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

Images & Words: Stormzy, "4PM in London"


Stormzy "4PM in London" Digital Single Turning freestyles into anthems is nothing new to the ultra-talented Londoner. And though the ravenous "4PM in London" was probably written, it feels alive in the same way that many of those aforementioned tracks did. Unlike Drake (the man who originally rapped on this beat), Stormzy's got the rare ability to Read more

Stream This Shit: Grizzle, “Consort”

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Screen Shot 2017-10-20 at 2.28.31 PMGrizzle
“Consort”

Liminal Sounds
Put down “Super Slimey” for a second, and spend some time with the criminally underrated Mancunian’s long-awaited, Liminal Sounds debut. The grime futurist has been a long-time TP fave, and Consort is exactly the project I’ve been hoping he’d make. Each of the disc’s four tracks is a meticulously crafted, hyper-melodic banger. Though there’s an obvious MssingNo influence on this disc, there’s a ton of new ideas on here as well, and it’s a massive step forward for one of the most promising young producers in music today.

Images & Words: SOPHIE, “It’s Okay To Cry”

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Screen-Shot-2017-10-19-at-9.05.23-AM-1508418344-640x328SOPHIE
“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 pure magic.

Built around a twinkling, celestial piano melody, “It’s Okay To Cry” plays out like a tender, ultra-modern Disney ballad. Her voice is sweet and confident, as she consoles a heartbroken loved one. The depth and power of the message is ratcheted up by the stunning visuals, which depict Sophie as an angelic figure. More than being Sophie’s first public appearance, it’s also the first time she’s clarified which pronouns (she/her) she’s using. It’s a massive statement in so many ways, and truly one of the best songs I’ve heard this year.

Hot Jam of the Day: King Krule, “Logos”

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King-KruleKing 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 (think: 7’s and 9’s) and faraway sax, a mumbling Marshall welcomes us into a world that is both racked with childhood terrors and infused with an medicated calm. It’s a perfect example of his rare ability to craft engulfing sonic worlds that draw you in and keep you there.

Images & Words: Julien Baker, “Turn Out the Lights”

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Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 5.11.37 PMJulien Baker
“Turn Out the Lights”

Turn Out the Lights (out 10.27 on Matador)
We are officially two weeks away from the 22 year-old’s hugely anticipated second LP, and it’s second single hits just as hard as the confessional, heart-crushing “Appointments.”

“Turn Out the Lights” opens as a sparse and haunting take on isolation, as Baker wonders “so why is it easy for everyone else?” The truth is, of course, it isn’t. And when its skyscraping crescendo hits, a sense of hope and community joins her solitary vocal, reminding us that we’re never truly alone.

Hot Jam of the Day: Jaws of Love., “Lake Tahoe.”

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Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 3.03.11 PMJaws of Love.
“Lake Tahoe.”

Tasha Sits Close to the Piano (out now of K-Rizzla)
Last week, Local Natives vocalist Kelcey Ayer quietly released a subdued, piano-driven debut solo LP. Though the response has been tepid so far, it’s a gorgeous, grown-up collection of mid-3o’s love songs dedicated to the way that your loved ones can shepherd you through uncertain waters. Though it’s most potent when listened to as one cohesive collection, “Lake Tahoe” is a real standout, showcasing Ayer’s flexible tenor and affecting songwriting. It’s sweet, it’s cheesy, and it’s just the kind of ballad that could add a bit of levity to these desperately heavy times. Go listen to this record with someone you love.

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

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Screen Shot 2017-10-03 at 11.53.21 AMThe 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 addiction will relate to this crushing funeral dirge’s first lines. “Mike called once a week, and then he called once a month. / He called once every few years, which turned into never at all.”

When a friend dies, you’re obviously robbed of a future with that person, but I’ve found that the years that you had already lost hurt more. The ones where you’d slowly floated apart, the common cords that once held you together — the interests, passions, and shared experiences — snapping one-by-one, clipped by the all-encompassing nature of addiction. And all of a sudden, you’re left with your remaining friends trying to make sense of how we all let that person drift so far and why you’d not made the most of your time together. That’s what this song is about. It may be the stunning, versatile post-emo disc’s quietest moment, but it’s also its most powerful and haunting.

Images & Words: Stormzy, “4PM in London”

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Screen Shot 2017-10-02 at 6.43.10 PMStormzy
“4PM in London”
Digital Single
Turning freestyles into anthems is nothing new to the ultra-talented Londoner. And though the ravenous “4PM in London” was probably written, it feels alive in the same way that many of those aforementioned tracks did. Unlike Drake (the man who originally rapped on this beat), Stormzy’s got the rare ability to make any line feel like a hook, so he doesn’t need a chorus or a sticky melody to make a track stick. “4AM in Calabasas” was about as memorable as a 72° day in the Valley, but Big Mike’s delicious, adhesive bars makes you want to run it back again and again. All hail.

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.