Baker's Dozen: Carl Stone, Kylie Minogue, and Bands I Thought I Didn't Like

Baker's Dozen: Carl Stone, Kylie Minogue, and Bands I Thought I Didn't Like

Baker's Dozen is a weekly thing for paid subscribers where I send out a playlist along with my thoughts on some music I've enjoyed recently.

Kishi Bashi, "Cascades"

Kishi Bashi has popped up in my inbox and has been mentioned by other NYC-based musicians I've come in contact for forever now...I regularly have a faint feeling of having heard his music even if I can't describe what it sounds like accurately off-hand. But this is really nice! From an EP he put out earlier this year called Emigrant, has a Yellow House-era Grizzly Bear/Annuals' quieter moments/just flat-out 2000s indie feel to it.

Ana Roxanne, "Take the Thorn, Leave the Rose"

Love Ana Roxanne as I've mentioned around these parts before, seems to do something surprising with the "ambient" format every time I engage with her music. This track reminds me a lot of Alex Zhang Hungtai's more atmospheric work as Dirty Beaches, feels filmic in its brooding vibes.

Christelle Bofale, "Love Lived Here Once"

I'm still spending plenty of time catching up on 2019 albums even as I've been plowing towards some sort of ending in my 2020 queue, and continuing to build out a neverending 2021 queue. (I've become fastidiously methodical about listening habits these days, which makes discovering music I love both random and thrilling in its randomness.) Anyway! Swim Team from Christelle Bofale is one of those 2019 albums that I've really enjoyed recently, lots of stretched-out songs that take their time and build to something engaging before your very eyes. Her label recently tweeted at me that something new is in the works from her for 2023 (sorry if I'm wrong with the facts here Father/Daughter), which seems like a far time away but worth looking forward to!

Mother of Mars, "Space Without a Shadow" [ft. Jaiko Suzuki]

Good stuff from Vito and Gabe fka the Rapture. Very reminiscent of Black Meteoric Star, obviously makes a bit of sense that two guys once signed to DFA would continue on a different wavelength that is also very DFA-y.

Sebadoh, "Battery"

Sebadoh! One of those bands where, prior to me hearing Act Surprised, if you asked me if I liked them I'd be like "Nah not really, but I guess I should go back and check out those albums again." But I do like Act Surprised a lot, so, yeah, I guess I need to go listen to Bakesale again or whatever. I guess this song is about Samsung phones exploding? Kind of corny but it's ok.

Miley Cyrus, "D.R.E.A.M." [ft. Ghostface Killah]

We talk a lot about the plans dashed in 2020, so here's another one: Miley was clearly gearing up to hard pivot back to her Mike Will Made It days of pretending to be invested in hip-hop culture ("culture" being the operative word here)—that is, before COVID upended everything, she started covering songs in her backyard, everyone was like "Goddamn she has an incredible voice for rock songs," and then she made Plastic Hearts, which is for the best since it's better than Bangerz 2: Locked and Reloaded would've come out. But this is a standout from that pump-fake that took place right before COVID. What a sad song! People really zoom in on the hedonism of what she does sometimes, but she's been open about addiction and recovery and relapse, impossible not to hear this as a naked admission of helplessness even as the top player continues the "party with molly" vibe. The Ghostface verse is embarrassingly tacked on and nearly ruins the song, more proof that this attempt at an era restart was clearly going nowhere.

Glitterer, "Try Harder Still"

Because we really aren't getting another Title Fight album any time soon, are we. Great album from Ned Russin though, overlooked maybe? Has a little bit of GbV energy, kind of '90s in general. There's another album next year that's an indie-ish side project that sounds similar, but I'm not going to just break up someone else's promotional plans now, am I.

Kylie Minogue, "Till You Love Somebody"

When it comes to vapid, surface-level disco-pop resurrections, Kylie Minogue totally outclassed Dua Lipa, sorry. The key to how Kylie makes it work on this track and others is to keep things stupidly simple and obvious; every song on the album (including this) sounds like it's one or two steps away from Eurovision, but if you heard it out it'd be perfect to your ears. Is this really just another excuse for me to say the Dua Lipa album was mid? Maybe!

H.C. McEntire, "Quartz in the Valley"

Lotta good songs on the first album from H.C. of Mount Moriah, who are apparently on some sort of hiatus? I need to revisit her most recent album, looks like I listened to it but didn't make an impression. But go check out this one if you like this!

Brigid Mae Power, "Down on the Ground"

I really love Brigid Mae Power's approach to folk music, sounds haunted and solitary and iridescent in its radience. I've highlighted stuff from her most recent album around here last year, this one is from the 2018 LP that is still very much worth wearing out as well.

Radiant Baby, "Smooth" [ft. Ohara Hale]

It should probably be illegal to name your project Radiant Baby (unless it's not intentionally a Keith Haring reference, in which case, my apologies to all involved). Nevertheless! Good tune, Classixx would really destroy a remix of this too.

Carl Stone, "Bojuk"

Carl Stone's cut-and-paste pop-collagist approach sounds like music that's trying to attack you, and "music that's trying to attack you" is typically one of my favorite styles, so I've been very into his relatively recent career renaissance over the last few years. I don't get to say "sounds like Animal Collective" that often and really mean it, but I do this time.

Open Mike Eagle, Elaquent, and Namir Blade, "Symbol of Hope"

From the Mello Music Group comp released earlier this year, I believe I'll highlight one or two more from it too. Just some nice laid-back rap music!

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Jamie Larson