Baker's Dozen: Trail of Dead, glass beach, Esther Rose

Baker's Dozen: Trail of Dead, glass beach, Esther Rose

Baker's Dozen is typically for paid subscribers of Larry Fitzmaurice's Last Donut of the Night newsletter, but I'm doing a mix of paid and free BDs for a spell to get through my considerable playlist backlog. Also, how else am I going to give all you free subscribers a taste of what we do behind paid doors? While I'm getting through this backlog, I'm doing a sale on annual subscriptions—30% off, $21/year for the first year. Grab it here, you won't regret it.

Rival Consoles, "Echoes"

I've always loved the name Rival Consoles, it conjures images of several DAWs (or PS5s, even?) facing off against each other. I've been in and out with Ryan Lee West's long-running project but he's pretty reliable and consistent, and that certainly goes for his latest, 2022's Now Is, which hits on a very pleasing and brainy Floating Points-core sound; obviously, you expect this type of classy, glassy, beautiful electronic music from Erased Tapes at this point, they've kind of cornered the market on it.

Farucox, "Sem Cabeça"

Speaking of labels where I'm always picking up with they're putting down...RS Produçoes' Saúde Em 1º Lugar is more on the abstract end of the Principe Discos catalog but I loved this cut from PD cohort Farucox, that sneaky winding melody really does the trick.

The A's, "Copper Kettle"

From the twisted mind of Mountain Man...I suppose it's funny to continue referring to Amelia Meath as "formerly of Mountain Man" since she's done so much since then, including and most notably being one-half of betcha-didn't-know-how-popular-they-really-are indie act Sylvan Esso. But the Mountain Man namecheck, uh, checks out when it comes to her latest project the A's, which is a reunion of sorts with former MM bandmate Alexandra Sauser-Monnig. Their 2022 album Fruit was sweet, low-key, and satisfying, very similar to the charms of the early Mountain Man material.

...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, "Salt in Your Eyes"

I was playing this and my wife said, "Trail of Dead are still around?" They get that a lot! But honestly, Trail of Dead have become one of the best-kept secrets in rock music over the last decade; I think they got a bad rap from Worlds Apart that they never quite shook (I wonder how that record holds up today) but ever since then they've balanced the "proggy shit" and "aggressive face-melting rock shit" better than you'd expect. I'm quite partial to 2014's Lost Songs and I previously featured a track from 2020's X: The Godless Void and Other Stories in one of the very early Baker's Dozens; I thought 2022's XI: Bleed Here Now was a little less consistent than I would've liked but this beery sing-along of a song is a really nice curve ball for them.

Rick Wade, "Meeting"

Some lovely deep house from Detroit circa 2018, another heater from the Shall Not Fade compilation from 2019 that I keep teasing tracks out from. (It's insane that I'll end up posting, like, 20 songs from it when all is said and done, and barely scratch the surface of what's actually on it. Huge comp!)


I'm very into NYC rapper 454, FAST TRAX 3 from 2022 has been on heavy rotation for me the last few months, would love a new project from him soon. Saw him open for MIKE last April and it was very enjoyable as well...I'm gonna share a few tracks from this record over the next few BDs, this one really highlights how he makes his own voice pretty elastic in terms of how it sounds, and I'm always interested when someone is doing something different with their voice in rap (how could you not be?).

Unknown T, "Like SZA" [ft. GRM Daily]

East London boy Unknown T's Blood Diamond from this year didn't make a huge impression on me but I liked the vibes of this track, the production is smooth and a little hallucinatory, (British voice) pure class bruv. I like "LISTEN!" as an ad-lib, because, well, yeah, listen!

Esther Rose, "Spider" [ft. the Lostines]

I've shared Esther Rose's stuff on here before, very solid songwriter, she put out an EP earlier this year of alternate takes from last year's Safe To Run (which I thought I ran through already but it turns out I need to give a closer listen), I prefer this stripped-down version featuring New Orleans duo the Lostines over the slightly more robust original.

Hoorsees, "Ikea Boy"

Terrible fucking band name (don't love the song title either!) but they're French so all is forgiven I suppose...why are so many buzzy-slash-they-sound-like-they-are-probably-secretly-popular indie rock-slash-indie-pop bands FRENCH these days? (Tootsie Roll Pop owl voice) The world may never know. Anyway not to harp on the French thing but it sure did make a lot of sense once I found out Hoorsees were French, I mean listen to those Phoenix-y synths...that's Gallic as fuck, bro. I suppose I'm interested in hearing if they develop their sound more, Big from this year kept my attention well enough.

Adiel, "Outer Space"

Huuuuuuuuge tune from Italian techno producer Adiel, straight from the 2022 compilation Fabric Selects 01, which I'll share one or two more from in the future. The wandering synth line has some sort of Terje-esque effect on me where I'm like, "Does it get any more blissful than this?"

Capillary, "Soothsayer"

Very impressive from NJ emo group Capillary's 2024 self-titled demo, the chorus scratches a very specific itch that's very "you know it when you hear it." WHERE IN NEW JERSEY ARE THEY FROM, THOUGH? More importantly, why is this information so impossible to find, just put it on your Bandcamp someone NJ-raised I demand answers, immediately.

watchusdiedotcom, "Horny '24"

See, this is what "indie sleaze" should be—filthy, arch, funny, fucked up, abrasive, slightly sweet even. Of course, watchusdiedotcom (now that's a band name) have close to zero interest in whatever the fuck indie sleaze is, I'm not even sure I can properly verbalize what they are doing, but I'm pretty into it. Ash Nerve is involved here, real heads might recognize that name from Angel Electronics, his project with (former? who knows at this point) Black Dresses member Ada Rook which I featured on a previous BD (incredible song). I will likely try to have Ash on here at some point soon, just a matter of time.

glass beach, "cul-de-sac"

Is there anyone doing it like glass beach at this point? I can safely say that at this point they're one of a few (emphasis on few) bands who have done something truly strange and new with the framework of emo in the last five years, I would put Origami Angel in this boat as well. They're proggy but not in an annoying way, psychedelic and stretched-out without losing themselves, always locating an emotional core that feels bewildering to behold, like gazing at a glowing orb on the ocean floor. As with 95% of talented emo bands, I am of course concerned that plastic beach from this year will be their last record, and not just because their drummer is (very reasonably) dropping out of touring after their current road run comes to an end...I can't place why it is but with bands like this I'm always like, "This is really cool, you're going to keep it going thought, right? Please?" I'll share another plastic death track next time, great song here, captures a lot of what I like about them.

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Jamie Larson