Images & Words: SOPHIE, "It's Okay To Cry"


SOPHIE "It's Okay to Cry" Digital Single Every once in a while, somebody puts out something that takes your breath away. "It's Okay to Cry" is absolutely one of those moments. After spending her early career lurking behind faceless, chaotic, schizophrenic experimental dance music, the 32 year-old has stepped into the light and up to the microphone. The result is Read more

Hot Jam of the Day: King Krule, "Logos"


King Krule "Logos" The OOZ (out now on XL) Archy Marshall's excellent new album feels like a collection of those wonky dream states that exist somewhere in that nether region between being wake and sleep. Though I'm still digesting all 19 of its songs, the hypnotic, jazzy "Logos" immediately stuck out. Over languid jazz chords Read more

Hot Jam of the Day: The World is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die, "For Robin"


The World is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die "For Robin" Always Foreign (Epitaph) There are many, many awful things about addiction, but little is as insidious as the way it pushes its victims away from loved ones from their previous life and deeper into their illness. Anybody who has lost someone to Read more

Images & Words: Stormzy, "4PM in London"


Stormzy "4PM in London" Digital Single Turning freestyles into anthems is nothing new to the ultra-talented Londoner. And though the ravenous "4PM in London" was probably written, it feels alive in the same way that many of those aforementioned tracks did. Unlike Drake (the man who originally rapped on this beat), Stormzy's got the rare ability to Read more

The Round-Up: The Best Albums of The Third Quarter


As you may have noticed, I've done my annual "fall behind on a monthly column" thing over the last couple months. That said, that just gives me more ammo for a proper Q3 round up, featuring the best records of that period in alphabetical order. 21 Savage Issa Album Slaughter Read more

Hot Jam of the Day (04.13.12): Black Vanilla, “Woman on Woman”

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Black Vanilla
“Woman on Woman”
Unreleased

Here’s what we know about Black Vanilla.

1. It’s more than one guy, and one of those guys is definitely the guy behind shadowy, R&B outfit Guerre.

2. This Black Vanilla is not this Black Vanilla.

3. They are from somewhere in Australia.

4. They released one of the sexiest weirdo R&B singles of recent times.

That is all that is known about Black Vanilla.

Woman on Woman

Hot Jam of the Day (04.12.12): Sean Blackthorn, “[One] Night”

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Sean Blackthorn
“[One] Night”

The man behind one of my favorite tracks of 2012 — the sparse, emotive “The Spirits” — is back with yet another sparse, stunning slow jam. When (not if) he blows up, he’ll inevitably be lumped in with progressive, bedroom R&B troubadours like the Weeknd, Frank Ocean, and to a lesser extent, How To Dress Well. While this is excellent company to be in, in Blackthorn’s limited work so far he has brought his own distinctive sound to the genre. It’s unclear what instruments he is playing (if any), but his work has a very live feel to it, while acts like the Weeknd and Frank Ocean feel very much like studio creations. Think of him as a sort of Maxwell to the Weeknd’s R. Kelly (stylistically, not sonically). Either way, “[One] Night” is another extremely powerful, soulful track from this young Canadian who looks set to have an incredible future ahead of him. I can’t wait to see where it goes.

Hot Jam of the Day (04.11.12): Yuck, “Chew”

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Yuck
“Chew”
Single (Fat Possum)

The 75% British, 25% American quartet’s self-titled debut was one of the best of last year. Though the group wore (and still wears) its influences — Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., Smashing Pumpkins — prominently on the tattered sleeve of its cardigan, the group burrowed out their own sound, thanks mostly to their excellent songwriting. The disc is chock-full of mature, fuzzy guitar pop with undeniable hooks. Songwriters Daniel Blumberg and Max Bloom aimed for my fifth grade heart and scored a direct hit. “Chew” is a slightly noisier take on more of the same, and anybody who loves 90’s alt rock should really sit up and take notice.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/42838337″ iframe=”true” /]

Hot Jam of the Day (04.10.12): Lost in the Trees, “Golden Eyelids”

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Lost in the Trees
“Golden Eyelids”
A Church That Fits Our Needs (-ANTI, 2012)

Sometimes an album comes around that is just really fucking beautiful. It may not be particularly original or speak to you on a deeper level, but it is just really aesthetically pleasing. The sophomore LP from North Carolina’s foremost freak folk collective, Lost in the Trees, is just this sort of album. Blending backwoods-style nylon stringed guitars, lush strings, jangly percussion, and soaring vocal harmonies, Lost in the Trees would be the perfect sunny house band should Sufjan Stevens ever decide to start his own hippy commune (potential name: The Joy Ecstatic).

