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Our Favorite Songs of May 2021

. 20 min read
Our Favorite Songs of May 2021

Every month, our Music contributors write about the songs that stuck with them during the most recent lunar cycle. A while ago, we switched these posts from the first Monday of each month to the first Friday in order to align them with “Bandcamp Day.” The holiday is on hiatus, which is bad for musicians—depending on whom you ask—but good for our Music editors’ mental health. Today, we’re able to focus solely on last month’s music, rather than trying to track a massive influx of new albums simultaneously.

Given this newfound freedom, we’ve written some particularly interesting blurbs this month. The first is a direct quotation from a PR bio followed by a text conversation about the song in question. Since so much of music journalism (even the good stuff) is about weaving background information into unsolicited opinions, we figured we’d compartmentalize these two goals and offer our unfiltered thoughts for your consideration. Is this a good idea? Is it dumb? Let us know in the comments, or roast us on Formspring!

Want to contribute to next month's list? See our call for submissions at the bottom of this post.

From the PR materials for Body Breaks’ debut album, Bad Trouble, out June 18 via We Are Time:

Body Breaks is the microtonal rock duo of Matt LeGroulx and Julie Reich. From their homes in Montreal and Toronto, respectively, the DIY lifers behind projects like Bile Sister, EXPWY, and Galaxius Mons have developed idiosyncratic approaches to bedroom recording that culminate on their collaborative debut. LeGroulx composed the music for Bad Trouble, recording guitar, bass, and drums in tunings that stand in stark contrast to traditional Western consonance. Reich completed their songs with her spellbinding vocals, weaving vulnerable themes of aging as a woman and artist, environmental devastation, and feeling like an outsider in her own generation.

From a text conversation between Laid Off NYC Music editors Raphael Helfand and Rapha Grumser about exciting chord progressions in Bad Trouble’s second single, “Eyes to Brightness”¹:

RH: theory question for u re: this song [link to Youtube video (see above)]. the little breakdown at the end of the first chorus, that’s tritone substitution right?: bii, VII, I = v, iv, i

RG: I’m about to step out to get a bite, can I get back to you on this in about an hour?

H: Yea sure

H: I’m doubting myself now. Thinking maybe it’s i, IV, I

H: Idek anymore. maybe it’s i, IV, vii dim, I. lol

G: I’ll transcribe it when I get back haha don’t worry

H: It seems really simple, idk why I’m having so much trouble w/ it. Losing my touch…

G: Could you give me a time stamp of the part you’re talking about?

H: Right around the 1 minute mark

H: Reason I’m asking is because around 1:45 (after the second chorus) they start the same breakdown but then they do a cool key change instead of going back to I, so I’m trying to pinpoint what exactly is happening.

G: Gotcha. Lemme grab my guitar

H: [Heart reaction]

G: Ok first of all very cool track. They are doing a bunch of cool stuff with de-tuning and “microtonality”, so to speak

H: Yea for sure. Part of why it’s a bit tough to pin down

G: But generally speaking the tune is in E—the verse chords are essentially E major to D# minor, which could be seen as a kind of I to bVII minor (which is borrowed from E Lydian, think of them as the IV and iii in the key of B)

G: But the chords you are talking about at the end of first chorus are fairly straightforward— F# minor (ii) to A7 (IV7) to E (I)

G: But what is really slick is that they are using that A7 in the bridge as the V7 of D minor—the bridge chords are Dmin6, Cmaj7, Bmin, Amin9 to A7 (which now functions as IV7 to bring us back to the E, the same function as it had previously)

H: Nice, so I got that part right! [sort of]

G: But they are using mostly triads in the verse/chorus so it leaves a lot of fun harmonic ambiguity

G: I don’t know how you would best analyze that bridge, but it’s kind of a big meandering harmonic passage meant to be a bit disorienting, I think

H: Definitely

G: But that two is not a tritone sub, it’s just a straight ii to IV7 progression

G: [replying to “Nice, so I got that part right!”] But yeah! Always trust your intuition

H: Thanks so much, very thorough

G: My pleasure! I love this stuff

Preorder Bad Trouble here.

