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

Images & Words: How To Dress Well, "Nonkilling 6 | Hunger"


How to Dress Well "Nonkilling 6 | Hunger" The Anteroom (out 10.19 on Domino) Though it was a little bit buried on my "Favorite Songs of 2018, So Far.." list, I'm extremely excited about the experimental direction Tom Krell seems to be going in on his fifth LP. This stunning two-parter pairs Read more

Wild Pink, "Mount Erie"


Wild Pink “Lake Erie” Yolk in the Fur (out now on Tiny Engines) Though I’m about six months late to the NYC trio’s outstanding second LP, I’m extremely glad that I finally found it. While their AM Radio sound has been relentlessly compared to War on Drugs, frontman John Ross is such Read more

Mitski, "Two Slow Dancers"


Mitski "Two Slow Dancers" Be The Cowboy (out 08.17 on Matador) Every slow dance with someone you care about feels like a moment suspended in time. I mean, that's the point, right? Your hands are tied, your bodies are connected, and even your gaze is limited. Mitski, the fantastic New York songwriter, Read more

Future, "Hate the Real Me"


Future "Hate the Real Me" Beastmode 2 (out now on Epic) The peak of a quietly excellent year, Future goes super deep on his worthy follow-up to 2015's legendary "Beast Mode" tape. Of all its stirring moments, nothing emotionally hits harder than its last track, as Future pours his heart out over Read more

Hot Jam of the Day (09.12.12): Bat for Lashes, “Marilyn”

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Bat for Lashes
“Marilyn”
The Haunted Man (Parlophone, out 10.23)

We fell in love with the London pixie’s powerhouse last single — the captivating, old Hollywood ballad “Laura” — and now the impish Natasha Khan has bequeathed her sophomore LP’s second single on the shivering masses. Though it’s undoubtedly cut from the same dramatic cloth as its predecessor, “Marilyn” has much more of a new-age feel, as Khan unleashes her graceful falsetto over washes of synth twinkles and reverb-soaked electronic drum pads. Bat for Lashes has always worked best when Khan is shooting for the stars (ie dialing up the drama), and she seems to have realized it. If the rest of The Haunted Man is nearly as good as its two debut singles, it’s going to be one to remember.

Hot Jam of the Day (09.11.12): Kanye West, “Clique” (f/ Big Sean, Jay-Z)

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Kanye West
“Clique” (f/ Big Sean, Jay-Z)
Cruel Summer (G.O.O.D. Music, out 09/18)

In honor of the recent release of Cruel Summer‘s tracklist, I’ve decided to do things a little different. On his excellent new single, the Louis Vuitton Don repeats “ain’t nobody fuckin’ with my clique” roughly 2,193 times, and that got me thinking.

1. Who exactly is in Kanye’s clique?
2. Which of said members would I be most likely to fuck with?

So I decided to do a little research and make a list of potential clique members and rate them in descending order, from ones I most back myself to fuck with to unfuckwitable. Here goes nothing.

Tier 1: The Krissy Humphries: “Immanently Fuckwitable” Group

2 Chainz: The artist formerly known as Tity Boi leads our list. Honestly, does Kanye owe his dad a favor or something? How he continues to get on hot tracks/what he brings to the table remain the greatest unsolved mysteries Carlos Boozer’s hair. He makes Murphy Lee sound like Andre 3000.

Big Sean: He comes in just above 2 Chainz, thanks to his cool hat collection, past collaboration with The-Dream, and the fact that my buddy Sean thinks he’s hella handsome. Comes in second-to-last because his flows are as interesting as a JWOWW TED Talk.

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Hot Jam of the Day (09.10.11): Fear of Men, “Mosaic”

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Fear of Men
“Mosaic”
Mosaic 7″ (Too Pure)

Another sumptuous single from the British dream-pop quartet, “Mosaic” is a gauzy, immersive number driven by vocalist Jess Weiss’ heartfelt vocal and miles of jangly guitar goodness. Despite its downtrodden refrain — “Break me into pieces to feel safe/Like I’m no one” — it remains hopeful, breezy and youthful, like love could still come through in the end. It feels like a lost cut from the Empire Records soundtrack. In fact, I can just see Liv Tyler listening to this on her discman, while sitting on that roof — brokenhearted and angsty. She’s alone until the last chorus, when that handsome dude with the bad sweater comes up and tells her exactly how he feels about her….all while poor Joey Lauren Adams overdoses on diet pills, and Marc (with a K) creeps out all the girls who come into the store. I digress, but suffice it to say, I really love this band and am feverishly looking forward to a full-length from them.

