October 19, 2018

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Buon giorno from Florence! Happy October - it's the most wonderful time of the year!

cmd+f has had yet another unannounced hiatus. I would apologize, but, like, I refuse to deliver y’all half-assed content. On the other hand, putting this out weekly (as my original mission has intended) would have been a nice reprieve from the relentless, horrific news cycle.

In this six week interim, I’ve been preparing for a vacation of a lifetime to Tuscany. Now I’m sat on my hotel bed in Florence with the window open, batting away plumes of cigarette smoke that’re wafting in from around the corner, and, well, I’m already starting to unwind for the evening and will let the Chianti do all of the talking.

So much has happened in music since our last letter: MNEK dropped his debut album, Rita Ora has been crowned with the title of having the most top ten singles of any female artist in the UK since the release of her single “Let You Love Me,” Gallant put out a collab with Sufjan Stevens, Metric returned to music with a smashing new album, Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born has managed to get 100% of the people I know who’ve seen it proclaim they’re all head over heels for it, and Robyn announced she is dropping her new album on my mf’ing birthday in a week. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Phew!

To be honest, digging around for new artists in the last six weeks has been off my radar. It’s the start of Fourth Quarter, AKA the pop music holiday season, and I’ve mostly slinked back into old listening habits bouncing between 80s Italo-disco hits, 90s alternative tunes, and the latest Rita Ora single on repeat for hours at a time.

Since I am on vacation on the other side of the world, I’m also taking a break from writing about some emerging artists (sorry @ all of the wonderful emerging artists I’ve been stacking up for the past 2+ months), and embrace the Month of Halloween™. For this week’s cmd+f  I’ve decided to link a handful of spooky playlists to help get you in the mood for this holiday season. The selection is a mix of playlist I’ve handcrafted myself over the years, a few playlists I’ve encountered along the way, and some solid albums to raise some spirits.

Next week we’ll have a very special guest delivering their five favorite new music discoveries. For now, tune in for some spooktacular tunes.

Remember: if you like what you hear, spread the cheer. Tell your friends about these artists and share the love.

You can contact me by replying directly to the newsletter that is mailed to your inbox every Friday, via my Twitter account, or using the contact page on the cmd+f website.

P.S. If you would like to have this letter sent to your email every Friday, please head over to this link right here to subscribe to never miss a weekly roundup!

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Spooky Classical for Halloween by unCLASSIFIED | Opening with Wojciech Kilar’s score for the 1992 film Bram Stoker’s Dracula, to John Williams’ “Hedwig’s Theme” for the Harry Potter series, to Beethoven’s timeless "Symphony No. 5 in C Minor," this playlist has nearly 6 hours of hair-raising classical arrangements. Listen here

Aventine by Agnes Obel | This is the fifth year in a row that Agnes Obel’s Aventine has remained my favorite album to listen to from September through the start of December. It’s quiet, icy, soothing, evocative, and stunning all at once. Obel, a classically trained pianist, layers her vocals over chords, over more vocals, over a lone cello, plucked strings, and like magic, weaves the most haunting album I’ve heard in my life. “Dorian” is a standout track and remains my favorite to listen to on repeat. Listen here

Pre-tober by cmd+f | In early September 2015 I kicked off my “Pre-tober” playlist series. As soon as the clock strikes midnight on September 1 every year, that entire month is deemed as Pre-tober – the time of year in which I start taking planning my costume seriously, dusting off the skulls in my cabinets, incorporating pumpkin spice into as many edible things, and shelving the summertime pop anthems. I've created a Pre-tober playlist every year since, but the original 2015 Pre-tober playlist is a mix of eclectic ambient tracks and dark pop bops. Listen here

Stay Creepy by Caitlin Lamain | For y’all who like Halloween themed lyrical content without it being blatant Halloweenie music, this playlist is for YOU. Listen here

TURN OFF THE LIGHT, VOL. 1 EP by Kim Petras | I am so reluctant to share this since Dr. Luke produced and co-wrote this entire EP. But: homegirl put out an entire HALLOWEEN EP. She even got Elvira, Mistress of the Dark herself to make a cameo on the title track. High quality pop music here, folks. Listen here

oooOooOOOOoo by cmd+f | Six Halloweens ago, I threw together my Magnum Opus of Halloween playlists. I carefully selected an hour and a half of off-kilter alternative tracks, mostly with eerie, electronic instrumentals, and uploaded the songs onto the now defunct website 8Tracks (RIP). For what? For some damn notes on my Tumblr. I burned the playlist onto a few CD-Rs, gave it to a few friends IRL, and bumped it in my car for months after Halloween (before I had an AUX outlet, before I even had a damn smart phone - I am almost certain I was still texting T9 in 2012… phew!). There is only one song missing on this Spotify list, and it’s because it was an audio rip from a YouTube video by iamamiwhoami that you can watch and listen to HERE. 10/10 recommend watching that video late at night :) For the full playlist listen here

New Music Friday Selects

  • Lay, the remaining Chinese member of the globally sensational South Korean boy group EXO, has released his third solo album this week, NAMANANA. He’s worked with some incredible top liners (uhhhhh Bazzi!!!), and made the ambitious decision to promote this album in the US. He’s recorded his album TWICE - once in Mandarin, and once in English. Also, the music video for the lead single is totally bananas: it's a steampunk USPS delivery through a desert seascape. I can't believe I just wrote that sentence, but, that's the plot. Oh, and there're good choreography. Listen here and be sure to watch this video

  • Troye Sivan linked up with Sigur Ros’s Jonsi for a song on the Boy Erased soundtrack Listen here

  • Khalid has a new EP, Suncity Listen here

  • Peter Bjorn and John have a whole new album!!! Listen here

  • You thought I was done talking about K-Pop releases? Aha. Last Friday South Korean group NCT’s sub-unit NCT 127 released their debut full length album, Regular-Irregular. They included an English version of the lead single “Regular” with ambitions of world domination. The visuals are slick, but the vocal harmonies on these songs are top tier (personal fav? "Fly Away With Me"). Listen here

  • cmd+f alum Gus Dapperton has a new tune out (and a campy music video to boot), “World Class Cinema”  Listen here (and watch here)

  • 2017 cmd+f alum Tove Styrke is out with a groovy little number, “Vibe” Listen here

  • cmd+f alum Ariel Beesly has dropped her 80s fueled self-titled EP. Congrats, girl! Listen here

  • Ten Fé have a sweet new single, “Won’t Happen” Listen here

  • How To Dress Well has a stunning new single, “Body Fat” Listen here

  • New The 1975 sounds like the Step By Step theme song Listen here

  • New Maggie Rogers single “Light On” has low-key MUNA vibes and I’m very, very into it. Listen here

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A(lmost a)ll of the tracks shared in previous cmd+f letters, are archived into a single playlist on Spotify for you to follow here.

Subscribe to that playlist, share it with friends, or take some inspiration from the ever growing list to compile some of your own.

If you’re interested in listening to what I’m rinsing this month, you can follow my October 2018 playlist here (and here’s a link for my September 2018 playlist if you’re curious). There I will dump a hodgepodge of new and old songs that fit my mood and the trends of the month. Having a personal monthly playlist makes a year in review so easy. Share your playlists with me!

See you next week!

August 31, 2018

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Hallelujah, it’s a long weekend ahead of us!

I’m going to keep all of this brief, as this week the spotlight is off of me, and instead I handed over the reigns to cmd+f’s very first guest contributor, Agnes! I’m thrilled to deliver a fresh voice and perspective to help spruce up your personal playlists. I can’t thank her enough for taking the helm of this newly instated monthly feature of the newsletter, and expanding cmd+f’s mission of fostering a community that supports emerging musical talent!

If you’re interested in contributing to cmd+f, please see the end of the letter for more information.

Remember: if you like what you hear, spread the cheer. Tell your friends about these artists and share the love.

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Hello everyone, it is I, the harbinger of sad jams, graciously allowed back to cmd+f to give you all some more recs! This summer has been a weird one for me, to be honest, and now, at its twilight, I can see that I spent most of it just trying to make it through one day to the next. This is pretty clearly reflected in my listening history, as the last 3 months are full of sugary K-pop and radio friendly bangers. I’m sure we all devoured and clung to the hope and earnestness of the new Shawn Mendes, Ariana Grande, and of course, Robyn, and who could blame us! This year was shit! And although I adore some sad pop, it’s hard not to feel like we’re being inundated with music trying too hard to speak to the anxiety of the times. What feels radical and refreshing right now is joy. So take my hand, let me guide you through some uplifting deep cuts to get you through these dog days of summer unscathed, or at least jamming.

“Is Now a Good Time to Ruin Your Life?” – Bloodboy | Self-declared “eager OC girl who wanted very badly to GTFO of the electronic music world and be in a #postpunk band,” Bloodboy is a solo project by part time school teacher and all around badass Lexie Papilion. By fusing the sweeping guitars and drama of glam rock and post punk with her distinctly pop sensibilities, Bloodpop feels on the cusp of becoming the next big name in angry girl pop. “Is Now a Good Time” has all the bluster and bravado of a 70s rock record but still feels distinctly of the moment, largely due to Papilion’s powerful vocals. Listen here

“Can’t Be Mine” – Disco Hue | The 80s may have permanently altered the fabric of American culture for the worse (see the success of 45), but no one can deny that those drum loops are perhaps the best thing that’s ever happened to music. Singaporean synth-pop quartet, Disco Hue, seem to be of the same mind, and this first single off of their upcoming record is awash in them. I dare you not to break out into a Rosie Perez style dance solo when this bop comes on. Their full album is due for release June 2019, so we will be FLUSH with summer jams. Listen here

“Forbidden Fruit” – Gabriela Francesca | This sun-drenched bop about wanting what you can’t have comes from Chicago native Gabriela Francesca. Her brand is danceable tongue-in-cheek, most notably her song “Kris Jenner” where she prays to our mighty overlord for success and riches, but “Forbidden Fruit” has the syncopated reggae beat and splash of big band to become your ultimate poolside anthem. Be a slut! Do whatever you want! Listen here

“Retro Future” – Triple H | You want 90s hip-hop infused dance-pop by way of Korea? You want quirky pseudo-polyamorous vibes? You want real life dating gossip? Meet Triple H, the Cube entertainment formed co-ed K-pop trio of Hyuna, Hui, and E’Dawn. It was recently made public that Hyuna and E’Dawn have been a couple for 2 years, which, if you know anything about K-pop, you know is a major scandal but spicy tidbits aside, the group is fun and sexy and flush with bops. If you have a convertible, may I recommend blasting this with the top down? Listen here

“Daytime” – Lunar Vacation | Now to pivot and wind down, we’ve got a bit of dreamy “pool rock” to finish off this list. Lunar Vacation are an Atlanta based band fresh out of high school and already crafting dreamy indie rock jams perfect for that last morning of vacation. Their vocals and chord progressions have dashes of Beach House and Best Coast so I was shocked to find out this band had no ties to the west coast, but what they are deeply connected to is that hazy feeling of a summer afternoon coming to an end. Listen here

Some honorable mentions: “Leaving” – MILKK, “Mercedes Benz” – Harry Teardrop, “u never did that 4 me” – Sage Charmaine, “Notice” – Boy Blue

You can find Agnes on Twitter and Instagram

New Music Friday Selects

  • Troye Sivan’s highly anticipated sophomore album Bloom is now out in the world!! First impression: it’s the white boy Channel Orange, including all the critical praise and clout Listen here
  • NCT Dream, my absolute favorite group making waves in the K-pop circuit have returned for a jovial, late-summer bop, “We Go Up.” They’ve dropped the music video ahead of their third “mini album” (K-pop code for EP) Go Up, out MONDAY!! Watch here
  • Lord! MNEK’s debut album drops next Friday and I am NOT READY. He’s dropped “Correct” as our final taste before Language is out, and honey, I am BALD. Listen here
  • Dreampop outfit Wild Nothing’s fourth studio album Indigo is out! Listen here
  • As the Number 1 Sucker for Boy Bands, I can’t not alert you about Why Don’t We’s new, cleverly titles 8-track album 8 Letters -- so good! Listen here
  • cmd+f alum No Rome has dropped his first EP, RIP Indo Hisashi, which includes the track “Narcissist” featuring The 1975 Listen here
  • Nothing But Thieves have a fiery new single, “Forever & Ever More” Listen here
  • UK glam rock quartet The Struts dropped their rambunctious new single “Body Talks” featuring Kesha Listen here
  • Doja Cat’s viral “MOOO!” is finally on Spotify Listen here
  • Everybody’s fav neo R&B singer Gallant has graced us with a smooth new jam, “Haha No One Can Hear You!” Listen here

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All of the tracks Agnes has shared in this week’s letter, and previous cmd+f letters, are archived into a single playlist on Spotify for you to follow here.

Subscribe to that playlist, share it with friends, or take some inspiration from the ever growing list to compile some of your own.

If you’re interested in listening to what I’m rinsing this month, you can follow my August 2018 playlist here. There I will dump a hodgepodge of new and old songs that fit my mood and the trends of the month. Having a personal monthly playlist makes a year in review so easy. Share your playlists with me!

