Baker's Dozen: Saba, Spiritualized, and Worthy Left Turns

Baker's Dozen: Saba, Spiritualized, and Worthy Left Turns

Baker's Dozen is a weekly thing for paid subscribers where I share music I've been listening to lately, along with some of my thoughts about it. All revenue generated from the newsletter is currently being donated to the National Network of Abortion Funds.

Somos, "Temporary Hope"

I thought a lot of S‎‎omos' Prison on a Hill wasn't really for me—I don't mind the clean sound they go for throughout, but the songs weren't really grabbing me at all, at times had a distinctly anthemic-pop thing going on that I didn't quite feel was working. But! Nice song here, good chorus especially, sounds like an emo spin on so much '90s college rock (again, not exactly a wide gulf these days between those two spheres to begin with, and I'm not necessarily saying that's bad, it just is).

Sturgill Simpson, "Last Man Standing"

Vroom vroom, amirite fellas?!?! A fun little song here from the kind of artist where, when I find myself in the rare situation of physical company amongst more than one music writer, if his name is mentioned I just nod and go "Mmhmm, yeah" and that's it. What's the point of me being like, "Most of the time his stuff doesn't work for me but ‎I understand he's very well-liked for what he does"? To be clear, this theoretical question also applies to, like, 90% of conversations about music in general.

Saba, "2012" [ft. Day Wave]

One of my favorite songs of the year so far from a very solid album. The guitar line reminds me of when Tricky sampled the Smashing Pumpkins. You can slot this alongside Fleet Foxes' "Helplessness Blues" in terms of generational reflection, easily.

Record Setter, "Someplace"

Record Setter just seem flat-out better at doing this than many other bands, I Owe You Nothing is a real world-flattener of a record in general. Music that sounds like a heat stroke.

Young Thug, "Mannequin Challenge" [ft. Juice WRLD]

Free Young Thug, So Much Fun might be my favorite post-2014 project of his at this point—the beats pop with color, everything flows real nice. Great Juice WRLD verse on this imo, ‎‎‎he attacks the beat in a different way than Thug and makes it work.

Blanck Mass, "House Vs. House"

Feel like in general Blanck Mass is underrated at this point, despite turning out the type of maximalist digi-pop fantasias that used to send people up the wall in a good way. Interested to see what he does as a full-time member of Editors now, did not expect that one!

Major Murphy, "Flower"

Classic thing here where I'm like, are they emo? Are they indie? Are they psych-pop? Maybe all three! They sound a little like Pinback at times, but also not really...I think I could be guilty of comparing too many things to Pinback these days.

Sheer Mag, "Silver Line"

Sheer Mag are the type of thing where I always liked them a la carte, ‎‎‎and now that the hype has cooled off a ton I'm like, "Huh, and what they do is fairly good, too." Just realized I Mandela Effect'ed them into being signed to Matador, even though they are not. It happens!

KAROL G, "ODISEA" [ft. Ozuna]

The latest KAROL G record is pretty good, doesn't reinvent the ‎wheel but there are some gems. The melody here is sweet both ways, love how Ozuna sounds on it too.

Spiritualized, "The A Song (Laid In Your Arms)"

Here's someone that no one will accuse of reinventing the wheel. The latest Spiritualized album, I'm not gonna lie, I wasn't totally over the moon about it. I think Jason Pierce does a very specific thing and has continued to do so throughout his career, with much success, but sometimes you're like, "Yeah, but I've heard this from you before, and better, too," and that's kind of what Everything Was Beautiful is for me in the end. But he does a nice "Cop Shoot Cop" thing on here, it's effective, certainly more so than the other instances of self-copyism throughout the album.

Boneflower, "Starless"

Another one in the post-rock/post-hardcore hybrid category, when the bottom drops out in the middle it's quite something.

Kelly Lee Owens, "Olga"

Full disclosure time, Kelly Lee Owens' latest album is the first of hers where I didn't write the bio...and I think it sucks! Just kidding, it's actually a cool left turn for her, I hear it as a bit of a left-turn head-clear release that lets her get wilder with her sound which makes for something quite enjoyable at the end. Very, very talented producer and songwriter, been exciting to hear her evolve.

‎PinkPantheress, "Reason (Jarreau Vandal Remix)"

Another one of my favorite songs of 2022 so far, Jarreau Vandal turns this one into the type of frothy-yet-earwormy remix that, like, Classixx and Ryan Hemsworth were so capable of pulling off in the early-to-mid-2010s. My friend really likes Jarreau Vandal as well, I need to listen to more of their stuff in general.‎

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Jamie Larson