Baker's Dozen: Buck Meek, Terminal Bliss, Sleaford Mods, and the Agony of Ashnikko

Baker's Dozen: Buck Meek, Terminal Bliss, Sleaford Mods, and the Agony of Ashnikko

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. Sorry it’s been so long since the last one!

awakebutstillinbed, “beauty”

I loved the last awakebutstillinbed album but haven’t listened to it in a minute, should probably revisit it. The songcraft is getting better too, this is my favorite track from the new EP that came out right at the end of 2020.

Buck Meek, “Pareidolia”

Everyone talks so weird about Big Thief, like they’re the first and only folk-leaning indie band they’ve ever heard make music before. I like Big Thief a lot, to be sure! But, like, the conversation (and subsequent defensiveness when you point this out) always feels…weird. I’m sure people who aren’t as online don’t give a shit. Anyway. Both Adrienne Lenker and Buck Meek’s solo stuff is good too, this track is really nice from his new one.

Nyck Caution, “Anywhere But Here” [ft. Maverick Sabre and Alex Mali]

Pro Era affiliate, (extremely sarcastic voice) can you tell? The album as a whole is not very good but this sounded gently wavy and pleasant. An artist I recently interviewed for the newsletter told me they were inspired by Capital STEEZ (RIP) when they were younger, which was surprising. Who is the artist in question? Tune in to find out!

The Style Council, “How She Threw It All Away”

Another banger. Reminds me of my favorite Phil Collins song, “I Cannot Believe It’s True.”

Midnight Sister, “Wednesday Baby”

Not bad, right? The album’s nothing to write home about, and “this song” has been written maybe one million times in the last decade. But when “this” works, it works!

Primitons, “All My Friends”

Another keeper from the Strum & Thrum compilation, which is full of gems. This one sounds like Murmur-era R.E.M. to me, and something amazing about the comp in general is how it captures so many different sub-styles under one umbrella of jangle.


Was just talking with another musician (not for the newsletter) about how we can all probably use a break from thinking about COVID-19 when it comes to listening to music that talks about COVID-19. This is just pleasant enough to register as an exception.

Ashnikko, “Cry” [ft. Grimes]

Ashnikko was actually one of the last shows I saw before the pandemic began — she opened for Danny Brown at Warsaw. I was already into “Stupid” and a few other songs and thought she was interesting and making some good music. Her stage presence was abrasive and unique and I was excited to see where she was going! But DEMIDEVIL sounds like some A&R sanded down every one of her rough edges until they were completely smooth, which is a shame. As with so many interesting artists, I’m sure she won’t be on a major for much longer, and that better work is ahead. This Grimes collab is good though. Grimes, despite becoming a despicable and openly dumb person, has thrown in a few good collabs lately! Her work on the Beneé album was good too, I’ll likely highlight a track from that (checks watch) some time in the next year.

38 Spesh, “Route 38” [ft. Elcamino]

This type of stuff is basically old-head hip-hop for people who think Grizelda sounds too “young,” or perhaps for people who rationally rate Dave East on par with anyone else with real skin in the game, or for anyone who stopped listening to rap in the time between when you could buy Dipset mixtape CDs in Union Square and when Rick Ross put out Teflon Don. (I could do this all week.) The beat is nice and wistful though, if a little typical.

Emma Ruth Rundle and Thou, “Crone Dance”

Still digesting the very solid album from Emma Ruth Rundle and Thou that dropped last year, but this was an easy standout from the EP they recently released. I really liked what Hanif Abdurraqib wrote about their music for The New York Times Magazine’s music issue, too. (I also wrote about Dua Lipa for that issue.)

Terminal Bliss, “Anthropomorbid”

Ten songs in ten minutes on these guys’ great debut album. I like how they think.

Sleaford Mods, “Spare Ribs”

Still can’t figure out whether this whole thing is a bit. In fact, this might be one of the “bit”-tiest songs they’ve ever done? I like it though, more than I’ve liked their other material. Has that snake-eating-itself LCD Soundsystem-sound-alike quality.

Why Don’t We, “Slow Down”

Hilariously blatant sample of “1979,” to the point where these guys just re-skinned the song for their own boy-band purposes. But I think it kind of works? Maybe the “1979” melody is just deathlessly perfect. That’s probably it.

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Jamie Larson