Lana Del Rey, "Doin' Time"

Lana Del Rey"Doin' Time"Sublime OST (out soon on Universal)If you grew up in California in the early 2000's, it was just about impossible to get in someone's car or go to a party that wasn't playing one of those two Sublime albums. Evidently, the same was true in wherever Read more

Images & Words: Stormzy, "Vossi Bop"

Stormzy"Vossi Bop"Digital SingleAfter a little while away, the London kingpin looks to be getting back in the game. "Vossi Bop" is a perfect comeback track because it is such a pure distillation of what makes Stormzy a true-one off. Over a tasty, yet simple beat, Big Mike goes in Read more

The Round-Up: The Best Songs of 2019 (1st Quarter)

Even though we're a solid week into the second quarter, better late than never right? Here's a quick round-up of some of my favorite songs of the last three months. To keep numbers manageable, I didn't include anything from any of my favorite albums list and prioritized songs I Read more

The Round-Up: The Best Albums of 2019 (First Quarter)

Gah, I can't believe we're already 25% through 2019. That said, Spring is in the air, and we've enjoyed an excellent, diverse crop of music during these first three months. Have a look at some of my favorite LPs of the year so far in no particular order. Dawn Richard
 “New Read more

Chief Keef, "Ain't Gonna Happen"

Chief Keef "Ain't Gonna Happen" GloToven (Glo Gang / RBC) The Chicago stalwart's new project with the legendary Zaytoven is unsurprisingly full of weird and wacky sounds, moving in innumerable unexpected and exciting ways. Its most powerful moment is its starkest, as a heartbroken Keef floats freely over Zay's gorgeous piano. "Face dried Read more

Jacques Greene: “Avatar Beach”

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Jacques Greene
“Avatar Beach”

Fever Focus (out 11.16 on LuckyMe)
Originally appearing near the end of his labyrinthe, 55-minute mixtape that dropped in May, “Avatar Beach” gets the official release that it undoubtedly deserves. The swirling track has more of a daytime vibe than we’re used to from Greene, but it still delivers every inch of the emotional house thunder that we’ve come to expect from the ever-reliable Canadian. Now, we need the CDQ version of “Night Service.”

Images & Words: Tiny Ruins, “Olympic Girls”

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Tiny Ruins
“Olympic Girls”

Olympic Girls (out in 2019 on Ba Da Bing!)
Talented New Zealand-based folkie Hollie Fullbrook is returning with her third LP early next year. And “Olympic Girls” highlights her clever picking and her warm, woolen voice, which reminds me a little of Laura Marling. I’m a sucker for Laurel Canyon vibes, and Fullbrook delivers them with aplomb.

Desire, “Tears From Heaven”

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“Tears From Heaven”

Digital Single
The most underrated members of the Italians Do It Better crew drop a starstruck, lovelorn new single. As is her wont, vocalist Megan Louise ratchets up the drama, channeling her inner film noir chanteuse and expressing her devotion over beds of Johnny Jewel’s signature synths. “Dear Tommy” is probably never fucking coming out, but as long as the Italians keep feeding me these delicious scraps, I’ll be OK.

Since U Been Gone: The Best Of What I Missed Last Week

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Miya Folick
Premonitions (out 10.26 on
With each new single, the talented LA vocalist is strengthening the case that her forthcoming LP could be one of the best debuts of the year. Her flexible vocals always stretch further than you expect, and she uses her seemingly unlimited range to exact maximum feeling from all of her songs. This, the fourth track from “Premonitions,” is a sublime, gorgeous ode to doing one of the most important things that so many of us struggle to do: apologize.

Adrianne Lenker
abysskiss (out now on Saddle Creek)
Though I don’t have anything against Big Thief, their front-woman Adrianne Lenker’s first solo album, to me, eclipses both of the Brooklyn quartet’s two efforts. A hyper-talented guitar player, Lenker’s plainspoken, yet affecting voice sounds so clean over her nimble, solo fingerpicking. “abysskiss” is an album worth spending some time with.

Kodak Black
“ZEZE” (f/ Offset & Travis Scott)

Digital Single
Veteran producer D.A. Doman comes through with an addictive island-flavored beat that is so good, it almost doesn’t matter who is on it. And when you’ve got two A-listers and the troubled but undeniably talented Kodak Black in the booth, you know it’s going to pop. The way the trio bop weightlessly over the steel drums and hi-hats will have you dreaming of the summer just passed.

