Baker's Dozen: Mitski, Tegan and Sara, and Terrible Stuff I Can't Resist

Baker's Dozen: Mitski, Tegan and Sara, and Terrible Stuff I Can't Resist

Baker's Dozen is usually for paid subscribers, but (as I recently informed my paid subscribers) I'll be doing more free Baker's Dozens too, partially so I can keep giving free-to-read readers an idea of what they'll get with a paid subscription. All revenue from the newsletter continues to be donated to the National Network of Abortion Funds; we've been able to donate over $850 since the start of May.

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yeule, "Don't Be So Hard on Your Own Beauty"

Huge fan of yeule's Glitch Princess, and it's easy to hear why critics have taken to it more strongly than a lot of other hyperpop/digicore stuff—it's as close as you can get to a "grown up" version of the sound, and there's some identifiable Grimes influence throughout as well. (Grimes: An artist who is undoubtedly influential, but whose influence you don't really hear in a specific sense all that often, imo.) This song is very "Anthems for a Seventeen Year-Old Girl" to me, a new sense of fragile intimacy for an entire generation that might never know what it means to "park that car."

Mitski, "That's Our Lamp"

Mitski's most Lindsey Buckingham-esque moment I reckon, were it not for the slight disco flourish in the chorus and the farty horn stuff it'd be right at home on Tusk. Laurel Hell, good record with some very solid songs—not her best, feels transitional in a way, reminds me of Spoon's Gimme Fiction in that regard, but she's still doing her thing and even coloring outside the lines a little. The reception around this album was a little strange, quite possibly because an entire subset of critics realized all at once that they'd crossed the line into "Stan" territory with her in recent years and had to seriously reel it in to be taken seriously again. Whatever restores the critical balance, in the end I'm all for it.

Chastity Belt, "Pissed Pants"

The most recent Chastity Belt album didn't quite hit for me the way their previous work did, but they closed it out real nice with this one. One thing about this band, they know how to "end" a song in a really satisfying way. Still need to listen to that Julia Shapiro album! I had one of the worst in-person interviews I'd ever done with Chastity Belt, we were supposed to go to Guy's American Bar and Grill (RIP) in Times Square‎ but they were understandably drawn to the Guitar Center next door instead. As soon as we entered, they all ran in different directions and it took 20 minutes to get them all back together to get the interview done. (Have you ever tried to do an interview in a Guitar Center, by the way? Let me tell you, transcribing an interview with several soft-spoken individuals in a store where people are CONSTANTLY playing instruments—not ideal!) I got the sense that they didn't care much about doing the interview itself, and I respect that, tbh. It's not like they should have cared, and I mean that with sincerity!

envy, "Marginalized thread"

envy are one of those bands that I need to sit down and just listen to their entire catalog, because every time I listen to something they've done I'm like, "Damn, this rules." This track is a perfect representation of what makes The Fallen Crimson from 2020 such an enjoyable listen—that blend of melodic post-hardcore fury and ‎just a smidge or two of shoegaze atmospherics. Reminds me of what Deafheaven were doing before they got a little less interesting.

Respire, "Flicker and Faint"

More atmospheric post-hardcore stuff, but learning way more towards the screamo end of things. These guys sound like a screamo G!YBE at their best, always an intriguing combo to throw into the mix.

PinkPantheress, "Noticed I cried (Flume Remix)"

"Flume sucked," my friend offered in a review of this year's Bonnaroo. I mean, word. Flume does kind of suck, always has. But occasionally he turns out a decent sound or two, so. There's a few capable SOPHIE rips on the new album (I'll be featuring one in a future Baker's Dozen), and he also turned out something very menacing here with a nice drum'n'bass flavor—kind of a different zig on the specific dusty rave zag that PinkPantheress ‎offers on her own.

Svalbard, "Pearlescent"

Aaaaand here's some more atmospheric screamo. (Paying subscribers know that I go on a screamo kick on here every now and then.) These guys remind me of M83, album is a little too much at points, but I admire what they're going for even when they don't fully connect.

Tegan and Sara, "Keep Them Close 'Cause They Will Fuck You Too"‎

Hey, I'm Just Like You was a step down from the last two Tegan and Sara albums, but this song proves that even when they're mid-status they can still turn out something lovely and weightless. I think I was supposed to profile them around this album at one point, but it fell through for media reasons. It happens.

Drip-Fed, "Wearing a Wire"

At their best, these Austin guys are hooky and in-your-face, a slightly twangier version of the massive riffage wall work that Fucked Up were doing ‎‎circa David Comes to Life. I wish they could've kept this energy through their entire latest album, but this track does the trick regardless. A little rockabilly here—like, just a little—but not enough tha it, y'know, ruins it.

Apink, "HOLY MOLY"

Love that "Motownphilly"-esque break that drops ‎in before the chorus, production here is pure effervescence.

Oliver Tree, "Swing & a Miss"

What is wrong with me? Why do I find Oliver Tree's music appealing in any way, shape, or form? He is profoundly annoying ‎on its face, 90% of the "joke" is his haircut and the rest seems to be some sort of Zoomer-YouTuber sendup that is too messily meta to even pretend to care about untangling. Yet this is the second time I've featured him on the Baker's Dozen, even though his new album is markedly worse than his last effort. (He's "Going Country," just like Nick Hawk and Bobby Bottleservice before him.) There's something about his voice that I find weirdly appealing, like enjoying the smell of gasoline perhaps. I know it's not doing anything good for me, but we've only got so much time to do anything at all too, you feel me?

Two Feet, "Limo"

Tenafly white boy over here, making the type of music that many white boys from Tenafly and across our unfair nation seem to churn out like factory machines. Nowadays, you hear music like this and it's either coming from a cryptoreligious twenty one pilots-esque act or a young man who just wants to be the next James Blake, and it seems like we have the latter case on our hands with Two Feet. It's like just-okay candy, tastes good in the moment and then it's gone, and you move on.

‎Teenage Halloween, "Drown"

Speaking of New Jersey! Several people recommended the Teenage Halloween album to me when it came out, and I do indeed enjoy this band quite a bit. The type of music that always comes from NJ, in a very good way, and it's good that kids keep the sonic lineage alive.‎

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Jamie Larson