Baker's Dozen: Helena Deland, Field Medic, and Music That Sounds Like Other Music

Baker's Dozen: Helena Deland, Field Medic, and Music That Sounds Like Other Music

Baker's Dozen is a weekly thing for paid subscribers where I share a playlist of music as well as my scattered thoughts on the music itself.

Ben Howard, "What a Day"

Best song on an album that's worth checking out if you're into this kind of thing. Fourth album from this guy, never heard his music before (I think?) but he's got a name like an NBA player and sounds exactly like José González. Go figure.

Helena Deland, "Truth Nugget"

Some really solid songwriting on Helena Deland's first proper album, I need to go back to the EPs too. Hard not to resist music that sounds like this when it's done so well.

The Antlers, "Green to Gold"

At this point I've written so much about what I think is probably the most underrated indie rock band of the last 15 years, but I remain amazed at how well the Antlers do soft psychedelia—it feels like true post-rock in the most essential sense of the term, really—and even as they've currently landed in a Harvest Moon-era Neil Young space they're still able to do their stretched-out thing within it. Check out my interview with Peter from earlier this year here.

Vegyn, "Sometimes I Feel Like I'm Ruining Songs"

Vegyn is so talented and is on a serious hot streak—a ridiculous thing to say about someone who worked on Blonde, sure, but their latest EP as well as contributions on Duval Timothy's subtly astounding Help from last year have been truly impressive. The music recalls how James Blake's early work sounded to me, if not in form then in overall feeling.

Starrah, "Who Decides War (More Than Words)"

The Starrah record was mostly a whiff to me but this song had some nice moments to it. Not much more to say than that.

Open Mike Eagle, "The Edge of New Clothes"

I understand that with the following opinion I'm opening the floodgates to rebuttals from the entirety of the Passion of the Weiss readership, but Anime, Trauma and Divorce is obviously the best Open Mike Eagle album to date, right? Painfully intimate to listen to, avoids a lot of narrative pitfalls that could trip up a project like this, great production. Fascinating stuff!

Real Estate, "In the Garden"

The regular disclaimer that I have known and been familiar-to-close-friends with most of the guys in this band since high school. Would I like their music anyway? Probably! I think they're in the zone here, my favorite Real Estate album to date is Atlas and I think that they work best in a dusky, Feelies-at-sunset vibe. In danger of being underrated at this point, possibly, despite them being quite popular!

Adrienne Lenker, "my angel"

Two weeks(?) after I quietly bemoaned media Twitter's obsessiveness over Big Thief, here I am posting more Thief-related music. Adrianne Lenker is an amazing songwriter! It's true. Love their stuff, deeply at times, am also able to recognize when people at large are developing parasocial relationships to bands and music in general. Not quite walking and chewing gum but close.

Armand Hammer, "Indian Summer"

I'm so all over the place with The Alchemist, I think he's quite often brilliant but also think he's overpraised at this point, familiar comfort-food stuff for people looking for something very specific from rap music. The latest Armand Hammer album wasn't hitting as much as usual for this reason, I think, even though I quite enjoy their music. Some highlights, though! Like this one.

Jeff Tweedy, "Guess Again"

Jeff Tweedy, what a guy. Always there when you need him. Love Wilco forever and always and in general I'm always going to connect in some way with what he does.

Field Music, "i want you so bad it hurts"

This song takes me out, this album in general takes me out. Incredible songwriting, might take a minute to stick in your head but when it gets in there it doesn't leave.

Alice Longyu Gao, "Rich Bitch Juice"

My friend Lindsay told me about this song recently, I like it more than her new song tbh. With production courtesy of Dylan Brady, of course.

Taylor Swift, "dorothea"

Top-10 Taylor for me at this point possibly, you can practically feel the wind from the hair whips as she belts this out on a piano at the Grammys next year—that being said! I recently ran through this album's keepers again and, Christ, it felt pretty dull. I will not deny the songwriting capabilities on display throughout both of these Said the Gramophone-ass albums, Taylor Swift is one of the absolute greats at this point, but it feels like every interesting eccentricity she possessed before—the shit about her that drove people up a goddamn wall, and subsequently made her more fascinating as an artist—has been sanded down and smoothed over. I can only hope she gets back to the annoying shit as soon as possible. (Lover still beats both of these albums any day of the week, btw.)

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Jamie Larson