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/37504596″ iframe=”true” /]

Watch the Video after the Jump.

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Hot Jam of the Day (04.09.12): Waka Flocka Flame, “I Don’t Really Care” (f/ Trey Songz)

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Waka Flocka Flame
“I Don’t Really Care”
Triple F Life: Friends, Fans, And Family

Waka Flocka Flame is the Tyson Chandler of hip-hop. Though both have recently attained superstar status, neither have changed their game at all and are more than happy to put on their hard hats and bang bodies down low. Even when he’s greeted with a radio-friendly club track like this (or 2010’s immortal “No Hands”), the young ATLien just can’t stop himself from going hard in the paint. That’s what makes this collaboration with Trey Songz — the NBA’s Ray Allen (all finesse, great teammate/set-up man, not quite good enough to win a title on his own) — so fulfilling. Waka’s lunchpail flow is a perfect foil to Songz’s sweet stroke, giving the crooner plenty of space to get his shine while holding it all together with two of his trademark, HAM verses. The result is a track that is smooth enough for the radio and hard enough for his core fans.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/39156813″ iframe=”true” /]

ThunderTapes

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It’s Cold Outside, but It’s Warm in Here: December 2013

It’s been a while since I’ve made one of these, but hopefully this is worth the wait.

It was a long, fucking freezing winter. This is some of the music that kept me warm.

Tracklist:
ライフmidi // soundtest initialization theme
atlantis // paradise
lontalius // gatorade + water me
mssngno // xe3
karma kid // in my arms (maths time joy rmx)
drake // from time (ruddyp rmx)
jonn hart // who booty? (jeftuz rmx)
ciara + iamnobodi // overdose
johnbear + bria // call me your lover
justin bieber // hold tight (figgy rmx)
zap mama // yaku (planet giza edit)
ballout x yung gleesh x capo // what u got (tommy kruise remix)
partynextdoor // persian rugs (the north virus rmx)
cyril hahn // getting there
idle mind // wrecking ball + clarity
e+e // emotion
情報デスクvirtual // ☆angelbirth☆

Cherish the Chez: December 2012

You do this to me, and I oblige.

trax:
how to dress well/cold nites (slowed&throed)
ciara/deuces (korallreven rework)
hackman/forgotten notes
disclosure/latch (f/ sam smith)
manid diaz/trust fall (jensen sportag remix)
airbird/free mind
the system/don’t disturb this groove (tp screwed vocal remix)
wham!/everything she wants (morgan geist mix)
goldroom/fifteen (f/ chela)
リフト/私はあなたの腕の中に属している
saint lou lou/maybe you (cfcf remix)
how to dress well/running back to you (live)

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Everyday Is Like Sade: June 2012

Just in time for summer, it’s my pleasure to share another mixtape with you guys.

May you spend the summer with the sun in your eyes and the wind in your hair.

Everyday is Like Sade (Side A)

Everyday Is Like Sade (Side B)

trax:
side a:
the-dream:fancy
cassie:king of hearts(richard x rmx)
mario:let me love you(lapalux rmx)
disclosure:boiling
jessie ware:running(disclosure rmx)
purity ring:obedear
gang colours:fancy restaurant
giselle:silk(cosmic kids rmx)

side b:
jyrome good:where i left off
shlohmo/r. kelly/ nico jaar:rained the whole time (hemsworth blend)
javeon mccarthy:precious
bondax:only you know
ciara:ride (masterpiece rmx)
just friends (jaar+spielberg):avalanche

You can also download it all as one file here.

