Baker's Dozen: Sam Hunt, Roddy Ricch, PUP, Rod Wave, and the Post-Post-Post Punk Revival

Baker's Dozen: Sam Hunt, Roddy Ricch, PUP, Rod Wave, and the Post-Post-Post Punk Revival

Baker’s Dozen is a recurring 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. Usually it happens weekly. If it doesn’t? Hey man, it’s my newsletter. (I know a lot of people like this franchise, don’t worry—trying to keep it weekly, life gets in the way sometimes.)

Quelle Chris, “You, Me & Nobody Else” [ft. Jean Grae and Jonathan Hoard]

Quelle Chris is approaching a pretty prolific rate at this point, it’s hard to keep up. Here’s a song I liked from his album last year. I like his album from this year too but haven’t really had too much of a chance to really dig into it yet. As I was mentioning to a friend yesterday (and I will likely repeat some form of this thousands of times in future Baker’s Dozens), there really is simply too much music to keep up with these days. Sometimes takes a year to really dig into an album and discover what’s special about it, or at least figuring out your favorite track.

Roddy Ricch, “High Fashion” [ft. Mustard]

I still haven’t listened to the Roddy Ricch album in full, but this song is all over Hot 97 right now. Since we bought a car, Hot 97 is my go-to station while I’m driving if I’m not listening to stuff on Spotify (and I’m usually not, too distracting—gotta focus when you’re driving in NYC, Big Apple baby!). One funny thing about this song is that it took me nearly a month to figure out that it was Roddy Ricch, because his voice can sound so anonymous sometimes. (“Is that Young Thug?” I’ve asked myself at least once or twice when this song’s come on while I’m crawling through traffic on Bushwick Avenue.) Anyway, I’m not the first person to point out that Roddy Ricch is very good at sounding like other rappers but hasn’t quite established his own voice yet. Good song though, I like the politeness of which he asks about hopping in a Benz.

Silverbacks, “Dunkirk”

A friend played this for me over Labor Day weekend, along with several post-post-post-punk revival bands that I both recognized and didn’t recognize but also enjoyed. One thing that’s interesting to me about the latest iteration of indie rock bands devoted to recreating a certain strain of post-punk—”angular,” “serrated,” blah blah blah—is that most if not all of them seem motivated primarily by addressing society’s ills and the personal anxiety that can come from confronting them. This, obviously, stands in stark contrast to the post-post-punk revival of the 2000s, which was mostly Interpol and bands that wanted to sound like Interpol knocking off Joy Division’s melodic moments (brilliantly sometimes) for chauvinist tales of druggy, horny misery.

So yeah, something interesting about this latest wave! I suspect it started with Protomartyr, which a lot of these bands sound like. I also think the audience for bands like Protomartyr and Silverbacks skews younger than some of my colleagues have suspected, but we’ll see how that bears out (without live music being a thing again, it’s gonna be hard for music like this to really proliferate and spread).

Connie Constance, “End Credits (Sober)”

Another worthy addition to the “phone calls when you’re drunk” canon, shout out to Evanescence. Connie Constance did a lot of interesting things on her debut from last year, I wasn’t into everything the album had to offer but she keeps you on your toes. At times, she recalls Archy Marshall’s broken croon, other times she turns out a lovely slice of music like this. Looking forward to whatever’s coming next from her.

Sorry, “As the Sun Sets”

Not much more to say that I haven’t already about this fascinating and often wonderful band. So read what I had to say here!

Fennesz, “Rainfall”

When I’m listening to “Rainfall” 2, 2020

Anna Burch, “Every Feeling”

Listen to this song on Bandcamp.

I need to go back and revisit Anna Burch’s debut Quit the Curse, because her new one If You’re Dreaming is very nice. I spent days trying to figure out what this song in particular reminds me of, and I got it—the Softies! The Softies’ Holiday in Rhode Island is an indie-pop classic, if you’ve never heard it before. So she’s in good company.

PUP, “See You at Your Funeral”

Confession: I’m really just getting into Morbid Stuff. I only recently discovered PUP’s The Dream Is Over—like, 18 months ago?—and the album became an instant classic to me, the type of thing where I’d play front-to-back and put it on again. They do pop-punk catharsis really well, and I just simply love the way they express themselves lyrically and musically. I’m finally digging into Morbid Stuff and I love it too, similar to The Dream Is Over I’m having real Hard To Pick A Favorite Syndrome but this one might be it at this very moment.

Rod Wave, “Ribbon in the Sky”

Rod Wave—rap music’s best country artist working right now—could probably do “this” for years. And by “this” I mean making extremely workmanlike and immensely satisfying albums packed with emotive sing-rap music. He has huge Kevin Gates energy artistically (let’s hope not in other ways), and there’s something so over-the-top sincere about what he does that I can’t resist it. The chorus on this song is massive.

billy woods and Kenny Segal, “Checkpoints”

In terms of late-2010s/early-2020s Def Jux revivalism, I way prefer this to Run the Jewels. Sorry.

Sam Hunt, “Hard to Forget”

Country music’s Drake continues to sound a little weird while also a little not. Southside is an interesting album, as usual when Sam Hunt raps he sounds like a youth group leader to me—someone who just turned the desk chair around so he can straddle it, lean over slightly, and really get to the truth about what role Jesus should play in your life. (Just so this is out of the way, I am very obviously and transparently not religious, but I know my way around a youth group or two due to the ultimate mistake of getting confirmed by the perpetually pedophilic [no QAnon] Catholic church. Freedom of and from religion for teenagers, now!)

Anyway, imagine a guy doing that, only he’s slut-shaming you instead of Jesus-shaming you. A little reductive of a description maybe, but that’s what I’ve got! He’s obviously not doing that on this track, which is more of a conventional pop song for him. I like it a lot, and I’ve heard it at the grocery store too.

22Gz, “No Questions”

22Gz isn’t much of a rapper, but who cares. I mostly listen to New York drill for the beats at this point, which is a weird sensation where all the bleep-bloop stuff from late-2000s grime, dubstep, and purple (remember purple?) has finally made it Stateside in a meaningful way and has been mashed up with the hard-nosed aesthetic of Chicago drill. Certainly no complaints over here! Joker should produce for one of these guys. RIP Pop Smoke too, “Dior” is still one of the platonic ideals of New York drill (the 50 Cent song on the posthumous album is terrible and all over rap radio right now).

The Strokes, “Ode to the Mets”

The Strokes are a lot like the Mets at this point. Don’t think I have the effort to go into it any more than that, so either agree and draw your own reasons why or leave me alone. I’m as shocked as anyone that the Strokes made at least half of a good album this year, but I also feel like I’ve said that about the last few Strokes albums that I’ve since not revisited…so we’ll see if this one stands the test of time. At this point I find the Voidz more interesting (although I still stand by this review and believe they’ve gotten better since).

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Jamie Larson