See you next week!

P.S. If you’re interested in contributing to cmd+f like Agnes did this week, please be sure you’re subscribed to the cmd+f newsletter and reply to the email in your inbox!

August 29, 2018

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This past week and a half has been brewing with waves, and waves of energy. I think us coasting out of Mercury in retrograde may have a teenie, tiny bit to do with this feeling. Maybe it’s the seasons changing? Kids are going back in school, so your favorite lunch joint is more relaxing during your break. Do you feel the gears churning? Change is on the horizon, and it feels damn good.

This coming Friday cmd+f will have its first guest contributor. I’m so excited to share this letter with y’all; since I’ve already had a peek, I can confirm it’s dope! If you’re interested in taking over cmd+f for a week in the future, be sure to check the bottom of this letter for more details.

Now… onto the tunes. I’ve handpicked five songs that’re going to rock your socks off. ¡Dale!

Remember: if you like what you hear, spread the cheer. Tell your friends about these artists and share the love.

You can contact me by replying directly to the newsletter that is mailed to your inbox every Friday, via my Twitter account, or using the contact page on the cmd+f website.

P.S. If you would like to have this letter sent to your email every Friday, please head over to this link right here to subscribe to never miss a weekly roundup!

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“Summer Time High Time” - CUCO feat. J-Kwe$t  | Man… this shit is wavy. LA producer Omar Banos, aka Cuco, has made a huge splash over the past two years with a string of massive underground hits. Every song he drops near instantly racks up millions of hits, and he has a strong, growing fan base. Born of first generation Mexican immigrants and raised in Hawthorne, Cuco started tinkering with Ableton in high school and recording laid back tunes in Spanglish. While Cuco is proud of his Chicano heritage, he doesn’t want it to overshadow and solely define the work he’s putting out. In an interview with NPR, he says, “I'm hoping that eventually I can do more than just be an artist of color. Being an artist of color is already a form of activism, but I'm going to try to do more and do better.” Listen here and Watch here

“This Is My Cue” - Eliza Shaddad | Everything about Eliza Shaddad’s music is exactly what I’ve been missing from my soul this year. “This Is My Cue,” taken from her forthcoming debut album Future, is a brooding, melancholic ballad of Shaddad’s struggle to ending crumbling relationships. Striped with cool hues over a smoldering rock song, her lush vocals buoy with tension and frustration over soaring guitars. Listen here

“Son of a Bad Man” - Marcus Atom | After years of singing for other people, Chicago’s Marcus Atom has taken the leap as a solo artist. Infused with soulful R&B vocals puts forth a raw, honest introduction in his debut single, “Son of a Bad Man.” 12/10 recommend for fans of: extremely talented vocalists, particularly along the lines of Leon Bridges, Nick Waterhouse, and Michael Kiwanuka. Listen here

“Hollywood Angel” - SACHI feat. E^ST | This is the second time I’ve featured a song with E^ST in the letter! “Hollywood Angel” is a pure pop bop reminiscent of early Marina and the Diamonds sentiments meets a dive-y disco floorfiller. Listen here

“SALAFI SECRETS” - ZAN | I honestly don’t think you’re ready for this song. “Salafi Secrets” took me by surprise the first time it cropped up in a random playlist, tinny through the speakers in my phone under the noisy faucet running in the kitchen sink. The song is a fusion of fragments seamlessly fused together for one of the most exciting songs I’ve heard in ages. It’s bathed in so many colors, with tempos slinking up and down the track. After living in the song for the past week, I did a bit of research on ZAN to see what this exciting music project all about. Turns out ZAN is an Australian-Pakistani producer from Perth. This particular jam is about his struggles and conflicts of his identity within the LGBTQ community and the Islamic community. Listen here

New Music Friday Selects

  • Here are my thoughts on Liam Payne’s debut EP First Time: in my unbiased opinion, it’s f*cking great pop music. In my biased opinion, it’s the best post-1D solo body of work released to date. Honey got to flex his vocals and throw down some bops! Happy birthday, Liam! Listen here

  • Fall Out Boy pay tribute to their hometown Chicago in their new single “Lake Effect Kid” Listen here

  • UK producer duo Disclosure are back with a string of groovy new house tracks. Get down to “Funky Sensation” Listen here

  • Grime legend Wiley dropped a new single, “Boasty,” featuring Mucky Listen here

  • The last time you likely consciously listened to KT Tunstall was most likely back in 2007. She’s back with a soaring new single, “The River” Listen here

  • cmd+f alum No Rome has dropped an aesthetically soothing music video for his doooope single “Do It Again” Listen here

  • The baddest, saddest gals in the music game, Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus, join forces as boygenius. All three releases are sublime, but I high key recommend “Bite The Hand” Listen here

  • The biggest “boyband” in the world right now, Korea’s BTS, have re-packaged their number 1 Billboard Hot 100 charting album for Love Yourself: Answer so if you like them you’ve probably already listened to the new tracks 343585 times by the time you’re reading this Listen here

  • Riton and Kah-Lo have reunited again for a new club jam, “Up & Down” Listen here

  • Kim Petras has a new bop. I’ve listened to it, I like it, but it’s co-written by Dr. Luke. [loud booing noises] Feel free to search for it on your own if you are wont to do; I will not be linking it here.

________________________________________

A(lmost a)ll of the tracks I have shared in this week’s letter are archived into a single playlist on Spotify for you to follow here.

Subscribe to that playlist, share it with friends, or take some inspiration from the ever growing list to compile some of your own.

If you’re interested in listening to what I’m rinsing this month, you can follow my August 2018 playlist here. There I will dump a hodgepodge of new and old songs that fit my mood and the trends of the month. Having a personal monthly playlist makes a year in review so easy. Share your playlists with me!

See you FRIDAY!

P.S. Are you interested in contributing to cmd+f? Read more details below!

Last December I launched the cmd+vent calendar: an ambitious project that consisted of releasing a daily newsletter for the 12 days leading up to Christmas. I asked a handful friends to reflect on how music impacted their lives throughout 2017. It was much more exciting to share these reflections than compiling yet another end of the year “Best of…” list.

I’ve been thinking of ways to expand cmd+f’s potential over the last 6 months. To foster a more communal atmosphere all year round in this (mostly) weekly newsletter, I’m now inviting one reader per month to share their music discoveries by emerging artists, or artists likely flying under our radars.

To the readers currently subscribed to this letter via email, I’d like to encourage you to reply to this letter (really, just hit “reply” at the top of your box and I promise I’ll get your message), give me a hello, and let me know if you’d be interested in taking over cmd+f one week. You’ll get to write an opening monologue, introduce yourself, and gush about five songs really hitting at your heartstrings. If you’re unsure how this is going to go down, you can anticipate the first guest feature letter is coming out THIS FRIDAY!

For now this invitation is only open to email subscribers — so if you have a friend with a vibrant musical palette that isn’t currently subscribed, please have them head over to this link right here!

August 17, 2018

It’s been another productive week here in sunny Southern California. Last weekend I moseyed about downtown for the annual KCON LA event and had a total blast. I was so psyched to snatch up some good deals on skincare (which, lemme tell you, surpassed my expectations! I came home with bags of goodies), but the panels were incredible. I learnt so much about the songwriting process for the Korean and Japanese music markets, sat in on a panel with Korean hip-hop and R&B producers from Jay Park’s label H1gher Music, picked the brains of American music journalists covering K-pop music, and got to speak with academic scholars who study Hallyu. Perhaps the most interesting panel they hosted this weekend was Black American music’s influence on Korean hip-hop and pop music. Phew!

By the end of the weekend I was a little overwhelmed and sad for it to be over, but I’m glad I went. 12/10 recommend hitting up KCON even if you only plan to pop in to buy boxes of sheet masks. It’s a must stop for pop culture nerds.

Now, let’s just talk music! I’ve got a handful of songs to share this week, all by artists I’ve never featured before. I have a feeling you’ll like at least one of them!

Remember: if you like what you hear, spread the cheer. Tell your friends about these artists and share the love.

You can contact me by replying directly to the newsletter that is mailed to your inbox every Friday, via my Twitter account, or using the contact page on the cmd+f website.

P.S. If you would like to have this letter sent to your email every Friday, please head over to this link right here to subscribe to never miss a weekly roundup!

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“He’s Good” - Kate Stewart | Once upon a time there was a rising powerhouse vocalist featured on a ton of pop tracks by UK producers name KStewart. KStewart’s label tightened their grip on her creative freedom, so one day she said “bye, bitch,” and rebranded her music identity as Kate Stewart. She went on to release an early 00s-esque R&B bop about confronting her ex’s new partner about her being better than her ex. She named it “He’s Good,” and it was featured on a cmd+f letter. The song was noted for being best listened to via any method of hearing, but was enjoyed being blasted through speakers in a car in the morning/mid-day. Listen here

“Language” - Moodoïd feat. Wednesday Campanella | Moodoïd is one of the most fascinating finds to fall into my lap this month. I have to thank my pal Agnes for sharing Wednesday Campanella with me many moon cycles ago. I spinned some of their records ad nauseum for a while, thus triggering the Spotify algorithm to log “she really likes this artist.” All of that has lead straight up to his magical union of frenetic Franco-Japanese psychedelic pop. Moodoïd was founded by former Melody’s Echo Chamber guitarist Pablo Padovani, and Wednesday Campanella are a Japanese experimental pop group fronted by vocalist KOM_I. “Language” sounds like an early 80s Italo disco fever dream. Listen here

“Any Other Way” - Tomberlin | Sarah Beth Tomberlin: if you’re reading this, thank you. There is an art to writing a song with only your acoustic guitar and your voice–and making it interesting. The production (done by Owen Pallett, aka Final Fantasy!!) on “Any Other Way” is divine. Driven by a single, repetitive chord plucked on an acoustic guitar and melody, the song sporadically fractures into reverberations under feathery vocal harmonies and muted piano chords. “Any Other Way” is stunning. Listen here

“Showgirl” - Sorry | Rock may be dead on Top 40 radio, but for those who know what the hell is going on in the scene, we’ve seen a massive influx of gut-churning, sweat-drenched in seven-feet high ceiling club bands fronted by women. From Wolf Alice to Sunflower Bean, Sorry are flourishing across the pond and tearing it up on stage. Their latest single “Showgirl” is, as quoted by the group, a song about “awkwardness, lusting from afar, desire and disgust,” but the real reason why it’s on here is because the guitars are cool as fuck. Listen here

“These Are Not Your Memories” - TVAM | I had a real “Holy balls” moment the first time I listened to TVAM. While the gag is I saw Joe Oxley (the self-produced mastermind behind TVAM) say he’s sick of our culture being focused on nostalgia (I may be embellishing his thoughts a bit here -- he actually said “The song is about taking society aside and having a quiet word about its shared identity crisis.”), TVAM’s music and visuals are drowning in it. I was immediately spiked with similarities to Suicide, CAN, Ride, The Smiths, My Bloody Valentine, and bits of Kraftwerk on acid. If you like this joint, listen to the rest of his music; it’s soaked in delicious layers of sound. Listen here

New Music Friday Selects

  • Y’all: there’s, like, too much new music this week. BRACE YOURSELVES!

  • Rina Sawayama’s new single “Cherry” is a BOP Listen here

  • Cherryade, a bratpop-y outfit from London I’ve been following for a couple years now have dropped their debut EP, Fractured Fairytales - CONGRATS!!!! Listen here

  • UK emcee Stefflon Don’s album SECURE is packed with pure heeeeeat and packed with top tier features. Must listen. Listen here

  • Wasn’t so sure about the new The 1975 single “TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME” but I’ve logged at least 32 listens by the time this is officially published and I don’t think I’m stopping anytime soon. Listen here

  • Portland rapper Aminé dropped his new mixtape ONEPOINTFIVE and honestly the greatest part of it is Instagram sensation Rickey Thompson’s inspiring opening monologue for “STFU2” Listen here

  • Cat Power invited Lana Del Taco to lend some vocals for her new single “Woman” Listen here

  • Pop banger songwriter of the decade MNEK has officially announced his debut album Language is FINALLY dropping September 7th! AAAH! Check out his latest single “Crazy World” Listen here

  • cmd+f alum Sam Fender has a new single out called “Dead Boys” Listen here

  • Slaves are back with yet another amazing album, Acts of Fear and Love Listen here

  • Ariana Grande’s highly anticipated new album Sweetener is here and, well, it’s here Listen here

  • Baauer collaborated with Instagram computer simulation Miquela??? It basically sounds like a Terror Jr. joint. Listen here

  • Liam Payne of 1D acclaim has announced he’s not going to release a debut album but a debut EP of four songs next Friday, August 24, aptly titled First Time. Can’t wait, tbh.

________________________________________

A(lmost a)ll of the tracks I have shared in this week’s letter are archived into a single playlist on Spotify for you to follow here.

Subscribe to that playlist, share it with friends, or take some inspiration from the ever growing list to compile some of your own.

If you’re interested in listening to what I’m rinsing this month, you can follow my August 2018 playlist here. There I will dump a hodgepodge of new and old songs that fit my mood and the trends of the month. Having a personal monthly playlist makes a year in review so easy. Share your playlists with me!

