Baker's Dozen: Sada Baby, Anna Meredith, and Posting an L

Baker's Dozen: Sada Baby, Anna Meredith, and Posting an L

Here's another free installment of the Baker's Dozen, which is usually for paid subscribers of Larry Fitzmaurice's Last Donut of the Night newsletter. (Paid subscribers: Another one will go out for you on Friday.) Next week I plan on publishing an interview with Röyksopp, so stay tuned for that. All newsletter revenue is currently being donated to the National Network of Abortion Funds; we've raised $3,313.73 so far.

Singing Melody, "Want You Back"

I was recently running through the teeming-with-riches 2019 compilation Down in Jamaica: 40 Years of VP Records, and I was totally bowled over by this cover of Take That's "Back for Good" that was also a serious hit back in 1999. Cool interview here with Singing Melody about the recording process, ‎‎he talks about how he was going through a lot and he wanted to imbue that into the vocal performance — which you can definitely hear.

Kendra Morris, "Drag On"

Kendra Morris has a pretty wild CV: She was a contestant on the short-lived early-2010s reality show ‎Redemption Song, which was hosted by Chris Jericho(?!), and after that she signed to Wax Poetics and has popped up on indie hip-hop records alongside putting out her own solo LPs. Her latest from this year, Nine Lives, caught my ear because of the psychedelic touches on its fringe; this is the closing track, and it suitably goes hard in the final third.

Sada Baby, "Sada Wada"

Shades of 808s and Heartbreak in Sada's delivery here (am I allowed to say that anymore?). Bartier Bounty 3 has been on rotation over the last month, tons of energy and bars that make you do a double, triple, or quadruple take, solid stuff from a guy who was also responsible for one of the absolute worst tweets of 2021.

White Lies, "As I Try Not to Fall Apart"

I texted colleague Ian Cohen a few months ago that the new White Lies album had, by my count, five songs that were "good"; he replied that admitting to listening to a White Lies album in 2022 is posting my L's, which, fair—but if you're a longtime reader at this point, you know that I'm constantly posting L's on here. Something very Cut Copy-by-way-of-Interpol about this in an appealing way, ‎real himbo shit.

Kacy & Clayton and Marlon Williams, "Last Burning Ember"

A real cross-continental collaboration here between the Canadian duo Kacy & Clayton (who have previously been in the studio with Jeff Tweedy) and New Zealand guy Marlon Williams. Their 2020 collab LP Plastic Bouquet is very solid if you're looking for something to tide you over in the folk-country side of things.

Father, "Uncut"

Awful Records is a real "Where Are They Now?" situation in a few ways, the collective seems to have scattered pretty far in the last five years. I know Abra is on a major now (or, at least, a major-affiliate), Father put out a record in 2020 that was smooth and small and had lots of melodic gewgaws like this one. Had no idea he put out something this year too, just added it to my queue, obviously the lanes for coverage these days are smaller than ever which might contribute a bit to the overall "visibility" of what the Awful people are doing—but, also, they did kind of hover right in that lane of "about to be popular, but mostly music writers love them," so there's that as well.

Giveon, "Make You Mine"

‎‎‎Giveon got busted for cheating on Justine Skye last year, but somehow his latest album seems like a bigger fail...Give or Take is a huge step down from Take Time in 2020, as his impossibly rich voice sounds a little less impossibly rich amidst so many gray, floaty arrangements that don't carry the weight of something like, say, "World We Created." This was the only real standout to me, decent enough song but as a whole, what a shame.

Michael Kiwanuka, "Hard to Say Goodbye"

Makes a good pairing with the Kendra Morris song—if I were some sort of sommelier, maybe I'd say something like that. Somewhere in the Big Little Lies universe, that child is throwing this on their iPod...

‎Dry Cleaning, "Viking Hair"

Here's another cut I like from the early Dry Cleaning EPs, which I enjoyed way more than the critically acclaimed New Long Leg. Still need to listen to the new one, I have a feeling I might like it more since the publications have cooled their heels on the band a bit now...that's just how this works.

Itasca, "Plains"

Something I like about Itasca's music is that it moves at its own pace—there's melodies that worm their way into your head, but they take their time making themselves known in a very unassuming and, as contradictory as it is to say, maybe a welcoming way? I don't know, man. Writing about how music sounds is hard sometimes.

Anna Meredith, "Inhale Exhale"

Anna Meredith is forever goated for providing the harrowing and hilarious score to the harrowing and hilarious Eighth Grade, and since then her own indie-pop skills have only been sharpened further. Of all the talk we do about how hyperpop was predated by Max Tundra (and it was), Anna Meredith actually seems like the real heir apparent when it comes to the Max Tundra sound: Strident, aggressive, potentially off-putting, but so endlessly appealing when you lock yourself in that you wonder where this music has been all your life.

Earl Sweatshirt, "EL TORO COMBO MEAL" [ft. Mavi]

Good Ovrkast beat here, great Mavi appearance, Feet of Clay is probably my least-favorite post-Doris Earl Sweatshirt record but, truthfully, all the releases have kind of bled together at this point for me too (not a bad thing, just is). Wonder what a best-of will look like from him in ten years, I imagine it'll be very impressive.

Lil Tecca, "CHOPPA SHOOT THE LOUDEST" [ft. Trippie Redd and Chief Keef]‎‎‎‎

Tecca is obviously a non-presence at this point, especially on his own tracks—which is why this basically feels like a Trippie and Keef track (with Trippie's whole melted-SweetTarts rage-music ‎sound putting a serious thumb on the scale). Since "Miss the Rage" was one of my favorite songs of last year, it's no surprise I love this too. Great Keef verse, maybe one day I will not feel embarrassed to admit every time I love a Trippie Redd song.

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Jamie Larson