Images & Words: Creek Boyz, "I'm The One"


Creek Boyz "I'm the One" Digital Single It's still very early in their career, but the soulful, melodic Baltimore County crew feel like one of the freshest new groups out. Following up their magnetic debut single, "With My Team," "I'm the One" is a triumphant, buoyant anthem that showcases their versatile talents as Read more

Images & Words: King Krule, "Czech One"


King Krule "Czech One" Digital Single I first covered the 22 year-old when he was just a random London teen named Zoo Kid. And while his potential was obvious, I doubt many predicted what an original and sonically restless artist Archy Marshall would become. In the four years follwing his excellent debut LP, 6 Feet Beneath the Moon, Marshall released the excellent ambient-leaning, Read more

Hot Jam of the Day: Julien Baker, "Appointments"


Julien Baker "Appointments" Turn Out the Lights (out 10.27 on Matador) "It's the hope that kills you," goes the old saying. But it can also be the thing that saves you and drives you through life's dark stretches. It's what the 21 year-old is reaching for on this breathtaking first single from her highly-anticipated second Read more

Hot Jam of the Day: Kelela, "LMK"


Kelela "LMK" Take Me Apart (10.06 on Warp) Our agonizing wait for the first taste of Kelela's proper studio debut* is finally over, and my GOD, our girl came through with a banger. In lieu of just typing 4,000 fire emojis, I'll just say that "LMK" is such a perfect distillation of what makes Read more

Images & Words: Jessie Ware, "Midnight"


Jessie Ware “Midnight” Digital Single In the years I’ve been covering music, I wrote more about Jessie Ware’s early career than just about anyone else. I first covered her back in 2011 and tracked her progression from a promising, mostly unknown, quiet storm prodigy to a true powerhouse who could command any room she was Read more

Images & Words: KWAYE, “Cool Kids”

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Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 12.12.32 PMKWAYE
“Cool Kids”
Digital Single
The clip for the 22 year-old Londoner’s lead single is the rare example of a video that captures and enhances exactly what is special about a track. “Cool Kids” is an addictive, airy slice of pop that is inspired by the 80s but still feels ultra-modern. Director Billy Boyd Cape turns London tower blocks into moving art pieces, gliding around kids as their feet glide beautifully across the concrete. One of the most striking debuts of the year.

Images & Words: Teengirl Fantasy, “Seeds” (f/ Khalif Jones)

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teengirl-fantasy-music-to-search-to-1415975295-840x472Teengirl Fantasy
“Seeds” (f/ Khalif Jones)

8AM (out now on Planet Mu)
On the standout from their third LP, the Brooklyn electronic duo links up with Khalif Jones (aka Le1f) for a gorgeous, seductive ode to the end of the night. Though they rarely collaborate with vocalists, nearly all of their best tracks feature them, and “Seeds” is no exception. Producers Logan Takashi and Nick Weiss give Jones a deep, sparse arrangement to play with. And though he is known for his up-tempo bars, Jones changes gears and takes on an alluring, slow-winding croon that guides us from the club back to the bedroom.

Hot Jam of the Day: Leonce, “Advent”

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Screen Shot 2017-03-27 at 2.51.54 PMLeonce
“Advent”

Insurgence (out 04.12 on Fade to Mind)
Though he is currently based in Atlanta, Leonce’s sound has deep roots in his home city of New Orleans. Late last year, the producer dropped the excellent mixtape Heatwave, one of the strongest dance efforts of the year. The disc featured eight inch-perfect edits that seamlessly fused New Orleans bounce and house with the sound of modern R&B, giving cuts by artists like Beyoncé, Tory Lanez, Jeremih, and Tinashe a dancefloor-ready sheen.

Now, Leonce is ready for his close-up, with a seven-track, debut project for the ever-reliable Fade to Mind. Lead single, “Advent,” pairs characteristically banging percussion with a pair of slithering synth riffs that wind together and unravel over the course of six minutes. Though you can feel the bounce and house influences, it’s far from a throwback track and confirms that the talented young producer is focused on crafting a sound that defies labels.

Hot Jam of the Day: Kareem Lotfy, “Fr3sh”

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Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 5.58.43 PMKareem Lotfy
“Fr3sh”
mono no aware (out now on PAN)
I don’t know much about the man behind the first track from the new PAN Records compilation. But “Fr3sh” is a gorgeous, delicate piece of ambient music, that matches deep synths with a swelling string arrangement. Lotfy is a graphic designer and artist from Cairo who has a handful of affecting, experimental tracks on his SoundCloud that should appeal to anybody who is feeling this single.

