Tierra Whack, "Only Child"


Tierra Whack "Only Child" Digital Single Tierra Whack's 2018 debut "Whack World" was one of the most promising debut albums I've heard in a very long time. However, I found it super hard to write about (and ultimately, fall in love with), because of her decision to chop all the tracks off Read more

CFCF, "Closed Space"


CFCF "Closed Space" Liquid Colours (out 03.01) Though I haven't listened to it as much as his ree-fucking-dick-u-lus J.Lo remix (aka: the best song of 2019 so far), the first single from Montreal mainstay Michael Silver's new album is an instant keeper. It kicks off with luxurious beds of neo-geo synths that Read more

Sade, "The Big Unknown"


Sade "The Big Unknown" Windows Soundtrack (out now on Sony) Though she's only a few months shy of her 60th birthday, Helen Folasade Adu remains a force like nobody else. On the stunning "The Big Unknown," Sade proves that her quiet storm is still a Category 5, as she glides effortlessly over oceanic, Read more

Since U Been Gone: The Best Of What I Missed Last Week


Miya Folick "Thingamajig" Premonitions (out 10.26 on Terrible) With each new single, the talented LA vocalist is strengthening the case that her forthcoming LP could be one of the best debuts of the year. Her flexible vocals always stretch further than you expect, and she uses her seemingly unlimited range to exact maximum Read more

Since U Been Gone: The Best Of What I Missed Last Week


Welp, this is embarrassing. The week I roll out a new round-up column, I respond by posting exactly zero times. My editorial staff (of one) was pretty slammed this week, but that's no excuse. Hopefully this piece can make up for it, dear readers. I'll do better this week, because, Read more

Ariana Grande, “thank u, next”

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Ariana Grande
“thank u, next”
thank u, next (out soon on Republic)
Considering all she’s been through publicly, it’s amazing that Ariana Grande is still only 25 years old, and her new single highlights that maturity. Over weightless keys, she speaks on her famous exes with care and perspective, reframing those very public heartbreaks into opportunities for growth and gratitude. Maybe it’s just her controlling the narrative, but I’m buying it.

boygenius, “Ketchum, ID”

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boygenius
“Ketchum, ID”

boygenius (out now on Matador)
Though it only contains six songs, Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker, and Lucy Dacus’ wonderful collaborative LP is one of the standout releases of the year. Its final track beautifully expresses the feeling of being far from home and never anywhere long enough to feel like you’re actually there. The three of them each take a verse, before intertwining on the chorus, which simultaneously illuminates their individual voices and highlights the shared experience that unites them.

1010 Benja SL, “Tragic X”

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1010 Benja SL
“Tragic X”

Two Houses (out now on Young Turks)
Really all that’s known about the new Young Turks signee is that he hails from Kansas City and can sing his ass off. After a pair buzzy early singles — 2017’s “Boofiness” and 2018’s “Wind Up Space” — got the ball rolling, 1010 dropped his debut, self-produced project last week, which is a unique, striking collection of engulfing R&B-adjacent tunes.

Its second track is an early standout and clear distillation of what makes his work feel so different. Pairing ultra-deep synths, a number of unique movements, evocative samples, and Benja’s lovelorn crooning, “Tragic X” feels less like a great track and more like an experience. Keep an eye on this one.

Images & Words: Deerhunter, “Death in Midsummer”

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Deerhunter
“Death in Midsummer”

Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared (out in January on 4AD)
Though I’m not a huge fan of Bradford Cox’s noisier work, this rambling new track highlights much of what he does best. Seemingly inspired by the American West, his forthcoming eighth LP will hopefully be full of tunes that share the dusty, lonely vibe and stripped-back songwriting of this, its lead single.

Images & Words: Takeoff, “Last Memory”

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Takeoff
“Last Memory”

The Last Rocket (out 11.02 on Quality Control)
We’re smack dab in the middle of #MigosSoloProjectSzn, and the trio’s most understated member is getting geared up for his moment in the spotlight. “Last Memory” is a great example of what Takeoff brings to table. The 24 year-old has the uncanny ability to shift his flow effortlessly — knowing precisely when to inject pace into the track and when to downshift into something smoother.

Oneohtrix Point Never, “Love in the Time of Lexapro”

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Oneohtrix Point Never
“Love in the Time of Lexapro”

Love in the Time of Lexapro (out 11.23 on Warp)
The great Daniel Lopatin announced today that he’d be delivering an early Christmas present in the form of a new EP, which also features collaborations with Ryuichi Sakamoto and (Sandy) Alex G. The title track is a characteristically heady affair — all Neo Geo synths and disassociated vibes — that is both peaceful and foreboding.

Images & Words: Jessica Pratt, “This Time Around”

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Jessica Pratt
“This Time Around”
Quiet Signs (out 02.08.19 on Mexican Summer)
In my opinion, Jessica Pratt was one of the artists who was hurt by her label (formerly, Drag City) refusing to put their music on streaming sites. Though it wasn’t much of a drain on more established acts like Bill Callahan, Joanna Newsom, and Ty Segall, I was consistently surprised by how few of my friends were familiar with the San Francisco singer’s bewitching first two LPs. Now that Pratt’s music is more readily available, I’m hopeful that her third LP will get the push it deserves and simultaneously open up her wonderful back catalog to a gaggle of new fans. One of the best folk singers working in 2018.

Jacques Greene: “Avatar Beach”

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Jacques Greene
“Avatar Beach”

Fever Focus (out 11.16 on LuckyMe)
Originally appearing near the end of his labyrinthe, 55-minute mixtape that dropped in May, “Avatar Beach” gets the official release that it undoubtedly deserves. The swirling track has more of a daytime vibe than we’re used to from Greene, but it still delivers every inch of the emotional house thunder that we’ve come to expect from the ever-reliable Canadian. Now, we need the CDQ version of “Night Service.”

Images & Words: Tiny Ruins, “Olympic Girls”

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Tiny Ruins
“Olympic Girls”

Olympic Girls (out in 2019 on Ba Da Bing!)
Talented New Zealand-based folkie Hollie Fullbrook is returning with her third LP early next year. And “Olympic Girls” highlights her clever picking and her warm, woolen voice, which reminds me a little of Laura Marling. I’m a sucker for Laurel Canyon vibes, and Fullbrook delivers them with aplomb.

Desire, “Tears From Heaven”

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Desire
“Tears From Heaven”

Digital Single
The most underrated members of the Italians Do It Better crew drop a starstruck, lovelorn new single. As is her wont, vocalist Megan Louise ratchets up the drama, channeling her inner film noir chanteuse and expressing her devotion over beds of Johnny Jewel’s signature synths. “Dear Tommy” is probably never fucking coming out, but as long as the Italians keep feeding me these delicious scraps, I’ll be OK.