See you next week!

P.S. Are you interested in contributing to cmd+f? Read more details below!

Last December I launched the cmd+vent calendar: an ambitious project that consisted of releasing a daily newsletter for the 12 days leading up to Christmas. I asked a handful friends to reflect on how music impacted their lives throughout 2017. It was much more exciting to share these reflections than compiling yet another end of the year “Best of…” list.

I’ve been thinking of ways to expand cmd+f’s potential over the last 6 months. To foster a more communal atmosphere all year round in this (mostly) weekly newsletter, I’m now inviting one reader per month to share their music discoveries by emerging artists, or artists likely flying under our radars.

To the readers currently subscribed to this letter via email, I’d like to encourage you to reply to this letter (really, just hit “reply” at the top of your box and I promise I’ll get your message), give me a hello, and let me know if you’d be interested in taking over cmd+f one week. You’ll get to write an opening monologue, introduce yourself, and gush about five songs really hitting at your heartstrings. If you’re unsure how this is going to go down, you can anticipate the first guest feature letter is coming out later this month!

For now this invitation is only open to email subscribers — so if you have a friend with a vibrant musical palette that isn’t currently subscribed, please have them head over to this link right here!

August 10, 2018

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Everything is on fire: Northern California, Southern California, André Leon Talley roasting Paul Manafort’s wardrobe, and these five smokin’ hot tunes by emerging artists! I’ve been sitting on a couple of this week’s picks for a while now, so I’m really excited to finally share them with you (if you haven’t heard them yet!). Kick up your feet, grab a mojito, and let’s dig in to the newest cmd+f letter.

Remember: if you like what you hear, spread the cheer. Tell your friends about these artists and share the love.

You can contact me by replying directly to the newsletter that is mailed to your inbox every Friday, via my Twitter account, or using the contact page on the cmd+f website.

P.S. If you would like to have this letter sent to your email every Friday, please head over to this link right here to subscribe to never miss a weekly roundup!

________________________________________

“One of the Girls” - Otha | Dubbed as “Robyn on downers,” Norwegian wunderkind Otha dropped her debut single at the start of June. I’ve been playing this song endlessly for the past two months and I’ve yet to be tired of it. “One of the Girls” is a ghoulish, foot-stomping club track that punches through layers upon layers of sound. I’m obsessed! Listen here

“Night’s A Bitch” - SuperKnova | I can proudly announce this particular song came to me by a direct recommendation from a cmd+f listener (thanks, Sam!)! SuperKnova is a Chicago-based transgender artist churning out some really, really dope music. While Spotify says her mini-album Splendor Dysphoria was released this year, SuperKnova’s bandcamp reveals the tunes are over a year old. I’m ashamed I’ve been in the dark on her music for so long, but better late than never, right? Per Sam’s recommendation, I’ve chosen to highlight “Night’s A Bitch,” a wavy little number doused with trip-hop influence. Listen here

“Laconic” - Rosemoor | The power of sharing new music is it leads you to more new music! I put on a SuperKnova radio station and Rosemoor just landed in my lap. “Laconic” is a melodic, lo-fi bop that reminds me a ton of Say Anything’s first album meets the swarm of Pacific Northwest DIY bands I listened to in college. Listen here

“Target” - HANNIE feat. Ralph | Time to rev it up! “Target” has been queued up on my radar for a minute. This song is so damn adorable! HANNIE are a rising duo from East London slapping down some pseudo-disco pop bops. Listen here

“Moment To Myself” - Diana Gordon | Remember Wynter Gordon? She’s stripped back the hyper-sexualized club pop persona and has been reborn as Diana Gordon. “Moment To Myself” is a raw, unfiltered ballad, unveiling a new side of Ms. Gordon I’m excited to hear more from. If you dig this, check out the rest of her Pure EP. Listen here

New Music Friday Selects

  • Jai Wolf has linked up with rising Kiwi singer Chelsea Jade for “Lost” and it’s AMAZING Listen here
  • We’re officially in countdown mode for Troye Sivan’s sophomore album Bloom. Today he’s released another haunting teaser single, “Animal” Listen here
  • UK producer Kolabeech has linked up with my number 1 gal BETSY, aka the Second Coming of Cher, for a stunning cover of Rozalla’s 1991 smash club hit “Everybody’s Free” Listen here
  • Ciara once again coming for our necks with her new single “Freak Me” featuring Tekno Listen here
  • Rejoice; new Mitski! Listen here
  • Producers Riton and Kah-Lo have remixed Selena Gomez’s “Back To You” and it’s A+ (can we get Kah-Lo featured on every song, please???) Listen here
  • Fresh shoegaze bliss from Wild Nothing; listen to “Shallow Water” Listen here
  • Tkay Maidza dropped a music video for her new single “Flexin’” featuring Duckwrth – and she announced a new EP is dropping at the end of this month! Watch here
  • New Aphex Twin for the IDM heads! Listen here
  • Oh my giddy aunt – Cher’s officially released her cover of ABBA’s “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)” as a single? 2018 is too blessed. Listen here
  • The Why Don’t We boys continue to impress; their new single “8 Letters” is gorgeous Listen here

________________________________________

A(lmost a)ll of the tracks I have shared in this week’s letter are archived into a single playlist on Spotify for you to follow here.

Subscribe to that playlist, share it with friends, or take some inspiration from the ever growing list to compile some of your own.

If you’re interested in listening to what I’m rinsing this month, you can follow my August 2018 playlist here. There I will dump a hodgepodge of new and old songs that fit my mood and the trends of the month. Having a personal monthly playlist makes a year in review so easy. Share your playlists with me!

See you next week!

P.S. Are you interested in contributing to cmd+f? Read more details below!

Last December I launched the cmd+vent calendar: an ambitious project that consisted of releasing a daily newsletter for the 12 days leading up to Christmas. I asked a handful friends to reflect on how music impacted their lives throughout 2017. It was much more exciting to share these reflections than compiling yet another end of the year “Best of…” list.

I’ve been thinking of ways to expand cmd+f’s potential over the last 6 months. To foster a more communal atmosphere all year round in this (mostly) weekly newsletter, I’m now inviting one reader per month to share their music discoveries by emerging artists, or artists likely flying under our radars.

To the readers currently subscribed to this letter via email, I’d like to encourage you to reply to this letter (really, just hit “reply” at the top of your box and I promise I’ll get your message), give me a hello, and let me know if you’d be interested in taking over cmd+f one week. You’ll get to write an opening monologue, introduce yourself, and gush about five songs really hitting at your heartstrings. If you’re unsure how this is going to go down, you can anticipate the first guest feature letter is coming out later this month!

For now this invitation only open to email subscribers — so if you have a friend with a vibrant musical palette that isn’t currently subscribed, please have them head over to this link right here

August 3, 2018

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Can I get a hallelujah? It’s Friday, an entirely new month, and the greatest pop act of the last quarter-century released their first solo single in eight years the other day.

Of course I’m talking about Robyn. How could I be talking about anything else this week? In fact, I’m still shocked music outlets were talking about anything other than Robyn’s return.

Robyn hasn’t actually been totally removed limelight for 8 years; in fact, she’s put out a lot of damn music – there’ve been covers, guest vocal features, and collaborative mini albums stemmed out of writing sessions. From the start of her career, she’s been involved in the songwriting process, and even worked with pop genius Max Martin on her 1997 global smash “Show Me Love,” over one year before Martin penned even bigger hits for Britney Spears and The Backstreet Boys in the late 90s.

Spanning her 25+ years long career (she was formally signed to a record label when she was just 14 years old….now she’s her own boss and runs her own label, Konichiwa Records), Robyn’s set the bar high while she continually pushes the envelope as to what the f*%k we consider dance pop music.

While many readers may already be familiar with Robyn’s music, most of the general public knows her as the chick wilding out in a cropped angora sweater in the “Call Your Girlfriend” music video (that SNL’s Taran Killam reenacted and elevated it to a viral sensation in 2010).

For this week’s cmd+f I’m switching things up. Rather than looking into the future and highlighting emerging talent, we’re going to Bill & Ted this bitch and listen to some deep cuts from Robyn’s back catalogue. Her legacy deserves to be celebrated!

Comments? Questions? You can contact me by replying directly to the newsletter that is mailed to your inbox every Friday, via my Twitter account, or using the contact page on the cmd+f website.

________________________________________

“Roll With Me” - Blacknuss feat. Robyn, Joshua & Abel | Before Robyn paved the way for the likes of Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, et. al. on western pop radio, Robyn lent her vocals on the quintessentially 1996 jam “Roll With Me.” At 16 years old, you can hear the power in her delivery, and the remarkable control over her tone that she’s maintained with impressive care to this day. Listen here

“Keep This Fire Burning” - Robyn | After writing a few songs over the guilt of her secret abortion for her second album My Truth in 1999, Robyn refused to re-record the bits for her US labels. The album was never distributed out of Scandinavia, and neither was her third studio album, Don’t Stop the Music. “Keep this Fire Burning” was written in 2002 by Robyn in partnership with Swedish songwriting and production duo Ghost. The song found somewhat commercial success within continental Europe and down under in Australia, but was never officially released in the United Kingdom. Instead, the song was given its time to shine and was passed along to of-the-moment sensation Beverly Knight where it became top twenty hit… in 2005! In Robyn’s original rendition, she sells the song wholly with her undiluted promise loving you with all she’s got. For those who have seen the show Mozart In the Jungle, the zany Mexican conductor Rodrigo, played by Gael Garcia Bernal, continuously states throughout the series that all music must be performed with “the blood,” and is typically followed with a passionate shake of his fist to emphasize this claim. Robyn? Has “the blood.” All music she puts out under her name is brimming with “the blood.” Her ability to connect with the listener through her organic passion woven through her lyrics and vocal delivery is what’s helped harvest her expansive legion of dedicated fans. Listen here

“Who’s That Girl?” - Robyn | After the domestic success of Don’t Stop the Music, Robyn decided to work with imaginative Swedish producers for her next album. Circa 2004, “Who’s That Girl?” was born under the production of The Knife, then just a rising brother/sister duo of Karin and Olof Dreijer, who at the time gained international acclaim from the release of their 2003 album Deep Cuts. Robyn’s label, BMG, wasn’t into the song, so Robyn threw deuces, paid out her contract, then said “fuck it; I’mma do it myself.” Konichiwa Records was started, and Robyn became an independent pop artist. Steeled with a gut-punching drum machine and a chorus of erratic synthesizers, “Who’s That Girl?” marked the turning point in which Robyn flipped from bonafide pop prodigy to taking the helm to carve out a new path for pop. Robyn’s pop was no longer composed to serve the general public via the radio; instead it served quiet ballads for your daily shower, hip-shaking break-up anthems for walking your dog, and for times of celestial introspection with your arms open wide, head thrown back, in the middle of the crowded dance floor. Listen here

“Sensual Seduction” - Snoop Dogg feat. Robyn | Perhaps my favorite Robyn guest drop to this date is her 2007 feature on the remix of Snoop Dogg’s corny ode to 70s porno funk “Sensual Seduction.” I’ve intentionally linked the “radio friendly” version to spare y’all. I feel like listening to listening to Snoop croon “sexual eruption” is on par with thinking of family having sex, and we’ll just leave it at that. Back to Robyn: she pairs as a fine bottle of Merlot to Snoop’s cheesefest, adding a touch of sensuality and seriousness to such a fun jam. The union led to Uncle Snoop hopping on Robyn’s track “U Should Know Better” for her critically acclaimed 2010 album Body Talk. Listen here

“Monument” - Röyksopp & Robyn | With the success of 2010’s Body Talk under her belt, Robyn set out to once again working with producers shattering the electronic music landscape for her next album. Robyn booked some studio sessions with Norwegian duo Röyksopp, and the sessions were fruitful. In 2014, the three decided to scrape up and polish their recordings for the mini album Do It Again. They went on a global tour, making a stop at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles for one of the greatest concert experiences I’ve attended to date. They closed out the set (before returning for the encore) with a rendition of “Monument,” an epic, 9 and a half minute saga of ghostly instrumentals stretched over booming, MC Escher-esque synths that build horizontally and fizzle into a free jazz frenzy. Listen here and Watch here

“Missing U” - Robyn | This week Robyn released her first official, purely solo single in eight years. Robyn’s declared the track as partly inspired by her fans who’ve amassed her cultish following over the years:”I haven't made an album in eight years, so I haven't seen my fans for a long time either," she said, "I think getting back to them is important.” While fans have craved a new album from Robyn for a better part of the decade, her rarefied repertoire of songwriting and music releases has imprinted its way into the foundation of their music listening experience. In “Missing U,” she sings of love, of loss, of recognizing the void is never truly barren. “There’s an empty space you’ve left behind,” she croons over a bubbling synth, “All the love you gave / it still defines me.” Thanks for coming back to us, Robyn. Listen here

New Music Friday Selects

  • This week NPR dropped a comprehensive, exciting survey of the top 200 songs by female artists of the 21st century (which, of course, includes Robyn!) Read here
  • Mura Masa has dropped a new groovy little number with Nao titled “Complicated” Listen here
  • Rising pop muse Alice Chater, who was featured in last week’s cmd+f has dropped a stripped down rendition of her fire new single “Heartbreak Hotel.” LeAnn Rimes who??? Listen here
  • Travis Scott’s new album ASTROWORLD is out and it appears to not have a single feature on it??? Beats are sick Listen here
  • UK punk duo Slaves have a new joint out titled “Chokehold” Listen here
  • MUNA have remixed Fickle Friends’ tune “Bite” Listen here
  • God damn! Each release from cmd+f alum Jade Bird strays further from her Americana roots, and more into her own aura. Her latest release “Uh Huh” kicks SERIOUS ASS Listen here
  • Following the same formula as Ariana Grande and The Weeknd’s collab for “Love Me Harder,” The Labels have paired up Bazzi and Carnitas Cabezza for a song and hope it sticks Listen here

________________________________________

A(lmost a)ll of the tracks I have shared in this week’s letter are archived into a single playlist on Spotify for you to follow here.

