Baker's Dozen: Napalm Death, Katy Kirby, and More Bad Rap That Gets a Bad Rap

Baker's Dozen: Napalm Death, Katy Kirby, and More Bad Rap That Gets a Bad Rap

Baker's Dozen is a weekly thing where I share a playlist of music I've been enjoying as well as some thoughts around all of it.

Carly Rae Jepsen, "Everything He Needs"

Carly Rae Jepsen is frequently at arms' length for me — or maybe it's more accurate to say that I feel constantly out of step with regards to how others regard her music? I loved "Call Me Maybe" when I was at Pitchfork and loving "Call Me Maybe" was one of at least 20 things that came close to getting me fired, but found myself lost when a swell of serious fandom built up around Emotion. My main struggle has always been trying to find out why people go nuts for her when the music is often quite generic and unremarkable in the greater realm of pop, but it's possible that I'm always thinking too hard about it, too. (The perils of living online!) So I reapproached Dedicated and tried not to think too hard about it, and I enjoyed it more than the last time...this song is so weird in its form, but it works, shout out to Robert Altman, shout out to Popeye, shout out to Harry Nilsson.

Katy Kirby, "Traffic!"

No relation to Wendy Kerby. (Just a little joke for the On Cinema heads.) I really like the Katy Kirby album, seems fair to call it underrated since it didn't get a ton of coverage. This song is so interesting to me, definitely seems cut from the Vampire Weekend cloth (the rhythm, the little Auto-Tune runs, et al). Apparently I'll be doing an interview with Katy for the newsletter early next year, so keep an eye out for that.

DJ Seinfeld, "Electrian"

"Lo-fi house" was one of the absolute dumbest microtrends in electronic music since "outsider house," but as with "outsider house" at least it gave us something to talk about. It looks even more ridiculous in retrospect since DJ Seinfeld, one of its supposed practitioners, is now making the type of big-room techno that Scuba dove into at the turn of the 2010s when he turned his back on bass music. Of course, we all know how that turned out eventually, but we can just enjoy this for now and not think too hard about it, too.

Olden Yolk, "Violent Days"

Real threatening aura around this song. Making this observation a few years too late perhaps, but Trouble in Mind seem to be the Slumberland of psych-leaning indie rock, I don't like everything they put out but you can count on them to get a good idea of who's doing interesting things.

Napalm Death, "White Kross"

A highlight from the Napalm Death album from last year, has a good groove to it. Next week's Baker's Dozen is gonna be a lot heavier on this type of stuff, so forewarned is etc etc etc.

Aesop Rock, "Coveralls"

Aesop Rock just put out an album with Blockhead that I'll get around to eventually, seems people quite like it. I really like the album from last year too, has a very psilocybin-esque feel to the production that obviously appeals to me and, of course, his rapping is dexterous and complicated as ever. "Getting into Aesop Rock more" is about as clichéd as it gets when it comes to someone in their 30s actively paying attention to rap, but I do find myself drawn more to his thing moreso than when I was younger. Sometimes clichés are clichés because they really are that commonplace.

Field Music, "Daylight Saving"

Field Music have put out two more albums since this record from 2018, so I have some catching up to do with this band that I have been listening to quasi-regularly since 2004. They have a sound, and they're still mining it for all it's worth with a level of success. Can't beat that.

Through Sand, "Swim"

Listen to this song on Bandcamp.

This is the kind of thing that catches my ear when I'm getting most of my release updates from BrooklynVegan these days. The downside to that is that I end up combing through way more ska records than I'd prefer, which no one is happy about — not even my cat.

Lael Neale, "For No One For Now"

The Lael Neale album from this year is very good and specific in its approach, kind of like if Jessica Pratt covered the first Beach House record? (The new Beach House album is incredible, btw, so get ready for that.) Psychedelic in a sleepy way, sounds like drowning but beautifully so, if that makes sense.

A.k.Adrix, "Desenhos Animados"

Anything Principé puts out is at the very least interesting and often sick as hell, the A.k.Adrix release from last November is no exception. Sometimes this stuff gives me a headache that I nonetheless cherish, sometimes the Principé collective takes a lighter touch as A.k.Adrix does here, which I (and my headache) also appreciate.

ericdoa, "Loose Ties" [ft. GRANDMA]

Another track from last year's ericdoa album that I really like, the production really leaps out at you. As with glaive, I'm not sure ericdoa is heading in a direction that I would classify as "interesting" anymore, but so much of this hyperpop/digicore stuff from last year continues to yield dividends regardless. (I'll end up highlighting a new dltzk song a month from now or more, but if you haven't listened to Frailty yet you definitely should, best record from the increasingly amorphous scene to date as well as just one of the best albums of the year overall.)

Rich Brian, "See Me"

Rich Brian is exhaustingly mediocre, very little to offer in terms of personality or even capability, the kind of rapping anyone who's listened to a few current-day rap songs could pull off with some ability even in their sleep. I love the floaty production on this though, even if I find myself bored to tears by everything else.

Viva Belgrado, "¿Qué Hay Detrás de la Ventana?"

I wasn't grabbed by the entirety of Andalusian post-hardcore guys Viva Belgrado's latest album, but they really go for it on this album closer. Sounds like Explosions in the Sky making emo strides, or possibly a more earthy version of what Parannoul did on their brilliant album from earlier this year. Either way, I'm into it.

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Jamie Larson