Baker's Dozen: Tink, Empath, Flock of Dimes, and Music I Like That Everyone Else Seems to Hate

Baker's Dozen: Tink, Empath, Flock of Dimes, and Music I Like That Everyone Else Seems to Hate

Baker's Dozen is a weekly thing for paid subscribers where I share music I've been enjoying as well as some assorted thoughts about it. If you've noticed a lack of non-Baker's Dozen posts, that's not an accident—I've been taking a brief hiatus, but will resume next week with an interview with Los Campesinos!' Gareth David.

The Mountain Goats, "Wolf Count"

The Mountain Goats have become unquantifiable to me, it seems like John Darnielle is just constantly releasing stuff at this point although we might just be in a particularly prolific period of the project. I've always liked-to-loved them but haven't always kept up, my favorite era has to be the stretch from Tallahassee from The Life of the World to Come, with my all-time LP being The Sunset Tree of course. I would probably say Getting Into Knives (which this track is from) is the best Darnielle's songwriting has sounded since Transcendental Youth, although I'm sure die-hards are waiting to gently shout at me about the value of Goths or what have you. Still haven't listened to Dark in Here yet, I'll get to it.

Tink, "Soon As U Walk In"

Tink is a very talented artist whose chance at real mainstream stardom was more or less destroyed by Timbaland, who is a terrible person. But we do love to see when talented artists keep on keeping on despite mismanagement and label drama, and that's what Tink has kept on doing. This is from 2018 I think, but she just released an album I'm looking forward to checking out. (I'm perpetually six months behind on releases now with few exceptions, partially because of the byzantine system I've set up to assemble these playlists and partially because there is zero incentive for me to constantly comb through promos since coverage of new music that isn't at least Kacey Musgraves-level visibility is few and far between for anyone that doesn't have a staff job somewhere. Music writing, what can I say, it becomes less viable in existence with every passing day.)

Porches, "By My Side"

When I interviewed Jonny Pierce of the Drums a few years ago, he mentioned cishet artists capitalizing off the "pink dollar," and I'm guessing he was referring to Aaron Maine of Porches because, well, that's exactly what a few people were accusing him of around that time. As a cishet I have no opinion about this! But beyond queerbaiting accusations I do sense that Maine is a bit of a unliked figure in the world of indie at large, purely from anecdotal evidence and exclusively about the sound of his music. I nonetheless find his style of songwriting alluring, something almost toxically sad about what he does. I'm pretty sure I mentioned all of this in some form in one of the first newsletters I ever sent out but I wasn't really in the vibe re: writing these yet, so.

Chris Corsano and Bill Orcutt, "A Port in Air"

Listen to this track on Bandcamp.

The fact that the new Chris Corsano and Bill Orcutt record is interesting is certainly unsurprising, but they really hit on something special with this recording. Reminds me a little of Jim White's record with Marisa Anderson from last year.

Ratboys, "Collected"

Something very 2004 about what Ratboys do, and I of course mean that as a compliment. This is from a rarities compilation released earlier this year, and the strength of their rarities only speaks to how good they are as a band, imho.

Flock of Dimes, "One More Hour"

I'm tempted to say Head of Roses is the best Flock of Dimes record to date, but I also think that in general Jenn Wasner has built a really impressive catalogue of music both with this project and Wye Oak. She has a lot of music crit fans and I feel like she is always on the verge of being underappreciated, but either way her body of work (still growing!) will definitely be looked back on fondly.

Body Meat, "Ghost" [ft. Laraiji]

Listen to this track on Bandcamp.

I'm in a space where I think Body Meat is more "interesting" than "good" most of the time, but I like this track, it brings out his (hyper-)poppiness in a more appealing way. Plus, a Laraiji feature, hey that's nifty.

John Frusciante, "Amethblowl"

Part of me wants to register surprise that John Frusciante made a whole-ass drum'n'bass album last year, but I don't pay too much attention to his career and I'm sure someone who does could school me easily on the level of eclecticness that he operates under regularly. Anyway, good record! Sounds like an actual junglist/IDM project and not just someone faking it, and I consider myself able to tell the difference at this point.

Empath, "Pure Intent"

Didn't spend too much time with this record until recently but it rules. Can't wait for them to make another one.

Ghostie, "Depressed Today"

Great song, another example of Lil Peep's influence continuing to reverberate through the cosmos. The production on the album this is from is so blown-out that, when I listened to it through a recently acquired pair of gamer headphones, I thought it was the headphones' problem. It wasn't.

Chris Dave and the Drumhedz, "Job Well Done" [ft. Anna Wise and SiR]

Great album in general, (Dos Equis guy) I don't always like jazz but when I do etc etc etc. Songwriting on it in general is exquisite, the vibes are strong.

Ariana Grande, "pov"

Positions was probably Ariana Grande's first real "miss" as an album, which is pretty impressive regarding her initial run all things considered. Most people started taking her seriously around thank u, next for good reason but she has probably one of the best discographies in pop from the last decade, and continues to convincingly turn in R&B that sounds faithful to the genre even when it's boundary-pushing (what else would you expect from a Babyface protegé?). But yeah, I keep coming back to Positions hoping to hear what I want to hear in it—specifically, a mature R&B record about the sensual pleasures of settling down—and it's never quite clicking. But there are some heaters, this isone of them.

CRIMEAPPLE, "Like Butter"

Shout out to Hackensack!

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Jamie Larson