Baker's Dozen: Kevin Gates, Hana Vu, and Impressive Rebounds

Baker's Dozen: Kevin Gates, Hana Vu, and Impressive Rebounds

Hey, long time no see! Just kidding. Baker's Dozen is a regular thing for paid subscribers where I share some music as well as some thoughts around that music. All newsletter revenue is currently being donated to the National Network of Abortion Funds; we've raised $2,860.53 so far.

Hayden Thorpe, "Hotel November Tango"

Here's an overlooked one from last year.‎‎‎ Wild Beasts were very much an a la carte band for me, wanted to be a fan more than I actually was in the end—but I very much enjoy Hayden Thorpe's solo LP from last year, Moondust for My Diamond, which features exquisite production touches by guy-who-is-involved-in-a-lot-of-similar-sounding-but-good-stuff-lately Bullion. Reminds me a little of Thom Yorke's solo stuff in its "dark but vibrant electronic pop" way of being.

Molly Sarlé, "Passenger Side"

As far as I can tell, this is the mode that best suits Molly Sarlé—a kind of hanging-in-the-balance song structure, keeping up the tension while entering a cyclical groove. She pulls this off very capably several times on Karaoke Angel, extremely effective.

Y La Bamba, "Rios Sueltos"

Another groove locked into here, more hypnotic than tension-based. A little nostalgia here, I posted one of Y La Bamba's songs in one of the first Baker's Dozens way back in 2020—always nice to continue to feature artists on here multiple times, if I can be a little sincere for a moment. Drives home a bit how long I've been able to keep this going (thanks to all of you who read, of course).

La Armada, "White Jesus"

Chicago-via-Dominican Republic, good shit, a not insignficant At the Drive In thing going on here when it comes to the vocals. The version of this that appears on the playlist features a sample in the beginning—who is that, Laura Ingraham? Laura Ingalls Wilder? Whichever Laura it is, fuck them.

Hana Vu, "Outside"

This sounded nice, if not particularly distinct.‎‎‎‎ Lot of music that sounds like this lately, it seems...then again, given all of the overpraised bands ripping off Pavement/Animal Collective/et al that indie circa 1994-2011 elevated, I suppose it's fine.

Julia Shapiro, "Do Nothing About It"

Here's someone who is just really fucking good at making indie rock. I'm quite a fan of Julia Shapiro's band Chastity Belt, but wasn't too hot on the last album...her latest solo LP really ‎delivers though, this is the kind of stuff that always sounds good when done right, a nice mix of darkly shaded crunch and some light shoegaze-y swirls with lyrics that cut through the leftover fog.

SAKA-SAMA, "Nezumino Seikatsu"

Japanese duo SAKA-SAMA do a lot of very cool shit on their 2020 album Kimiga Ichiban Kakkoiijyan—tons of dreamy techno-pop excursions that make one recall yet again where Grimes has gotten so much ‎of her sound in the past. And yet I was most drawn to this simple indie-pop cut, which sounds a bit like The Boy Least Likely To ('memba them?). Sometimes straightforwardness is all it takes.

Hudson Mohawke, "Solesaft"

I love Ross Birchard as a person and a musician, as Hudson Mohawke he's always expressed a sort of swarming sonic maximalism that has always appealed to me. (His viral moment from earlier this year, very funny too.) ‎He dropped a few unreleased-material compilations back in 2020, here's a cut from one of those; I'll highlight another one a few BD's from now. A bit different from his usual sound, recalls the techno-meets-dusty-hip-hop predilictions of Lone. Imagine if Lone went gabber! That would be a sight to behold.

Mo Dotti, "Glow in the Dark"

Hey, it's better than less dotti.

Paysage D'Hiver, "Im Winterwald"‎

No, I'm Winterwald. Ha ha ha. OK, that's the last dumb joke I'll do on here today, maybe. Anyway, here's some intense and lo-fi black metal from a long-running Swiss one-guy project I've only found out about recently. Love the synth arpeggios that cut through in the midpoint, an almost silly interruption in something so persistently howling and void-encompassing.

Green-House, "Parlor Palm"

Speaking of pretty arpeggios...typically fascinating ambient stuff here from Leaving, who have practically cornered the market on fascinating ambient stuff over the past few years.

‎Dylan Moon, "Song for Jerry"

(Extremely stupid voice) So who do you think the song's about? Seriously, though, I'm assuming it's Jerry Garcia, since Dylan Moon's whole thing is spectral, Dead-friendly folk that seemingly levitates just above the ground. Saw RVNG share a video of him in the studio recently, looking forward to some new work.

Kevin Gates, "Betta For You"

Definitely not a song about Jerry Garcia. Kevin Gates has kept it going and kept making music that is solid, sometimes very good, and occasionally great; he's in his bag on this track, getting reflective and diaristic and honest in a way that, really, at this point, only Kevin Gates can do the way he does.


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Jamie Larson