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

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


I was on vacay in England last week, and as I sat back down at my desk this morning, I realized that a massive amount of new music came out while I was gone. I'm going to try something new with quick one to two sentence recaps of some Read more

Lil Uzi Vert, "New Patek"


Lil Uzi Vert "New Patek" Digital Single Easily one of most joyful songs of the year, the hyperactive, hypertalented Philadelphian returns with six (6!) electric minutes of swirling, tuneful hip-hop. Over Dolan Beats' glorious crystallized piano keys and tiptoeing hi-hats, Uzi goes the fuck in as only he can, slaloming through the beat Read more

Troye Sivan, “Dance To This” (f/ Ariana Grande)

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Troye Sivan
“Dance To This” (f/ Ariana Grande)

Bloom (out 08.31 on EMI Australia)
The candlelit, whispered two-step of “Dance To This” might seem a surprisingly low-key choice for two artists with such big voices. But Troye and Ariana’s obvious chemistry and subtle vocal inflections (especially in the gorgeous verses) make this track a winner, even though it likely won’t turn into a smash. It’s the rare modern collab where it feels like both artists are in the same room (though they likely weren’t), and that palpable intimacy provides the little bit of electricity that every good duet requires.

Images & Words: The 1975, “Give Yourself A Try”

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The 1975
“Give Yourself A Try”

A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships (out in October on Dirty Hit)
Though it’s been out for about two weeks, I’ve listened to the Manchester quartet’s new single roughly two million times. Compositionally, it’s totally unremarkable. Built around a repetitive, simplistic guitar riff and three chords, “Give Yourself a Try” would be a trifle in most singers’ hands.

As we know, Matty Healy is not fucking most singers. That this track feels so life-affirming is almost impossible and entirely indebted to his ultra-rare charisma, unique lyrics, and passionate, magnetic vocals. Here, Healy wholly embodies and pokes fun at the special kind of feckless world-weariness that only exists among people in their late 20’s and early 30’s who spend way too much time in their own head (slash, on the Internet). He manages to be both self-deprecating and totally committed, skewering his (our) generation and himself while simultaneously giving us something we can feel.

Images & Words: The Rhythm Method, “Chin Up”

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The Rhythm Method
“Chin Up”
Digital Single
Every two years*, I get afflicted with the same illness. It usually starts up a few weeks before every major international football tournament and lasts until somewhere around the quarterfinals. Who knows how long my believesthatEnglandcanwinthewholething-itis will last for this year, but I’m hoping that Southgate’s men will make this a long, emotionally taxing bout.

And every great English World Cup run needs an equally excellent tune, and London duo The Rhythm Method came through with one of the strongest in years. It may not be official, but it features the doe-eyed hope, gallows humor, and cheeky arrogance (via a friendly shot at neighbors Scotland and Wales) of all the best ones.

Now, it’s time for the squad to deliver on the pitch. Will they? Probably not, but it’s always fun to see them try.

*Except 2008

Images & Words: Chromatics, “Blue Girl”

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Chromatics
“Blue Girl”

Dear Tommy (out LOL on Italians Do It Better)
As much as I hate to admit it, with every new pre-release track from “Dear Tommy,” I can feel Johnny Jewel and co sucking me back in. Like, last month’s “Black Walls,” “Blue Girl” is the exact kind of inch-perfect, gorgeous synth ballad that makes the idea of a world with “Dear Tommy” in it so exciting. On the other hand, I know that the album’s never fucking coming out, so GAHHHHHH.

Please, Johnny. Stop fucking with our emotions. (But keep putting out music, because, my GOD, you are good at it.)

Future: “What’s Up With That” (f/ 21 Savage)

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Future
“What’s Up With That” (f/ 21 Savage)

SUPERFLY Soundtrack (out now on Epic)
Apologies for the weeks without a post, but I went on a long Euro vacation and got engaged. Now that I’m officially an honest man, I can’t think of a better first post than the most romantic man on the planet, Mr. Future Vandross.

Though he’s been a little bit quiet — in fact, this is the first time the Hot 100 hasn’t had a Future song in it since April 2015 — Nayvadius has hinted that he readying another double-barreled assault on the charts. His Superfly Soundtrack feels more like an appetizer than a proper entrée, but it’s got some fantastic moments, namely this heartfelt, mid-tempo collab with 21 Savage. Future SZN approaching.

Playboy Carti, “Shoota” (f/ Lil Uzi Vert)

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Playboy Carti
“Shoota” (f/ Lil Uzi Vert)
Die Lit (out now on AWGE)
Though he doesn’t get the credit he deserves, few producers shaped the sound of rap in 2018 more than Philly native, Maaly Raw. The man behind much of Lil Uzi Vert’s sticky sweet early work comes through with an absolute gem here. Bursting with youthful energy (think: Kirby’s Dream World), the unique beat is the ideal canvas for Uzi and Carti to smear playful, sing-song bars on top of. If this isn’t one of the songs of the summer, I’d be shocked.

Images & Words: Chromatics, “Black Walls”

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Chromatics
“Black Walls”
Dear Tommy (out PROLLY NEVER on Italians Do It Better)
Goddamn it, Johnny Jewel. Just when I’d moved on from the idea that I’d ever hear “Dear Tommy,” this guy drags me back in with a luscious new track and a (probably fictional) release date for Fall of 2018.

“Black Walls” is the exact kind of track that makes the forever pushed-back project so frustrating, as it’s another reminder that nobody else makes music that sounds like this. The snyths are impossibly romantic and lush, and they’re beautifully framed by chunky guitars and vocalist Ruth Radelet’s forever haunting vocals. If this album comes out this year (it won’t), there’s nothing else that I’m more excited to hear.

Snail Mail, “Let’s Find An Out”

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Snail Mail
“Let’s Find An Out”

Lush (out 06.08 on Matador)
Though I’ve somehow not written about them yet, I’ve been loving the Baltimore trio’s pre-release singles for their hotly-anticipated debut LP. The stripped-back third single, “Let’s Find An Out,” is my favorite of the bunch, pairing songwriter Lindsey Jordan’s plaintive vocals with beds of fingerpicked electric guitar. She captures the freedom and trepidation of making the decision to start over with grace, humanity, and wisdom that belies her 18 years. Magic.

Natalie Prass, “Lost”

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Natalie Prass
“Lost”

The Future and the Past (out 06.01 on ATO)
I’m a few weeks late to this one, but this gorgeous, heartsick ballad is too good to ignore. A sharply-written look at the way a bad relationship can keep dragging you back in, “Lost” sees the fed-up 32 year-old refusing to fall into the traps of an ex. It’s the kind of thing that just about everyone has been through, and the way the track makes you feel will directly relate to how far away you are from that kind of relationship.

Images & Words: Lil Peep, “4 Gold Chains” (f/ Clams Casino)

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Lil Peep
“4 Gold Chains” (f/ Clams Casino)
Digital Single
Posthumous music is always dicey, but this druggy, heartbreaking new single from the late Lil Peep is too haunting to ignore. Over dreamy, reverb-soaked guitar chords, Peep grapples with the dichotomy of a fame that he never seemed comfortable with but was seemingly destined for. You can see it in the way he interacts with the camera. Though he spends much of the clip trying to avoid the camera’s unrelenting gaze, in the moments that he gives in, his piercing eyes command it like only a true star can. What a loss.