Baker's Dozen: BLACKSTARKIDS, Eartheater, and Curbing Your Enthusiasm

Baker's Dozen: BLACKSTARKIDS, Eartheater, and Curbing Your Enthusiasm

Baker's Dozen is for paid subscribers of Larry Fitzmaurice's newsletter Last Donut of the Night. All newsletter revenue is currently being donated to the National Network of Abortion Funds; we've raised $3,160.13 so far.

Cam, "Girl Like Me"

Very straightforwardly well-done songwriting here, feels classic to me. Cam is one of those artists who, beyond my dilettante status in ‎‎listening to country in general (I'm working on it), I had a weird aversion to listening to for a while because...I don't like the name "Cam"? It's not some weird prejudical thing and it isn't based in anger or anything, for some reason there is a baseline aversion deep within when I see the name "Cam." Who knows what's going on with me.

Big Scarr, "Blow It" [ft. Foogiano]

The So Icy Gang The Reup compilation is, like, nineteen hours long—lots of duds, not gonna lie on that, quite possible that the heavy presence of Zaytoven-esque production throughout contributes to a certain sense of fatigue when listening to it over the course of one or two sittings.‎ There's some keepers though, which I'll share over the next few BD's, the way the bass tickles your ears in this one is very pleasing to me.

Radiant Children, "Mind Control"

As I've said before, something in the water over in London when it comes to the neo-soul scene...Radiant Children are a bit more trad when it comes to the genre's hallmarks than, say, slightly more forward-thinking artists like Demae and Ego Ella May, but they still crest on moments of bliss like this more often than not.


I really like BLACKSTARKIDS, even when I don't—what they do is off-kilter and weird even as it draws from a lot of not-too-weird influences (Weezer, a dash of Midwestern emo but not too much, early Odd Future, Toro Y Moi, I could go on). It makes so much sense they're a Dirty Hit band, which I only found out about after digging on their 2020 record Whatever, Man—and what they've gone on to do has also sounded stronger and more evolved, excited to see where they continue to take their sound. Hope they've been drawing in new fans opening for the 1975, too.

Ingrid Andress, "The Stranger"‎‎

Nice enough song, perhaps a little less special than something like, say, "Girl Like Me" but it does the trick regardless. The ‎album cover for Lady Like reminds me of ‎this fake-leaves-covered wall in Bushwick that's clearly up for Instagram purposes, outside of some day club-slash-bar; a seafood place used to be there.

Vagabon, "Water Me Down"

Maybe my favorite song from Vagabon's self-titled joint from 2019, which I already mentioned in a previous BD I much prefer to her first album. Have to imagine we'll be getting a new record next year, looking forward to that.

William Prince, "Wasted"

William Prince's voice is a big gorgeous sigh, it works very well with his songwriting and sound...there's something very simple about the sentiment of this song that makes it so appealing, sometimes it's an uncomplicated message that hits the hardest.

Kelsea Ballerini, "overshare"

This song doesn't make me feel "seen" as much as it makes me feel as if Kelsea Ballerini took a clean no-scope head shot from the building across my apartment, after studying my patterns of movement for years. How could something so carefree-sounding feel like getting violently stabbed regardless? If you relate, you probably understand.

Oranssi Pazuzu, "Uusi teknokratia"‎‎‎

These guys (Finnish) sound so fucking disgusting in a very specific way, like crawling through a mess of Ethernet cords, sewage, and blood. Real sci-fi horror shit, psychedelic in the dankest way possible, the same way taking a piss on mushrooms can blow your mind. ‎Basically, if Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning was a metal band.

Eartheater, "Spill the Milk"

Eartheater is so weird. She was on the Yung Kayo record earlier this year and produced an EP for Lourdes Leon (Madonna's daughter)—not the most expected trajectory for someone who releases stuff on Hausu Mountain and PAN, even in an age where Arca works with, well, tons of people. Obviously I hear some Grimes in her more pop-focused stuff, not saying she's influenced by Grimes though! Lot of people sound like this but it's hard to do it right, Eartheater certainly does.

King Princess, "If You Think It's Love"

This song is fine, maybe good even, but let's not get too far ahead of ourselves. Cheap Queen passed me by upon release for one reason or another, listening to it three years later I struggle to understand the hype around what King Princess does, which is ultimately a banal sound with little to distinguish it from, I don't know, like, 85% of the pop B-and-C-teamers currently bouncing around. I'll give her latest one a fair shot and report back in, like, 2024.

Teebs, "Studie" [ft. Panda Bear]‎‎

Time was, Noah Lennox never really sounded appealing on electronic collaborations—his thing and his collaborator's thing never quite lined up the way it should've. Obviously, Daft Punk's "Doin' It Right"‎ broke that wide open, and ever since it seems like he's found his sweet spot when hopping on others' tracks. He's got one on the new Teebs album coming soon too, which makes sense—if you could make something like this happen once, why not reach for the ring again?

Cigarettes After Sex, "Falling in Love"

What a terrible band, in many ways—always working on a level of lyrical misogyny, however buried and coded in themes of "love," that certainly seems like is allegedly reflected in real-life behavior as well. ‎The sound Greg Gonzalez achieves on this song—probably one of the two or three you could point to in the interest of easily demonstrating why people have been drawn to them—is perfect in a nauseating way, kind of like drug-sickness possibly, like a spotless and insanely bass-rich take on what Beach House does with none of the cosmic wow-factor that they continue to traffic in. I cannot help but "enjoy" the sound while feeling a little repulsed with myself for doing so, listening to this band is like touching a hot stove for me basically. I have to imagine they're returning next year, should be an interesting time to re-evaulate their whole deal in public to say the least.

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Jamie Larson