Subscribe to that playlist, share it with friends, or take some inspiration from the ever growing list to compile some of your own.

NEW MONTH, NEW TUNES! If you’re interested in listening to what I’m rinsing this month, you can follow my August 2018 playlist here. There I will dump a hodgepodge of new and old songs that fit my mood and the trends of the month. Having a personal monthly playlist makes a year in review so easy. Share your playlists with me!

See you next week!
 

P.S. Are you interested in contributing to cmd+f? Read more details below!

Last December I launched the cmd+vent calendar: an ambitious project that consisted of releasing a daily newsletter for the 12 days leading up to Christmas. I asked a handful friends to reflect on how music impacted their lives throughout 2017. It was much more exciting to share these reflections than compiling yet another end of the year “Best of…” list.

I’ve been thinking of ways to expand cmd+f’s potential over the last 6 months. To foster a more communal atmosphere all year round in this (mostly) weekly newsletter, I’m now inviting one reader per month to share their music discoveries by emerging artists, or artists likely flying under our radars.

To the readers currently subscribed to this letter via email, I’d like to encourage you to reply to this letter (really, just hit “reply” at the top of your box and I promise I’ll get your message), give me a hello, and let me know if you’d be interested in taking over cmd+f one week. You’ll get to write an opening monologue, introduce yourself, and gush about five songs really hitting at your heartstrings. If you’re unsure how this is going to go down, you can anticipate the first guest feature letter is coming out later this month!

For now this invitation only open to email subscribers — so if you have a friend with a vibrant musical palette that isn’t currently subscribed, please have them head over to this link right here

July 27, 2018

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¡¡¡Ya es viernes!!!

*Clink clink* for the freakin’ weekend, baby. I’m back with five songs to welcome into your next week. We’ve got new songs from music vets, reappearances from cmd+f alums, and supa dupa fresh tunes.

 

Before we dive into the music, did you know you can contribute to cmd+f? Those of you who have read the previous letter sent out will see I’ve copy+pasted the same details outlining how you can take part in cmd+f’s upward trajectory. Read more below:

 

After the success of the cmd+vent calendar, in which I asked a dozen friends to write about how music impacted their lives throughout 2017, I’ve decided to steer cmd+f into a more communal atmos beyond the holiday season… by inviting one reader per month to share their music discoveries by emerging artists, or artists likely flying under our radars.

To the dear readers currently subscribed to this letter via email, I’d like to encourage you to reply to this letter (really, just hit “reply” at the top of your box and I promise I’ll get your message), give me a hello, and let me know if you’d be interested in taking over cmd+f one week. You’ll get to write an opening monologue, introduce yourself, and gush about five songs really hitting at your heartstrings.

I’m currently keeping this invitation open to email subscribers only — so if you have a friend with a vibrant musical palette that isn’t currently subscribed, please have them head over to this link right here! Please reply to this email if you’d like more details.

Now, let’s get into the new music. I’ve got five tunes by incredible ladies that have been jumbling around my brain for many weeks now. I’m beyond excited for you to finally be acquainted.

 

Remember: if you like what you hear, spread the cheer. Tell your friends about these artists and share the love.

You can contact me by replying directly to the newsletter that is mailed to your inbox every Friday, via my Twitter account, or using the contact page on the cmd+f website.

P.S. If you would like to have this letter sent to your email every Friday, please head over to this link right here to subscribe to never miss a weekly roundup!

________________________________________

“Good Love” - Aly & AJ | I’m sure a handful of readers last heard of Aly & AJ when they were awkwardly making their way through middle school and religiously watching episodes of Phil of the Future on the low lest they look “lame” to their classmates who were watching The Real World. Aly & AJ, an understated duo from the Disney Channel stars of yesteryear, who also happen to be siblings, have been making music together for nearly 15 years. Poptimists who’ve closely followed their trajectory collectively agree: all of what they’ve put out has been really damn good. “Good Love” is their latest single, a brooding dark pop follow up to their 2017 EP Ten Years. Drenched in heavy synths reminiscent to Berlin’s 1986 smash hit “Take My Breath Away,” the ghostly track is grated in luscious reverb with tender lyrics. Listen here

“Heartbreak Hotel” - Alice Chater | Alice first blipped across my radar back in April. Then she was known as just “alice” and had a bangin’ (yet somewhat unfinished sounding) debut single (that highlighted her potential to being a really interesting popstar). Overnight (literally, I woke up and my playlist updated) she’s tacked on her last name (which, thank god - it was unbelievably difficult to find her socials), and has since dropped “Heartbreak Hotel.” Virgin/EMI are putting $$$monaaay$$$ into her A&R and visuals, and I think it’ll be well spent. “Heartbreak Hotel” is the pop bop we DESERVE. There’s a delightful chorus packed with enough cowbell to ring-a-ding-ding you into the fifth dimension, and [gasp] a MIDDLE 8! It’s a touch Dua Lipa meets early Gaga (à la “Paparazzi”) meets Anita Ward’s “Ring My Bell.” Amen @ the pop gods! Listen here and Watch here

“Flexin’” - Tkay Maidza feat. Duckwrth | Heeeeeat waaaaave! Aussie emcee Tkay Maidza dropped her first SOLO release since her 2016 debut album and it’s pure heat. Featuring rising LA rapper Duckwrth, the track is about being yourself - unapologetically. Get loud, grab some win, kick over a few chairs, and dance on the m----f--- table. Listen here

“Honey, Don’t Kill My Vibe” - YESEO | Korean electro pop goddess YESEO writes, produces, records, and mixes all of her own music. “Honey, Don’t Kill My Vibe,” taken from her debut LP Damn Rules, shifts away from her initial electro-R&B sound and venture into funky synthpop reminiscent of Little Dragon. Listen here

“Jugg Everything” - Nezi Momodu | Nezi Momodu is a Nigerian Muslim rapper living in Texas, and after listening to her, I am bald. Phew! For those of you who crave old school rap and hip hop, dominated by effortless, syncopated flows with the ease of Missy Elliott, or the ruthlessness of Lil’ Kim, Nezi Momodu is your answer. She’s the future, she’s current, and she’s exactly what hip-hop needs right now. Listen here

 

New Music Friday Selects

  • Japanese R&B pop trio GLOSS have released their first EP, TYO GLO, which includes the ear tingling single “Big Mad” (which was featured on cmd+f a couple months ago) Listen here

  • Blood Orange, aka Devonte Hynes, is back with his new single “Charcoal Baby.” He’s also announced this week a new album is on the way. Listen here

  • Pale Waves have announced their debut album My Mind Makes Noises drops September 14. They’ll be kicking about on a North American tour from October through December, so go swipe up tickets ASAP. Listen to their newest single “Eighteen” Listen here

  • If you’re fond of watching choreography, Ten, a member of the Korean pop group NCT, released a dance practice video for his song “Dream In A Dream” last week. It’s mesmerizing to watch; his movements are like ASMR for the eyes Watch here

  • Number one hustler Tinashe continues to lay groundwork for a whole new era after finally dropping her album JOY RIDE this past spring. Check out her latest drop “Throw A Fit” Listen here

  • Leon Bridges covered Ginuwine’s “Pony” for a Spotify Singles session and it’s [chef’s kiss] Listen here

  • Charli XCX has a new single and… oh, yes hunny! Listen here

  • Legendary UK girl group All Saints have a brand new album, Testament, and it’s rather good! Listen here

________________________________________

A(lmost a)ll of the tracks I have shared in this week’s letter are archived into a single playlist on Spotify for you to follow here.

Subscribe to that playlist, share it with friends, or take some inspiration from the ever growing list to compile some of your own.

If you’re interested in listening to what I’m rinsing this month, you can follow my July 2018 playlist here. There I will dump a hodgepodge of new and old songs that fit my mood and the trends of the month. Having a personal monthly playlist makes a year in review so easy. Share your playlists with me!

See you next week!

July 23, 2018

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Thank you for waiting.

The start of each cmd+f is typically reserved for neutral/positive chatter on popular culture without getting too personal. It’s intended to excite you, dear reader, for new music — an act that should be joyously celebrated as often as possible. Music should move you, and be there to engorge your enthusiasm, or put a damper on times of listlessness.

After disappearing (yet again) without warning for well over a month, I’d be foolish to tell you everything is okay.

Everything is not okay. We’re all (hopefully) looking at the relentless, hellish 24 hour news cycle; the world is a mess. Despite all that, I have well over 50 songs queued up in my never ending cmd+f playlist, but tuning in each week to deliver a letter the past several weeks has been difficult as hell. For the first time in over a year, I felt no joy in wanting to talk about all of this new music I’ve been excavating. Watching the quick decline in the health of my beloved companion, certified best boy golden retriever, Duke, was one aspect of my persistent lethargy. We said goodbye a handful of weeks ago, and my routine has been all out of sorts. I no longer having regular walks around the neighborhood, or him to watch me dance to my new cmd+f digs in the kitchen throughout the week.

Creating cmd+f has been so deeply fulfilling, but to be completely honest, the routine/predictability of it all has been wearing me down. This letter started as an outlet for me to share music recommendations with friends, but along the way, I’ve found the act of exchanging music with other people is vastly more rewarding.
After much thought, I've decided it’s time for cmd+f to step away from my voice from time to time. Me stepping back will help bounce back from this burn out, and allow more time to expand cmd+f’s potential. There are so many opportunities for this space to grow, and I hope you would like to join me in making it possible.

With the success of the 2017 cmd+vent calendar, in which I asked a dozen friends to write about how music impacted their lives throughout 2017, I’ve decided to steer cmd+f into a more communal ~atmos~ beyond the holiday season… by inviting one reader per month to share their music discoveries by emerging artists, or artists likely flying under our radars.

To the dear readers currently subscribed to this letter via email, I’d like to encourage you to reply to this letter (really, just hit “reply” at the top of your box and I promise I’ll get your message), give me a hello, and let me know if you’d be interested in taking over cmd+f one week. You’ll get to write an opening monologue, introduce yourself, and gush about five songs really hitting at your heartstrings.

I’m currently keeping this invitation open to email subscribers only — so if you have a friend with a vibrant musical palette that isn’t currently subscribed, please have them head over to this link right here! If you're unsure if you're ready to commit and aren't subscribed, sign up using the link provided and reply to the next cmd+f letter that hits your inbox.

Now, let’s get into the new music. I’ve got five tunes by incredible ladies that have been jumbling around my brain for many weeks now. I’m beyond excited for you to finally be acquainted.

Remember: if you like what you hear, spread the cheer. Tell your friends about these artists and share the love.

You can contact me by replying directly to the newsletter that is mailed to your inbox every Friday, via my Twitter account, or using the contact page on the cmd+f website.