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The Visions In Our Minds: April 2012

The Visions In Our Minds (Side A)

trax:
side a:
julianna barwick:cloudbank
arts&crafts:heartbroken
keep shelly in athens:our own dream
onra (f/reggie b):high hopes
games:back in time
brenmar:temperature rising
erothug:the girl is mine
flight facilities x michael brun x paris fz x simo t:crave you (remix)
evian christ:myd
land kal:further

The Visions In Our Minds (Side B)

side b:
the-dream:roc
nico jaar (f/ scout larue):with just one glance
evy jane:sayso
aaliyah x leagues:go (remix)
araabmuzik:i remember
john talbot (f/pional):destiny
aluna george:you know you like it
lapalux (f/py):moments
usher x diplo:climax
nite jewel:visions

————————————————————————————–
Wake Me When It’s Over: December 2011
For that winter when I really needed it.

trax:
side a:
the-dream/wake me when it’s over
cam’ron f. vado/girls cry
air france/it feels good to be around you
ford&lopatin/joey rodgers
holy ghost/wait and see (richard x rmx)
clams casino/i’m god
shabazz palaces/are you…can you…will you
poolside/do you believe
keep shelly in athens/running out of you

side b:
curren$y/#jetsgo
m83/midnight city
chad valley/portuguese solid summer
azari&iii/hungry for the power
araabmuzik/feelin’ so hood, lost in a maze
the weeknd/loft music
lana del rey/video games
the-dream/wake me when it’s over (reprise)

The Best 51 Tracks of 2011

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So here it goes. Better late than never, 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. Here’s a link 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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Hot Jam of The Day (04.06.12): A$AP Rocky (f/ H-Town All-Stars), “Purple Swag” (Remix)

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A$AP Rocky (f/ Paul Wall, Bun B, Killa Kyleon)
“Purple Swag” (H-Town All-Stars Remix)
Live Love Purple

To deride Harlem’s rising star A$AP Rocky for leaning too much on a sound that isn’t his own would be missing the point completely. Harlem may be more than 2,000 miles away from Houston’s syrup-soaked south side, but in the internet age, it really doesn’t matter. If the world’s leading Chillwave scholar can reside in one of the most decidedly un-chill locales on the planet, A$AP can be inspired by whomever he wants. And while Rocky relies heavily on his influences, he is always quick to big up his inspirations. He shows love to three of his biggest inspirations by getting out of the way entirely, letting three of Clutch City’s most diverse voices get their shine on. You can’t be mad at that.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/40838550″ iframe=”true” /]

And just for the hell of it, here’s one of my favorite ever H-Town (by way of Port Arthur) tracks.

Hot Jam of the Day (04.06.12): Kanye West, “Theraflu”

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Kanye West
“Theraflu”
Unreleased

Most of what’s been written about Kanye’s scathing pre-G.O.O.D. Friday single centers around a throwaway line about a B-List reality star. However, those only interested in Kimye’s potential future are forgetting the most important thing: this cut is all about the past. On “Theraflu,” the Chicago MC is back to his rampant, ferocious pre-808’s best, spitting line after line of his patented “sophisticated ignorance.” As a rule, an angry Kanye is a good Kanye, and while he is capable of crafting some of the most fascinating conceptual work on the planet, nobody can deliver a fuck you track quite like him.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/42276409″ iframe=”true” /]

And because it’ll probably get taken down in the next 18 minutes, here’s another example of new Kanye channeling old Kanye: 2011’s in-fucking-credible “Mama’s Boyfriend.”

Hot Jam of the Day (04.04.12): jj, “Beautiful Life”

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jj
“Beautiful Life”
jj n° 4 (2012)

It’s always a good morning when you wake up to an email from the Sincerely Yours folks. It means your day is going to start with a new, enigmatic slice of (mostly) Swedish pop magic. My excitement was magnified by the email I received this morning, thanks to its subject line: “l to the o to the.” Hoping it would be another warped take on a track by The-Dream — SY released Sail A Whale’s ghostly re-work of “Love King” a couple years ago — I (virtually) tore into it.

Though it’s decidedly not Terius-related, I was pleased to hear a typically shimmering, expansive new cut from the label’s most famous artists, the mysterious jj. The duo continues with their American radio-rap obsession, vocalist Elin Kastlander celestially blows “dro in this bitch” (to the extent that such a thing is possible) over a trademark  Joakim Benon arraignment: carefree, sparse, and just-a-little-bit Balearic.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/42001334″ iframe=”true” /]

Sail a Whale’s “Love (The-Dream) King”

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/8048241″ iframe=”true” /]