Boy Pablo
“Sick Feeling”

Soy Pablo (out now on 777)
The Norwegian chillboi’s second EP dropped on Friday, and its best tune is a surprisingly potent, emotionally direct song about the way heartbreak smacks you in the face when you are young. Don’t let the goofy Guitar Hero prop fool you, Pablo sounds legitimately lost as he retraces his steps, wondering where it all went wrong.

Kevin Gates
“Wrong Love”

Luca Brasi 3 (out now on Bread Winners’ Association)
Kevin Gates doesn’t ever hold back. And he pours out his heart on his new mixtape, the first since serving nine months in federal prison. Though the project is uneven, Gates shines on soulful, confessional tracks like this one where he unflinchingly speaks on his heavy drug usage, suicide, and being an absentee father. Like the man himself, it is powerful, uncomfortable, and as real as it gets.

Images & Words: How To Dress Well, “Body Fat”

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How To Dress Well
“Body Fat”

The Anteroom (out 10.19 on Domino)
We’re now just four days away from Tom Krell’s fifth LP, and it feels like we’re on the verge of something special. It’s been eight years since I named (on a now defunct website) his debut “Love Remains” my favorite album of 2010, and it feels like “The Anteroom” might even top that immortal project. Third single, “Body Fat,” is a haunting, heartfelt rumination on the way our feelings and traumas seep deep into our cells, defining and intertwining with us forever.

Images & Words: No Rome, “Narcissist” (f/ The 1975)

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No Rome
“Narcissist” (f/ The 1975)

RIP Indo Hisashi (out now on Dirty Hit)
The buoyant, Manila-based rising pop artist gets an assist from label-mate Matty Healy on this airy bop. In the 90’s-inspired clip, the duo dance freely in a number of colorful locales that would get Busta Rhymes excited. The video channels the joyful vibe of the song and showscases both artists’ unarguable charisma.

Images & Words: Bad Bunny, “Mia” (f/ Drake)

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Bad Bunny
“Mia” (f/ Drake)

Digital Single
It’s unclear why Conejo Malo and Champagne Papi waited until October to drop the song of the summer, but I’m glad it’s finally here. It’s not Drake’s first attempt at cantando en español, and unsurprisingly, the former actor sounds at home alongside San Juan’s finest. The pair gleefully glide through an carefree earworm, living their best lives, rocking tiny sunglasses, and hanging with exotic birds.

Images & Words: Jon Hopkins, “Feel First Life”

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Jon Hopkins
“Feel First Life”

Singularity (out now on Domino)
If you are the owner of a working heart, prepare to have it crushed by this beautiful new clip from the veteran English producer. Pairing delicate, star-gazing pianos with engulfing synths, Hopkins crafts the kind of life-affirming song will stop you in your tracks and sweep you away.

Since U Been Gone: The Best Of What I Missed Last Week

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Welp, this is embarrassing. The week I roll out a new round-up column, I respond by posting exactly zero times. My editorial staff (of one) was pretty slammed this week, but that’s no excuse. Hopefully this piece can make up for it, dear readers.

I’ll do better this week, because, let’s be honest, I can’t do any worse.

Jessie Ware

Digital Single
Deep house Jessie is the best Jessie, and holy shit does the Londoner deliver with this late-night banger. Buoyed by a nasty sub-bass line and atmospheric synths from Bicep and Simian Mobile Disco’s James Ford, “Overtime” feels like something that could’ve come from her classic debut, “Devotion,” and is easily one of her strongest tracks in years.

Sheck Wes
“Never Lost”

MUDBOY (out now on Interscope)
Most of the talk about rising star Sheck Wes is about his booming voice, not what he has to say. However, the hyper-unique Harlem rapper has a ton of compelling tales to tell on his break-out debut, MUDBOY. On “Never Lost,” Sheck digs into his mother sending him back to their native Senegal to shape up when he was in high school. A fascinating story, well told.

“I’m Not Scared” (Live @ Paste Studios)

At Weddings (Saddle Creek)
Though I whiffed on Sarah Beth Tomberlin’s incredible debut when it dropped this summer, I’ve been more than making up for it over the last two weeks. The Kentucky native’s plaintive, fearless songwriting is only matched by her powerful voice, which is on full display throughout this stunning performance. What a talent.

“Hey, Who Really Cares” / “Come Down in Time”

Digital Single
Azniv Korkehian, the Angelino behind one of my favorite albums of 2017, is back with a gorgeous pair of pastoral folk covers. Though the Elton John tune is fantastic, her cover of folk master Linda Perhacs’ magical 1970 song is the showstopper. Her impossibly soft voice is a dead ringer for the perma-soothing Perhacs, and she captures every ounce of the kindness that radiates from the original.

