Baker's Dozen: Jarryd James, PinkPantheress, Classixx, Doja Cat, and the Rule of Weezer

Baker's Dozen: Jarryd James, PinkPantheress, Classixx, Doja Cat, and the Rule of Weezer

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 have been very busy lately but these will be going out weekly to paying subscribers again! Also: I’ll be moving away from Substack at the end of the month, but the good thing is that it shouldn’t affect any paying subscribers (or non-paying subscribers, for that matter). More soon.

Purple Parlor, “Downy Mildew”

(DJ Khaled voice) Another one. Quite simply a bunch of great songs on the Strum & Thrum compilation that I’ve been regularly featuring on these playlists. Some day I will run out of songs to include! (In all seriousness, I think there’s gonna just be one more song I’ll throw on one of these.) Anyway I saw a reader on Twitter say he got into the compilation because of the tracks I’ve shared from it, which is as good of a compliment I could ever accept.

Weezer, “Bird With a Broken Wing”

Everyone’s personal Law of Weezer is different I gather, but here’s mine. There are three types of Weezer albums: The out-and-out classics (both of them), the surprisingly not-horrible-sounding releases, and the absolute dogshit records that have one good song on them. Weezer’s OK Human falls squarely in the absolute dogshit category. You can’t even get mad at the gimmick (no synths, or something?) because the music is so competently terrible that you can’t really get mad at it at all. But there is one good song, and it’s this one. Kind of a histrionic ballad that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on Pinkerton, maybe.

Kota the Friend, “Emotionally Dumb”

This sounded nice, the whole EP has a laid-back but not exactly chill vibe, if you get where I’m coming from. Good cover art, especially the dirty MacBook screen.

Bicep, “Hawk” [ft. Machina]

The new Bicep album is alright, a few jams (like this one). They were always occupying that middle ground between big-room and whatever people are calling the opposite of big-room these days, but they’re tilting more big-room than ever, which suits them well. Hey, Orbital were (are?) big-room too! And they ruled. There’s a slight psychedelic edge to this one that reminds me a little of Orbital, even if this is more muscular (pun not intended, I promise) than it is trippy.

Jarryd James, “Let It Go”

Huge Chet Faker/BANKS/post-Weeknd-core vibes from this white Australian guy, but I thought this sounded pretty good! Apparently he’s famous-ish in Australia? Don’t ask me, I don’t live there.

Kiwi jr., “Domino”

This band is real good I think, they kind of split a weird difference between some Jonathan Richman-esque stuff, Pavement’s whole dealio, maybe a little bit of Los Campesinos! but not really, some conversational post-punk stuff but mostly funny and charming instead of the Sleaford Mods approach. I actually liked their last record more than the Sub Pop debut this song is off of, but I also feel like they’re just gonna keep doing their thing and I’m gonna keep liking it.

Lonely the Brave, “Open Door”

Friend Of The Newsletter Ian Cohen commented that these guys have real “Sex on Fire” vibes, and it’s true. Really big and loud-sounding lusty bonehead rock with some sort of passion, when it works for me it simply does. I expect most of you to hate this, and that’s fine. I don’t.

Pom Poko, “Andrew”

I mentioned these guys in Monday’s newsletter. Something I like about this song is that it doesn’t really give you an idea of what the rest of the record is like—it has the same energy, but Pom Poko manage to do a few different moods throughout. Cool band.

SZA, “Good Days”

Really beautiful song I think! Do we all think the same? I talked with a friend recently who doesn’t really like it and thinks that SZA might be getting boring. Who knows! But I’m looking forward to the album, whenever it comes. I still listen to CTRL all the time.

Pinkpantheress, “Break It Off”

Love everything about this, a friend tipped me off to it and PinkPantheress in general (all the songs so far are good). Apparently this is making the rounds on TikTok, we love to see it. Seems like it’s the perfect length for a song in that you just want to replay it over and over again.

Doja Cat, “Streets”

I used to think Doja Cat was a new-gen Katy Perry, but I’ve realized that she’s obviously pop’s Ashley Darby, and if you know what that means I’ll let you draw your own conclusions as to the reasons why. “Streets” is great, and as a bonus Dr. Luke is nowhere near it.

Classixx, “Big Rhythm”

Hey, it’s Classixx! Heard this on The Magician’s Magic Tape 100, which has a few heaters on it. These guys sound like they haven’t changed a bit, which is good. Hope there’s more to come.

Olivia Rodrigo, “deja vu”

You know I had to do it to ‘em. Better than “drivers license,” imho, which I like parts of still but otherwise believe is just too damn long. We’ll see how the album is.

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Jamie Larson