If any DJ was going to create a song extolling the superiority of older women to their younger counterparts, it would be Macka Diamond, aka Mackadocious, a dancehall matriarch whose career spans decades. From one of few older women still making music in the genre, Macka’s “Big Woman vs. Yung Gal” directly rejects dancehall’s—and, more generally, society’s—insistence that sensuality and desirability are traits exclusive to women under forty. Macka Diamond sings over a typical dancehall beat with a sitar-like synth that adds a sprightliness to the riddim. It’s a playful and easy listen despite its sociological subject matter.

The lyrical structure of the song stays true to the title: Each positive attribute of a big woman precedes the opposite and negative behavior of a young gyal. For example, when both women dance, the “yung gyal kill up dem self and a climb up [whereas] big woman, cool and deadly and wine up.” The song is less than three minutes, and the chorus is a simple refrain that repeats the title three times. But in its brevity and simplicity, “Big Woman vs. Yung Gal” empowers an oft-ignored demographic in dancehall. As Mackadocious says, “all hot big woman, dis a yer time.”²—Jda Gayle

(No purchase link available. Stream at the Youtube link above.)

On Bladee’s latest dispatch, The Fool, the Swedish multi-hyphenate born Benjamin Reichwald sounds more at ease than he ever has before. He’s leaned into his antisocial impulses, signed a 360 deal with our lord and savior, and found absolution in nonstop flexing. Bladee’s evolution within the Swedish rap scene has been an exciting ride, and he’s only getting better at verbalizing the Drain Gang gospel.

On “Hotel Breakfast,” and The Fool as a whole, Bladee showcases his growing abilities as a lyricist. He is singularly strange but, refreshingly, never overly edgy or cloyingly over the top. Take, for example, this absolute mind-bender: “Pop out like some toast / You woke up late, the breakfast’s closed.” Is Bladee comparing himself to a European complimentary hotel breakfast, one of the finest things in life? (Never stay in an AirBnB when visiting the continent, or anywhere else, for that matter.) Or is regularly missing breakfast a downside of the otherwise glamorous Drainer lifestyle? These are the sorts of questions that keep me up at night.

Loesoe, the Scandanavian producer responsible for one of Uzi’s most transcendent beats, provides a gorgeous instrumental for Bladee’s weirdo koans. “I am not anyone, I'm just some air inside the air / A piece of sand in all the sand, drop of water in the ocean,” Bladee sings, but only after offering to “shine some glory on your life.” He mischievously toes the line between quiet self-fulfilment and egotistical self-aggrandizement, the materialism that has turned Earth into trash island and the giddy high of wearing designer clothing. The Drain Gang CEO revels in these contradictions and welcomes those enlightened enough to join him with unrivaled honesty. —Evan Lee

Stream The Fool here.

I listened to “oh no” by 2021survive’s SATOH and LIL SOFT TENNIS on my first official camping trip. (For a primer on 2021survive, read my NowLedge blurb from March.) I’m cheating a little bit because this song technically came out last year, but they recently re-released it. Lucky!

The outdoors have mostly perplexed me. Recently, however, I bought a sleeping pad; now I’m more disposed. I drove into the woods, almost a year ago, with three friends, right as Donald Trump was taken to the hospital with COVID. We didn’t have cellphone service. Bad people never die.

The opening chords strummed quietly from inside the car as we, just in case, peeled the Bernie sticker off my back windshield. It felt good to finally find a camping spot as the sun set. We set up camp by headlight. We were able to find some good firewood on the side of the road, but it was wet, and we got to the local country store too late to buy a bundle. We stopped by again the next day. When I went in to ask for coffee, the lady behind the counter gave me a dirty look. I asked her where the nearest city was and she told me “Elizabethtown.” Back in the car, quietly, “oh noooooooo.”

