Lana Del Rey, "Doin' Time"


Lana Del Rey"Doin' Time"Sublime OST (out soon on Universal)If you grew up in California in the early 2000's, it was just about impossible to get in someone's car or go to a party that wasn't playing one of those two Sublime albums. Evidently, the same was true in wherever Read more

Images & Words: Stormzy, "Vossi Bop"


Stormzy"Vossi Bop"Digital SingleAfter a little while away, the London kingpin looks to be getting back in the game. "Vossi Bop" is a perfect comeback track because it is such a pure distillation of what makes Stormzy a true-one off. Over a tasty, yet simple beat, Big Mike goes in Read more

The Round-Up: The Best Songs of 2019 (1st Quarter)


Even though we're a solid week into the second quarter, better late than never right? Here's a quick round-up of some of my favorite songs of the last three months. To keep numbers manageable, I didn't include anything from any of my favorite albums list and prioritized songs I Read more

The Round-Up: The Best Albums of 2019 (First Quarter)


Gah, I can't believe we're already 25% through 2019. That said, Spring is in the air, and we've enjoyed an excellent, diverse crop of music during these first three months. Have a look at some of my favorite LPs of the year so far in no particular order. Dawn Richard
 “New Read more

Chief Keef, "Ain't Gonna Happen"


Chief Keef "Ain't Gonna Happen" GloToven (Glo Gang / RBC) The Chicago stalwart's new project with the legendary Zaytoven is unsurprisingly full of weird and wacky sounds, moving in innumerable unexpected and exciting ways. Its most powerful moment is its starkest, as a heartbroken Keef floats freely over Zay's gorgeous piano. "Face dried Read more

Julien Baker, “Red Door” & “Conversation Piece”

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Julien Baker
“Red Door” & “Conversation Piece”
Red Door / Conversation Piece (out now on Matador)

Julien Baker is back, and she’s here for your fucking soul. Few artists are capable of welding anything like the emotional heft that the 23 year-old so consistently delivers, and these two new tracks are as potent as they come. She has a wonderful way of crafting songs that begin stark and lonely before exploding into bold, life-affirming color.

Burial, “State Forest”

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Burial
“State Forest”
Claustro / State Forest ’12 (out now on Hyperdub)

Even by Burial’s standards, his new b-side single is a murky, foggy affair. A forlorn drone pops its head above dense layers of sonic mist and the distant crackle of fire. There’s no percussion and total darkness all around you, leaving the listener no choice but to hunker down and brace yourself for whatever comes next.

Images & Words: Bon Iver, “Hey, Ma”

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Bon Iver
“Hey, Ma”
Digital Single

The king of beautiful songs about ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ is back with two new tracks. The pick of the pair is “Hey, Ma,” a sonic stunner that is ostensibly about his mother. Sure, it’s still got plenty of nonsensical Vernonisms (“Full time, you talk your money up / While it’s living in a coal mine”). But he also shares some sweet memories of his upbringing alongside the swelling arrangement, which like always, is the most compelling part of the Bon Iver experience.

Jefre Cantu-Ledesma: “Joy”

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Jefre Cantu-Ledesma
“Joy”
Tracing Back The Radiance (out 07.12 on Kemado/Mexican Summer)

Rejoice, a new JCL project this way comes! Today, the Brooklyn-based iconoclast announced a new album and delivered its first single — the sparse, forlorn, probably sarcastically-titled, “Joy.” A wandering horn meanders through a softly undulating vast tide of synths that could easily soundtrack either slipping into a warm bath or getting lost at sea. Haunting and comforting all at once.

Jai Paul, “Do You Love Her Now” / “He”

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Jai Paul
“Do You Love Her Now” / “He”
Do You Love Her Now / Her (out now on XL)

Aside from the music, the best part about the ultra-illusive Londoner’s return this week is the collective reminder that he was just as far ahead of his time as he seemed back when he first surfaced in 2011. Neither of these songs are even really new — both are b-sides from the famously leaked debut that never came out — but they sound hyper-futuristic even seven years on from when they were originally conceived.

“Do You Love Her Now” is warm and luxurious with its velvety jazz chords and Paul’s sweet, swooning falsetto. “He,” on the other hand, is frigid — all sharp edges and clean lines — with rolling palm-muted guitars and a chunky industrial thump. That said, they’re connected by their auteur’s songwriting touch and his evocative voice. It’s hard not to feel that we’re listening to a genius at work. Hopefully, this isn’t all we get from him, but when the tunes are this good, I’ll take whatever I can get.

Images & Words: Hot Chip, “Melody of Love”

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Hot Chip
“Melody of Love”
A Bath Full of Ecstasy (06.21 on Domino)

Though all of their members have been busy with myriad other (very good) projects, the London disco vets are back together and ready to unleash their 7th album on the world. Our first taste, “Melody of Love,” feels like vintage Hot Chip, as Alexis Taylor’s velvety tenor glides effortlessly over neon synths and a rock-solid backbeat. Best of all, it’s got a unique, gorgeous visual to go with it, as is their signature. Good to have you back, lads.

Clairo, “Bags”

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Clairo
“Bags”
Immunity (out 08.02 on FADER)

Though I wasn’t super high on her buzzy, ultra-twee debut EP, “Bags” is the real damn deal. Over driving power chords and playful keys, the 20 year-old digs deeper emotionally than she has before, picking through the bones of a relationship that has gone stale. “I don’t wanna watch TV anymore,” she deadpans, mirroring those rudderless, restless words with her tone and adding the emotional heft that her early work struggled to deliver.

Images & Words: Skepta, “Bullet From a Gun”

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Skepta
“Bullet From a Gun”
Ignorance is Bliss (out 05.31 on Boy Better Know)

The grime legend’s follow-up to 2016’s Mercury Prize winning “Konnichiwa” has crept up on me a little, but we’re just a few days away from getting to hear it in full. One of two pre-release singles, “Bullet From a Gun” is a sharp distillation of what makes Skeppy such a force, as he weaves a pair of taut, efficient verses that team with insight and clever wordplay. It’s not his boldest tune, but it certainly feels like a keeper.

Stream This Shit: Bill Callahan, “Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest” — Side 1″

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Bill Callahan
Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest — Side 1
Drag City (full LP out 06.14 on Drag City)
Only a few weeks from announcing his long awaited, 20-track follow-up to 2013’s wonderful “Dream River,” the Austin-based singer-songwriter gave us a big taste of it in the form of this 6-song EP. The 52 year-old shared six beautifully stripped back strummers that perfectly frame his weary, yet sturdy vocals and insightful (as ever) lyrics. I can’t wait to hear the other 14 songs, but this will tie me over nicely until the 14th.

Lana Del Rey, “Doin’ Time”

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Lana Del Rey
“Doin’ Time”
Sublime OST (out soon on Universal)

If you grew up in California in the early 2000’s, it was just about impossible to get in someone’s car or go to a party that wasn’t playing one of those two Sublime albums. Evidently, the same was true in wherever Lana grew up (Westchester, I think), because her cover of the Long Beach skate-rats sun-scorched classic features the care and love that can only be delivered by a true Badfish. Del Rey manages to walk the line between paying homage to the original while making the new version her own. Summer can finally start for real now, y’all.