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

The Round-Up: The Best Songs of 2018 (So Far...)


Somehow, some fucking way, 2018 is more than half over. And though it might feel like I always say this, I think this was the toughest list I've had to make yet. There's been an overwhelming number of exciting, vital new voices popping up and plenty of fantastic follow-ups Read more

Images & Words: The 1975, "Give Yourself A Try"


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, Read more

Images & Words: The Rhythm Method, "Chin Up"


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 Read more

Images & Words: Chromatics, "Black Walls"


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 Read more

Stream This Shiat: The Tallest Man on Earth, There’s No Leaving Now

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The Tallest Man on Earth
There’s No Leaving Now (Dead Oceans)

For those of you who can’t wait till next Tuesday, you can stream the exquisite new album from Swedish folk singer Kristian Matsson. NPR always gets the best streams.

Stream it here. Also, check out lead single “1904” below. Right click for DL.

The_Tallest_Man_on_Earth: “1904”

Shout out to the homie Kayte Rossi for the tip.

Hot Jams of the Day (06.04.12): Paradis, “Hemisphere” & “Je M’ennuie”

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Paradis
“Hémisphère” & “Je M’ennuie”
Hémisphère (Beats in Space)

Oh my god, this is so good. This is the secretive, Parisian duo’s second incredible 12″ of the last 12 months, and it’s even better than the first, 2011’s brooding, exquisite “Parfait Tirage.” The former is a characteristically moody, vocal-driven track that displays a palpable cinematic essence, while the former cuts a more ambient, though equally devastating figure. In their short career, the group has shown a remarkable ability to craft expansive, urbane atmospheric dance music with just the proper twinge of pop sensibilities. Though we are still waiting for a proper debut from the Frenchmen (government names: Simon Mény and Pierre Rousseau), this much quality allows us to forgive the dearth of quantity. Both tracks also come with some unsurprisingly film-noir style visuals. C’est magnifique.

“Hémisphère”:

“Je M’ennuie”:

Hot Jam of the Day (06.01.12): Giselle, “Silk” (Cosmic Kids Remix)

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Giselle
“Silk”
Silk

We first heard this Australian vocalist’s doe-eyed, sultry stylings on Flight Facilities’ interwebz-fave “Crave You,” but now she’s back with her breezy, languid first single. While I didn’t fall in love with the original mix, serial remixers Cosmic Kids’ version is the perfect summer jam. Giselle’s alluring vocals drift over a chunky, meandering bass line that crawls like it had just woken up from a particularly meaty bender. After her performance on “Crave You,” I have to say I’m a little surprised it’s taken her so long to strike out on her own, but it was certainly worth the wait.

Giselle: “Silk” (Cosmic Kids Remix)

And just in case you missed it, here’s “Crave You.”

Hot Jam of the Day (05.30.12): Miracles Club, “The Wheel”

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The Miracles Club
“The Wheel”
Ecstasy (Compilation from Ecstasy Records)

As if Thunder Penguin need more reason to crush on Portland, up pops a filthy new compilation from rising Portland progressive dance label, Ecstasy Records. Its lead single is this playful, darkly alluring new single from The Miracles Club, a group fronted by PDX deep-house stalwart Honey Owens. Like so much of the truly exceptional dance music coming out of the city, “The Wheel” is both instinctively and intellectually appealing. In other words, this works as an equally effective soundtrack to a night of drinking/dancing/whatever-that-leads-to, as well as a night in or a long drive. If you like what you hear, make sure to snap up the new comp when it drops on June 12.

Miracles Club: “The Wheel”

Hot Jam of the Day (05.29.12): Disclosure, “Control” (f/ Ria Ritchie)

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Disclosure
“Control”
The Face (Greco-Roman)

I’ve been a huge fan of this South London duo since last year’s severely underrated “I Love….That You Know,” and since then, they have been cranking out infectious, progressive post-dubstep with remarkable consistency. Consisting of brothers Howard and Guy Lawrence, the duo is set to release their long-awaited four-track EP next Tuesday on simmering German/British label Greco-Roman. This is the second single from The Face, succeeding the aptly-titled “Boiling,” which doubles as one of the very best songs of 2012 so far. Very few dubstep producers handle vocals with the same care and subtly as Disclosure, and that’s apparent on all three of the aforementioned tracks. Preferring to use them to build mood rather than take the spotlight, the group uses vocals to give the listener something to hold on to without letting them run rampant and turn the wheel into radio-pop land. I’m surprised they still haven’t made a jump into our continental conscious (á la James Blake), but I really think it’s coming soon. Brilliant.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/48079700″ iframe=”true” /]

Disclosure: “Boiling” (feat. Sinead Harnett)

Hot Jams of the Day (05.28.12): D’Eon, “Transparency (pt. II)” & “Now You Do”