Fear the Men! Save the Empire! Buy the limited single, here.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/59025786″ iframe=”true” /]

Also, check out their incredible single “Green Sea,” which was released earlier this year.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/44892286″ iframe=”true” /]

Hot Jam of the Day (09.09.12): The xx, Coexist

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The xx
Coexist (Young Turks, out now)

Generally, the point of this site is for me to put people on to what I’m listening to, but for this post, my goal is to stick up for one of the best new bands in years and thumb my nose at the critics who are stupidly criticizing their new album. After lapping up universal plaudits for their spectacular debut LP, the South London trio are facing an unfair, altogether predictable backlash from the American online press, generally accusing the group of sounding to much like itself. When Fleet Foxes, The National, and Arcade Fire built on their signature styles, they were lionized for crafting distinctive sounds, but for some reason when The xx does it, they are accused of lacking vision, bravery, and versatility.

The truth is, when you’ve found a sound this unique, breathtaking, and penetrating, you should do everything in your power to explore it further, and I’m damn glad they did. Coexist has everything that xx did — the arresting vulnerability, the seductive vocals, the delicately beautiful arraignments — with improved songwriting and production. Though it doesn’t feel quite as seminal as their debut (“You always remember your first time”), it’s an incredible statement from one of the best bands in the world (yeah, I said it), and I have a feeling that, in time, it could even surpass their debut. Now there’s nothing left to do, but sit back, listen, enjoy, and wait for the detractors to clean the egg off their faces. Don’t buy the hate; this is still one of the absolute best albums of the year.

Hottest Jams (so far): “Unfold,” “Missing,” “Swept Away”

“Unfold”

“Missing”

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/60211389″ iframe=”true” /]

“Swept Away”

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/61486309″ iframe=”true” /]

Hot Jam of the Day (09.07.12): Lapalux, “The Hours”

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Lapalux
“The Hours”
Single (Self-Released)

A couple of years ago, this esoteric, Essex-based producer turned my head with the spacious, heady “Time Spike Jamz” — the lead single from his devastating Many Faces Out of Focus EP. Since then, the artist governmentally known as Stuart Howard has released his brilliant Brainfeeder debut, When You’re Gone, and is set to release another EP this year. Like much of his best work, “The Hours” is all about mood, and the 22 year-old’s mood ring is colored pensive and nostalgic here. Howard has never been big on vocals — preferring to let them flitter in and out like a midmorning nap — and preferes to leave the heavy lifting to his evocative, wonky melodies. Characteristically excellent.

Lapalux: “The Hours”

Hot Jam of the Day (09.06.12): Cat Power, “Cherokee” (Nico Jaar Remix)

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Cat Power
“Cherokee” (Nico Jaar Remix)
Sun (Matador, out now)

Chan “Cat Power” Marshall is simply not made for the Internet era. Marshall has thumbed her nose at a music world (and culture at large) that demands that an artist constantly be connecting with their audience, whether it’s with new music, through social media, or via an endless touring schedule. That’s never been the Atlanta native’s modus operandi, and it never will be. It’s been six years since she’s given us an album full of new material — an absolute eternity nowadays — but Sun is well-worth the wait. One of its standout tracks, “Cherokee,” was given a pensive, lush remix by electronic music Jedi, Nico Jaar. The NYChilean has a touch like few other producers and brings absolutely everything out of the heartbreaking original.