We got to Elizabethtown and stood on the shores of the Ohio River, next to a three-foot Statue of Liberty. Behind us, the Rose Hotel, built in 1812, still operated as a working BnB. Fumes from a local biker gang patrolling the strip killed the mood a bit.

In the shady part of a parking lot adjacent to a lake: “is it okay / to continue?” We decided to move on towards the Garden of the Gods. On a round boulder 200 feet in the air, the wind whipping past, I couldn’t help but glance over at the memorial bench for the hiker who had fallen to his death in 2018.

I’m glad to be alive. I’m glad they re-released this song. It’s a good song.

p.s. They’re still releasing music: like this. —Justin Enoch

Buy “oh no” here.

One veteran music journo told me recently that most music journalism is just “regurgitated PR.” In the short time that I have written articles about music (and, concomitantly, read articles about music), I have found this to be true. Something I realized while reading pieces on Erika de Casier is just how similar and anodyne published articles surrounding her work have been so far. In my preparatory reading for this blurb, I stumbled into a big recyclable word-soup ecosystem where hackneyed descriptors sapped of meaning like “distinctive,” “nostalgic-yet-new,” and “relatable” reign supreme. There has been a hive-mind buzz generated by the music press machine about de Casier. It’s no wonder: her sound is easy to categorize at an aural glance (facile references to TLC, Destiny’s Child, and Sade aboundʶ). De Casier’s is easy, feel-good music, if her thing is the kind of thing thais your thingʶʶ.

Before the 22-year-old de Casier even starts singing on “Drama”—the opening track of her sophomore release, Sensational—descending electric guitar arpeggios announce what the album will be about: the dismantling of several relationship and empowerment tropes that have been fixtures of RnB songwriting for decades now. Press release hoopla notwithstanding, her record lives comfortably in the matrix of late 1990s and early-aughts RnB—albeit with a few twists, like the 38-second orchestration-heavy “Acceptance (Intermezzo).” As her recently minted master’s degree in Music Creation would lead you to expect, the production is clean and proficientʶʶʶ. Sensational is a good album for what it is—and it is unabashedly what it is. If there is something sensational about it, it’s that it is a refreshingly honest portrait of a young artist. “I’m not going to pressure myself to make some kind of masterpiece,” Erika de Casier said in an interview. “I’m going to make a lot of records throughout my life, and this is just one of them.” —RG

Buy Sensational here.

On February 20th, when pop sensation Olivia Rodrigo turned 18, she posted a YouTube video in which she broke down the 18 songs that made her the “woman and songwriter that [she is] today.” (“I think I feel like a woman now,” she added with a giggle.) The first is Taylor Swift’s “Picture to Burn,” a vitriolic 2010 anthem in which she tells a “redneck who’s really bad at lying” that “there’s no time for tears / I’m just sitting here planning my revenge / there’s nothing stopping me from going out with all of your best friends.” That same vitriol is present in “good 4 u,” the third single from Rodrigo’s impressive first album, Sour, which leans into the spurned lover tropes of “Picture to Burn,” reconfiguring Swift’s storytelling techniques into a rage-filled pop-punk banger that offers none of the calculated revenge of Swift’s country music fantasy.

While Swift dismisses her ex’s claims that she’s “obsessive and crazy,” and assures us that her breakup—while painful—is for the best, Rodrigo scream-sings about losing her mind crying on her bathroom floor, wishes that she could be “happy and healthy,” and wonders if she’s “too emotional.” That’s not to say that she doesn’t hurl some barbs in the direction of the boyfriend who left her—she says he’s apathetic and sociopathic—but she never implies that she’s better off without him. The pop-punk zest of the song might, for another pop star, be the backdrop for an empowering anthem about ditching a loser boyfriend, but in Rodrigo’s hands it is channeled into pure anger directed at someone she loves who broke her heart and doesn’t seem to care. That teens and adults alike have reported dancing frenetically in their bedrooms belting out the lyrics suggests that Rodrigo has touched a nerve. Sometimes bad things happen for no reason at all, people are cruel, boys suck, and we don’t always need to search for opportunities for growth amidst the waves of hurt. Sometimes it’s enough to scream into the void and allow ourselves to feel all of it. —Mikaela Dery

Buy Sour here.