________________________________________

“Laugh It Off” - Chelsea Jade | cmd+f alum Chelsea Jade dropped her debut album Personal Best last Friday. Newsflash: it’s fucking incredible and sounds like the sophomore album you had expected from Lorde – yet so distinctly original. I first featured Chelsea Jade in May 2017 for her tune “Life of the Party,” and described it as a “Broods bop on Benadryl.” That dazy, dreamy quality runs throughout the album, like smooth silk and warm tea in an ocean breeze. “Laugh It Off” opens with a wavering sample of Des’ree’s 1994 hit “You Gotta Be,” then melts into a blissed-out, clap-stomping bop. Listen here

“Evergreen” - YEBBA | This stunner was brought to my attention about a month ago from my dear friend Hope. “Evergreen” is YEBBA’s debut single, packed with tenderness, soul, and breathtaking harmonies. Lauded by Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith (and Hope, and Me), Abbey Smith, AKA YEBBA, has been working on new material to knock our socks off.This song dropped last OCTOBER, and although that was many moons ago in terms of delivering you fresh tunes, I couldn’t NOT highlight it in a letter. The ghostly, powerhouse vocals will give you chills. Its timelessness is a testament to its namesake; it’s truly “Evergreen.” Listen here

“Stock Image” - Miya Folick | My most rinsed song of the last three weeks has been “Stock Image.” When the first chorus bursts through, it’s like squeezing juice from an orange directly onto your tongue; tangy, sweet, and a burst of energy. As I noted in the opening remarks, I’ve been journeying my way through a bit of a personal funk. It was oddly satisfying to find the making of this song was rooted in feeling not quite yourself. Miya noted: “‘Stock Image’ is the conversation you have with yourself when you're feeling lost and your color has faded…. I wrote it from a place of feeling shallow and gray and wanting to feel full! Vibrant!” Listen here

“Sticky” - Ravyn Lenae | Neo-soul, Chicago singer-songwriter Ravyn Lenae linked up with The Internet’s Steve Lacy to produce a confident, off-kilter five-track EP. “Sticky” dropped in December last year, but holds it own over wonky riffs clunking around beneath Ravyn’s ropy staccato. Listen here

“Mother” - Ina Wroldsen | If you don’t think you’ve heard of Norwegian songwriter Ina Wroldsen before, think again. She’s steadily climbed the ranks, starting out with dozens of bangers written for The Saturdays, then eventually leading up to Calvin Harris’s 2015 international, radio ready club banger with Disciples “How Deep Is Your Love” (featuring her vocals!!). She’s paved the way for Anne Marie’s commercial success in the UK the last couple years, coining songwriting credits for Anne’s Clean Bandit collab “Rockabye,” and now Ina stands on her own two feet with her latest EP, HEX. I’ve chosen to highlight “Mother,” a soaring, cinematic ballad of epic proportions, rooted with a thunderous chorus. Listen here

 

New Music Friday Selects

  • So many dope releases have dropped in the last month. To catch up to speed, I’m going to highlight mostly past featured artists, and rising acts!
  • Compton rapper Buddy’s debut album Harlan & Alondra is out and it’s a modern masterpiece. Honestly so, so, so incredible Listen here
  • The Internet have dropped their highly anticipated and aptly titled album Hive Mind Listen here
  • Billie Eilish is back at it again with her latest single “you should see me in a crown” Listen here
  • London producer Deadboy has dropped a new EP titled Psychic Hotline Listen here
  • Allie X is out here serving some somber neo-Lana del Rey realness with her new single “Not So Bad in LA” Listen here
  • Not only have Years & Years FINALLY unleashed their sophomore album Palo Santo, which is start to finish a GEM, they also surprise dropped a remix of their single “If You’re Over Me” featuring Key of the legendary K-Pop group SHINee Listen here (album) and Listen here (legendary remix)
  • Jay Park’s first EP under Roc Nation is out and it’s really dope Listen here
  • Pale Waves have a sweet video out for their new single “Noises” Watch here
  • Ben Khan has confirmed his debut album is dropping August 10!! Check out his music video for “a.t.w (against the wall)” Watch here

________________________________________

A(lmost a)ll of the tracks I have shared in this week’s letter are archived into a single playlist on Spotify for you to follow here.

Subscribe to that playlist, share it with friends, or take some inspiration from the ever growing list to compile some of your own.

NEW MONTH, NEW MUSIC! If you’re interested in listening to what I’m rinsing this month, you can follow my July 2018 playlist here. There I will dump a hodgepodge of new and old songs that fit my mood and the trends of the month. Having a personal monthly playlist makes a year in review so easy. Share your playlists with me!

See you soon!

June 8, 2018

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P H E W.

Life is starting to heat up in sunny Southern California, and with that it calls for more bangers, bops, and jams.

Last week I left you with a grab bag of genres to wade through, but this week I’m here to serve up hearty slices of poptimism.

As always, I hope these songs inspire you to check out more music by these particular artists, or lead to introducing you to another artist you’ve never heard before!

Remember: if you like what you hear, spread the cheer. Tell your friends about these artists and share the love.

You can contact me by replying directly to the newsletter that is mailed to your inbox every Friday, via my Twitter account, or using the contact page on the cmd+f website.

P.S. If you would like to have this letter sent to your email every Friday, please head over to this link right here to subscribe to never miss a weekly roundup!

________________________________________

“Ordinary Superstar” - Rina Sawayama | This is the third time I’ve dropped Rina into the weekly cmd+f picks, so she should REALLY be on your radar. While “Ordinary Superstar” came out last October in her exquisitely produced RINA mini album, the music video made it’s grandiose debut on i-D’s YouTube channel this week. The hair! The makeup! It’s ultra glam á la Jean Paul Gaultier’s Fifth Element. Like I said last November, keep your finger on the pulse for Rina! She is out here making massive waves in the pop circuit. Watch here

“Do It Again” - No Rome | If your first thought when hearing “Do It Again” is “this sounds like The 1975,” you’d be right on the nose. No Rome is not only one of Dirty Hit’s newest signees to release a new single, but also the protegee of The 1975’s Matty Healy and George Daniel, both of whom lent a hand in producing the dizzying debut. When digging around for more details on No Rome himself, I found a little note burrowed on his SoundCloud: “no rome is an art project by rome gomez - a personification of teen love, melancholy & everything in between.” There isn’t a better way to describe the effervescent mood of “Do It Again.” Listen here

“Do You Wanna Dance” - Cosha | Cosha is the artist formerly known as Bonzai. Yes, the Bonzai featured on Mura Masa’s 2016 hit “What If I Go.”  The Irish singer has recently rebranded her music identity as Cosha last month with the release of her new album, RIP Bonzai. Far from the distorted glitch noises and brash synthesizers of her Bonzai days, Cosha has linked up with (former Vampire Weekend member and Charli XCX/Carly Rae Jepsen producer extraordinaire) Rostam for her lead single. “Do You Wanna Dance” rumbles slick whistles over a wobbling, relentless bassline. Can I get an Amen for this evolution? Listen here

“All The Work” - Amber Mark | We have another cmd+f alum making an appearance this week! I would have had this song up sooner had I not be rendered half-conscious for nearly all of May…. Now my ears are wide awake and fallen into utter BLISS for Amber’s new Conexão EP. My personal pick for standout track is the sultry and finger-snappin’ “All The Work.” Listen here

“Small World” - Sabina Ddumba | Sabina Ddumba’s vocals. This is where I’m launching my pitch. The Swedish singer made her start in 2012 on Swedish X Factor, released her debut album in 2016 (which includes the marvelous track “Time” produced by MNEK), and has proven herself to be a powerhouse R&B vocalist in her own country (which already has a reputation for housing some of the greatest pop artists of ALL TIME). “Small World” is Sabina’s latest release, and honestly it’s about time for the world outside of Europe to hear Sabina and all her glory. Listen here

New Music Friday Selects

  • Christina Aguilera’s dropped a new single, “Like I Do” featuring GoldLink. It’s another god damn JAM. Xtina’s album is shaping up to be one of the best albums of the year… this song is so damn good Listen here
  • Interpol have announced a new album is on the way, and have shared a new ball-busting tune, “The Rover” Listen here
  • Jorja Smith’s highly anticipated debut album Lost & Found is out and everyone is losing their mind Listen here
  • Everyone’s favorite dreampop outfit Wild Nothing returns with “Letting Go” Listen here
  • Former Disney Channel star and cmd+f alumnus Sabrina Carpenter is back with a BOP! Listen here
  • 20gayteen coming thru with some fab video content!!:
  • The Internet have dropped a charming new video for their new single “Come Over,” starring Syd wooing cute girl next door with her sexy vocals, and Steve Lacy in a yellow turtleneck with smiley faces on it. Watch here
  • Troye Sivan out here serving high fashion, god tier LQQKS in his new music video for “Bloom” Watch here
  • Tove Lo recruits Charli XCX, Icona Pop, ALMA, and Elliphant to teach ya mans how to eat pussy in the “bitches” music video. I mean, I guess I should note it’s a bit NSFW? Watch here

________________________________________

A(lmost a)ll of the tracks I have shared in this week’s letter are archived into a single playlist on Spotify for you to follow here.

Subscribe to that playlist, share it with friends, or take some inspiration from the ever growing list to compile some of your own.

If you’re interested in listening to what I’m rinsing this month, you can follow my June 2018 playlist here. There I will dump a hodgepodge of new and old songs that fit my mood and the trends of the month. Having a personal monthly playlist makes a year in review so easy. Share your playlists with me!

See you next week!

June 1, 2018

My oh my -- we’ve officially eclipsed the mid-way mark of the year.

In the northern hemisphere, this is that sweet spot in the year when all the summer jams start cropping up at breakneck speed. This week I’ve mixed things up a bit, pumpin’ the brakes on the bubble gum pop bangers and instead dishing up a variety of vibrant tunes.

As always, I hope these songs inspire you to check out more music by these particular artists, or lead to introducing you to another artist you’ve never heard before!

Remember: if you like what you hear, spread the cheer. Tell your friends about these artists and share the love.

You can contact me by replying directly to the newsletter that is mailed to your inbox every Friday, via my Twitter account, or using the contact page on the cmd+f website.

P.S. If you would like to have this letter sent to your email every Friday, please head over to this link right here to subscribe to never miss a weekly roundup!

________________________________________

“Cold Fire” - PREP feat. DEAN | “Cold Fire” is in fact actually pure heat. London outfit PREP is comprised of a classical music composer, a house producer, and masterminds behind some of the UKs dopest pop R&B acts (RAY BLK, AlunaGeorge). Featuring DEAN, one of the top (okay, the KING) pop songwriters in Korea (who’s also worked with Anderson.Paak, The Internet’s Syd, and Mila J), “Cold Fire” is a groovy, retro-future dance bop dusted in handclaps and punchy chords hinged over a neo-disco instrumental. If this doesn’t inspire you to hit the dance floor to pull out the hokey finger guns to help liven up your Electric Slide… then you really need to loosen up. Listen here

“Blink” - Bad Gyal (prod. DJ Florentino) | Hailing from Catalonia, Bad Gyal is OUT HERE. Working with some top notch producers (Jam City, El Guincho, Dubbel Dutch, et. al.), Bad Gyal is making waves in the Spanish urban scene. Raised on a musical diet of dancehall and reggaeton, Bad Gyal weaves lyrics between Spanish, Catalan, and English. Listen here

“Street Fighter Mas” - Kamasi Washington | If you’re lookin’ for something wavy, look no further. As one of the leading and most progressive soul/jazz-adjacent artists of the moment, Kamasi Washington is a far more familiar name than you may realize. Having performed with the likes of Snoop Dogg and Lauryn Hill, the multi-instrumentalist really hit his stride after the release of his 2015 debut solo album The Epic, and laying the groundwork with his saxophone on Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly. Washington has an eagerly anticipated (amongst the circle who knows about his work, obv) sophomore album Heaven and Earth coming out at the end of this month. “Street Fighter Mas” is Washington’s theme song he’s imagined over the years to play prior to his personal entrance into a round of the video game Street Fighter. Listen here

“Us Vs Them” - Spring King | Heeeeeeeeell yeaaaaaaaah. Listen here

“a.t.w. (against the wall)” - Ben Khan | I’ve been waiting years for Ben Khan to release a new music, and boy has he DELIVERT. “a.t.w.” is the third single released from his hotly anticipated debut album (I’m still searching for a release date, but it’s been thrown around as ‘this summer,’ meaning in the coming months) after disappearing sometime around 2015. WELCOME BACK, BEN! Listen here

New Music Friday Selects

  • For the first time in my life I cannot be assed to give a single fuck about a new Kanye West album. I’m sad about it. For those who want to expend the energy, a Ye listening party in Jackson Hole, Wyoming went down yesterday with a live stream. Big shrug.

  • Continuing with the “too big to ignore” news for this week: K-pop group BTS became the first South Korean music act to have a number 1 album on the Billboard Hot 100 chart last week -- with over 100,000 pure sales of the album alone. While the album was still heavily streamed, these sales numbers show they’re a forced to be reckoned with. Sorry to nerd out with top 40 chart stats, but in the age of streaming, declining album sales, and labels buying out ridiculous radio contracts as if the radio were indeed an advert space, it’s impressive when there’s a clear, new shift made by some dedicated fans. Like I said above: this is “too big to ignore.” Where does K-pop in the Western world go from here? For a start: Listen here

  • K-pop veterans SHINee honored their 10th anniversary as a group this week with the release of a house-rattled The Story of Light EP, all the while remembering their late member Kim Jonghyun who died by suicide last year. The lead single “Good Evening” is a glossy club bop paired with a highly aesthetically pleasing music video Watch here and Listen here

  • Happy Pride Month! MNEK has blessed this month with a vibrant collab with Hailee Steinfeld aptly titled “Colour” Listen here

  • The Internet have announced their new album Hive Mind drops July 20, and have shared a new single “Come Over” Listen here

  • Welcome to a new era of The 1975. While the music is still wildly saccharine and soaked in cliche lyrics about growing up and finding yourself in your late 20s… “Give Yourself a Try” is rather enjoyable Listen here

  • Allie X continues to highlight WHY she is one of the best pop acts and songwriters out right now with her ethereal new single “Focus” Listen here

  • Drake released a boring track (“I’m Upset”) and got bodied by Pusha T this week. Things aren’t looking too good for Aubrey.

