Arthur Russell, "You Did It Yourself"


Arthur Russell"You Did It Yourself"Iowa Dream (out 11.15 on Audika)There's something very fitting about a new project of recordings by the late, great Arthur Russell dropping 6 weeks before the end of the decade. In many ways, the multi-instrumentalist's sound feels at home along the wildly experimental, genre-fluid music Read more

Images & Words: The 1975, "People"


The 1975"People"Notes on a Conditional Form (out 02.22.20 on Dirty Hit)The Used, Head Automatica/Glassjaw, Primal Scream, Marilyn Manson, Blur, The Refused. And that's only six of the roughly 600 random bands that the new 1975 track brings to mind. And somehow, just like mother-fucking always, they pull it off. Read more

Caroline Polachek, "Ocean of Tears" & "Parachute"


Caroline Polachek"Ocean of Tears" / "Parachute"Pang (out this fall on Columbia)Ok, now I'm getting really excited about the ex-Chairlift vocalist/composer's first album under her real name. Following up on her wonderful first single "Door," these two new tracks highlight Polachek's spellbinding voice and evocative, powerful songwriting. Though you can Read more

The Round-Up: The Best Albums of the 2nd Quarter


Ana Roxanne~~~Leaving RecordsThe Oakland bedroom artist’s debut project is a staggering slice of ambient music that pulls subtly from the R&B and pop vocalists that she grew up on. Her voice sounds far away but pulls you in close (think: Grouper’s “Ruin”) and is ready to tell you its Read more

The Round-Up: The Best Songs of 2019, So Far (Honorable Mention)


As promised, here is the rest of my favorite tracks of the year that didn't quite make the cut for my main list. Songs are in no particular order. Chromatics “Time Rider”bahahahahah (Italians Do It Better) “Dear Tommy” is obviously never coming out. But I did get to hear this Read more

Images & Words: Lana Del Rey, “Fuck It I Love You” / “The Greatest”

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Lana Del Rey
“Fuck It I Love You” / “The Greatest”
Norman Fucking Rockwell (out 08.30 on Polydor)

Move over hot girl summer, Lana’s back to deliver a double helping of summertime sadness with a pair of swooning ballads. Lana’s voice is in unbelievable form here, gliding over languid, June gloom guitars and romantic string arrangements. It’s been more than a year since we heard its first single, and now that we’re only one week from finally hearing NFR, it’s looking likely to be her best project yet.

Images & Words: Taylor Swift, “Lover”

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Taylor Swift
“Lover”
Lover (out 08.23 on Republic)

Taylor continues her (2-song) hot streak with this wistful, woozy slice of alt-country. A little bit Mazzy Star, a little bit Whiskeytown, “Lover” is a swooning waltz that feels playful and earnest. She glides over the shuffling chords and the reverb-soaked snare, luxuriating in the joy and possibility of the early days of a new love story. This record really struggled to get out of the blocks, but maybe we should have listened when she told us that “we need to calm down.”

Images & Words: The 1975, “People”

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The 1975
“People”
Notes on a Conditional Form (out 02.22.20 on Dirty Hit)
The Used, Head Automatica/Glassjaw, Primal Scream, Marilyn Manson, Blur, The Refused. And that’s only six of the roughly 600 random bands that the new 1975 track brings to mind. And somehow, just like mother-fucking always, they pull it off.

“People” is easily the most ferocious ever track from the Mancunians. Opening with crashing, driving toms, Matty Healy smears his vocals all over the place, screaming manically about who we are and why we’re fucked. The track does a wonderful job of fusing Healy’s love of (mostly) American (scr)e(a)mo and swaggering Brit Pop, balancing them to perfection and finding their shared spirit. Though I’m not sure I need an entire album of #mattyrage, “People” is yet another thrilling reminder that these four guys are capable of doing just about anything… except being boring.

