Hot Jam of the Day: Jae Stephens, "24k"


Jae Stephens "24k" Digital Single Fuck one of the best debuts of the year. The LA-based newcomer just dropped one of the best songs of the year out of thin air. Featuring inch-perfect production from Jam City, Stephens weaves a devastating slow jam that captures the growth of a relationship from anxious first Read more

The Round-Up: The Best Albums of May 2017


After a pair of phenomenal months of music, May's slate looked decidedly more low-key. However, now as I look back at it, there was still a handful of solid releases that deserve your time. Here are a few of my favorites. J Hus Common Sense Black Butter When I looked at the release schedule Read more

Hot Jam of the Day: Lil Durk, "Pressure"


Lil Durk “Pressure” Digital Single Five years into his career, the Chicago native seems to be at a crossroads. After kicking off his career with a string of devastating mixtapes (including my favorite song of 2013), the 24 year-old has been a bit up and down of late, crafting a slew of Read more

Hot Jam of the Day: Kommode, "Fight or Flight or Dance All Night"


Kommode “Fight or Flight or Dance All Night” Analog Dance Music (out June 2017 on Random Two Syllable Word) Good things come to those who wait, and Kings of Convenience fans have been waiting for the debut from Eirik Glambek Bøe’s side project for more than 10 years. Since announcing this project Read more

Hot Jam of the Day: Jlin, "Holy Child"


Jlin "Holy Child" Black Origami (out 05.19 on Planet Mu) Though there's only one more day until the Gary, Indiana footwork innovator's second LP drops, this brilliant and beguiling cut is more than worthy of standing on its own. Like her masterful debut, Dark Energy, this track features multiple, intricate polyrhythms that collide freely without Read more

Hot Jam of the Day (03.06.12) Rustie (f/ Nightwave): “SURPH”

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Rustie (f/ Nightwave)
“SURPH”
Unreleased

Fresh off his fantastic breakthrough LP, Glass Swords (Warp), Scottish beatsmith Russell Whyte returns with a reworked version of one of the disc’s most fascinating tracks. Featuring a hyped up vocal from UK Katy B wannabe, Nightwave, “SURPH” is the kind of swirling, frenetic, synthy stew that we’ve come to expect from the prolific young producer. Rustie’s everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach is most effective when balanced by a vocal line, and hopefully this is a sign of things to come .

HJ of the Day (03.06.12) Evy Jane: “OHSO”

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Evy Jane
“Sayso”
S/T 12″ (King Deluxe)

Hear that? That’s the sound of me physically restraining my hyperbole gene from making wild pronouncements about this rising, Canadian experimental R&B duo’s debut single. While I don’t think it’s necessarily a fair comparison, I simply can’t listen to this track without thinking of the Weeknd’s stunning, similarly out-of-the-blue breakthrough single, “What You Need.” While there are subtle stylistic differences, vocalist Evelyn Mason’s alluring, vulnerable vocal tiptoes the line between unbelievably sexy and batshit crazy in much the same way that Abel Tesfaye’s did. Both are impeccably framed by sparse, undulating synths and perfect drum machine droplets. More than anything though, both songs are just so fucking sexy. And that goes a hell of a long way in this business. Between this and that new Usher track, condom sales are about to go through the roof…and if they don’t, expect diaper sales to skyrocket at the turn of the new year.

Check Julien Mier’s incredible remix after the jump.

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HJ of the Day (2.27.12): memoryhouse, “Little Expressionless Animals”

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memoryhouse
“Little Expressionless Animals”
The Slideshow Effect (SubPop, 2012)

Our first Hot Jam of the Day comes from one of my favorite new bands of the last 18 months. This, the leadoff track from the Canadian-duo’s debut long player (due out tomorrow), finds the group at their subtly stunning best with vocalist Denise Nouvon’s gentle coo gliding over an ethereal soundscape from partner in crime Evan Abeele. The group has a rare knack of building to quietly devastating climaxes (see: “Lately” and “Bonfire“), and this is no different. Before I heard the record, I had a hunch that it was going to land near the top of my 2012 year-end list, and after hearing the The Slideshow Effect all the way through, that hunch hasn’t been anything but strengthened.

The Best Tracks of 2011 (20-11)

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20. Holy Other
“With U”
With U (Tri Angle)

In lieu of waxing lyrical about the ghostly, undulating debut from this masked Mancunian, I’ll let my buddy AJ — a man who doesn’t give a shit about music — explain it. In response to a Facebook status update of mine that claimed With U was my favorite EP of the year, Apple Jack posted simply and succinctly “Yeah, maybe of [sic] you want to meditate.” Replace “meditate” with “fuck,” and I think AJ’s in business. The sexiest indie record since The XX’s debut.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/15628329″ iframe=”true” /]

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The Best Tracks of 2011 (30-21)

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30. Girls
“Honey Bunny”
Father, Son, Holy Ghost (True Panther Sounds)
It was another incredible year for San Francisco’s best band. The group followed up their excellent debut, Album, with a solid EP and the critically acclaimed Father, Son, Holy Ghost. “Honey Bunny,” showcases exactly what makes the group so special. Vocalist/songwriter Chris Owens’ deftly combines his disarming sense of humor (“They don’t like my boney body/They don’t like my dirty hair”), unfiltered honesty, and an incredible ear for melody into a fitting opener to one of the best albums of 2011.


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The Best Tracks of 2011 (40-31)

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40. Nico Jaar
“Darkside”
Darkside (Clown & Sunset)

Nico Jaar had the license put his fuckin’ feet up over his Christmas break. You think your year was mega busy because you got promoted to project manager? Please. Dude dropped one critically acclaimed LP and two fantastic EPs, all while attending an Ivy League school and running his own label. The three tracks on Darkside are basically just one long track broken into three parks and show a different side of the masterful, meticulous post-dubstep alchemist.

Album Stream: Link

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/31060423″ iframe=”true” /]

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The Best Tracks of 2011 (51-40)

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So here it goes. A little more than a month late, these are my favorite 51 songs of 2011. If you’ve read my previous work, you’ll know how this works. It’s basically a countdown from 51 to 1. I’ll be releasing ten songs per day over the next week. Also, at the end of the week, I’ll be linking to a Spotify playlist that will allow you to get all of the songs in one place. As always, I am incredibly grateful for anybody who reads my tiny corner of the interwebz, and hopefully there will be something new and interesting for everybody.

And without further ado…

51. Drake
“Look What You’ve Done”
Take Care (Young Money)

It feels fitting to start this list off with a track from the biggest commercial album of the year. I went back and forth a lot about what track to choose, but I settled on this one because it highlights Young Angel’s underrated storytelling and the disc’s dreamy, sublime production mostly courtesy of Noah “40” Shebib (the real star of Take Care), though this isn’t one of his tracks. Drake is at his best over these type of airy beats, as he has the rare ability to be easy to relate to, even though he lives a life we could never imagine. Remember, this is a dude who made having sex “four times this week” into a point of vulnerability, even though many of his listeners haven’t had sex four times in the past four years.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/29801200″ iframe=”true” /]

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About Thunder Penguin

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Thunder Penguin is a journal of the best in current progressive pop music.

It is maintained by a stuffed penguin from Cuba.

He is sometimes assisted by his intern Dan Alvarez, a Los Angeles-based copywriter + freelance journalist.

Please direct inquiries, demos, takedown notices, and marriage proposals to DNAlvarez60@gmail.com.

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