Baker's Dozen: Charli XCX, DJ Python, and Funny Voices

Baker's Dozen: Charli XCX, DJ Python, and Funny Voices
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Baker's Dozen is a weekly thing for paid subscribers where I send out a collection of music I've been listening to lately, along with some thoughts around that music. All newsletter revenue is currently going towards the National Network of Abortion Funds; I'll be giving an update on how much we've raised next week.

Black Belt Eagle Scout, "I Said I Wouldn't Write This Song"

I thought the second Black Belt Eagle Scout album was a marked improvement when it came to Katherine Paul's songwriting;‎‎‎ what she does is sturdy and reliable, and imbued with some unmistakable close-cut emotion as well. I spoke with her forever ago for this massive piece on how much independent musicians make. I've been considering a COVID-era follow-up to that piece, Vulture passed on the idea earlier this year so if it happens it will likely happen here.

The Hunt, "I Can't Stand"

Sacred Bones' Todo Muere SBXV compilation—in which the label's many artists tackle each other's songs for its 15th anniversary—has some gems, I'll share a few over the next few weeks. I love this extremely dramatic and goth-y take on Zola Jesus' already extremely dramatic and goth-y original; it walks the line between being

"effective" and "ridiculous" but never quite fully goes into "ridiculous" territory, which I appreciate. Is this death rock? I'll never know!

Melenas, "3 segundos"

Classic thing with the Melenas album from 2020 where I heard it and was like, "This has to be a reissue, right?" This song is post-punk-leaning indie rock ‎comfort food in a good way, elsewhere they show some impressive range sonically too. Good stuff!

Octo Octa, "Deep Connections"

I love Octo Octa and have shared her music on here before, what else is there to say. Few do the body-moving retro-rave thing quite like her, she's great at texture, and there's always that punk-y current running through her music that calls back to her 100% Silk days.

Smokescreens, "Pick the Cats Eyes Out"

And here's ‎‎an example of something that sounds impeccably vintage because it's...a cover! Specifically, a cover of a 1980 single from Scottish indie-pop band Scrotum Poles (sometimes you just gotta name your band something). Smokescreens are from Cali it seems, but they sound...Dunedin-y? Posting New Zealand-y jangle stuff is my new "posting screamo" I fear, and looking at future playlists I think you're in for a few more at least.

Charli XCX, "Every Rule"

Great production from OPN here, he's in the pocket when working in this lane. (That said, the latest Soccer Mommy album, which I love, ‎probably didn't need his input.) I'd write more here but the next critical piece-y newsletter will be talking about Charli in some depth, so.

Remi Wolf, "Grumpy Old Man"

My wife and I don't agree on which Remi Wolf song is our favorite, but we both love her right now regardless. My friend pointed out how she's good at twisting her voice around when she wants, and this song is a good example of that—‎how she flips herself to sound like a banjo at one point, funny stuff. Something distinctly '90s about her whole sound and approach, almost like a nü-skool Cornershop without the sampledelia aspect.

Killah Priest and Jordan River Banks, "Path Guidance (My Beginning)"

Can't recommend listening to the Killah Priest album this is from, it felt three hours long and if I could invoice for that time, I certainly would. But the beat sounds slippery and druggy, funny to hear such an old-head over a beat that, like, Trippie Redd or Playboi Carti might hop on if tweaked just a little.

Ashley Shadow, "Grey"

Ashley Shadow, good songwriter. She also contributed to Bonnie "Prince" Billy's Lie Down in the Light, which some would call His Best Album while others (like me) would call The Album With The Song About Getting A Blowjob In Public On It. (I like the album a lot too, typically I waver between I See a Darkness and Master and Everyone as my favorite BPB record.) He pops up on the album this is from, too.

Omar S, "Oops"

Unreasonably excited to see Omar S at Forest Hills next month, the lineup of the century maybe. Haven't been out at a dance music thing since the pandemic kicked off, will be good to get back in the mix. He is, obviously, one of the greats.

DJ Python, "Rosada"

More good shit from DJ Python, taken from the solid 2020 compilation Discos en 3/Cuartos courtesy of Peruvian label Kebrada. One thing Python is so good at is lacing his tracks with this shimmering melancholia, even as it sounds like the type of thing that would feel revelatory hearing it in a club.

The Comet Is Coming, "The Seven Planetary Heavens"‎‎

Not the first time I've posted these guys on here. I think they're about to break up or something? The way this one moves—almost lurches, really, but with a certain dramatic momentum—really gets at my (Bobby Bottleservice voice) corazón.‎

Lex Amor, "Moesh" [ft. DIPS and Lo-Wu]

Government Tropicana, good album name. I am typically buying what Lex Amor is selling, this 2020 album can dip into soporific territory every now and then but when she hits a groove, it's hitting in general. Apparently she dropped something new this year, I'll get around to it.

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Jamie Larson