  • Cardi B released the video for our future song of the summer, “I Like It” feat. Bad Bunny and J Balvin. Her outfits are cute as hell! Watch here

  • Charli XCX has a new song, “5 In the Morning” Listen here

  • cmd+f alum Rex Orange County linked up with Randy Newman to record a new cover of “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” Listen here

  • Holy Balls: Gorillaz not only dropped a new single and music video featuring Jack Black and a swarm of Powerpuff Girls references for it, but also have an entire album dropping at the end of this month. PHEW! Watch here

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A(lmost a)ll of the tracks I have shared in this week’s letter are archived into a single playlist on Spotify for you to follow here.

Subscribe to that playlist, share it with friends, or take some inspiration from the ever growing list to compile some of your own.

NEW MONTH, NEW PLAYLIST! If you’re interested in listening to what I’m rinsing this month, you can follow my June 2018 playlist here. There I will dump a hodgepodge of new and old songs that fit my mood and the trends of the month. Having a personal monthly playlist makes a year in review so easy. Share your playlists with me!

See you next week!

May 25, 2018

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As promised, I AM BACK! Boom, baby!

I’ll be jetting off out of town for the (American) holiday weekend, so I’m making sure you are STACKED with new music. Impress your friends at the barbecue this weekend with these sweet new tunes.

There are an armful of artists who have been featured in cmd+f in the past who have released new music today, so please be sure to dig through the New Music Friday Selects section at the bottom and support emerging artists.

As always, I hope these songs inspire you to check out more music by these particular artists, or lead to introducing you to another artist you’ve never heard before!

Remember: if you like what you hear, spread the cheer. Tell your friends about these artists and share the love.

You can contact me by replying directly to the newsletter that is mailed to your inbox every Friday, via my Twitter account, or using the contact page on the cmd+f website.

P.S. If you would like to have this letter sent to your email every Friday, please head over to this link right here to subscribe to never miss a weekly roundup!

________________________________________

“Simple Luv” - Oscar Key Sung | I’ve seen Oscar’s name floating about on my Twitter timeline for a couple years now, and all of the Australian artist’s releases have been nothing short of thrilling. With the release of his No Disguise EP today, I’ve plucked “Simple Luv” to help segue into your latest obsession. Perhaps his most accessible release with a throbbing R&B beat looming in the background, the tune sounds almost familiar yet unlike any other tune you can put your finger on. If you dig “Simple Luv,” I highly recommend digging into his entire back catalogue. Fans of Years & Years, How To Dress Well, and Kelela in particular will thoroughly enjoy his music. Listen here

“Want U So Bad” - Gilligan Moss | I genuinely cannot stop listening to this song. That sticky, watery bassline wavering over a funky disco-dunked groove is so damn good, you can’t help but knock this on repeat. Listen here

“Four Winds” - Opia | From one groove to the next, “Four Winds” is a bonafide bop! The production and vocals on “Four Winds” are electrifying. Opia met while attending Yale a few years ago, packed up and moved to LA to “do this whole music thing,” and have since found their songs cropping up on music playlists around the web. With a few million streams under their belt, Opia are refining their sound and preparing to headline their summer US tour. Listen here

“The Other Day” - Foliage | From the first note I knew I was going to fall head over heels for this song. It sounds like a B-side to the Call Me By Your Name soundtrack, a ding-y 80s-inspired jaunt through the streets on a sunny day. The hazy bedroom pop sounds like early Wild Nothing, a unique blend of feigned hopefulness shrouded in daydreams. When I found out the person behind Foliage, Manuel Joseph Walker, is from San Bernardino, it all made sense. In fact, it kinda blew my mind, but San Bernardino is definitely the kind of environment to inspire a project like Foliage. For context, SB is a suburban wasteland about 50 miles east of Los Angeles that’s saturated with dudes who never got out of their skater phase driving raised trucks, with extremely disgusting desert heat in the summer, and a trip to Target is the most exciting thing to do there. Listen here

“I Go” - KWAYE | My initial reaction when first hearing this song was: “B I T C H!! GO OFF!” Swaddled in brocade jackets and high collared shirts, KWAYE is superstar in the making. He was discovered by giving his demo to an Uber driver (who happened to be a former A&R rep) that hooked him up with a connection at Mind of a Genius. “I Go” is a summer-dusted R&B jam ready to soundtrack your months ahead. Listen here

New Music Friday Selects

  • The ultimate summer album is here! J Balvin’s Vibras is so, so good. It’s got features from the biggest names in the Latinx musicsphere -- even a reunited Wisin & Yandel! Listen here
  • Shawn Mendes has released his self-titled album and, dang. DANG. Listen here
  • James Blake has shared a stunning new track, “Don’t Miss It.” It’s his best vocal delivery and highlights his true artistry. Listen here
  • Jay Park is out here taking leaps to crossover and climb his way up the Western charts. The Seattle native turned K-pop megastar has dropped his first single release under Jay-Z’s ROC NATION, “SOJU” feat. 2Chainz. Listen here
  • SO MANY FORMER cmd+f FEATURED ARTISTS HAVE NEW RELEASES TODAY!!!! Please listen to their projects and support emerging talent!
  • cmd+f alums HAERTS have a soaring new single, “New Compassion” Listen here
  • Matthew Young (another former cmd+f feature) has released a 7-track mini album titled Fruit Listen here
  • Hatchie’s (who is, you guessed it, a form cmd+f feature!) got a full on EP! It sounds like you’re dancing on a cotton candy cloud Listen here
  • Americana queen on the rise Jade Bird’s (wow, look, another cmd+f alum!) got a new song, “Furious” Listen here
  • Clairo’s (who’s been mentioned in the last two cmd+f letters) dropped diary 001, a brand new EP, and it’s got features from Rejjie Snow and Danny L Harle Listen here
  • A$AP Rocky got a new album, TESTING, and it’s stacked with a lot of features (as must rap albums do), but the most notable feature is he managed to drag FKA Twigs out of a dance studio for “Fukk Sleep” Listen here
  • CHVRCHES return with their new album Love is Dead Listen here
  • Jake Shears (of Scissor Sisters acclaim) has a new solo release and it’s as much campy deliciousness as you’d expect Listen here
  • I CAN FINALLY TASTE SUMMER!!! Diplo and Mark Ronson have linked up to forge a new house music track featuring Daniel Merriweather under the name Silk City, and it’s a FULL ON FACE MELTER. Listen here and listen to their hour long Essential Mix for BBC Radio 1 HERE

________________________________________

A(lmost a)ll of the tracks I have shared in this week’s letter are archived into a single playlist on Spotify for you to follow here.

Subscribe to that playlist, share it with friends, or take some inspiration from the ever growing list to compile some of your own.

If you’re interested in listening to what I’m rinsing this month, you can follow my May 2018 playlist here. There I will dump a hodgepodge of new and old songs that fit my mood and the trends of the month. Having a personal monthly playlist makes a year in review so easy. Share your playlists with me!

See you next week!

May 23, 2018

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Well, damn.

It’s been three weeks of me leaving y’all in the dark about what’s poppin’ across the audiosphere.
I’ve been dealing with some health setbacks these past few weeks, and let me tell you: getting older isn’t easier. As a [redacted] year old, if you told me at 16 that my joins would ache after having one teaspoon of soy sauce and a 30% chance of rain, I would have laughed in your face. But it’s absolutely true. I can hardly finish a glass of wine without having to strategize how I’m going to carry myself up a flight of stairs without potentially embarrassing myself.

However, in these weeks of nursing my well being back to tip top shape, I’ve managed to scrape up enough energy to attend a handful of live concerts to experience NCT 127, Red Velvet, Jay Park, Mike Shinoda, and George Ezra.

I’ve also been digging through the virtual crates for some deep cuts, spending time researching the early technical and cultural histories of dance music (particularly in Chicago and Los Angeles), and populating a handful of new playlists (peep my Origins of Dance Mythologies playlist here). Through my reflection, I’ve been tending to new ideas on how to expand on cmd+f’s current template of music discovery… stay tuned.

I plan on dropping a new letter this Friday to soundtrack your (American) holiday weekend, but I really couldn't be sitting on these particular six songs a second longer. Here's a Wednesday treat to make up for the weeks of radio silence -- I've missed sharing music with you!

As always, I hope these songs inspire you to check out more music by these particular artists, or lead to introducing you to another artist you’ve never heard before!

Remember: if you like what you hear, spread the cheer. Tell your friends about these artists and share the love.

You can contact me by replying directly to the newsletter that is mailed to your inbox every Friday, via my Twitter account, or using the contact page on the cmd+f website.

P.S. If you would like to have this letter sent to your email every Friday, please head over to this link right here to subscribe to never miss a weekly roundup!

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MI Amore” - FRENSHIP | I’ve been sitting heavy on this track for the past few weeks, and each listen is still just as fresh. FRENSHIP are a rising LA synthpop duo cranking out innovative tunes for the next generation of pop. You may have heard their first mega-hit “Capsize” a couple years ago at the height of the tropical house boom (it’s amassed over 400 million streams on Spotify alone), but FRENSHIP have since tightened their sound with even glossier hooks. Their latest single, “MI Amore,” is a ghostly, infectious recount of their last few years and their brisk rise to the forefront of the music industry. Listen here

“Strangers Passing By” - Joshua KYEOT | Holy crap, y’all! This artist was sent to me via a submission on the cmd+f website! I listen to every submission sent through the form, and this one in particular struck me. Joshua KYEOT (pronounced KEY OH TEE - though I’ve been told it is also short for “keep your eyes/ears on this”–clever) is a rising South London singer-songwriter with a rich, robust, soulful tone. I’ve been really hyped on the new Leon Bridges releases for the past month and a half, so I’ve definitely been gravitating towards tunes with a funky vibe. While the production for “Strangers Passing By” at points can sound a bit tinny (and truly only the audiophiles will lock into this), the song highlights an artist brimming with promise. Get Joshua set up with a tight production team, have them churn out fistfuls of songs during their sessions, and through that process I can guarantee the results are going to shine. It’s never fair to make comparisons, though I'm compelled to insist Joshua KYEOT’s got the chops to stack up with esteemed artists much like Leon Bridges and Michael Kiwanuka. Listen here

“Blue Angel” - Danny L Harle feat. Clairo | Our (yes, our) favorite PC Music producer, Danny L Harle, continues to breach the outer limits of saccharine soaked pop music. Featuring vocals by Clairo, the queen of bedroom pop (who’s highlighted in the previous cmd+f letter), the song sounds a bit like riding a carousel at night by the beach, wrapped in a blanket, all while eating a snow cone. While you may have never experienced all of these sensations and situations simultaneously, you’ll know once you hit play. Listen here

“Barbed Wire” - Tom Grennan | Sounds like George Ezra smoked a pack of Marlboro Reds a day for seventeen years. God. Need I say more? Other than it’s fun as hell??? Listen here

“Big Mad” - GLOSS | A biracial J-pop trio? Sign me the f*ck up. “Big Mad” is GLOSS’s debut single, and it’s damn good. Featuring Sakura, Lil Domi, and Kemy Doll, the production is a step up from your run of the mill Soundcloud rapper beats. Think Tinashe at her best mixed with a slice of Terror Jr. Listen here

“Sims 2” - Coco & Clair Clair (prod. Graham) | I’d like to formally crown Coco & Clair Clair as the lo-fi queens (soz Clairo). As the title of the song suggests, the foundation rests on a chopped and distorted sample of a Sims 2 theme, instantly cradling you with an overwhelming sense of nostalgia. It’s the level brainy, hard left of center pop we once craved and expected from Grimes (Pre-Elon Musk dating, pre-Stella McCartney perfume campaigns, pre-Brooke Candy’s android lookin ass pop-n-locked it on 7 inch flatforms in the middle of a desert in the “Genesis” video) when her resources were limited but her ideas were so, so big. However, Coco & Clair Clair keep it very low key, frosting over their tunes with a bit of attitude. I'm obsessed. Listen here

New Music Friday Selects

  • So many amazing artists have dropped incredible tunes and albums the last few weeks, it’s MIND BLOWING
  • First and foremost, I’m including this for posterity sake despite it already having close to 145 million streams on YouTube: Childish Gambino dropped the most poignant, thought-provoking music videos of the decade for “This Is America.” Warnings for graphic imagery by use of gun violence and harm of black bodies. Watch here
  • James Bay has since stopped growing his hair but instead has focused his growth on his sound as an artist. His sophomore album, Electric Light, is a vibrant, exciting evolution in his career. He’s gone from brooding, sad, white male, blues-inspired singer-songwriter to full blown rockstar (who is still very much brooding and sad) Listen here
  • Years & Years have shared a new single and music video for the summer-soaked bop “If You’re Over Me” Watch here
  • Troye Sivan dropped the best pop track of the year so far two weeks ago and it also happens to be about getting it up the ass. Aptly titled “Bloom.” His sophomore album of the same title drops August 31! Listen here
  • CHRISTINA AGUILERA IS BACK and is taking ZERO prisoners. Her return single “Accelerate” featuring Ty Dolla $ign and 2Chainz is addicting and unlike any pop tune I’ve ever heard. Earworm of the year right here. Listen here
  • An absolute mess happened the other week
  • Leon Bridges’ new album Good Thing is fucking GREAT Listen here
  • John Mayer has returned with an absolute tune. “New Light” is a delight Listen here
  • Charlie Puth’s new album Voicenotes is destined for a Grammy pop vocal (lol) of the year nomination, potentially even album of the year. While I think the songs are too good for his own range, the songs still slap. The man’s got something for everyone here, too - from a hair-raising pseudo-gospel joint with Boyz II Men, to a vaguely Jazzy-Americana duet with James Taylor, to straight up BOPS - the album is a solid must listen for all pop music enthusiasts. Highlights? “BOY,” “Patient,” and “Somebody Told Me.” Listen here
  • YES LAWD!!! Anderson.Paak is back with “Bubblin” Watch here
  • Fifth Harmony pack it in and call it quits with one final videos for their fans Watch here
  • The 13 Reasons Why Season 2 soundtrack BANGS. Featuring new tunes from OneRepublic, Selena Gomez, as well as cmd+f alums HAERTS, Leon Else, Colouring, Phoebe Bridgers, Billie Eilish, and Gus Dapperton, the compilation keeps its edge featuring goth classics from the likes of Tears for Fears, New Order, Echo and the Bunnymen, and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. Damn, it’s almost like someone plucked this playlist out of my BRAIN!! Listen here
  • Christine and the Queens’ new single “Girlfriend” got me high key giddy, particularly the French version “Damn, dis-moi” Listen here
  • Backstreet Boys have an incredible new single, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” Listen here
  • Arctic Monkeys got a new album or summat Listen here

________________________________________

A(lmost a)ll of the tracks I have shared in this week’s letter are archived into a single playlist on Spotify for you to follow here.