“Fuck what I did before, it’s about to get demonic,” says New Jersey-based Haitian rapper Mach-Hommy on the first track of his first album with Grisleda Records, Pray for Haiti. The statement works, as it will be many listeners’ introduction to his music. He’s developed a cult following, because of how expensive it is to procure his work: My favorite rumor is that his Bandcamp page got shut down because the site thought it was a drug front.

Over “The 26th Letter’s” hypnotic, muted horn groove—set to a two bar loop with bass drums so buried you hardly notice them—Mach-Hommy spits MF DOOM/Ghostface Killah-quality lyrical gems such as “Rap snitch knishes telling the cops they status / Lot of these rappers big 12 like March Madness.” Mach-Hommy flows renentlesly thorughout the track, only stopping when Griselda member—and executive producer of the album—Westside Gunn shows up in the middle to ask “When the last time your feet touched, nigga?,” and once more, to end with a read statement about Haiti being the poorest country in the world and how crackers will continue exploiting it. For the first time, Mach-Hommy’s brilliant ear for music and swift precision flow comes loaded with clear direction and a mission that will surely be demonic. —Brandon Lattimore

Stream and purchase Pray for Haiti here.

As discussed in my interview with Cooper Handy (Lucy) last month, each Lucy album is a medley of straightforwardly silly songs and slightly more serious ones. In my opinion, the tracks tinged with pathos were generally the winners on each of his previous solo projects (Cooper B Handy’s Album Vols I–VIII, the eighth of which can only be streamed on Youtube). The same principle holds for his ~debut~ studio album, The Music Industry is Poisonous, released May 7 via Dots Per Inch. Of course, there are some shenanigans on the record: The chorus of track 2, “Turn Page,” lists all six of Handy’s elementary school teachers in order (“My first grade teacher was Mr. O / My second grade teacher was Miss M / Third grade teacher was Miss W / Fourth grade teacher was Miss M / Fifth grade teacher was Miss K / Sixth grade teacher was Miss H / Now watch me turn the page”).

This is all fun and good, but the two tracks from TMIIP that have continued to resonate with me most are “Lucky Stars” and “Believe.” I reviewed the former track rather flippantly in last month’s round-up, but as Sophie Kemp pointed out in her excellent review of the album, the track “feels labored over in a way the other songs don’t,” and this is a rare and interesting thing for an artist whose music usually feels so unfiltered and effortless. Kemp is also correct that “we kind of don’t believe [Lucy] at all” when he sings the track’s “Maps”-referencing hook: “They don’t love me like I love me, it’s a shame.” But that doesn’t make the line any less poignant or the song any less good. In fact, it makes us love him even more.

Still, “Believe” remains my favorite track on the album because, like all the great Lucy tracks before it—these links are but a sample—its raw simplicity belies the depth of its lyrics. “Now it’s really scary / Like medication or the military,” the song opens, giving two examples of undeniably scary things. Later, he complicates the lyric: “This one’s too scary / Like meditation in the military,” this time fusing two things that are scary in different ways, yet somehow make perfect sense in juxtaposition for those of us who find plumbing the depths of our psyches almost as terrifying as going to war. The “in takes the sentiment a step further, putting us in the shoes of a soldier meditating on the nature of their job, or dealing with PTSD, or considering the war crimes they themself have committed. Or maybe, even, Lucy is imagining the ramifications of an army channeling the power of meditation and fighting their wars in the same way David Lynch makes his movies. —RH

Buy The Music Industry is Poisonous here.

