Baker's Dozen: Curren$y, Skylar Spence, and a God-Tier Sample

Baker's Dozen: Curren$y, Skylar Spence, and a God-Tier Sample
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Baker's Dozen is a weekly feature for paid subscribers where I share some music I've enjoyed recently (in the form of a playlist) as well as some thoughts around all of it.

Sam Amidon, "Hallelujah"

Always had a soft spot for Sam Amidon, especially when he lets his voice just ring out with minimal accompaniment (the more baroque and fussy his arrangements get, the less of an impression he makes). Can't believe I never thought of this until recently but he sounds a lot like Arthur Russell sometimes! Takes a while to realize things, I guess.

Poloboy Nunu, "Glocks out"

Love how Poloboy Nunu has a little melodic edge to his delivery on this, something very Midwestern about the whole deal here. Some of the tracks on this BD (as well as the next few) were heard by me the first time directly from esteemed cultural opinion-haver Sam Donsky's best-of list from 2020, this is one of them!

WizKid, "Essence" [ft. Tems]

Made in Lagos is such a stellar pop album that any song from it could've been put on here, but it also speaks to how remarkable "Essence" is that I keep coming back to it even as the industry tried to juke some extra success with a Bieber feature. The production is gorgeous, the way it just shimmers underneath everything‚ÄĒgentle and trippy, a little DJ Koze-y perhaps. Tems is, of course, an inimitable stylist, I haven't gotten around to listening to her latest EP yet but I'm sure it's sick, I recently highlighted something from her great last release too. Made in Lagos, in stores now.

Trippie Redd, "Red Beam" [ft. Sean Kingston]

More Trippie Redd, yup. What is it about Trippie Redd that I even like? I think that he hits an upper register sometimes that sounds very pleasing and pained, his music is constantly skirting the line between "good" and "bad" but he hits on something that has real appeal every now and then. Shout out to Sean Kingston.

Skylar Spence, "Kratos in Love"

Another Doom Mix Vol. 5 cut. Is the song title a God of War reference? Most likely, I imagine Skylar's playing video games on the reg. Serious Go Team vibes from this, an influence you really don't see popping up so often anymore (and, to be fair, their whole thing has been pretty singular the whole time).

KEY!, "Boys Don't Cry" [ft. Bobby Raps]

KEY!, always doing his own thing it seems. Or is he? I don't know. My level of knowledge regarding his whole deal is that he's melodic and vibrant, sometimes spits kind of hard, flirts with dance-y sounds at times. Is that right? I don't know. Good song, good Billy Madison reference.

Chappell Roan, "Pink Pony Club"

There's a song or two that sounds like this every year, it seems. Not mad at it, sometimes it comes from an Alex Winston type and other times it comes from, well, an Alex Winston type. Some Christine and the Queens vibes here too, a little bit, strictly sonically.

Mallrat, "Rockstar"

Sounds so much like The Magnetic Fields' "The Things We Did and Didn't Do" that it's a little uncanny...Mallrat is clearly a good songwriter, there's a conceit here that works pretty solidly well, even if I think Stephin Merritt wouldn't exactly embrace it wholeheartedly if it were his.

Curren$y and Harry Fraud, "Seven Seas"

Curren$y, constantly frozen in amber, one of a few rappers out there making consistency both a blessing and a curse. Whenever I hear Harry Fraud's name, or listen to one of his productions even, I think of eternal confidante and current Pitchfork senior editor Ryan Dombal's impression of Peter Rosenberg introducing Harry Fraud as "Harold Fraud" on his late-night Hot 97 show. If I could include audio of the impression here I would, but some things are best left unknowable too.

Hailey Whitters, "Heartland"

Just a simple song that sounds good, don't have much more to say than that.

BlocBoy JB, "No Chorus Pt. 12" [ft. Tay Keith]

"THAT'S ON MY MAMA!" Great ad-lib.

Caribou, "Ravi (Shanti Celeste Remix)"

Another good cut from the Caribou remixes album. Remember when Dan Snaith got gently dragged online for a day for being all "I turned down a $40k corporate DJing gig because of COVID"? Good times. Would've played the gig myself but that's with a vaccine mindset, christ it's been a long two years.

Hailee Steinfeld, "I Love You's"

Because nothing says "turnt" like Hailee Steinfeld. Such a bold sample + basically-kind-of-a-cover choice, but hey, we all gotta eat, and she kind of does on this too. Just a little shy of being overly basic, otherwise the effectiveness is obvious.

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Jamie Larson
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