Baker's Dozen: 13 Songs and an Update on the Future

Baker's Dozen: 13 Songs and an Update on the Future

Baker's Dozen is typically for paid subscribers but today it's for everyone, mostly because I want to give readers an update on what's to come. Don't worry, it's not dramatic! But I know that there's been a dearth of free posts recently, even though I have a fair amount of posts planned. Basically, I've had a lot going on in my life, as well as with the type of work that sustains my ability to pay bills and such (for full disclosure, I make a little less than $11,000 a year off this newsletter, which is great and I obviously appreciate but is in no way anything I can live off of).

I've kept up with BDs for paid subscribers but free posts have fallen by the wayside as a result, starting next week they return though. I have interviews coming from How to Dress Well's Tom Krell, !!!'s Nic Offer, The Dodos' Meric Long, Taraka formerly of Prince Rama, Rina Mushonga, and more. I have some personal and critical pieces knocking around in my head that will also be published as soon as I feel like they're ready and/or I'm operating at an acceptable plane of intersection regarding reflection and vulnerability. So stay tuned, thanks for reading as always, and if you'd like to be a paid subscriber the buttons are right below.

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Eomac, "All the Rabbits in the Tiergarten"

I've enjoyed Eomac's stuff here and there, this is another track from the Planet Mu 25th anniversary comp. It's very Mu-y, all nu-skool IDM and such.

Tayla Parx, "Dance Alone"

And another track from Tayla Parx too. (One benefit—drawback? Nah let's say benefit—from subscribing to the Baker's Dozens is that you can get a sense of some of the artists that I am enjoying more than others lately, if you're into knowing about that sort of thing.) This one is an explicitly disco-y cut, another coincidental collision with the Accidental Disco trend of 2020.

The Spook School, "Keep in Touch"

These guys from Glasgow broke up the year after putting out this album in 2018, and now I want to go back to their other records I hadn't heard. Very identifiably Glasgow-y, the kind of indie-pop I could be stranded on a desert island with a crate of and be totally content with for, like, at least a few weeks. Then I'd want to be rescued if possible.

Marlon Craft, "Wherever"

This guy's record this is off of is pretty corny to me, which tracks on a few levels. There's a song on it where one of the guests talk about vaccines and mentions the word "Plandemic," so do what you will with that. Some good production to me though, this is a pretty easygoing track that's easy to ignore in the background.

William Basinski, "Transfiguration"

Threw a minor Molotov into the crowd a few months ago when mentioning that "experimental music Twitter" hates The Disintegration Loops, but it's true, the Lacan-obsessed corners of the subset really turn their noses up at it for some reason (tragedy exploitation? That's just real life dog). Anyway Basinski put out a solid album of dark ambient last year, some of it is a little too dark but this track strikes a nice balance.

The Obsessives, "Lala"

Sounds like Gin Blossoms, right? Not just me? It's not an insult.

Snacking, "Edward"

Last week(?) I posted a Sinai Vessel track and pointed out how similar it sounded to Photo Album-era Death Cab, and now here's a Snacking track that, in my opinion, would've fit right in on Transatlanticism. Or Plans, even! But serious "A Lack of Color" vibes on this one.

Rat Columns, "She's Coming Home"

Usually indie rock bands these days that sound like Deerhunter are from Chicago, but these guys are from Perth. The more you know! A surprising amount of indie rock bands still use Deerhunter as a clear reference point despite (because of?) Deerhunter themselves being in a period of general inactivity, which really speaks to Bradford Cox's influence on the scene at large (always underrated somehow) more than anything else.

Loathe, "The Rain Outside..."

Loathe's I Let It In and It Took Everything was one of my favorite albums of last year, the perfect blend of metalcore's aggressiveness and other textures like ambient, shoegaze, etc etc etc. They put out an ambient album this year that, in places, is very "metalcore band puts out ambient album" in its ok-ish-ness, but this track is very cool and is reminiscent of the similar stuff they were exploring on I Let It In...

Kero Kero Bonito, "21/04/20"

This song chokes me up a little, the rare piece of pop music that's about the pandemic that actually really conjures the first few months of the pandemic—wondering when people can see each other again, new rituals and ways of seeing the world around you, a newfound appreciation for being able to be outside. Revisiting that time isn't really an enjoyable thing to do, but KKB make it sound a little easier.

blair, "By the C"

Emo that sounds like indie rock? Indie rock that sounds like emo? Eh, it's all one in the same, right? When emo started becoming in vogue again around 2014, a lot of it sounded like regular ol' indie rock, and yet a lot of indie rock-minded people were very resistant to embracing it in hopes of, idk what exactly? And now a lot of indie rock is simply emo and those people look pretty wrong on the whole in retrospect. That's just how it goes.

Ari Lennox, "Speak to Me"

Ari Lennox's Shea Butter Baby is one of my favorite R&B records of the last few years, the songwriting is on point throughout. File under "Rare Dreamville I actually like" right next to selected J.I.D. tracks. Was impossible to choose a highlight here but this is definitely one of them.

Ciara, "Trust Myself"

Ciara's Beauty Marks is, in the pantheon of Ciara albums, not a high water mark. (The self-titled from, what is it, 2012? 2013? That might be her crowning 2010s achievement right there, maybe in general.) It opens with a Macklemore feature, what else is there to say. But even the most mixed-bag of Ciara projects come with a few heaters, and this song is just so goddamn good, plays to an underrated strength of hers (understated, lovely production and intimacy) that stands apart from the more explicitly body-moving stuff she's also traded in throughout her career.

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Jamie Larson