Baker's Dozen: Waxahatchee, Gunna, and the Befuddlement of Burial

Baker's Dozen: Waxahatchee, Gunna, and the Befuddlement of Burial

Baker's Dozen is a regular thing for paid subscribers where I share a playlist of some music I've been enjoying recently along with some stray thoughts around that music.

Blaqbonez, "BBC (Remix)" [ft. Tiwa Savage]

Blaqbonez' Sex Over Love wasn't the strongest Afrobeats release last year (as of right now I'd say the Joeboy record was, but I'm still wading through the morass that is 2021) — but it had some serious tunes, this is one of them. Took me a minute to realize what the acronym was about! There you have it.

The Weeknd, "Less Than Zero"‎

Easily one of the best songs of the year so far, from one of the best albums of the year so far. Wrote a bunch about this record and the Weeknd's whole "thing" a few weeks ago, check it out here.

James McAlister, "Cycle 5"

James McAlister is a regular throw-down-er with the Dessners and Sufjan, so it's unsurprising that his ambient album from last year sounds immaculately produced. H‎‎e dips his toes into a few ambient varients, at one point even throwing some soft glitch stuff in the mix—but he's at his best when doing the whole rustling piano ambience thing as he does here, very Bing and Ruth-y.

Kali Masi, "Guilt Like a Gun"

Strong Hotelier vibes from the Kali Masi album that dropped last year, not every song hits the way this one does but what a song.

Space Cadet, "Start Running Away"

In which two punk scene guys dip their toes into stuff that's not not punk-sounding, but also sounding like some other stuff—late '90s radio rock? Gentle psych? New wave? I don't know. Hard to describe how things sound sometimes. Someone should do it for a living maybe.

Mannequin Pussy, "In Love Again"

Took me a minute to get into Mannequin Pussy's Patience, aka The One Hardcore-Leaning Album That Music Writers Decided To Like In 2019. (There's one every year! Sometimes, as with last year, there's two!) Anyway, great album, incredible song, more or less stacked with bangers, good band.

‎‎‎Waxahatchee, "Up in the Sky"

Waxahatchee did the theme song for El Deafo, an Apple TV+ animated show about a hearing-impaired child that's adapted from a children's book. My wife is a children's librarian and the book is indeed well-regarded, I think this song is just lovely and incredible and very touching. Sonically Katie Crutchfield's swapping the alt-country of Saint Cloud with something resembling '70s soft-rock, it suits her great.

Cat Power, "Here Comes a Regular"

A real stunner from one of the best to ever do it when it comes to cover songs. I'd love this take on the Replacements' classic tune even if I didn't work on the bio for this record, which is also pretty solid from top-to-bottom. This one really takes me out though, and it was the one I was truthfully most wary about when scanning the tracklist!

Burial, "Upstairs Flat"

Where to begin with this new Burial EP...really fought off some serious feelings of disappointment the first time I heard it, had to remind myself that he gives us what we need, not what we want. That sounds nuts...anyway. I think Philip Sherburne did an excellent job of summing up what the deal is with Antidawn, which less sounds like another essential (or even thrilling) work to me than a new, strange, and altogether fascinating missive from one of the most impactful musicians of the last 30 years.

Gunna, "livin wild"‎‎‎

The Gunna album was the first big hit of 2022, and that's perhaps its greatest achievement...overall a very drab and monochrome record, not a ton to get excited about or throw on repeat that often, but then again Gunna is kind of an autopilot-y rapper to begin with. This song is good though, changed the scenery up enough that it felt like snapping into Technicolor. (I don't like "pushin p." Sorry.)

Sis, "Light Is There"

Some interesting things going on with Jenny Gillespie Mason's latest release as Sis...very early-mid 2010s, I hear some Visions-era Grimes in there as well as flashes of the technophile kosmiche being turned out by Brooklynites around that time too.

APES, "No Will to Live"

It's off to the races immediately with this one, pretty economical when all's said and done. Easily the standout on this EP, you could eat off this production too.

Spillage Village, "Baptize" [ft. JID, EARTHGANG, and Ant Clemons]

Man, JID is so good at rapping. "Alabaster flows/ Out in Cali with some Calabasas hoes/ Hella bad, put your ass up on my nose‎‎." The flow is effortless, like running water from a tap. Hope he drops something this year!

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Jamie Larson