Baker's Dozen: Superwolf, Lil Mariko, and True Growers

Baker's Dozen: Superwolf, Lil Mariko, and True Growers

Baker's Dozen is a regular thing for paid subscribers of Larry Fitzmaurice's Last Donut of the Night newsletter, featuring a playlist of music I've been listening to lately and some thoughts around it.

Israel Nash, "Howling Wind"

Just a song with some simple appeal from NYC-based songwriter Israel Nash's ‎‎‎fairly solid latest album Topaz. Adrian Quesada of Black Pumas is all over this, as he increasingly is on a lot of roots-and-blues-adjacent music—I imagine he's in line for a Producer of the Year Grammy in the near-to-distant future, he's exactly the kind of guy they give those awards to.

The Wild Swans, "God Forbid"

I quite enjoyed the recent compilation The Sun Shines Here: The Roots of Indie-Pop 1980-1984, which displays what it says on the tin. Interesting at so many junctures to hear the point in which post-punk blurs into indie-pop, I'm going to feature a few songs from it over the next few weeks. OK, some context! The Wild Swans (who I haven't listened to much otherwise) were an offshoot from the Teardrop Explodes, and they had a revolving-door lineup for a while...I've never meaningfully listened to their music, but I suppose I should at some point.

Candy Apple, "Joyride"

Just a bunch of Denver guys who sound nasty, lo-fi, and brutal—while bringing the hooks, of course. The type of stuff that takes your ears a minute to get truly attuned to what it's doing, maybe, or at least that's how it usually is for me.

Lil Mariko, "Hi, I'm a Slut"

Lil Mariko is hilarious in an intentional way, check out "Catboys" if you think I'm lying.‎‎ In a way, her whole deal reminds me of early Ashnikko before she went full-on Grimes-core, and if you understand even half of that sentence you're about as online as I am and probably more. I have had this song stuck in my head for a year and a half, and now it's in yours too.

KH, "Looking at Your Pager (Extended)"

‎I didn't like "Looking at Your Pager" the first time I heard it—I thought it was Kieran Hebden doing "Only Human" again, which was a track I didn't really ever "love" either despite hearing it constantly. Then I saw him DJ at Forest Hills opening for Jamie xx, a three-hour set that featured him playing this song four(?) times, and it clicked big time for me. The sped-up garage-y beat, the sample, the chiming midsection—it's all pretty much perfect, easily one of my favorite songs of last year.

Matt Sweeney and Bonnie "Prince" Billy, "My Blue Suit"

Nice song even if I didn't take to Superwolves ‎the way I did to Superwolf. Will Oldham, funny guy, have heard some nutty things about him allegedly being into conspiracy theories hardcore these days, the pandemic  really did a number on everyone huh.

Demons, "Full Stop"

Demons are great, their latest Privation is exactly what you'd expect from a band who cite Metz, Gulch, and Converge as influences. They remind me of Daughters a bit too, who we obviously are probably never going to hear from again at this point.‎

Paloma Mami, "Frenesí"

I didn't love Paloma Mami's debut Sueños de Dalí, but I thought this song had some nice production going on. Doesn't sound quite like she's got a sonic identity nailed down, perhaps that will be something coming along later in her career.

22Gz, "GTA" [ft. Jah Floxks, Balenci, and Saint Laurent Sour]

Longtime subscribers will remember me posting a 22Gz song back in 2020, he remains an also-ran of NYC drill but his delivery is still intermittently engaging, and more importantly I cannot resist the bass wobble.

Juan Wauters, "Lion Dome" [ft. Air Waves]

I share a friend or two with Juan Wauters, back in 2009 I sat in a bar with him and another friend and knocked a few back and talked about how much we loved Times New Viking, great guy. Of all the guys who try to do a nü-Jonathan Richman thing, Juan's work feels most directly from the soul for me, just simple heartfelt stuff that is hard to pull off with sincerity. I love Air Waves too, and this cut from his overlooked album Real Life Situations from 2021 captures the K Records-esque power of his best work.

Paul Jacobs, "Cherry"

Speaking of the late-2000s, here's a song that sounds ripped straight from the era of post-post-post-punk revivalism that was more focused on texture than talk-y vocals. Paul Jacobs is also in a band called Pottery that I've never listened to, but I'm sure I'll get around to it.

Moodoid, "French Boy" [ft. Say Lou Lou]

Say Lou Lou, 'memba them? So on-the-nose to name a song that sounds this much like Air "French Boy"—what, was "Sexy Boy" already taken? Wait, yes it was, by Air—but it works well enough that I can excuse the aesthetic plagiarism.

Bad Visuals, "So Broken"

Decent shoegaze from these guys, I keep mistaking them for another band whose name I can't remember but I always see Hot Topic shirts being sold for. I think I have that band featured in a future Baker's Dozen, so, keep an eye out.‎

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Jamie Larson