Baker's Dozen: Bebel Gilberto, 03 Greedo, Secret Machines, and Why I Was Right About Katy Perry

Baker's Dozen: Bebel Gilberto, 03 Greedo, Secret Machines, and Why I Was Right About Katy Perry

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. Some non-streaming-service stuff I’ve enjoyed since we last talked: this intense blast of beats from NKISI.

Il Quadro di Troisi, “Real”

Listen to this track on Bandcamp.

Anything Donato Dozzy is up to is usually at least worth checking out, I wasn’t into this whole album but it was interesting regardless. I’m starting to suspect this song stood out to me because (besides being the kind of thing I like to listen to) it sounds like Andrea Noce is singing “Jobin” at one point, which is one of a thousand nonsensical nicknames we currently have for our cat (whose name is Panda).

Start, “Where I Want to Be”

Of course I love Strum & Thrum: The American Jangle Underground 1983-1987, and of course Captured Tracks put it out—music like this is practically in the label’s DNA, which is why they’re putting out compilations like this. The opening of this song sounds like Deerhunter, which is kind of funny since “sounding like Deerhunter” has itself become its own thing in indie rock over the last five years or so.

Katy Perry, “Teary Eyes”

Well well well. Back in July when I wrote about the lost-in-the-wilderness phase that clearly is Katy Perry’s career as a pop musician right now—before Smile dropped—I surmised that the only successful path for her was embracing the type of epic, over-the-top EDM that sounds stupid as hell. And? The best song on Smile is a huge-sounding Ultra-fest of a tune that deserves to be played on five different stages during three consecutive days. Imagine what a hardstyle remix of this sound would like. Better yet, don’t.

Maluma, “Bella-K” [ft. Zion & Randy]

Maluma has a Hennessy billboard in Inwood and I personally think that’s great for him.

Bebel Gilberto, “Essence”

Bebel on the beat, IT’S A SLAPPER! Seriously though, most of her new album isn’t as interesting as this but I like this one a lot—sounds a little like Kieran Hebden’s recent work with Neneh Cherry, albeit of a more chill variety.

The Style Council, “Waiting”

Another great one from the Style Council compendium released last year, which I’m still revisiting and is my first real introduction to their music. The last time I posted one of their songs on here (only two weeks ago, JFC, time is at a crawl still) I could hear the outré synth-chill vibes that would later pop up in Neon Indian’s own retro-virtuosic work; this song is pure soft-rock glory to me and I can’t get enough of it.

03 Greedo, “Baccstage” [ft. Shordie Shordie and Wallie The Sensei]

Questionable lyrics on the chorus here, possibly. Great hook and production though, and I love how Greedo’s voice sounds over something so velvety and empty.

Dadras, “Spectacular”

A vocal-less version of a track Dadras made with GAIKA a few years back. I think there’s something haunting about this composition even though it has some vague uplift too.

Secret Machines, “Dreaming Is Alright”

God fucking bless Secret Machines for coming back with this 2000s-ass song (one of their best, btw) on a 2000s-ass-sounding album title (Awake in the Brain Chamber…their literal minds…). Truly inspiring, one of the best possible outcomes for any indie rock artist right now tbh.

Kelly Lee Owens, “L.I.N.E.”

Took me until the tenth thousandth listen to realize that the song title here is an acronym. “Love is not enough.” Ain’t it the truth! Regular disclaimer that I wrote the bio for Kelly Lee Owens’ brilliant latest record, not that that affects whether or not I like it of course. Kelly is a really talented producer, obviously, capable of making electronic music that sounds body-moving and tactile—and this beautiful breakup song showcases how good of a songwriter she is, too.

Angel Olsen, “Chance (Forever Love)”

My Plandemic queen. Sorry! It’s obvious that I think she’s a genius though so don’t think I’m too hard on her for, y’know, pointing out sometimes that she shared (then took down, then vaguely addressed later on with a “Believe science”-esque caption) one of the most frequently debunked pieces of COVID-19 disinformation at the beginning of the pandemic. Hey, M.I.A. is anti-vaxx to the core and I can stan endlessly, life contains multitudes. What were we talking about again?

Samia, “Pool”

Something Julie Byrne-ish about this that I find appealing. It also sounds like the intro to an album, and it indeed is for all intents and purposes, only it’s, like, almost five minutes long. (Very pre-"Driver’s License,” another vaguely alt-ish but resolutely adolescent-pop-focused song that I also think is too long.) Just did some quick fact-checking and apparently her mother is Kathy Najimy?!? People were way too hard on Frankie Cosmos, man. For real.

YL and Zoomo, “Mike Bibby” [ft. Starker and Fastlife]

Easy and breezy, sounds a bit like a summer day in the city, it’s too goddamn cold right now.

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Jamie Larson