Baker's Dozen: Grouper, Burna Boy, and Another Pop Sea Change

Baker's Dozen: Grouper, Burna Boy, and Another Pop Sea Change

Baker's Dozen is a weekly thing for paid subscribers where I share a playlist of music I've been listening to, along with some thoughts around that music. All subscription revenue is being donated to the National Network of Abortion Funds as long as I'm able to do so.

Josephine Foster, "The Sum of Us All"

J‎‎osephine Foster's been around for a while now apparently, dating back to the days when we all problematically referred to psychedelic folk music as "freak folk." Those were the days, indeed! This song has a bit of an Alasdair Roberts thing going on here, only I don't think he ever threw a stray synth in the mix.

Wish Kit, "Almonds"

Out now on Chillwavve Records, apparently (real name, no gimmicks). A bit of Pavement, a bit of that BARR song about writing a song, but with none of the didacticism. I'll admit to being taken aback when I hear something so nakedly "indie rock" these days (without a hint of emo, even), doesn't happen that often.

Grouper, "Unclean mind"

Special shoutout to my friend Talya for selling me her ticket to the Grouper show last weekend, it was a heavy and truly special live experience. Bizarre to see 85% of the crowd unmasked, I guess we're truly in the "find out" stage of fucking around and finding out. I wish everyone the best!

Off the Meds, "Hiccups"

Off the Meds' 2020 album is emblematic of the Studio Barnhus experience: fun, funny, colorful, hazy, melodic, and trippy above all else. Highly recommended stuff! Now that my problematic queen M.I.A. ‎‎is coming back again, I'd love to hear her over production like this.

Pinegrove, "Iodine"

The new Pinegrove is the most I've ever liked them on record—I couldn't connect with Cardinal the way so many others did, ‎although I thought they were quite strong live at the time. They've hit on a style that sounds as if it's always breathing and frequently gorgeous, I'm sure having Chris Walla in the booth helped.

Gloves Off, "Between Greetings and Goodbyes"

Keystone State, stand up! Wasn't too into this album as a whole but love how the second half of this track breaks into some sort of big black metal blast, it's a nice twist.

Jacques Greene, "Leave Here"

Easily my favorite Jacques Greene thing this year, this being in second place.‎

Squirrel Flower, "ruby at dawn"

Lovely song from the latest Squirrel Flower EP, I believe she's underrated at this point. Has a great cover of Björk's "Unravel" as well, a song that I tend to like more when it's covered than in its original form (sorry Björk).

Jay Worthy, LNDN DRGS, and Sean House, "Sixteen"

The type of ‎‎beat that goes down real easy, nothing of substance on the lyrical end but if someone put this on in a car you'd probably enjoy it.

Burna Boy, "Gum Body" [ft. Jorja Smith]

"This beat ain't normal!" is a great producer tag, one of the best in a minute. Jorja sounds great on this too, I might say at this point she sounds better on other people's shit than her own? Can't wait for the new Burna album this summer.

!!!, "Rhythm of the Gravity"

Sure, there's levels of perceived bias here: Nic Offer is an official Friend of the Newsletter, and I did the bio for this particular !!! album, too. But (and I say this having not heard the new one yet) I do think it's their best to date, the beat here is nuts, captures that grime energy that a lot of American electronic music simply does not.

Loose Teeth, "a paragon"

Toronto bringing the noise here, just letting loose (no pun intended) with a real anthemic metalcore bruiser. Obviously, if you've been following the newsletter for long enough, you've witnessed a bit of evolution of taste on my end towards the harder side of things—I just find this sound more satisfying than ever.

Post Malone, "Staring at the Sun" [ft. SZA]

I'm quite looking forward to the new Post Malone album, but it does seem like his massive streak of success could finally be over...the first single just debuted at #29 on the Billboard Hot 100, so it's got a bit of a climb when it comes to achieving the sort of omnipresence Posty's enjoyed in the past. Is his reign over? Time will tell! Anyway, what else is there to say about him, I've certainly said a lot in the past—I love this song, I think it's beautiful, he's a capable songwriter underneath it all and I hope for several gems like this coming up.‎‎


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Jamie Larson