Young Thug, “Hot” (f/ Gunna)

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Young Thug
“Hot” (f/ Gunna)
So Much Fun (300 Entertainment)

Just like the triumphant project it comes from, everything you need to know about Young Thug’s new collab with Gunna is right there in its title. “Hot” is a speaker melter, crawling like the thick Southern, August air and dripping with sonic sweat. When he’s locked in, Thugger is unrivaled, and it’s great to hear him rejuvenated, focused, and back to his best. It’s all just so much fucking fun.

Charli XCX, “Cross You Out” (f/ Sky Ferreira)

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Charli XCX
“Cross You Out” (f/ Sky Ferreira)
Charli (out 09.13 on Asylum)
The powerful pair snarl through a dense, icy arrangement on this delicious kiss off track. One of Charli’s greatest strengths is her versatility, and she shows it off here, seamlessly sliding into a sound that feels like the gothic sound that Sky’s been perfecting on her recent work. Though her shapeshifting nature has made it hard for me to love any of her projects, it basically guarantees there’ll always be a few things in there I like. This is one of them.

Great Grandpa, “Mono No Aware”

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Great Grandpa
“Mono No Aware”
Four of Arrows (out 10.25 on Double Double Whammy)

“Do you feel the same thing that I do?” asks vocalist Carrie Goodwin, giving voice to the fundamental question that we most want an answer to but can never quite know for sure. Though her words are heavy, they’re delivered with a light touch, framed by shimmering guitars, an aqueous melody, and a gentle, yet driving backbeat. It’s the first Great Grandpa song that I’ve heard, but I’ll look forward to hearing more from the Bloomington quintet in the next few months.

Infinity Crush, “Minnesota”

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Infinity Crush
“Minnesota”
Virtual Heaven (out now on Joy Void)

Caroline White’s breathtaking new project is full of subtly stunning, stripped-back, resonant folk-adjacent music. Each of the disc’s 13 tracks deserve your time, but the intimate “Minnesota” is an early favorite. Like many of Virtual Heaven’s tracks, it plays out more like a poem than a pop song — chorus free and linear — laying out the intoxicating, yet uncertain early days of a crush.

This record deserves so much more press than it’s received. Hopefully, people will start to wake up to it soon.

Stream the whole project.

Images & Words: Odunsi, “Wetin Day” / “Better Days” (f/ WANI)

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Odunsi
“Wetin Day” / “Better Days” (f/ WANI)
Digital Single

One of the most exciting young talents on the planet right, the Nigerian now drops a pair of slithering new singles that do not disappoint. Already a star in his home country, the Lagos native is setting his sights on world domination with his breakthrough project “Rare” and an upcoming maiden European Tour. Both of these tracks highlight the easy star-power, effortless vocals, and magnetic sound that make his work so undeniable and exciting. Don’t sleep.

Images & Words: Devon Welsh, “Somebody Loves You”

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Devon Welsh
“Somebody Loves You”
True Love (10.11 on You Are Accepted)

Everything you need to know about Devon Welsh’s penetrating, majical* music is right there in the title of his record label, “You Are Accepted.” For his entire career, the Montreal vocalist’s main mission is to connect with his audience in the most visceral way possible. With stripped-back production and intense lyrics, Welsh’s songs make direct eye contact with you, hellbent on breaking down the barriers between us and tapping into something real and human.

*yuck yuck yuck

Taylor Swift, “The Archer”

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Taylor Swift
“The Archer”
Lover (out 🤷🏽‍♀️on self-released)

The frustrating thing about Taylor Swift’s recent singles isn’t that they’re bad songs. There are plenty of other bad songs out there. The frustrating thing about Taylor Swift’s recent singles is that she’s barely even there.

This is a ‘capital G’ musical Genius who should be entering her peak years, and I can’t find her anywhere on those songs. All of the perspective, strength, vulnerability, and emotional resonance that made her a star has been replaced by a bland, faceless facsimile of what a bunch of suits in a boardroom think the kids want to hear…. Except, evidently, on this wonderful, restrained slow-burner. For three and a half spellbinding minutes, Taylor does that thing that only she can lifting the arrangement with power, poise, and purpose — reminding us that writing her off is a dangerous game. She obviously still has it; let’s just hope she chooses to access it.