Baker's Dozen: Alex Lahey, No Age, and Terrible Rappers

Baker's Dozen: Alex Lahey, No Age, and Terrible Rappers

Baker's Dozen is a weekly thing I send out to paid subscribers where I share a playlist of songs I've been listening to lately as well as some thoughts around those songs.

brakence, "argyle"

I've posted about brakence's music before here, he's one of my favorites in the whole post-Peep don't-call-it-hyperpop major-label gold rush. Someone told me that someone they know said this song sounds like the Hotelier a little bit, which I won't argue with. Another good one about hating all of your success as a pop artist, we've gotten a lot of that this year obviously.

Suffering Hour, "Transcending Antecedent Visions"

Solid black metal right here, down to the audio fidelity. Don't like the album as a whole all that much but this track rips.

No Age, "Secret Swamp"

Listen to this song on Bandcamp.

I can't remember the most recent No Age album sticking with me that much, but Snares Like a Haircut from 2018 is the band operating at peak capacity when it comes to what they do. I'd say they're undervalued at this point, but that would include pointing the finger at myself, since I can't even remember listening to the most recent album. Did I even listen to it? Not sure! I listen to a lot of music.

DJ Khaled, "Wish Wish" [ft. Cardi B and 21 Savage]

21 Savage is ok on this but Cardi really blacks out on delivering that hook...and I say that as a certified á la carte Cardi listener who still thinks Invasion of Privacy was overrated for cult-of-personality reasons. When she's on, though, she's on.

Tokischa and ROSALÍA, "Linda"

My wife sent this to me and said "This is good." Correct!

Jamila Woods, "BETTY"

Sometimes it feels basic to feature an album's opening track on here, but what an opening track this is...I didn't take to Legacy! Legacy! immediately when it came out but have kept revisiting it and it's opened itself up more and more. Would kill for a full-band live show of this album in full, bet it would sound great.

Fat Ray, "The One"

We're nearing the end of the year, and one of the obvious narratives for music in 2021 is how Bruiser Brigade put out a few albums in a very unflashy way that just so happened to be excellent. I've highlighted the Bruiser Wolf album already around these parts (still my favorite of all of them just by way of sheer inventiveness), was similarly hard to choose a Fat Ray cut I liked more than the others but this one is very good.

Amaarae, "FANTASY" [ft. Maesu and Ckay]

Apparently The Angel You Don't Know was released a year ago today? Wild timing. Even within a pop subgenre that turns out a lot of incredible stuff, really inventive and gorgeous album, another one where it was hard to pick a highlight.

Ponzo Houdini, "Next to You" [ft. ADIYON DASHALON and Kenyada Nikile]

No YouTube embed for this, sorry—or am I? Ponzo Houdini, after all, is a terrible rapper. The album this song is off of, You Know the Vibes II, is laughably retrograde and simplistic. There's a song called "LLC" about starting an LLC. Lyrically, it resembles a Tweet that would start a day-long argument on Twitter. You know the vibes, indeed. This song has a good beat though, something very mid-2000s Def Jam crossover attempt single about it, I try to block out the rapping.

Alex Lahey, "Don't Be So Hard on Yourself"

The second Alex Lahey album wasn't as strong as the first, to me—but I still like her and think she's gonna generally keep making good tunes. Love the saxophone line on this, reminds me of another and much lesser Alex (Cameron, specifically—yes, another Alex Cameron diss in a Baker's Dozen, deal with it).

Meat Beat Manifesto, "T.M.I."

Listen to this track on Bandcamp.

Meat Beat Manifesto is one of those acts where I've never really listened to them until this album from 2018, because of the name? Don't really like the name all that much. The music is up my alley though. This kind of sounds like Tobacco, who would also probably title a song "T.M.I."

Boof, "Luam Has Found Her Z"

Sick tune, love the high-pitched melody that crashes through when it really gets going, must be cool to hear on a soundsystem.

Shinichi Atobe, "Yes"

And rounding it out with another electronic dance number at the end. Have a good weekend.

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Jamie Larson