stuck out. Over languid jazz chords Read more

Hot Jam of the Day: The World is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die, "For Robin"


The World is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die "For Robin" Always Foreign (Epitaph) There are many, many awful things about addiction, but little is as insidious as the way it pushes its victims away from loved ones from their previous life and deeper into their illness. Anybody who has lost someone to Read more

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.

Images & Words: Kodie Shane, “Sad” (f/ Lil Yachty)

Posted on by TP1.COM in Images & Words | Comments Off on Images & Words: Kodie Shane, “Sad” (f/ Lil Yachty)

screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-3-24-32-pmKodie Shane
“Sad” (f/ Lil Yahcty)

Zero Gravity (out now on Epic)
On the day the rising Atlanta native drops her debut EP for Epic, her tasty Lil Yachty collab gets some visuals. Though Zero Gravity features a couple of tracks from her excellent EP, Little Rocket, it will hopefully propel the 18 year-old to her rightful place among the most exciting young talents in hip-hop.

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.

Images & Words: Wiley, “U Were Always Pt. 2” (f/ Skepta & Belly)

Posted on by TP1.COM in Featured, Images & Words | Comments Off on Images & Words: Wiley, “U Were Always Pt. 2” (f/ Skepta & Belly)

wiley-006Wiley
“U Were Always Pt. 2” (f/ Skepta & Belly)

Godfather (out 01.13.17 on CTA)
Though known more for his muscular bars, the Godfather indulges his soft side on this sultry new single from his hotly anticipated 11th album. The cut is a little reminiscent of Skepta’s “Ladies Hit Squad,” as the three MC’s put their exes on blast over some delicious, laid-back Adina Howard vibes. Just like on the other pre-release singles, the 37 year-old sounds refreshed and sharp here, and Godfather is shaping up to be one of the standout albums of the early year and potentially one of the strongest efforts of Wiley’s legendary career.

Stream This Shit: MssingNo, M1 Personal Trainer Mixtape

Posted on by TP1.COM in Download This Shit | Comments Off on Stream This Shit: MssingNo, M1 Personal Trainer Mixtape

screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-6-42-18-pmMssingNo
M1 Personal Trainer (Mixtape)
It wasn’t quite Lemonade, but the progressive grime maestro had me shook this afternoon when he surprise released his first mixtape on my unsuspecting head. The hyper-melodic, 24-minute track is made of all original material. And in the way only he can, the Londoner flips a-listers like Ariana Grande, Zara Larsson, and the Biebz to absolute perfection. Mssingno’s work almost always flawlessly balances radio-ready melodies with dancefloor heft for a sound that is often imitated but remains all his own.

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.

Under the Radar: Yaroze Dream Suite, Yaroze Dream Suite

Posted on by TP1.COM in Album Reviews, Featured, Under The Radar | Comments Off on Under the Radar: Yaroze Dream Suite, Yaroze Dream Suite

screen-shot-2016-11-21-at-11-48-40-amYaroze Dream Suite
Yaroze Dream Suite
Local Action
Back in October, grime futurists Yamaneko and Mr. Mitch dropped a delicious, sparese 4-song collaborative project that I somehow neglected to write about. The duo’s emotional, genre-bending sound may not grab you at first listen, as it isn’t big on hooks. But the more time you spend with it, the deeper it’ll drag you out to the outer reaches of its galaxy, exposing new surprises along the way with each successive listen.

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….