Baker's Dozen: Sondre Lerche, BLACKPINK, and Dreaming of Dreamville

Baker's Dozen: Sondre Lerche, BLACKPINK, and Dreaming of Dreamville

Baker's Dozen is a weekly thing where I share a playlist and thoughts on music I like with paid subscribers. I took a week off last week because I was traveling, sorry. Next week there'll be two Baker's Dozens—one free, one paid—partially in the interest of trying to grow the paid base and partially because I have a lot of playlists banked right now.

Django Django, "Further"

The first rule about Django Django is that you don't mention that one of the members' brothers (too lazy to look up who) was in The Beta Band. Whoops! Did it anyway. I've always liked these guys in a low-stakes way, think they do the poppy side of psych-pop quite well, I sense some ambivalence around them at large constantly and I think it's because what they do is reliable and sturdy and not especially zeitgeist-y. But I like it! This is from the 2018 album they put out, need to check out the one from this year still.

Justine Skye, "Bulletproof"

Incredible bridge, she does some cool things with her voice throughout here while still selling a very solid chorus too.

midwxst, "Threefaced"

Got a few different hyperpop flavors going on in this midwxst tune—some stray Juice WRLD/Lil Peep influences, the glitchy stuff in the background, the wide-open expanse sounds in the chorus. midwxst's stuff doesn't always grab me the way other "practitioners of the form" do, but this works for me.

BLACKPINK, "Ice Cream" [ft. Selena Gomez]

What a song, feels like if 2020 had been 2008 (or 2012, or 2014) people would've been talking about this one all the time. The whistling at the end! Very showoff-y in the best way.

Smino, J.I.D, and Kenny Beats, "Baguetti"

Extremely laid-back stuff here, I dig. J.I.D is one of two artists I like from the Dreamville collective, the other one is Ari Lennox. (What, did you think I was going to say J. Cole?) At my last full-time job I got sent a free Dreamville shirt, I wear it occasionally but not necessarily with pride. Unrelated: At this point we're all admitting that Kenny Beats is just kind of a cipher, right? No identifiable style even as he occasionally puts in good work (like here, and with his stuff with Rico Nasty)? Not saying he's not talented but when a white guy producer becomes a personality in ways that other non-white guy producers warrants some closer examination, is what I'm saying.

YFN Lucci, "Man Down"

I don't really tire of this sound when it's done well, as it is here.

JORDY, "Just Friends"

Speaking of potentially tired sounds done well...sublime fuckboy anthem right here with shades of Troye Sivan, if we're about to get another EDM revival (we are) imagine how easy it would be to flip this into, like, a hardstyle remix? Would Dada Life do a good job with this? Now I'm just saying things.

Sangam, "Broken Sky"

Yup, another Doom Trip comp selection. Some of this stuff occasionally sounds like Weather Channel music, whether intentionally or not; this one just sounds like the weather, in a good way.

Sondre Lerche, "I Can't See Myself Without You"

Another track (there are several on here as ever) that I wouldn't have heard without its inclusion on Sam Donsky's best-of-2020 list—even though I am a mark for what Sondre Lerche does when he does it well. Very late-period Belle and Sebastian aura around this one.

Lil Yachty, "Oprah's Bank Account" [ft. Drake and DaBaby]

Gorgeous song, love the loop that runs through it. Drake sounds better on it than he does on any of Certified Lover Boy, Yachty works, DaBaby is obviously useless here even if he wasn't an asshole. If we are talking about DaBaby-affiliant-or-adjacent works circa 2020, this is obviously better than "Rockstar"—which was hands down the worst song of 2020—and deserved all the attention that song got.

Caribou, "Sunny's Time (Kareem Ali Remix)"

Another one from the Caribou remix record, good example of taking the source material and doing something different and engaging with it.

Tayla Parx, "Nevermind"

Just like Victoria Monet, Tayla Parx gives off strong "songwriter's songwriter" vibes in that, well, she's a very good songwriter. (It's all just words on my end sometimes.) You can definitely hear the type of creative DNA in here that resulted in something like "thank u next." "I got memory foam in my bed/ Sleeping with the words I just said" is a good line.

The Secret Sisters, "Late Bloomer"

Simple song with a straightforward message, nothing wrong with that.

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Jamie Larson