“Respect My Crypn”
Famous Cryp (out now on 886011)
The next in line of super original stylists from LA, Blueface dropped new visuals from another track off his breakthrough debut. It may take a few spins to get used to his choppy, off-beat flow, but once you find the beat, you’ll find yourself running it back again and again.

Lil Durk
“Downfall” (f/ Young Dolph & Lil Baby)
Digital Single
With his label drama now behind him, Lil Durk can now fully focus on music, and it shows. After enduring a down period thanks to a bumpy relationship with Def Jam, the Chicago native has been dropping consistently excellent music for the better part of two years. And it feels like he’s well set up for a second act that’s even better than his blazing first.

Mariah Carey
“With You”

Digital Single
Don’t look now y’all, Ms Mariah’s still-unannounced new album is officially 2 for 2. Though it’s a totally different vibe to the sharp-tongued “GTFO,” the DJ Mustard-produced “With You” is infused with the exact same heart and honesty. Let’s. Fucking. Go.

Nicholas Krgovich

OUCH (out 10.26 on Tin Angel)
Though he’s been at it for a few years, the Canadian crooner’s sweet sound was a new discovery for me last week. A little folky and a little lounge-y, “Lido” begins as a sadsack break-up tune but is boosted by its hopeful resolution. I’m officially curious to hear the rest of this project.

Since U Been Gone: The Best Of What I Missed Last Week

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I was on vacay in England last week, and as I sat back down at my desk this morning, I realized that a massive amount of new music came out while I was gone. I’m going to try something new with quick one to two sentence recaps of some songs I loved. And we’ll see, maybe I’ll start doing this every week.

Mariah Carey

Digital Single
It’s been out for a few weeks, but I keep coming back to Mariah’s stunning new kiss off ballad. It reminds me so much of “H.A.T.E.U.” — her most underrated perfect song. And though it’s likely too low-key to become a smash, her ability to deliver a track this emotive and raw more than 30 years into her career is remarkable. She’ll always be remembered as a legendary vocalist and artist, but her bravery and the emotional heft of her music is just as special. People should be making more of this song.

Honey (out Oct 26 on Konichiwa)
Robyn SZN is rapidly approaching, and “Honey” is our second taste of the project. Though it seems a bit of an off-speed pitch following the anthemic “Missing U,” it is also one of the most directly romantic Robyn tunes of recent years and is growing on me with each listen.

Gangin II (out now on EMPIRE)
Vallejo’s finest returned with a follow-up to their excellent “GANGIN” tape from earlier in the year. Though I haven’t been through it all yet, low-RPM banger “Vibes” is a perfect example of the lyrical interplay and Bay Area slap that makes them such standouts.

Empress Of
“Love For Me”

Us (out 10/19 on Terrible)
Somehow, I didn’t write about Lorely Rodriguez’s irresistible lead single “When I’m With Him” (don’t worry, it’ll be HIGH on my year-end list). Her new track, “Love For Me,” is a bit more pulled back, but she still sounds beautiful on it, gliding over a characteristically clever, synth-driven arrangement from DJDS.

Quando Rondo
“Bacc To The Basics”

Life After Fame (out now, self-released)
One of my favorite new rappers of the year, the Savannah MC just dropped an excellent new tape. Lead single, “Bacc To The Basics,” highlights Rondo’s raspy delivery and evocative, personal storytelling. One to watch for 2019.

BOOT (out now on Cole Basta)
The rising London vocalist with the awful name feels like a star in the making. Though it’s hard to write about the teenager’s music without mentioning its palpable Frank Ocean influence, his easy tenor and evocative songwriting stand on their own.

“Paterson & Leo”

Skylight (self-released, out now)
Without wading into the morality of songwriter Evan Stephens Hall (read these pieces, make up your own mind), the first few spins of their restrained new project have been encouraging. This subdued, pretty track captures the specific kind of big-hearted feeling that makes their best songs so special.

The Arc EP (out 11.09 on Blue Flowers)
Another curious song from the elusive London singer-songwriter, “Albatross” is a gorgeous slice of synthetic folk music. He balances synths and drum machines with washes of electric guitar and his forlorn voice in a unique way, resulting in tunes that live between a ton of different styles but are beholden to none.

It Looks Sad.

Sky Lake (out 11.02 on Tiny Engines)
Besides being the clear favorites for “Best Band Name of 2018,” the Charlotte duo has been cranking out sweet, gauzy dream pop this year. New single, “Bike,” is a languid late summer jam that pairs reverb-soaked guitars with Jimmy Turner’s laid-back vocals to deliciously nostalgic effect.