Images & Words: Jamie Isaac, "Doing Better"


Jamie Isaac "Doing Better" Digital Single After a year or so away, the low-key Croydon singer-songwriter returns with the first song from his forthcoming sophomore LP. "Doing Better" is another tasty slab of the bleary-eyed, late-night soul that made his debut, "Couch Baby," my 14th favorite album of 2016. Isaac is blessed Read more

Images & Words: Mabel x Not3s, "Fine Line"


Mabel x Not3s "Fine Line" Digital Single Mabel and Not3s both appeared on my "Best Songs of 2017" list as solo artists, so it's not surprising that their second single together is an absolute heater. "Fine Line" has more crossover potential than anything either artist has released before, bringing an anthemic, radio-ready chorus to go with their signature, lithe, Read more

Images & Words: 03 Greedo, "Never Bend"


O3 Greedo "Never Bend" Money Changes Everything (out now on Golden Grenade Empire) Not gonna lie, I slept on 03 Greedo last year, but I'm not going to make the same mistake twice. The Watts rapper is one of the most unique, exciting new voices rising today, pairing soulful crooning and sticky bars for a Read more

Best of '17: The Best Songs of 2017


So that's it. 6 years of ThunderPenguin are in the books. As always, here's a round-up of my favorite songs of the year. This was one of the toughest lists I've ever made, and I hope something on this list brings you the light it brought me. Thanks so Read more

Hot Jam of the Day: T-Pain, "Textin' My Ex" (f/ Tiffany Evans)


T-Pain “Textin’ My Ex” (f/ Tiffany Evans) Oblivion Tomorrow, T-Pain drops his long-awaited fifth LP, the culmination of the most trying era of the R&B innovator’s career. Through no real fault of his own, Pain (né Faheem Najm) went from the jolly ringmaster of a multi-million dollar radio empire to a Read more

Hot Jam of the Day (03.14.12): Beach House, “Myth”

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Beach House
“Myth”
Bloom (Sub Pop)

Coming off their mega-huge (and mega-wonderful) 2010 breakthrough Teen Dream, this is the first single from the New Jersey dream poppers hotly-anticipated fourth LP, due out May 15th. While this is still unmistakably Beach House  — Victoria Legrand’s soaring vocals, Alex Scally’s reverb drenched guitars and gauzy soundscapes — it’s more direct and anthemic than much of their past material, which definitely isn’t a bad thing. Always one of the most evocative groups in the indie rock zeitgeist, they’ve always had the uncanny ability to transport you into their world, and this track is no exception. Roll on May 15th.

Tru Warier: Monta Ellis, “Fulltime Grind”

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In case you didn’t know, my beloved Golden State Warriors traded longtime off guard Monta Ellis to the Bucks today for real-life Australian center Andrew Bogut. While I do think this is a good trade, I will miss watching the electrifying combo guard immensely. As frustrating as he could be at times, he was an absolute offensive savant who made some of the most incredible plays I’ve ever seen. But as this is a music blog, I wanted to focus on the Mississippi native’s rap career, peaking with this collaboration with Southern hip-hop legend Bun B and some dude named Redboi. Yeah, Monta’s flow is a little clunky, but I’ll put this track up against almost any other by an athlete (save: “Shoot, Pass, Slam”). And whatever. I love the dude. Best of luck bro, and thanks for the memories. I look forward to watching a backcourt of Young Money and Monta jack up terrible shots, not play any defense, and make a handful of the most ridiculous plays you’ve ever seen. Have fun with that Scott Skiles.

Hot Jam of the Day (03.13.12): Bobby Womack, “Please Forgive My Heart”

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Bobby Womack
“Please Forgive My Heart”
The Bravest Man in the Universe (XL) 

Like pro wrestlers, soul singers don’t often age gracefully. The Cleveland native’s biography is eyebrow-raising even when compared to his most troubled musical contemporaries (Stone, Brown) — herion addiction, wife beating, the death of two of his sons, an alleged affair with his wife’s 14 year-old daughter — the list goes on. But like many of his peers, the tragedy was balanced by brilliance, and in his legendary career, Womack released a litany of absolute classic soul tracks, including “Across 110th Street,” which is one of my 50 favorite songs ever. On this, the lead-off single from his Damon Albarn and Richard Russell-produced LP, the toll of 68 years of hard living is evident in his voice, but that doesn’t stop it from being an emotive, memorable performance. This could be the I’m New Here of 2012.

Download Here (right click).

New Video Alert: Danny Brown, “Radio Song”

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Only in Danny Brown’s world does the line, “bitches wanna scoop us, their pussy’s like lupus,” qualify as a boast. Of all the rising Detroit MC’s many talents, his ability to make having sex sound like a legitimately disgusting proposition is truly unparalleled. If this video proves anything, it’s that there’s only one Danny, even when there’s a bunch of them.

Hot Jam of the Day (03.12.12) Fort Romeau: “Say Something”

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Fort Romeau
“Say Something”
Kingdoms (100% Silk)

Deep house is the best house, and UK producer Mike Norris’ debut effort under the Fort Romeau moniker is teeming with the best aspects of the genre. Subtle, smooth, and absolutely delicious, its first single is a lush, effortlessly sexy affair that expertly sets an undulating backtrack to a seductive vocal sample. Norris’ pop music background (he worked on La Roux’s explosive debut) is very apparanent all through Kingdoms, as he crafts tracks that have that open, airy deep house feel with just the right amount of pop hooks to stick in your head.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/38112965″ iframe=”true” /]

New Video Alert: Memoryhouse, “The Kids Were Wrong”

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In the interest of full disclosure, I’m totally in love with this band. The only thing that truly troubles me about them is finding a way to break up the boyfriend-girlfriend duo romantically without ruining the band. Until I figure out a way to do that (and convince vocalist Denise Nouvion to marry me), I guess I’ll have to just sit back and enjoy their wonderful, sleepy dream pop magic. This video, the first off their debut LP The Slideshow Effect, tells a pretty little love story, while the band gets as close to rocking as they can. Lovely.

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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