Baker's Dozen: PACKS, $uicideboy$, Water From Your Eyes

Baker's Dozen: PACKS, $uicideboy$, Water From Your Eyes

This is a free post from Larry Fitzmaurice's Last Donut of the Night newsletter; paid subscribers also get a Baker's Dozen playlist once a week with music I've been listening to as well as some criticism around it. Today, the Baker's Dozen is free—and we're in the final week for the sale on monthly subscriptions. $1.50/month for the first six months, a 50% discount, grab it here before I disable the sale this Saturday.

Another brief update: I mentioned doing a regular film rundown here monthly, and while that is still in the works, I won't be launching it February as planned. It's TBD for now, want to get a few other projects out of the way first and would rather not overburden myself at the moment. (These are the kind of decisions you have to make constantly when you're running your own publication, take note.) If you were looking forward to it, sorry! You can always follow me on Letterboxd for now...

PinkPantheress, "Bury me" [ft. Kelela]

Incredible song, even if Reddit seemingly disagrees...I think Kelela goes off on this, does her own thing in a limited amount of time which, considering that her music is typically about full immersion, is impressive and a bit unexpected. I was a bit chastened at the mildly negative reaction that Heaven knows received online, but I think you can chalk that up to some young-person skepticism towards the artists they initially championed as those artists continue forward. Personally think the album's solid, maybe not the knockout everyone desired, but honestly Pinkpantheress' thing is still so specific that I'm (very pleasantly) shocked she made it this far, to me it's like if Saint Etienne were topping TRL in the early 2000s.

Ruth Radelet, "Crimes"

In which Ruth Radelet proves that you, in fact, do not need Johnny Jewel to sound exactly like Chromatics did. I spent a lot of the 2010s resistant to the Chromatics aesthetic specifically (I liked all the other IDIB-era stuff floating around) but once I embraced the fact that it's all aesthetic, it made a lot more sense to me...honestly, shout out to long-time newsletter subscriber Nic Offer of !!!, who once walked me through his own perspective on Chromatics in conversation and opened up my mind a bit. I might have something of interest to Johnny Jewel observers running later this year, but (very cryptically) I still have to figure out the legality of it all...yes, it's that serious.

Andrew Broder, "HERBERT"

Indie rock heads from the 2000s will recognize Andrew Broder as the guy behind Fog and Hymie's Basement, he's still been kicking around since of course. He did the score for the 2020 movie The Show, which I hadn't heard about until now and was written by Alan Moore(?!)...maybe I'll check it out. Last year he released the score as a record, this was a nice and surprisingly meaty techno cut from it.

Zoo Look, "Next Time"

Mossy, shimmering techno from this Bristol producer, would sound perfect alongside the many gorgeous moments on DJ Python's brilliant Essential Mix from recently. (For those non-paying readers—I'm sharing a series of cuts across the year from 2019's 4 Years of Dancing compilation courtesy of UK label Shall Not Fade. If you want to follow along for the highlights, obviously you should tap in; if you can't right now, go check out the compilation yourself, it's gargantuan but rewarding.)

PACKS, "fm"

Willing to call Madeline Link one of indie rock's more underrated songwriters right now, she seemingly tosses off brilliant songs constantly...I've shared stuff from her here before, this song from 2022's WOAH is pretty much perfect to me, especially how she swings on the vocal melody like she's climbing monkey bars in the last ten seconds there. She also just put out another record, like, last week; it's also very good, I'll be sharing something from it in the months to come.

Dazy, "Bad Advice"

Bad Advice, by Dazy
from the album The Crowded Mind

The other MAXIMUMBLASTSUPERLOUD: The First 24 Songs track that's lodged in my mental craw, last time I shared a more Lemonheads-y cut but I love the pure melodic blast of this one, again I think his whole thing is almost disarmingly earnest sonically which is kind of rare in general.

Caterina Barbieri, "At Your Gamut"

So, Caterina Barberi, we're all in agreement that she's a genius, yes? That we're watching a master at work across this decade so far, bringing several tendrils of style that were floating around there together while also doing something that feels totally new and entrancing? I loved Ecstatic Computation and think Spirit Exit from 2022 was even better, still need to check out the record from last year but I hear she's cooking up something good with Space Afrika for this year too, very exciting stuff.

Water From Your Eyes, "No Better Now"

The other track that I'm really stuck on from Water From Your Eyes' brilliant 2019 record Somebody Else's Song. Last time around I talked a bit about how their sound—their sounds—remind me of the 2000s and this is more of that to me, only even more explicitly in the K Records tradition along with some very simple (complimentary) indie-pop jangle, like the type of stuff you'd expect from Camera Obscura.

Still Woozy, "WTF"

Anyone who went to college in the last six years seems to be very familiar with Still Woozy, who to me is one of those guys where I'm always expecting him to be an actual "thing" even as it seems like most seem to be unaware of his whole deal. Honestly, you can probably blame COVID for this, as he was definitely bubbling over in the months before lockdown and then, pfft, it's over, etc. He got around to releasing his major-label debut If This Isn't Nice, I Don't Know What Is in 2021, and I suppose the title's noncommittal nature is an adequate reflection of the music. This stuff is obviously appealing but inconsequential. We'll see if he ever comes back...

LSDXOXO, "Sick Bitch"

I feel like the next few newsletters is just me sharing the entirety of Dedicated 2 Disrespect and banging my head and pointing at you and saying too loudly "Isn't this fucking sick?" But, like, isn't this fucking sick? The production and how the vocals weave in and out of it is totally dizzying, it makes you want to go insane. Real body-moving shit right here.

Cam'ron, "Losin' weight 3"

Cam'ron's lived multiple lives in popular culture at this point, which I don't think anyone really anticipated...for a guy who has seemed especially hardheaded and kind of stupid throughout his career, he's really endured! Most recently, his sports podcast It Is What It Is with Mase has been something of a virality factory, as someone who does not give a true goddamn about any sport I thought this bit of the two of them getting into it about Spike Lee and the Knicks was extremely funny. (Of course, there have been some ugly things about all of this too, as there always is.) Through this lens, Purple Haze 3 from 2019 feels like eight lifetimes ago, and not just because it's pre-COVID; it's about as good as you are going to get from a Cam'ron record in 2019, and that's discounting the fact that you have to hear Wale do a Ricky Ricardo impression at one point. This song is, like, the closest you'll get to Cam'ron doing 4:44, a notion so funny that I almost just started laughing while typing it out; when he's flipping lines like "Dog food/ You fuckin' with the Eukanuba crew," you know that there's still some creative spark in there.

Afternoon Bike Ride, "Not Ideal"

I thought this Montreal trio's debut album glossover from last year was slightly underrated, the highest praise I can pay this is that it's the type of sound Wet have clearly been striving for and never quite 100% nailed down.

$uicideboy$, "Avalon"

Ugh, I love $uicideboy$ so much that I feel deeply ashamed by it...the production is very much in the pocket for me, obviously anything that sounds remotely Peep-adjacent is hugely alluring, I think the elasticity of their voices works extremely well. And yet I can't shake the fact that being a fan of these guys is pretty much like being a Juggalo...whatever, live my truth, etc. I fucking love this song, thought their latest record was excellent too, I'll be sharing something from it later on.

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Jamie Larson