Sante palle blu, where’s the drop, bro? I literally can’t find the drop. I was waiting for 4 minutes and 32 seconds. I guess it was better than waiting 4 minutes and 33 seconds just to figure out that shit was fucking silent. Who’s the “FOOLTRON” now? Anyway, there must be something in the water in Italy.

This song is super distorted. I threw it in Fruity Loops and the waveform was a rectangle. I played it for my coworkers and they all died. It was not chill. This song has no chill. I cannot chill while this song is playing. I hope these guys get serious about making bangers soon. —JE

Buy “FOOLTRON69” here.

Last month, Iceage released Seek Shelter, the biggest departure from the band’s art-drenched post-punk sound to date. The group began its life shaking fans’ senses, but on the new album, frontman Elias Bender Rønnenfelt and Co. grab their audience by the hand and groove with them. Nowhere is this change more noticeable than on “Drink Rain,” a western-tinged swing ballad full of down-strummed guitar twang and raggedy piano chords that make it impossible not to snap your fingers to. Coincidentally (or not?), the instrumental sounds like a more fleshed-out version of another precipitation-themed art rock jive, Can’s “She Brings the Rain”. Rønnenfelt comes off cheeky, flinging words out of the side of his mouth to complete the track’s soft-eyed, burlesque interpretation of Americana. Listen to “Drink Rain” in a rocking chair with a glass of whiskey if you want to remember past lives, or request it at a piano bar if you want to make new ones. —Andrew Burton

Buy Seek Shelter here.

Honduran-born, New Orleans-based pianist Oscar Rossignoli is tough to put in a box. Classically trained in his home country and at Louisiana State University, he dabbled in other forms of Latin and Black American music with his high school friends in Tegucigalpa but only started to fully explore them when he got to the states. On weekends, he’d make the 90-minute drive from Baton Rouge to New Orleans to play on Frenchmen Street with some of the city’s best musicians. He moved to NOLA permanently after college and immersed himself in the scene, quickly earning weekly gigs around town, most notably Pat Casey’s legendary Sunday jam at The Spotted Cat.

Since arriving, Rossignoli has played on countless New Orleans records, but never as a bandleader, and never as a soloist, until now. Inertia, self-released May 25th, is an impressive collection of songs for solo piano that few living musicians could effectively perform, let alone compose.

Onstage, Rossignoli’s improvisations are a wonder to watch. His hands flash across the keyboard in a blur, completing dense chordal runs of extreme technical difficulty as if they were “Chopsticks.” On the album, he’s more methodical, letting the space around his chords evoke moods and inspire ideas that lightning-fast note clusters couldn’t. Of course, there are some of these too, and they’re delightful when they come, but they’re measured enough to not get in the way of the melodies. “I didn’t want it to be the Oscar Rossignoli practice album,” he told me in an interview for next month’s issue of ANTIGRAVITY Magazine, the only publication in the world that might be better than the one you’re reading.

“Vámonos!,” Inertia’s sprawling second track, builds a strangely beautiful world atop a simple ostinato groove in 4/4 time but expands into a living creature that stops, starts and changes tempo of its own accord. Many musicians claim they are vessels for their music, and most of them are full of shit; tellingly, I’ve never heard Rossignoli describe himself this way, yet “Vámonos!” transcends deft composition and skillful playing in a way that truly seems channeled from another realm.

A semi-climax comes around the 4:20 mark, just over halfway through the track. It only lasts about 20 seconds, but it will become the track’s cornerstone. Without warning, Rossignoli dives into a fearsome fortissimo, changes key, and moves into a cheeky 7/4 meter. The tense chord progression, banged out four times for added emphasis with only slight variations between them, has been stuck in my head since I first heard the track over a month ago. There’s a little downtime, and then, half a minute later, Rossignoli launches into it again, and it somehow feels even brasher this time around. After roughly two minutes of mind-blowing bilateral gymnastics over slippery changes, the theme returns for a final time, now in a controlled mezzo piano. As it turns out, this dynamic downgrade makes the passage even tenser, so that the ensuing 30-second denouement feels like a clever footnote to a Russian novel—unnecessary, but still fun. —RH

Buy Inertia here.