Subscribe to that playlist, share it with friends, or take some inspiration from the ever growing list to compile some of your own.

If you’re interested in listening to what I’m rinsing this month, you can follow my May 2018 playlist here. There I will dump a hodgepodge of new and old songs that fit my mood and the trends of the month. Having a personal monthly playlist makes a year in review so easy. Share your playlists with me!

See you THIS FRIDAY! I PROMISE!!!

April 27, 2018

Things are starting to sizzle up!

I’ve combed through fistfuls of hours of music to bring you five exciting tunes by emerging artists that may have slipped under your radar. Grab your headphones and let’s dig in!

As always, I hope these songs inspire you to check out more music by these particular artists, or lead to introducing you to another artist you’ve never heard before!

Remember: if you like what you hear, spread the cheer. Tell your friends about these artists and share the love.

You can contact me by replying directly to the newsletter that is mailed to your inbox every Friday, via my Twitter account, or using the contact page on the cmd+f website.

P.S. If you would like to have this letter sent to your email every Friday, please head over to this link right here to subscribe to never miss a weekly roundup!

________________________________________

“Controller” - Channel Tres | After hibernating for the winter, the DJs are crawling out the their caves and gearing up for festival season. Expect a slough of dance-anthems-in-the-making to check their way onto the letter over the coming months. “Controller” single-handedly knocked me back with an insatiable hunger to dive headfirst into dance music deep cuts again for the first time in months. Compton based producer Channel Tres swirls bouncy, seductive Detroit techno beats with mesmerizing commands. This song is best enjoyed with headphones on a walk, or on a very loud speaker system (duh). Favorite bit? The way my bones rattle under the rumbling bass: "Throw some SUB in that bitch" Listen here

“Lover Boy” - Phum Viphurit | “Thai born, New Zealand raised, Bangkok resident” Phum Viphurit is a budding South East Asian indie pop GEM. He’s had a string of radio hits in Thailand, and a full length album released last year. Citing influences like Bombay Bicycle Club, Ben Howard, and Mac DeMarco, his music is like a rush of cherry limeade on a breezy, cloudless summer day. Listen here

“Out ‘Ere” - The Manor | South London MCs The Manor are a cornerstone of UK grime. Their latest single “Out ‘Ere” is a primed for soundtracking your pre-gaming antics. The club heavy beats are a 5-minute hype machine. Listen here

“4EVER” - Clairo | Clairo emerged last year with the DIY, lo-fi, left of center bedroom pop “Flaming Hot Cheetos,” immediately grabbing the attention of news outlets and a host of serious fans craving new tunes. She’s racked up millions of streams across platforms, and today has returned with “4EVER,” a funky track laced with Clairo's signature nonchalance. This time the production is much more polished yet hasn't lost an ounce of her charm. Listen here

“1999” - Arrhult | The Scandinavians are at it again! Who’s even surprised?! Scandos know pop music best…. Sounding like the best bits of a Daft Punk and The Weeknd collab, “1999” is a pure pop fantasy. The punch of the pre-chorus is electrifying. Listen here

New Music Friday Selects

  • This week has been chock full of highs and lows in music, hasn’t it? Survey says: Kanye has fully escalated to new lows, and it’s a bit unfair to say he’s just “lost his damn mind.” Without getting in too deep about this (particularly the tweets on how his house looks like the inside of a jar of mayonnaise), let’s put any more discourse on this subject behind us and think of happier things.

  • It’s been a Great Week for The Gays™!

  • Janelle Monae’s new album Dirty Computer is out and has officially been crowned as an LGBT queen after coming out as pansexual in her Rolling Stone profile. Highlight of the album is the confident, unabashed embrace of sexual autonomy. Personal fav is “Screwed” feat. Zoe Kravitz, and it’s literally about fucking everywhere, anywhere, anytime Listen here

  • Cher performed a cover of ABBA’s “Fernando” at CinemaCon in Las Vegas and None Of Us Could Even about it Listen here

  • Years & Years have officially announced the release of the sophomore studio album Palo Santo, out July 6th!!! They also had Dame Judi Dench voice over the official trailer for the album! Pre-order here

  • My forever girls MUNA have teamed up with the Yellow Bird Project to release an exclusive, limited edition charity tee (designed by Naomi). All proceeds are donated to Treskstock, a UK-based non-profit organization that does amazing work supporting young adults diagnosed with cancer. Order here

  • Heads up: Lil B has dropped a bjillion of his mixtapes onto Spotify for your enjoyment

  • Twin Shadow has released his new album Caer which features a collab with HAIM on the track “Saturdays” Listen here

  • The Internet return with their funky new single “Roll (Burbank Funk)” Listen here

  • Dancer producer ZHU has released a new EP,  RINGOS DESERT PT. I Listen here

  • Sigur Ros have shared a new project of 8 songs, all tracks labeled as coordinates, titled Route One Listen here

  • Stromae has dropped new music for the first time in 5 years Listen here

  • Japanese Breakfast have covered The Cranberries’ “Dreams” for a Spotify session and it is absolutely gorgeous Listen here

  • cmd+f alumnus CYN (featured in last week’s letter!) released a new single, “Believer”  Listen here

  • Oddnesse has a new single, “Trust” Listen here

  • Hatchie’s dropped ANOTHER dreamy single!!! “Sleep” is gorgeous Listen here

  • Anne-Marie’s new album Speak Your Mind is out -- half the songs have already been released as successful singles in the UK, but there is enough new content to give it a spin Listen here

________________________________________

A(lmost a)ll of the tracks I have shared in this week’s letter are archived into a single playlist on Spotify for you to follow here.

Subscribe to that playlist, share it with friends, or take some inspiration from the ever growing list to compile some of your own.

If you’re interested in listening to what I’m rinsing this month, you can follow my April 2018 playlist here. There I will dump a hodgepodge of new and old songs that fit my mood and the trends of the month. Having a personal monthly playlist makes a year in review so easy. Share your playlists with me!

See you next week!

April 20, 2018

Today is one of those Fridays that already feels like a Saturday that feels like a Sunday. You know? Perhaps it was me gorging on Japanese BBQ and all the shots of sake last night for my dear friend's birthday. Eh. I'm feeling an exceptionally poppy mood for my music selections this week, so please prepare for five sweet tracks to shuffle through the weekend.

As always, I hope these songs inspire you to check out more music by these artists, or lead to introducing you to another artist you’ve never heard before!

Remember: if you like what you hear, spread the cheer. Tell your friends about these artists and share the love.

You can contact me by replying directly to the newsletter that is mailed to your inbox every Friday, via my Twitter account, or using the contact page on the cmd+f website.

P.S. If you would like to have this letter sent to your email every Friday, please head over to this link right here to subscribe to never miss a weekly roundup!

________________________________________

“Rubber Bands” - Nines feat. RAY BLK and Skrapz | Rising London rapper NINES just dropped his album Crop Circle today, and the album is stacked with slick features. My favorite and perhaps the most pop accessible of the bunch is "Rubber Bands," layered over a sinister sampling of Zapp's 1985 hit "Computer Love." The star of the tune is the hook sung by Ray BLK. Listen here

“Alright” - CYN | I'm lighting some candles for CYN to reach the right audience, because this girl is destined to make some waves. the Detroit native has spent the last seven years hustling her way into Katy Perry's circle, and finally landed support from KPez's A&R and signed to her label... meaning CYN is literally breathing the same air as some of the greatest contemporary pop songwriters of the last decade. Now she's touring with pop's favorite Scandinavian wunderkind Sigrid. "Alright" is an ode to all the kids in high school berated for being daydreamers and chastised for "wasting their time" yet made it through their teens unscathed and turned out, well, alright. Listen here

“Too Late” - Nimmo | Dark pop duo Nimmo make music for feelings. That sounds vague, but music is the language of the heart, and nothing heals better than dancing the pain away. Opening with strings before bursting into a relentless thump and piano stabs, the song opens with the lyrics "Can I feel the air resting in your lungs tonight? / You've never known me less, but I keep you short of breath at night." Like, damn. You feel that? I well and truly felt that. Listen here

“GIRLS X BOYS” - alice | This week Peter Robinson, more commonly known as The Voice of Popjustice, was going on about how pop music needs to bring a god damn proper chorus back to pop music. And middle eights!! The landscape of pure pop has been left barren and littered with "drops" and lyricless choruses. "GIRLS X BOYS" is a big single for the freshly signed British singer (Virgin EMI UK, Captiol US). Think the dizzy bass line of Tove Lo's "Cool Girl" -- the only complaint I might make for this song is it's missing at least 45 seconds off it. "GIRLS X BOYS" lacks a clear, distinctive middle eight (which could easily be slipped into that missing 45 seconds!!!), the single is brimming with so much potential that I'm excited to see more of alice over the coming months. I'm banking on seeing her take on a Dua Lipa-esque career trajectory over the next 18 months if her A&R can plug her in with the right people. Listen here

“The Wave” - LION BABE feat. Leikeli47 | Gaaaah daaaamn! LION BABE always pulls through with a dose of sunshine. I'm positively drunk on these grooves. Listen here

New Music Friday Selects

  • Kicking off the selects with a new music source alert. My friend Sam helped launch a brand new online music site called BANSHEE ZINE. The site aims to highlight music opinions by women and non-binary folks. Please check it out! Read here
  • After a string of commercially successful but critically lukewarm/disliked singles, Liam Payne has finally stepped up to take on a summer jam con sabor. Featuring Colombian hit maker J Balvin, “Familiar” is by far Liam's best solo effort yet. I've been patiently waiting for Liam to fulfill his destiny as the Latin Keith Urban. Once an all Spanish version of "Familiar" drops, it's over for you bitches Listen here
  • Kanye West is back on Twitter acting like he's the new Foucault, and allegedly we are getting a new Kanye x Kid Cudi album during Gemini Szn. Whoop whoop.
  • Janelle Monae! A gift on earth! Has yet another single. “I Like That” is a sensuous, slinky jam Listen here
  • Scandinavian nymph demi-goddess AURORA returns with her vast, ethereal single "Queendom." BRB, galloping my way to the island of the Amazons  Listen here
  • The Gays™ are creaming over Anita Granita's comeback single “No Tears Left to Cry.” Homegirl lowered her ponytail for this one because she means business. Listen here
  • Surprisingly, my favorite single release of the week is Khalid's “OTW” feat 6LACK and Ty Dolla $ign Listen here
  • “Hands On Me” BURNS feat Maluma and Rae Sremmurd is top tier summer dancefloor jammery Listen here
  • cmd+f alumnus Matthew Young released a new single, “Fix Me Up”  Listen here
  • Leon Bridges has gifted us with a new single, “Beyond” Listen here
  • It's always nice to see some of my favorite artists that were formative to my music tastes during my teenage years are still going strong. Listen to Tokyo Police Club's new single, "New Blues" Listen here

________________________________________

A(lmost a)ll of the tracks I have shared in this week’s letter are archived into a single playlist on Spotify for you to follow here.

Subscribe to that playlist, share it with friends, or take some inspiration from the ever growing list to compile some of your own.

If you’re interested in listening to what I’m rinsing this month, you can follow my April 2018 playlist here. There I will dump a hodgepodge of new and old songs that fit my mood and the trends of the month. Having a personal monthly playlist makes a year in review so easy. Share your playlists with me!

See you next week!

