Cat Power - Sun album cover

Cat Power – “Ruin”

written by: John Taylor on June 26, 2012

Ruin Chan Marshall got a haircut. Of course, Marshall being Marshall, that’s not the only thing that’s changed. In 2006, shortly after recording The Greatest, the Atlanta-born singer-songwriter checked into rehab and reinvented herself, finding new life in the spiritual cleansing of soul. It worked for a while, and then it didn’t — 2008 covers record […]

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Joey Bada$$ - 1999 album cover

Joey Bada$$ – “Survival Tactics” ft. Capital STEEZ

written by: John Taylor on June 25, 2012

Survival Tactics ft. Capital STEEZ “It’s like six million ways to die, my nigga choose one,” laments Joey Bada$$ on this 1999 highlight. As far as skateboard rap goes, Bada$$ flies past his kush-flaunting, id-driven peers. The difference? Whereas other ’90s aping hip hop artists use the decade as a platform for simple boasting, Bada$$ digs deeper, […]

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Purity Ring - Fineshrine album cover

Purity Ring – “Fineshrine”

written by: John Taylor on June 21, 2012

Fineshrine True LPs wait. In an age of digital oversharing (Lil B, we’re looking at you), Purity Ring are champions of self-restraint. For all the irony that may or may not lie behind vocalist Megan James and producer Corin Roddick’s choice of stage name, it’s hard to think of a better moniker. Their first song […]

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The Mynabirds - Generals album cover

The Mynabirds – “Body of Work”

written by: John Taylor on June 5, 2012

Body of Work One LP and two years ago, Laura Burhenn made a name for herself as The Mynabirds, drawing numerous comparisons to Cat Power and–for those old enough to remember–Dusty Springfield. Which, is why those same listeners will be surprised when they hear Burhenn’s new musical palate: Gospel is out, and garage rock is […]

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Childish Gambino - Untitled (We Ain't Them) album cover

Childish Gambino – “Untitled (We Ain’t Them)”

written by: John Taylor on May 24, 2012

Untitled (We Ain’t Them) Depending on who you talk to, Donald Glover could be a number of things. You may know him as Troy from Community, the guy behind 2006’s viral comedy sketch “Bro Rape“, or — most controversially — rapper Childish Gambino. The need for journalists to constantly place Glover in a box must be […]

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KO KO - KO KO album cover

KO KO – “Float”

written by: John Taylor on May 21, 2012

Float You’re young, but you don’t want to be. You bum cigarettes from your older brother, and are counting down the days until you finally get that driver’s license. You use swear words, a lot, because that’s what adults do. You wonder if you’ll ever fall in love — spending your days blogging about it, […]

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Foreign Fields - Anywhere But Where I Am album cover

Foreign Fields – “Taller”

written by: John Taylor on May 18, 2012

Taller Sam Beam struck a nerve with listeners last year when he released Kiss Each Other Clean. The Iron & Wine frontman, who first found an audience with stripped-down folk committed to cassette, had controversially expanded his traditionally straightforward pallet with eclectic instrumentation, including marimbas, extended sax sections and Auto-Tune. This odd state of flux […]

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The Tallest Man On Earth - There's No Leaving Now album cover

The Tallest Man On Earth – “1904”

written by: John Taylor on May 16, 2012

1904 To the person responsible for Kristian Matsson not receiving the memo that, it’s 2012 and high production values are in, God bless you. We want to run to you and kiss your face. Though we’re certain that Mattson, as The Tallest Man on Earth, is aware that his idol, inspiration and oft-cited comparison Bob […]

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Azealia Banks - Jumanji album cover

Azealia Banks – “Jumanji”

written by: John Taylor on May 15, 2012

Jumanji Say what you will about her, Azealia Banks is infinitely more approachable than Nicki Minaj. See, while Queen Nicki transforms into her terrifying “Roman” alter-ego, changes her vocal pitch three times in the same minute and breathes fire, the worst Ms. Banks might do during one of her dizzying raps is drop the C-word […]

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Heavenly Beat - Talent album cover

Heavenly Beat – “Messiah”

written by: John Taylor on May 14, 2012

Messiah If there is an afterlife, we’re willing to bet that Heavenly Beat will be there playing a MIDI keyboard. “Messiah”, the first cut from the Brooklyn bedroom project’s upcoming LP Talent, sounds a lot like the disco of Hercules & Love Affair meshed with the Beachtronica ™ of Blackbird Blackbird, all under the influence of […]

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XXYYXX - XXYYXX album cover


written by: John Taylor on May 9, 2012

TIED2U What the hell are we feeding these kids? (And where can we find some of what they’re eating?) Since we posted about 19-year-old Nick “Mister Lies” Zanca, he’s been signed to Lefse Records. And now, from Florida, 16-year-old Marcel Everett, aka producer XXYYXX, is making waves in the beatmaking world. Don’t bother with labels; Everett has […]

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Voli - Sweet Sixteen album cover

Voli – “Sweet Sixteen”

written by: John Taylor on May 9, 2012

Sweet Sixteen From the opening notes of “Sweet Sixteen”, it quickly becomes apparent that hip-hop wunderkind Voli likes to think outside the box. Gavida, Voli’s producer and guitarist, picks acoustic rhythms that owe as much to Marc Anthony as they do the pop-metal of Evanescence. (Yes, that Evanescence.) Thematically, the ground Voli covers is well-treaded. In this tale, […]

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