Baker's Dozen: Bad Bunny, Lil Durk, Hayley Williams, and Love for the Libraries

Baker's Dozen: Bad Bunny, Lil Durk, Hayley Williams, and Love for the Libraries

Baker’s Dozen is a recurring weekly franchise in which I share a playlist of songs I’ve been enjoying lately, along with commentary on said songs and artists, as well as whatever else I want to comment on. This one was supposed to go out yesterday, but I was driving all day. Sorry.

Hayley Williams, “Pure Love”

If we’re narrowing down “things that disappointed me in 2020” strictly to musical releases, Hayley Williams’ Petals for Armor is up there. I generally like-to-love Paramore’s music and was impacted on an emotional level by their last album After Laughter, so I had high hopes for what would come next from her. I think Petals for Armor is a little too self-serious, too understated, and too musically scattershot to really hang, though. This song is great however, it would’ve fit in really well on Jessie Ware’s latest album.

Auscultation, “Exit”

Had no idea until I looked it up that this guy was also behind Golden Donna, another great electronic dance-adjacent project. Glad that 100% Silk is still going and putting out music like this, too. “Exit” reminds me a little of Lorenzo Senni’s whole “pointilist trance” approach, real heads know I highlighted him a few weeks ago too.

MicrOpaqu3, “Library Takeout”

My wife is a librarian and says this has been a hit in the library world. It’s good! Support your local library and do library takeout if it’s available in your area. Libraries are responsible for way more than just checking out books—they’re pillars of the communities they serve, and they need everyone’s support more than ever. Don’t leave them hanging, they’d never do that to you.

Ka, “Old Justice”

I’d say the latest Ka album is the best one I’ve heard yet, but truthfully all of his albums sound the same to me. That’s not necessarily meant to sound like an insult, more an acknowledgment that he’s got one thing sonically that he does extremely well to a fault, so even though he purposefully drops records in a manner that’s spaced out from each other, I just have trouble…keeping track…of which is which. Descendants of Cain is good though, I think his storytelling is stronger than ever and he remains someone who’s worth a close read when they’re rapping.

Lil Durk, “All Love”

Lil Durk is generally always in the zone. My biggest complaint about “Laugh Now Cry Later,” a generally good song, is that Durk’s verse is too short and is a breath of fresh air compared to the stagnation that Drake just seems to radiate these days. Enough about Drake, though. Durk is basically an elder statesman of Chicago drill at this point, he’s continued to refine his craft as he goes too. Good for him.

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, “It Gets Easier”

I’m not the Isbell booster that some of my colleagues in the music writing world are, but this is just an astounding song to me, extremely well-written and cutting, sounds like a classic. It’s a good thing he’s sometimes there to keep tabs on Josh Tillman, too.

Little Simz, “where’s my lighter” [ft. Alewya]

A very touching song about trying to find your lighter. Just kidding. But it’s good. Little Simz is frequently good and getting better, it seems. Sometimes that’s all I have to say.

Bad Bunny, “Más de Una Cita” [ft. Zion and Lennox]

We live across the street from a club, and all summer it’s been guys parking in front of the club and blasting Bad Bunny for hours on end. This can get irritating when it stretches into, say, 1 in the morning—but despite the relative sleeplessness (the fireworks didn’t help either), it’s a testament to Bad Bunny’s music that I can still listen to him on repeat with great pleasure. What a talent! Feels like he’s king of the world right now, tbh. Insane that he released two excellent albums this year, this one’s from the second one he put out.

Jim White and Marisa Anderson, “The Other Christmas Song”

Listen to this song on Bandcamp.

“Jim White is the best drummer alive,” esteemed colleague Sam Hockley-Smith said to me recently when I saw him listening to this amazing collaboration with Marisa Anderson on social media and mentioned I’d been listening to it lately too. He might be right! His album with Nina Nastasia from 2007, You Follow Me, is also excellent.

I’m Glad It’s You, “Lost My Voice”

Listen to this song on Bandcamp.

Another colleague, Ian Cohen, texted me to check this out as I was initially checking it out a few months back. Good band. My friend and loyal subscriber Dave Giumara had this to say, too: “I think they are getting better as they go along. Like that they are diving further into the 90’s alt radio rock sound.” I’d agree with all of this! As a brief aside, I drove for roughly three hours yesterday and made a playlist that was almost exclusively emo. “Are you trying to get some sort of revenge on me with this?” my wife said from the passenger seat before sleeping through Dogleg’s Melee. Her loss.

Perfume Genius, “Just a Touch”

Took me longer than usual to really get into the new Perfume Genius album, now I just wish I could see him doing the new material live because he’s really become quite the stage presence. More so than previous albums, the devil’s in the details with this one, this song specifically reminds me of Radiohead with the bass line that just slinks in the background. I just realized that I’m wearing a Perfume Genius shirt while typing this. Cool.

Lil Uzi Vert, “Venetia”

Just like the Perfume Genius album, Eternal Atake is something I heard and greatly enjoyed on first contact before setting it aside for a spell. Blame the pandemic, and I’m serious about that. But Eternal Atake is a towering achievement for Uzi, just a monolith of excellent rapping and wild, sound effect-loaded production. The structure reminds me of Burial’s Untrue at times, just in how he does total immersion into a world as well as the faux-dramatic alien-abduction interludes. Have trouble picking which song I like the most at any point, this one is my wife’s favorite, I find the preference hard to argue with.

Subscribe to Last Donut of the Night

Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.
Jamie Larson