Baker's Dozen: Lianne La Havas, Quit Life, illuminati hotties, and Some Guy With an Awful Haircut

Baker's Dozen: Lianne La Havas, Quit Life, illuminati hotties, and Some Guy With an Awful Haircut

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. I know this one’s going out a week late in a quiet period, holiday stress got to me and I needed to dial back. Don’t worry, business as usual again next week!

Jam City, “I Don’t Want to Dream About It Anymore”

My favorite off of Jam City’s latest album Pillowland, sounds like a blown-out Prince song. Great album, I interviewed him about it a few weeks ago, read it here.

IC3PEAK, “Я целую твой труп”

Translation: “I’m kissing your corpse.” Witch house is still alive! (Witch house people, please leave me alone.) Relatedly, I’ve mentioned this on Twitter but I’m toying around with doing a 19 Thoughts on the new SALEM album. Not sure if I’ll pull the trigger because it would be…a bit of stuff for me to talk about, but I’m considering it.

Summer Walker, “White Tee” [ft. NO1-NOAH]

Summer Walker’s got some real crazy ideas about things—vaccines and such—that were both already in the air culturally and are about to become even more prominent over the next several years. Ah, life! She’s got some good songs though. This is one of them.

Bing & Ruth, “Badwater Psalm”

No streaming link for this one beyond the Spotify playlist, unfortunately. Sorry! This is my favorite section off of Bing & Ruth’s very solid new album (which I enjoyed more than the last one), but it’s worth listening to the entire thing if you have even a passing interest in ambient-leaning electronic compositional work. Bing & Ruth’s second album Tomorrow Was the Golden Age is still my favorite of theirs, and it was also the last album review that I wrote for Pitchfork when I worked there full-time.

Lianne La Havas, “Can’t Fight”

Not the first time I’ve mentioned Lianne La Havas around these parts—remember the 19 Thoughts on In Rainbows? Her latest album is even better than her last one, which was also excellent. Great guitar parts all over the place.

Oliver Tree, “1993” [ft. Little Ricky ZR3]

I’ve read about this guy quite a bit and I still don’t get it. A 27-year-old former dubstep DJ who released an EP on Apollo seven years ago and now makes YouTube scooter memes and has a terrible haircut? I don’t mean this in a “Kids in the music industry these days” way, but the increasing number of paths to a major label record deal (Atlantic for this guy) continues to blow my mind. Anyway, it makes a lot of sense that this guy is a big-room dubstep casualty, his music has that garish and rude edge that so much of that subgenre did. Some of it sounds low-stakes enjoyable to me, the same way that bloghouse (which, for the millionth time, seems like it’s coming back again in form and in spirit) did.

illuminati hotties, “b yr own b”

Sarah Tudzin! Love her music. The first illuminati hotties album (which I reviewed for Pitchfork) was one of my favorite indie-pop debuts in recent memory, and the contract-fulfilling project she put out this year was just as brimming with ideas. A true gem, can’t wait to hear the next ih album.

Inter Arma, “Scarecrow” (Ministry cover)

I’ve highlighted Inter Arma before here, good band. They put out a covers album earlier this year that I enjoyed a lot, even though my wife commented on their admirably bold (and surprisingly faithful) cover of Prince’s “Purple Rain,” “I’m not sure this vocal performance really works.” They’re undoubtedly in the pocket tackling this Ministry tune, though.

Al Wootton, “Over”

The producer formerly known as Deadboy, whose remix of Drake’s “Fireworks” remains a classic. I’m always surprised that people are still making music that sounds like this, but I’m also not—especially since “this sound” has become the backbone of multiple strains of different subgenres. (The recent Overmono EP makes me think of this too.)

Bfb Da Packman and Sada Baby, “Free Joe Exotic”

Funniest song of the year. No question.

Quit Life, “Prim”

Totally unsurprising that I love a lot of stuff off of the Year0001 comp from earlier this year. Still very a la carte and sometimes not really at all re: Yung Lean/Bladee/Drain Gang et al, but a lot of the nü-skool trance on Rift ONE (like this track) sounds so immediately pleasing to me. (After all, I do love trance.)

Taylor Swift, “Dorothea”

Still sitting with evermore, I think I like it more than folklore, still love Lover more than both. This is a really great song from her though, obviously kind of on a roll songwriting-wise with both of these recent albums even though the musical setting she’s currently working in doesn’t thrill me all that much. I miss her cultural abrasiveness, the shit that drives people nuts about her. I know, I’m always saying this.

Jessy Lanza, “Baby Love”

Pretty sure Jessy Lanza was the last show I saw at Glasslands, or was it? I know there was a show at 285 Kent next door where I saw multiple people I knew outside and they were wondering why I was at the Jessy Lanza show instead. Uh, because she’s good?!? It was a good show, too. I love how playful her sound is, but she can also dial it down for tracks like this. Always good stuff from her.

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Jamie Larson