Images & Words: Lil Uzi Vert, “XO Tour Llif3”

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091316-shows-hha-performers-the-full-review-lil-uzi-vert-5Lil Uzi Vert
“XO Tour Llif3”
Digital Single
While on tour with the Weeknd, the Philadelphian has dropped a couple of loosies to tie his fans over until his hotly anticipated Luv is Rage 2 mixtape drops later this year. The strongest of the bunch is “XO Tour Llif3” — an emotional track that also bops in vivid color.

Over a keyboard riff that swings like a pendulum, Uzi chronicles life as one of the biggest rising stars on the planet, surrounded by mobs of obsessive, overwhelming fans and feeling further from his real friends than ever. And though there’s sadness there, it’s an Uzi track, so there’s plenty of joy seeping out. That ecstasy is captured beautifully by the electric, lyrical steps of Atlanta dancers SheLovesMeechie, TheRealYvngQuan, Ayo, and Tayo.

Images & Words: OMB Peezy, “Loyalty Over Love”

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Screen Shot 2017-03-22 at 3.48.54 PMOMB Peezy
“Loyalty Over Love”
Loyalty Over Love (out TBD on Sick Wid It)
The Sacramento-via-Mobile rapper has been one of the shooting stars of 2017, rising on the back of two of the strongest rap tracks of the year so far: “Lay Down” and “When I Was Down.” Like the aforementioned tracks, “Loyalty Over Love” highlights the 20 year-old’s potent sound, which recalls 90’s New Orleans without sacrificing an ounce of modernity. Peezy has the rare flow that is hyperactive and unpredictable, but also smooth and catchy. And his verses are laden with hooks that will dig themselves into your brain. In short, he is just a massive talent, and the stage is set for Loyalty Over Love to be a monster debut mixtape.

Hot Jam of the Day: Charli XCX, “Drugs” (f/ Abra)

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Screen Shot 2017-03-21 at 2.27.59 PMCharli XCX
“Drugs” (f/ Abra)
Number 1 Angel
The trouble with shapeshifters is that as soon as you find a form that appeals to you, they’ve already moved on. That’s been my experience with the hard-to-pin down Brit, who has dabbled in more trends than H&M. So while I was ready roll my eyes at her new ‘mixtape’ (lol), I was immediately grabbed by this track’s intoxicating, slow-mo baseline and its undeniable hooks. Sure, the second verse completely jacks the melody from Dream’s classic, “He Loves You Not,” and it has a grating, totally unnecessary drop tacked on at the end. But it’s also a mean, strong pop record that will get stuck in your brain. It’s a good look for Charli, but she’s unlikely to wear it for long.

Hot Jam of the Day: Julien Baker, “Distant Solar Systems”

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Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 6.55.00 PMJulien Baker
“Distant Solar Systems”
Funeral Pyre / Distant Solar Systems (out now on Matador)
The Tennessee songwriter returns with another haunting lament. Her vocals hang like stars over reverb-soaked open strings, as she considers the insignificance of her life. It may be a very middle school topic, but it’s executed with real mastery. And if you aren’t careful, it will leave you staring up at the sky (or the ceiling) right along with her.

Hot Jam of the Day: Mabel, “Finders Keepers” (f/ Kojo Funds)

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Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 7.49.52 PMMabel
“Finders Keepers” (f/ Kojo Funds)
Bedroom EP (out 05.26 on Polydor)
Valentine’s Day was last month, but two English rising stars want to keep the love flowing on this gooey, sweet duet. I’m getting serious early Jessie Ware vibes from the London vocalist, and her cohort Kojo comes through with a characteristically slick verse of his own. “Finders Keepers” is a solid follow-up to Mabel’s buzzy, seductive 2016 single, “Thinking of You,” and should do nothing to slow her rapidly accelerating career trajectory.

Hot Jam of the Day: MoStack, “Let it Ring”

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mostack-1MoStack
“Let it Ring”
Digital Single
The North Londoner’s glorious and airy banger has been on heavy rotation for me all month. And while you might be sick of the Island vibes meet trap drums combo, “Let it Ring” is more magnetic than just about anything else of its type. MoStack is an spark plug of charisma and swagger, slaloming between the beat and driving it forward like a seasoned vet. While it’s blowing up in the UK, it is still just crackling stateside. If we’re lucky, that fire will keep building and will be blazing by this summer.