Baker's Dozen: Yaya Bey, Jockstrap, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, and a Song My Brother Asked Me to Listen to

Baker's Dozen: Yaya Bey, Jockstrap, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, and a Song My Brother Asked Me to Listen to

Baker’s Dozen is a recurring weekly feature 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.

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, “Cars in Space”

If it’s from New Zealand, I probably like listening to it. The latest Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever album wasn’t my favorite of theirs, but this is a great song from it that shows their strengths. At their best, they obviously conjure that Flying Nun jangle that we all love, but also a little bit of early R.E.M. at points too.

Armand Hammer, “Dead Cars” [ft. R.A.P. Ferreira]

Best album art of the year, hands down. (That’s why it’s the header image of this newsletter.) Produced by Kenny Segal, who also did Armand Hammer member Billy Woods’ excellent Hiding Places from last year. Makes sense that there’s more than a little bit of sonic DNA connecting that album and this track.

The Replacements, “Birthday Gal (Demo)”

Sounded like a keeper off the recent Pleased to Meet Me reissue. The first Replacements record I ever heard was Pleased to Meet Me, at my friend Mike Baron’s house; his dad owned it on CD I think. Let It Be is the obvious classic and best Replacements record, but I still have a soft spot for Pleased to Meet Me for nostalgic reasons.

Westerman, “Easy Money”

This Tweet, only about Westerman and Paul Westerberg.

The Koreatown Oddity, “Weed in LA”

Great hook, great beat, tons of little details packed into a relatively brief amount of time. Can’t ask for anything better than that.

Jockstrap, “City Hell”

Funny kids, haven’t quite gotten them figured out yet. Is this hyperpop? Lol. Their first EP for Warp is, as a lot of things on Warp are, really interesting and singular; they really kind of let loose on this song (I love “The City,” too), interested to see where they take their sound.

Bleachers, “chinatown” [ft. Bruce Springsteen]

“Did you listen to the new Bleachers yet?” I got this text from my brother a few times this past week. I appreciated the reminder: as with a lot of people who write about music for a living, my daily listening habits generally consist of a complicated number of playlists I am listening to in random order—stuff I liked from this year, stuff I haven’t heard yet, stuff from a few years ago that I bookmarked to check out again way back when, blah blah blah—so I need more reminding than the normal person, possibly, to check out surprise releases and new singles.

As always, Antonoff loves the ‘80s, he’s in the pocket here. You can hear a bit of the dream-pop sound he brought to some of the high points on folklore (an album I feel increasingly not-sold on as my peers seem to embrace it more), Springsteen’s presence on this thing is very Pinterest-y, the song could’ve survived just fine without him. And it’s a good song! I don’t think Antonoff is always in the zone on his own, but when he is (“Rollercoaster” is another good example of this) I appreciate it. I have a Bleachers chain necklace somewhere I was given as promo back in 2015, I should dig that up again.

Owen, “Dead for Days”

Sorry to bring the mood down here. Seriously, folks: Would you expect anything else from Mike Kinsella in Owen mode? I think The Avalanche is quite good, this is far and away my favorite song on it. I had a great time talking with Mike for this newsletter a few months ago, check it out here.

Yaya Bey, “celie again”

Listen to this track on Bandcamp.

Classic hard-to-pick-one from Yaya Bey’s amazing Madison Tapes, partly because listening to it front-to-back is more impactful than hopping around. I hope she finally replaced the batteries in her smoke detector.

DJ BORING, “Like Water”

”Born Slippy” vibes. Doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it does the trick. More like DJ-Not-So-Boring.

Key Glock, “Cops N Robbers”

This beat sounds like an electrical storm. I’m into it.

Teyana Taylor, “Lowkey” [ft. Erykah Badu]

Teyana Taylor just has great taste when it comes to making R&B. Her last album was short and messy, this one is long and messy—but when she connects, it flies out of the park. (This was a whole weird thing that happened this year, btw.)

42 Dugg, “Hard Times”

I mostly just love that high-pitched whistle tag at the beginning of so many 42 Dugg songs. Great song though.

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Jamie Larson