Almost seven years removed from her debut collection, Doss has returned with four more blasts of high-octane emotional content. With just a few words and a bright, ravey instrumental strong enough to entice even the most ardent hyperpop skeptic (me), Doss captures the queasiness of attending a nightclub alone and actually trying to enjoy the moment; she thinks people are looking at her and reminds herself not to look at her phone. It’s all a bit silly, especially in contrast with the rest of the buoyant track, but who hasn’t felt foolish while giving themself an adult pep-talk on a dance floor? —EL

Buy 4 New Hit Songs here.

“Sometimes you’ve gotta just jump on and ride the train to Cliché Canyon,” black midi frontman Geordie Greep told Laid Off's Raphael Helfand in an interview for FLOOD Magazine, published the day the British band released its ambitious second album. Each song on Cavalcade is about a different character in the record’s titular procession. According to Greep, “Ascending Forth,” its grandiose finisher, is about “one man’s journey to be reborn.”

The track begins with a musical joke: Greep sings “Everyone loves ascending fourths'' as the chords move through a standard cadence of two pairs of ascending fourths (A minor up a fourth to D7, then B minor up another to E7). I laughed the first time I heard it; it reminded me of the nerdy music-school humor that I’ve come to know and love. The cheeky use of this progression—one of the most common harmonic turnarounds in the key of G major and a stable unit in popular song for much of the last century—then opens up into an appallingly relatable scene of writer’s block: “Impotent Mark puts his pen to his forehead / Waiting for proof of his unquestioned gift.” Mark has been commissioned to write a piece; his hopes for this piece approach Faustian heights; he wants to compose a work of genius, but with commission spent and deadline approaching fast, he finds himself with “no newborn zeal or written ideas.”

Mark is depressed. Mark struggles. Mark “tries in vain for one pure line.” Meanwhile, the emissaries of his noblemen employers approach his door to collect the piece as promised. (A note of interest: the first time we hear a G major chord, the obscured tonal center of the piece, is at the 3:16 mark on the word “[noble]men.” This is significant: the G major will only sound again at the conclusion of the piece.)

The men arrive at Mark’s door to retrieve the commissioned piece. In a fit of frustration and fear, he scribbles sixty-five repetitions of ascending fourths—here, we get a raucous and untethered tenor saxophone solo by Kaidi Akinnibi—in an attempt to produce something. They force the door. The work is unfinished. They take him in chains to be judged by his employers, who condemn him unanimously: “His masterpiece schmaltz / Impure, no heart, no taste.”

“But everyone loves ascending fourths,” Greep croons repeatedly in a growing final refrain, “Markus ascends forth / In the heart of the common man.” The musical joke from the beginning returns, recontextualized, in the form of Mark’s ersatz artistic redemption. At this point, the band crescendos through many repetitions of the chorus, and we ride the train to Cliché Canyon until, at the 9:20 mark, we are abruptly derailed, thrown off the side of a cliff into a descending unison cadence that resolves with a definitive V, I in G major, the key of the noblemen. As the album closes at its most kitschy, it seems Mark’s critics have had the last say. —RG

Buy Cavalcade here.

The Work Is Slow, released last Friday on Hausu Mountain, is Body Meπa’s debut album, but each of the group’s four members has a musical track record a mile long. The band has two guitarists, one of whom is Sasha Frere-Jones, a founding member of Ui and, coincidentally, one of the best culture writers of our time. The other is experimental veteran Greg McMurray, who’s worked with John Cale, Ali Sethi and Colin Stetson, among many others. On drums, we’ve got Greg Fox, whose propulsive rhythms can be found front and center in the work of genre-breakinig hardcore groups such as Uniform and Liturgy. Melvin Gibbs, who cut his teeth with past giants Ornette Coleman and Gil Evans, and has since collabed with contemporary pioneers such as Bill Frisell and Arto Lindsay, plays the bass.