Cat Power: “Cherokee” (Nicolas Jaar Remix)

Hot Jam of the Day (09.05.12): Flying Lotus, “Until The Quiet Comes”

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Flying Lotus
“Until the Quiet Comes” a Short Film By Kahlil Joseph
With music from Until The Quiet Comes (Warp, out 10/2)

Today’s Hot Jam of the Day isn’t really a jam at all, but when Flying Lotus releases any glimpses of new music, it qualifies. Accompanied by some arresting visuals courtesy of rising filmaker Kahlil Joseph, we get tastes of three new evocative FlyLo (né Steven Elliot) tracks. All three feature his signature impossibly layered arraignments, lush melodies, and spot-on drum patterns. They also all feature soulful, accesible vocal parts (one of which is by the great Erykah Badu). Though Elliot has worked with plenty of singers, it’s a bit surprising that all three tracks feature vocalists, as he has generally used them sparingly on his previous LPs. That said, a lot of my favorite of his tracks have singing, so I’m not mad if that’s the case. Either way, all three cuts serve as reminders that nobody does it quite like FlyLo. Don’t be surprised if Until the Quiet Comes is one of the albums of the year.

Hot Jam of the Day (09.04.12): How to Dress Well, “& It Was U”

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How to Dress Well
“& It Was U”
Total Loss (Tri Angle, out 9/17)

One of the great fallacies that surrounded ethereal R&B singer Tom Krell’s debut album, Love Remains, is that it was “depressing.” While it dealt with heavy issues (mostly the passing of Krell’s close friend) openly and bravely, How to Dress Well’s first LP had its fair share of playful, inspiring, and hopeful moments. The Colorado native has never hidden his love of saccharine radio R&B, and this cut is perhaps the clearest manifestation of this affinity to date. The buoyant, fingersnap-led devotional highlights his elastic falsetto and approachable disposition. Total Loss was one of my most anticipated albums of the year, and with every single, I’m more sure that it’s going to live up to the brilliant Love Remains.

How to Dress Well: “& It Was U”

 

Hot Jam of the Day (08.02.12): Elite Gymnastics, “Andreja 4-Ever”

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Elite Gymnastics
“Andreja 4-Ever”
Digital Single

When Josh Clancy left Elite Gymnastics earlier this summer, sole remaining member James Brooks assured fans that the group’s sound wouldn’t be affected, as Clancy mostly contributed to group’s design. Based on this track alone, that statement rings false, and that actually might not be a bad thing. “Andreja 4-Ever” is easily the most accesible thing to be released under the Elite GZ moniker with much of their ever-present, chaotic wall of sound stripped away. Frankly, I’m not sure if I’m ready for an entire album of this, but as a one-off, it works. That said, I hope I haven’t seen the end of the Elite Gymnastics that I fell in love with over the last couple of years.

Elite Gymnastics: “Andreja 4-Ever”

Hot Jam of the Day (09.01.12): Sky Ferreira, “Everything Is Embarrassing”

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Sky Ferreira
“Everything is Embarrassing”
Ghost (EMI, out 10/2)

Everybody knows that a brilliant hook is essential to a great pop song. But what separates a great pop song from a special one? The bridge: the most under-appreciated, overlooked, difficult-to-nail facet of a truly satisfying four minutes. The best middle 8’s dive headlong into the spotlight, snatching it away from the prima donna choruses that they are surrounded by. Most of the best pop tracks — Wham’s “Careless Whisper” & Boyz II Men’s “I’ll Make Love to You” spring to mind — have barnstorming, explosive bridges that end up working like ancillary hooks, turning excellent songs into truly incredible ones.

Sky Ferriera’s new single isn’t quite one of those, but it’s certainly one of the best of the year, thanks largely to its gargantuan bridge. Like her model looks and public persona, “Everything is Embarrassing” is meticulously crafted, driven by a potent combo of breathy vocals, dear-diary lyrics, and razor-sharp production à la mode from Dev Hynes (Lightspeed Champion, Blood Oranges) and Ariel Rechtshaid (the dude who produced Usher’s “Climax”). After two seductive verses and a killer chorus, the track goes to another level thanks to an immense bridge, that sees the vocally-limited Angelino open it up a little and let her carefully styled blonde locks down. It’s not “BUT NOWWWW WHO’S GONNA DANCE WITH MEEEEE, PLEASE STAYYY,” life-affirming, but it’s not a million miles away.

Sky Ferreira: “Everything Is Embarrassing”