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D’Eon
“Transparency (pt. II)” & “Now You Do”
LP (Hippos In Tanks)

It’s always gonna be a good day when you are greeted by two expansive, new tracks from the mercurial, esoteric Montreal native. The former is an update on one of my favorite songs of 2011, the latter is a brand new thought, and both are absolutely scintillating. In the last few years, we’ve been lucky enough to experience a fascinating new crop of R&B artists determined to push the genre forward. Artists like the Weeknd, Frank Ocean, Holy Other, and How to Dress Well have all garnered significantly more buzz than the former Grimes collaborator, but while all of those artists have used their distinctive voices to significantly contribute to so much to modern music, nobody has a more singular, progressive take on R&B right now than D’Eon. While his sound is probably too weird to captivate the masses like the aforementioned artists (sans, HTDW), anybody who cares about hearing some unique, fresh, and totally original shit need to sit up and take notice. Something special is going on here.

D’Eon: “Transparency pt. II”

D’Eon: “Now You Do”

Check out the Grimes-assisted clip for the original “Transparency”

Hot Jam of the Day (05.27.12): Summer Camp, “Always”

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Summer Camp
“Always”
Always (Moshi Moshi)

Even though bf/gf groups were soooo 2011, this London duo is refusing to call time on their moody, John Hughes-inspired synth-pop party. After a superlative debut EP Young and a patchy-but-still-pretty-fucking-brilliant LP Welcome to Condale, Summer Camp is back to its best with this bouncy, lovelorn jam. For a change, guitarist Jeremy Warmsley takes over lead vocal duties here, but that doesn’t mean we don’t get a steady dose of Elizabeth Sankey’s signature, confident voice. They sing so well together, and when they refrain, “we’ll always be together,” you can’t help but hope they’re right. Great track for summer.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/47528678″ iframe=”true” /]

Again, just cuz, here’s Condale‘s excellent lead-off track, “Better Off Without You.”

Hot Jam of the Day (05.26.12): Antony Hegarty: “Rise”

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Antony Hegarty
“Rise”
Coral Rekindling Venus

While there aren’t a lot of certainties in this world, Antony Hegarty (frontperson of Antony and the Johnsons) making beautiful, luscious pop songs is a dead cert. Since he first warbled his way into our hearts with his self-titled debut, Antony has become one of the most enduring, distinctive, and bravest voices in independent music, and this lovely new single is yet another notch in his sequined belt. Written for a documentary on coral, it is accompanied by a visually stunning piece. Typically spellbinding.

Hot Jam of the Day (05.25.12): How To Dress Well, “Ocean Floor For Everything”

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How To Dress Well
“Ocean Floor For Everything”
Total Loss (Acephale)

How to Dress Well — the alter ego of Chicago-based philosophy professor Tom Krell — was responsible for my favorite album of 2010: the ghostly, celestial Love Remains. Krell has one of most distinctive voices (literally and figuratively) in all of popular music, and his bizarre, singular take on R&B is equal parts hopeful and melancholic. This, the first single of his follow-up Total Loss, feels a little bit more like an idea than a whole thought, which isn’t surprising. Love Remains is one of the rare albums meant to be digested as a whole, and I can’t imagine this next one being any different. Either way, it’s a nice way for folks who haven’t heard him to get a taste of what he does.

How To Dress Well – “Ocean Floor For Everything”

And just cuz, here’s the video from Love Remains cut “Lover’s Start”….my 7th favorite song of 2010.

Hot Jam(s) of the Day (05.24.12): Ab-Soul, “ILLuminate” (f/ Kendrick Lamar) & “Terrorist Threats” (f/ Danny Brown & Jhene Aiko)

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Ab-Soul
“ILLuminate” (f/ Kendrick Lamar) & “Terrorist Threats” (f/ Danny Brown, Jhene Aiko)
Control System

Though he may be the only member of Kendrick Lamar’s hyper-buzzy Black Hippy crew without a WikiPedia page, South Central MC Ab-Soul’s druggy, claustrophobic new LP Control System should land him a page on the Free Encyclopedia pretty soon. As an MC, Soul seamlessly weaves wild conspiracy theories (the Illuminati references are rampant) with audacious boasts and reflective insights, often all in the same verse. Like the rest of the Black Hippies — Schoolboy Q & Jay Rock round out the group — he also has an impeccable ear for an emotive, atmospheric beat, which are evidenced by both of these tracks. The former pairs spacious, elegiac synths with an acoustic-sounding drum line, while the former sounds like it could be on the new SALEM album. In a genre that is occasionally short on cutting-edge new ideas, the Black Hippy crew is a huge breath of fresh air.

“ILLuminate”

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/45727419″ iframe=”true” /]

“Terrorist Threats”