Baker's Dozen: Future, Holy Motors, and Familiar Over the Unfamiliar

Baker's Dozen: Future, Holy Motors, and Familiar Over the Unfamiliar

Baker's Dozen is usually something I do for paid subscribers, but today I'm doing one for free. (There'll be a second Baker's Dozen on Friday as well for paid subscribers; next week the newsletter will take a break, as I'll be traveling for the holidays.) If you like this post but can't make the leap to paying for a subscription, consider donating to my Ko-Fi.

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Faye Webster, "What Used to Be Mine"

A friend recently listened to Faye Webster for the first time, and the reviews were not positive. "So she just sings about missing boys and being bored all the time? Is that it?" Idk dog, I'm not always a lyrics guy. My thing about Faye Webster is that she's very good at making music that sounds appealing cross-genre even though she's working pretty firmly in specific genre constraints. Sometimes she reminds me of Cass McCombs without the mysticism, and I'm talking purely sonically there because, yes, I understand that Cass McCombs without the mysticism has the potential not to be interesting either. Where was I? Oh yeah, Faye Webster. I like her! This is from the first record, still picking a song from the most recent one, but she's good. Massively original opinion there.

Dashboard Confessional, "Just What to Say" [ft. Chrissy Costanza]

No relation to George, I'm assuming. The latest Dashboard Confessional album was preposterous, and that's a tall order because we're talking Dashboard fuckin' Confessional here. There's a Lindsey Sterling feature, which is always a red flag; most of it sounds like Imagine Dragons, which is curious because it was also the first DC album in seven years, so just imagine Chris Carrabba jamming out to, like, "Thunder" and "Believer" for nearly two U.S. presidential terms. The worst part is that I actually like a few of the car-commercial jams, but this closing track made the biggest impact on me for its "Hands Down"-ness. Old glories revisited maybe, the punch isn't quite as impactful but you can at least see where the blow should land.

Molly Brazy, "Space Inna Wraith"

The Molly Brazy tape from this year was good, she works in a bunch of different styles and most of them suit her well. I gravitate most towards druggy, iridescent stuff like this to begin with, not a huge shock that this was my fave, it's a sticky hook for what it is though.

Moneybagg Yo, "Relentless Again"

Still need to check out the three projects he dropped over the last two years, but 4EVA HEARTLESS was probably my favorite Moneybagg release to date since the first HEARTLESS. I can't find it right now but there's also a great video online of a magician that he hired for his kid's birthday party turning a chicken in to a Popeye's chicken sandwich, the kids go absolutely nuts for the sandwich because, well, wouldn't you?


JAHMED apparently lives in Victorville. Wonder if he's ever been to the VFA. I would say that "USAY" is a Popcorn Classic of sorts, has a distinct West Coast bounce to it, obviously smacks a little of Kendrick in his vocal inflection too.

Pa Salieu, "Betty"

Cool video. Loved the Pa Salieu tape, think this beat is really good—especially that sighing night-bus tone collapse that closes it out. I say this on here regularly, but I typically gravitate towards British rap for the production and not much else, I really like Pa Salieu's voice though, too.

Zao, "R.I.P.W."

I am still very much in a dilettante stage when it comes to metal/hardcore/metalcore/etc, been listening to a lot more of it lately (more than any other year) and figuring out what I enjoy. Apparently Zao have been around forever and at one point were a Christian band? This track sounded cool to me, especially how it turns in the second half, didn't care much for the album in general otherwise.

Future and Lil Uzi Vert, "Plastic"

Listening to this is like listening to 1950s rock to me, you know what you're getting but when it's done this good it rips, basically like when you hear something like "Maybellene." Future is in the zone, Uzi is in the zone, everything sounds pretty much pristine and picture-perfect, this is large-venue rap at its most effective to me. Between the good songs on Pluto x Baby Pluto and the massive achievement that was Eternal Atake, 2020 was a very good year for Uzi. His 2021 has been...concerning! We'll see how it plays out.

Dirty Projectors, "Inner World"

Dirty Projectors' 5 EPs project kind of didn't make an impact out there, which is a shame. It had probably the best music they've done since Swing Lo Magellan? I fell off hard in the time between that album and these EPs, the music just sounded very dull to me (spoiler alert: I have also never liked Bitte Orca, and my favorite DPs album to date is still Rise Above). Anyway great song, when they hit licks like this it's a real sweet spot between the avant and pop impulses that Dave Longstreth has.

Ravyn Lenae, "4 Leaf Clover" [ft. Steve Lacy]

Good song, feels like we haven't heard much from either artist on this track since around this time (2018), maybe that'll change this year.

Holy Motors, "Ghost of Heart"

Estonia, huh? Still haven't listened to their latest but this band's 2018 album is very capable slowcore stuff, hits the right notes at the right time.

Barbarossa, "Awakeners Awaken Us"

Very good sad-boy Caribou electronic indie stuff, I daresay this record was underrated this year! When this sound is done well it's fairly undeniable imo, at the very least it would sound good in a restaurant. Ghost Culture did production on the album which makes sense.

Homeboy Sandman and Iman Omari, "None"

Another track from the Mello Music Group compilation I posted about last week. Whenever I listen to Homeboy Sandman I remember a song he did back in 2011 where he talked about not knowing how to set your gchat to invisible, which I found relatable at the time.

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Jamie Larson