Baker's Dozen: Wednesday, iann dior, and the 411 on Music That Sounds Like 311

Baker's Dozen: Wednesday, iann dior, and the 411 on Music That Sounds Like 311

Baker's Dozen is a weekly thing where I send out a playlist to paid subscribers, along with some thoughts around the music I've been enjoying lately. This one's coming later than usual! Sorry, weird morning.

Lorde, "The Man With the Axe"

I wrote about Lorde's Solar Power (specifically, "Stoned at the Nail Salon") for the NYT Magazine earlier this year, ‎‎‎you can read it here. Despite claiming that I had no plans to talk myself into actually liking Solar Power...well, here we are. So it goes! I think this song most strongly gets at what I talk about in the piece after "Stoned at the Nail Salon," that sad and lost feeling that is so well captured throughout the album. Look at me, praising Solar Power! Who woulda thunk.

Modern Color, "Lavender"

Same vibe as the Timelost track I shared a few months ago, heavy and melodic and kind of huge and endless-sounding, with a molten emo core at the center. The drums on this are awesome.

Big Red Machine, "New Auburn" [ft. Ana‎ïs Mitchell]

One day I may write something about my about-about-about-face regarding the Brothers Dessner...for now, let's just enjoy the sunrises and sunsets. Gorgeous song here, there are a few stunners on the Big Red Machine album but Anaïs—who is just so talented as a whole, and I'm very psyched for the new Bonny Light Horseman album too—just crushes this vocally, Vern (that's Justin Vernon for the non-nickname types) finds a good foil in her too.

Shura, "religion (u can lay your hands on me)"

Shura, do I like her? "Shura" do. (Sorry.) In all seriousness, I think I've seen her name in my inbox more than I've actually listened to the music, not that it's a knock on her or the music. What she does in general is hit or miss for me even though I'm very much the target audience, but when she hits a good groove (like this nice nu-disco bloghouse thing she has going on here) she's generally locked in.‎‎ Apparently she's working on Melanie C's solo album? OK!

Rvdical the Kid, "Free Spirit"

OK, the last track I'm sharing from the Taxi Sampler 01 comp, for real. This actually reminds me a little of that one Daphni song, "Yes I Know." Good stuff (this song and that song, both of them).

Dry Cleaning, "Conversation"

I swear that I'm not sharing this one on the same day as the Wet Leg album release as a bit. I've mentioned in previous newsletters (I think?) that I did not like New Long Leg but enjoyed the previous stuff, and like a hostage holding up a newspaper to the camera, here's proof. ‎Truthfully I just like it when she imitates a telephone.

Years & Years, "Reflection"

The latest Years & Years album hasn't gotten a ton of coverage, and I know at least one person IRL who generally dipped after the second album—so, mass enthusiasm for this one, not high! It's a shame, quite good throughout, at times embracing the maximalist Frankie Goes to Hollywood-esque production style that I've occasionally jawed on about here. "Reflection" does not do that, but instead it sounds wobbly and lopsided in a very pleasing way, kind of some Koze-y production touches in the margins. Olly Alexander, still capable of doing this on his own! I imagine the music might suffer if he gets more into acting, but who knows.

iann dior, "V12" [ft. Lil Uzi Vert]

Listening to iann dior is like going to the grocery store, it kind of just happens. Least original or interesting observation on earth, but we're obviously just still very awash in the influence of Juice WRLD and (more loomingly) Lil Peep, pop is a sea of music like this‎. iann is far from an interesting study of the blade, but he otherwise wields it inoffensively and, occasionally, in a way that sounds pleasing. Uzi floats on this, I am unable to deny he is talented even as I am having an increasingly harder time listening to his music because of this. (Definitely stopped wearing my Eternal Atake merch out of the house, and not just because I got ice cream on it.)

Barely Civil, "Hollow Structures"

Just a very good introspective emo band, even has that trumpet flourish midway through here.

Wednesday, "Maura"

Crazy how Wednesday went viral for that very correct and reasonable tweet about touring. I wish bands went viral for good music instead, personally! I loved Wednesday's first album and am still mystified that it didn't get greater coverage given that ‎‎what they do—mid-fi indie rock with charm and crunch, sometimes veering towards shoegaze but never quite going full tilt—is always in vogue, perpetually. But whatever! Great band.

Bedouine, "When You're Gone"

I love Bedouine, if I'm being honest this is one of my favorite songs of the last five years, I listen to it constantly. What she does feels almost unreal in how on-point it sounds, how it hits you...big fan.


My story with Turnstile's massive success Glow On is a circuitous one. I struggled with this album when thinking of it as a hardcore record, but when I realized that it's really just a better, stronger, more emotionally connected 311 album, I was like, "Well, shit, I kind of love this." The vibes are very pure throughout, you can't help but continue for rooting for them.

Halsey, "honey"

‎‎‎This is maybe the best song Halsey's ever made? If I Can't Have Love, I Want Power was a little prestige-bait-y to me—I thought she was pulling off something more unique and striking with Manic, honestly—but unlike Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross' plink-plonk Social Network stuff throughout this, I actually think this song is pretty Halsey-y enough on its own, if that makes sense? Maybe it doesn't, whatever. This is a little shoegaze-y too though, right? Like someone ran a vacuum cleaner over a Slowdive song? I'll stop talking now.

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Jamie Larson