The album begins with the quarter-hour “Horse Flower Storm/Fabuloso”: a richly layered track that is Minimalist in the musicological sense: It builds meticulously, changing in increments so small they’re barely noticeable. By the middle of the track, we’re in an entirely different musical region than where we were at its onset, and we’re not sure how we got there. By the end, we’re back where we started, with the same delirious feeling that we’ve been standing still the whole time.

Track 2, “Bullitt,” only takes up half the temporal space as “Horse Flower,” but—to my mind—accomplishes even more, and feels like an obvious choice for the album opener. (This is why I write about the albums instead of making them, I guess.) For starters, “Bullitt” comes in very hot. It’s lead-off hitter is Gibbs's abrasive bass, drenched in effects borrowed from the band’s harsh noise background. Next up is McMurray's equally jarring guitar lick, which takes on a squeaky space in the instrument’s upper register. Fox’s drums come in next, quietly at first but growing steadily: kick first, then toms, then snare, then crash and ride. Batting clean-up is the track’s most interesting element: Frere-Jones' noodling axe, so high-pitched and far back in the mix it becomes more percussive than melodic. It sounds like it’s being played behind the nut—or maybe just above the bridge. To wrap up my lazy baseball metaphor: It’s this twinkly ornamentation that hits the walk-off grand slam, bringing all the other instrumentals (ducks on a pond!) home.

Dawn approaches, so I’ll be signing off in a moment, but I’ll leave you with this to chew on: Body Meπa, a traditional four-piece rock band in most ways besides its glaring lack of vocals or a frontman, has made an album replete with some of this year’s most interesting sounds, throwing down the gauntlet for all you so-called ~sound artists~ to do better. (Just kidding, I love all music equally.) —RH

Buy The Work is Slow here.

  1. fuck,, i Just want to download you
  2. i caught the smell of smoke and i kept on singing you to sleep
  3. smoke clouds and ashen linings
  4. Curling up in the seat of the arctic circle, drilling down until, interchangeably, cold and heat dance like peace and insanity.
  5. Silence isn't an option but a force like gravity, and it's made by orbiting and propelled by your breath.
  6. Call it ownership: to put rings around everything. When it rains, there's a symphony. A thick, clammy, spongy song. One big dustpan collecting debris.
  7. Boiling and smoldering, peat fires whispering, white satin moths rest with millions of wings. —JE

fuck,, i Just wanted to buy you (no links).

1  The conversation is unedited except for the bracketed text, which was added for clarity.

2  This track is technically from April, but we decided to make an exception because it’s so dang good.

ʶ  Admittedly, when I first listened to Sensational, the thought that came to mind and stayed for its 41:32 duration was “oh, updated Sade for a hyper-globalized world.”

ʶʶ It wasn’t mine, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

ʶʶʶ Songs on the album were originally conceived as a final project for her degree at Rhythmic Music Conservatory in her native Denmark.

*Thumbnail graphic created by Jda Gayle using the following album/single covers, clockwise from top left: Macka Diamond’s “Big Woman vs. Yung Gal”, vermin’s “fuck,, i Just want to download you”, black midi’s Cavalcade, Bladee’s The Fool, Body Breaks’ Bad Trouble, Iceage’s Seek Shelter, and Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour.

**The Spotify playlist (which we embed reluctantly) does not include “Big Woman vs. Yung Gal” by Macka Diamond, “Fooltron967” by Kuthi Jin + Voronhilthe, or “fuck,, i Just want to download you” by Vermin because these songs aren't available to stream on the devil’s platform. As indicated above, they are all available to stream elsewhere, and “Fooltron967” is purchasablee on bandcamp.