Baker's Dozen: King Von, Brandi Carlile, and an Oldie That's a Goodie

Baker's Dozen: King Von, Brandi Carlile, and an Oldie That's a Goodie

Baker's Dozen is a regular thing where I share some music I've enjoyed recently along with some stray thoughts around it. Usually it's for paid subscribers, but this one's for everyone (there'll be another one for paid subscribers too). If you can't subscribe but like what you read, I appreciate it — here's a link to my Ko-Fi in case you want to tip.

Jonas Brothers, "Trust"

‎In the realm of "things that came back that didn't need to," the Jonas Brothers resurgence of the past few years didn't go all that bad. Part of this, I imagine, is that there's been some semblance of ability demonstrated in their solo careers regarding whether they're able to make good music. Nick Jonas obviously has the juice to a degree at this point, and DNCE weren't that bad. Kevin Jonas? No idea. (Weird aside, I ended up seeing DNCE perform an underplay at a Fashion Week event circa "Cake by the Ocean" and met Joe Jonas afterwards. He had a weird handshake and the kind of vacant look that a lot of famous people have when they're forced to shake hands with people like me. Being famous seems weird!) Anyway, this is a nice and even moderately appealing slice of post-"Feel It Still" pop, which is one of two white-boy lanes the JoBros seem content to occupy (the other is post-Police reggae-pop steez, which also works for them but not as well).

Zaki Ibrahim, "Galileo"

Have to imagine there's a new Zaki Ibrahim album in the chamber, if not for this year then at least in the next two—which would work good for me, since I just got into 2018's The Secret Life of Planets relatively recently. It took a minute to grow on me, especially the Prince-ier parts—but I really love when she slows things down like on this track and gets all cosmic with it.

Belle & Sebastian, "Poor Boy"

A great song from late-eraBelle & Sebastian—one of my favorite bands of all time, and one of those groups that, once the 2010s hit, became quite a bit less press-beloved than they were, say, pre-2010s. I suppose they're unfashionable now? Or quite possibly they were never fashionable? When I was working at VICE (to specify, the main page, not Noisey—despite many assumptions, I never actually worked at or for Noisey) there was a Slack chat about how everyone grew up listening to Nevermind, and I mentioned that If You're Feeling Sinister was my Nevermind at 14, and someone replied with a barf emoji. Christ, what a bunch of assholes.

Wild Pink, "Leferever"

I've featured Wild Pink around these parts before, and as I've previously said I wasn't as fond of A Billion Little Lights as some of my contemporaries—but I dare say this song is better than anything on that album! The War on Drugs influence is very apparent, as it is with so much these days.

Tom Petty, "Only a Broken Heart (Alternate Version)"

Another example of the War on Drugs' influence being very prevalent in modern music. I'm kidding!

Middle Kids, "Cellophane (Brain)"

Another example of the Wa—OK, I'll stop. I'm kind of surprised Middle Kids aren't "bigger" than they currently are: There's a bit of Rilo Kiley going on, a band that has been reclaimed by a new generation of listeners who felt ignored by the 2000s music press' own predilections, and this song specifically has a little (just a little) Taylor Swift flavoring going on in the verses. Good album last year from these dudes, took a minute to grow on me but they definitely have it together.

King Von, "Demon"

Welcome to O'Block is a solid album from another talent whose life was cut way too short (Von was murdered a week after it dropped in 2020). Love this song, he was very capable at doing a few different things within his range, life is very unfair and sad.

Vanishing Twin, "Wise Children"

Vanishing Twin seem to be one of a few groups that could possibly come close to being Broadcast's heirs apparent. Can't think of any others by name right now, but trust me, they're out there. This song is from their 2019 album The Age of Immunology—prophetic! Still need to check out their LP from last year but I've heard good things.

At one point, GoldLink was heavily hyped; flash forward to now, where I just discovered he put out an album last year that received barely any press coverage. So it goes! Was it because of the weirdness around his statements regarding Mac Miller's death? Probably not, I highly doubt anyone even remembers that whole deal. Whatever, good song from the album before the most recent one, let's move on.

Brandi Carlile, "Party of One"

Brandi Carlile is one of those artists who's on the Grammys every goddamn year, but she's actually good. (H.E.R. is also one of those artists too, but unlike Carlile, H.E.R.'s perpetual omnipresence—those Old Navy ads!—make her harder to take seriously.) I'm fully preparing myself in a few years to be like, "Yeah, I'm a huge Brandi Carlile fan," I loved the most recent album and I also loved By the Way, I Forgive You, which this incredible song closes.

Mark Ronson, "2 AM" [ft. Lykke Li]

The jury is perpetually out on Mark Ronson. He made "Uptown Funk," which is good (it is!), but he also seems like kind of a loser. But! He also seems like kind of a loser. Wait, I'm repeating myself. Whatever. The whole "tears on the dancefloor" approach to Late Night Feelings is fine, if not necessarily novel, but when he connects with Lykke Li here—a modern master of melodrama—something inspired takes place. Way better than the Angel Olsen song imo.

Crumb, "Ghostride"

Another "I need to check out the most recent album" thing but I like these guys, they sound very NYC in a 2010s way. If CMJ was still a thing they'd play eighteen showcases, perhaps better off for their sanity that it's not.

American Nightmare, "War"

Off-handedly while I was listening to American Nightmare's 2018 reunion album, I was like, "These guys used to count Skrillex as a member, right?" Wrong—Wes Eisley from Cold Cave. Hey, they have similar haircuts at least! Whoops.

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Jamie Larson