April 13, 2018

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Wahoo! We’re back in action, folks. Please accept my apologies for the unannounced spring break last week, but I think not having an update last week is going to make the letter this week that much sweeter to enjoy.
I’ve got five incredible tracks that’re gonna knock your socks off. Not to set your expectations too high or anything… but you should brace yourself. I'm not accepting responsibility for any burnt eyebrows.
Oh, and the New Music Friday Selects this week is a laundry list of tunes for you to check out from the past two weeks. Grab your headphones – it looks like Friday the 13th is going to be a wild ride.

As always, I hope these songs inspire you to check out more music by these artists, or lead to introducing you to another artist you’ve never heard before!

Remember: if you like what you hear, spread the cheer. Tell your friends about these artists and share the love.

You can contact me by replying directly to the newsletter that is mailed to your inbox every Friday, via my Twitter account, or using the contact page on the cmd+f website.

P.S. If you would like to have this letter sent to your email every Friday, please head over to this link right here to subscribe to never miss a weekly roundup!

________________________________________

“Just A Stranger” - Kali Uchis feat. Steve Lacy | It’s with great delight to share the absolute best song to be released this month. Columbian-American singer Kali Uchis has a steadily growing, devoted fan base and a Latin Grammy nod under her belt, and her debut album Isolation dropped last Friday. Her vibe is heavily influenced by doowop, reggae,  and R&B, and she’s already worked with music heavyweights: Snoop Dogg, Gorillaz, Juanes, Lana Del Rey, Major Lazer, and a handful of other recognizable artists. For “Just A Stranger,” Kali links up with Steve Lacy (of The Internet acclaim) for a deliciously funky bop. Not to get totally obnoxious music blogger on y’all, but it sounds a bit like Billie Holiday with a blunt on the way to the beach riding down the 10 freeway with the convertible top down.This song sounds especially good over car speakers. Listen here

“Evil” - Ruthven | [checks calendar] Well, well, well. Look at the month -- it’s JAIPRIL, aka the month in which musicheads tiptoe around the idea of reclusive music producer Jai Paul actually releasing a debut album after an unfinished (but absolutely solid and highly influential) album informally leaked on the internet. The album was promised in April 2014, nearly 4 years ago to the date, but the entire project was scrapped, and Jai Paul has since kept under the radar – until late last year. “Evil” is one of two songs first released from the Paul Institute, an experimental music project based in London started by Jai and his brother, fellow megaproducer A.K. Paul. I slipped “Evil” into the new music Friday selects section in December, but my pal Amanda brought this back to my attention a couple weeks ago and I’ve fallen in love with it all over again. The throwback production is insane, hoisting a tinny two-step hi-hat. Ruthven is allegedly a firefighter from Lewisham, but deep down I want to believe the Paul Bros have actually broken the Jaipril void and quietly released a bop under the guise of a fictional vampire’s name. Listen here

“Bittersweet” - Only Girl | South London’s Only Girl first released “Bittersweet” in 2014, but has since grown into her voice, and re-released the serene track last week. The song builds on waves of her harmonies, gently rolling through waves in a a bay. Listen here

“911” - Mt. Si | A little over a year ago I plucked a Mt. Si track onto the weekly picks. Like the previous Mt. Si track, "911" ignites a luminous, glistening mood best served for night drives. I'm a sucker for mountains of reverb and a dope saxophone solo. Listen here

“Ride With Me” - Thutmose | Theeeeee hottest record out there you haven’t bumped yet. Holy, holy, holy -- “Ride With Me” is fucking perfect. After two spins, you'll already be humming along to the hook. If iHeartRadio didn't control Top 40 radio, "Ride With Me" would already be rolled out and destined to be a summertime hit. Listen here

New Music Friday Selects

  • For those of you reading and consider yourself a pop music fan and happen to not be indulging in K-Pop, I must ask: what the hell is stopping you? How are you ignoring an entire market that is flushed with enough cash to produce excessive, elaborate music videos and promotional photo shoots with ten different wardrobes… and the pop stars themselves? Trained literally as if they are Olympic athletes, and paired up with the most left field, experimental pop producers in the industry. For a while a lot of the K-pop machine sounded a little too off kilter, but with the rise of alt-pop pioneers Robyn, Grimes, Charli XCX, and more, it’s clear western pop is starting to be heavily influenced by Eastern pop’s saccharine hyper-reality, the obsession with commodify-ing every aspect of popular culture to the point they’re labeling their stars as Idols…. Okay, so maybe I’ve freaked you the hell out. But there is a point I’m getting to here, but I have to start a new bullet:
  • This week CBX, a sub-unit made up of three members from K-pop super group EXO, released a new mini-album, Blooming Days. Each of the 7 songs are based around a day of the week. Visually: it’s soft boys with pastel hair, swimming in flower petals and Dior Homme, but still managing to look very Lost Boys-esque with the choppy haircuts and dangling earrings. I can’t imagine the amount of youths having a sexual awakening with this content. Anyhow: I’ve been waxing poetic with one particular friend of mine all damn week about it, spending nearly every moment not at work looping this album, and we've both declared it the EMOTION (yes, Jeppo's 2015 critically acclaimed pop masterpiece) of K-pop. It’s a sizzling summer album laced with neo-80s inspired hooks and beats. Blooming Days is just campy enough, just sweet enough, and still manages to not be ridiculously juvenile. While all 7 tracks are great, my top two favorite tracks are “Vroom Vroom” (Friday) and “Lazy” (Sunday). Readers who consider themselves pop purists have got to pencil in some time to listen to this album. Listen here and feast your eyes on the soft grunge “Blooming Day” music video right here
  • Janelle Monae has released another pop masterpiece, this time a pussy power anthem aptly titled “Pynk” and featuring dulcet harmonies with Grimes. The video has unleashed a second wave of questioning young women to come forward and declare “wow, I’m gay as hell,” after seeing Janelle gently caress Tessa Thompson’s face that’s very clearly between two lips–anyway, you get the gist Watch here
  • RCA threw Tinashe a bone and finally let her release her second album Joyride Listen here
  • Drake sampled Lauryn Hill who sampled Wu Tang who sampled Gladys Knight to foster one of the greatest onions of music history in decades for his latest single “Nice For What” Listen here
  • Lord help us: Gallant’s beautiful ass has shared a new song and video for "Gentleman" Watch here
  • Other K-Pop legends Super Junior released an entire album, but the highlight here is their lead single “Lo Siento” featuring the delightful Domincan-American Latin pop star Leslie Grace. It’s in Korean! Then it’s in Spanish! Then it’s in English! Then it’s in Spanglish! “Lo Siento” is fire Watch here and listen here
  • Princess Nokia got a whole ass EP out! Listen here
  • The new 5 Seconds of Summer single “Youngblood” somehow passed by my ears and since they’ve dropped the pop punk sound for more mature rock songs, I was pleasantly surprised. You will feel that, too Listen here
  • cmd+f alumnus Hatchie released a sinfully sweet new single, “Sugar & Spice”  Listen here
  • Nicki Minaj is back with two new songs: “Barbie Tingsz” and “Chun-Li” Listen here and listen here
  • CHVRCHES share the desperately lonely, crowd stomper “Miracle” Listen here
  • ALMA has remixed Years & Years’ “Sanctify” meaning she’s jumped on the track to add a verse Listen here
  • Kylie Minogue served us an entire album last Friday, and it’s perfectly fun Listen here
  • Everyone has been bumping Cardi B’s debut album Invasion of Privacy all week, so if you haven’t yet: GET ON IT Listen here
  • Billie Eilish recorded a new COLORS session last week Watch here

________________________________________

A(lmost a)ll of the tracks I have shared in this week’s letter are archived into a single playlist on Spotify for you to follow here.

Subscribe to that playlist, share it with friends, or take some inspiration from the ever growing list to compile some of your own.

New month, new playlist! If you’re interested in listening to what I’m rinsing this month, you can follow my April 2018 playlist here. There I will dump a hodgepodge of new and old songs that fit my mood and the trends of the month. Having a personal monthly playlist makes a year in review so easy. Share your playlists with me!

See you next week!

March 30, 2018

Is anyone else starting to feel a bit restless?

Perhaps it’s the change in the seasons, but I’m itching to take on a project so wild, it’s left me feeling a bit ravenous. My priority should be Spring Cleaning, but I’d rather comb through Next Door to hire a “professional” organizer at this point.

On this Good Friday before Easter, I’m really excited to present five very different tunes by emerging artists.

As always, I hope these songs inspire you to check out more music by these artists, or lead to introducing you to another artist you’ve never heard before!

Remember: if you like what you hear, spread the cheer. Tell your friends about these artists and share the love.

You can contact me by replying directly to the newsletter that is mailed to your inbox every Friday, via my Twitter account, or using the contact page on the cmd+f website.

P.S. If you would like to have this letter sent to your email every Friday, please head over to this link right here to subscribe to never miss a weekly roundup!

________________________________________

“Mother Maybe” - Kadhja Bonet | Let’s step into that funky Friday feeling with the ethereal Kadhja Bonet’s brand new single “Mother Maybe.” The LA native announced her new album Childqueen drops June 3, and this lead single is pure bliss. It’s brimming with soul and power, delicate and durable vocals curved over a vibrant groove. The biggest draw is the entire vibe sounding out of time, notched with a 1970s technicolor flare and an unpredictable jazz flow. In an article I found about her new release on NPR, Bonet states “Mother Maybe isn't about my mother, it's about the mother I may be….It's about a moment, a realization, in which I felt God, I felt like God... I remembered how powerful women are in this world, that we create life, and I felt strong.” Listen here

“Blowjob” - E^ST | When I saw this song title, I was expecting some rapturous, woofer-wubbing frat party anthem fit for a sticky-floored nightclub, not a soaring, mid-tempo piano ballad about craving intimacy. The first listen, my thoughts were "this is so corny," but "Blowjob" is the level of corny to be a memorable pop song. Hearing the lyrics "I just need your open arms / And you just need a blowjob" sung in earnest puts it in the running as a defining lyric of the decade. Listen here

“Wolflove” - Flash Flood Darlings feat. Kirara | My pal Agnes, who never fails me with her song suggestions she unearths from the depths of the internet, passed on Flash Flood Darlings this week. I didn't know what to make of this chaos on first listen but I couldn't stop churning out their tracks. "Wolflove" is draped in hundreds of layers of sounds all clawing their way to the surface of your brainwaves, yet all drift around the melodies so seamlessly. This song will be especially adored by fans of Animal Collective and of Montreal. Listen here

“Fake You” - Yoke Lore | Yoke Lore, aka Adrian Galvin, split from the infectious synth pop group Walk the Moon to forge his own music project. Shying away from the polished, radio-ready sound of Walk the Moon, Yoke Lore channels more of the neo-indie pop vibe, a la BØRNS and Bleachers. Above everything, "Fake You" is a sonic masterpiece. I know making claims that heavy can be extreme, but I assure you are going to fall in love with this song within the first 15 seconds. The song's composition is splayed out like an artfully crafted three-tier cake, just strapping on each layer of vocal harmonies, pulsing synths, kick drums, and reverb so effortlessly. Listen here

“Best Dressed Man” - Aeris Roves | The last tune is my delightful find of the week that I've been so excited to share. Hailing from South Yorkshire, homie only has this single up on Spotify, is currently working on his debut EP, and is touring with Billie Eilish on her European leg of her tour. I have the same feeling about Aeris Roves as I did with Billie a year ago: he's got an alluring vibe that's hard to shake. We're going to be hearing a lot more from him this year. Channeling some serious Frank Ocean and Craig David vibes, "Best Dressed Man" is the start of something great. Listen here

New Music Friday Selects

  • Lesbian Jesus Hayley Kiyoko’s debut album Expectations is out now, and it’s dope. If you only have time to listen to one track of the album, make it “What I Need” feat. Kehlani Listen here
  • Chuck P is back at it again: this time he’s got a generibop commenting with a passive, non-action “why can’t we just get along” activist anthemic radio single, “Change,” featuring none other than the legendary James Taylor. Listen here
  • Looking for some beach tunes? Can’t make it to a beach? The Vaccines’ new album Combat Sports will do just the trick Listen here
  • Kylie Minogue has truly outdone herself this time, giving the gays a dazzling new single “Raining Glitter”  Listen here
  • To quote my dear editor, Kimmie, “It is the year of our Lord 2018 and Shaggy is on a song” -- damn RIGHT Shaggy is back. “Tu Pum Pum” is a sizzling summer bop Listen here
  • The Weeknd ‘surprise’ dropped a new little music project last night titled My Dear Melancholy, comma included. Two the tracks are in collaboration with Gesaffelstein, meaning we’re going to get an entire Raf Simons collection inspired by this EP Listen here
  • Lady Gaga has covered Elton John’s “Your Song.” It’s Gaga at her best: one piano and her vocals. Bless up. Listen here
  • America’s sweetheart Cardi B is dropping her debut album next week and has shared a new single off it today called “Be Careful” Listen here

________________________________________

A(lmost a)ll of the tracks I have shared in this week’s letter are archived into a single playlist on Spotify for you to follow here.

Subscribe to that playlist, share it with friends, or take some inspiration from the ever growing list to compile some of your own.

If you’re interested in listening to what I’m rinsing this month, you can follow my March 2018 playlist here. There I will dump a hodgepodge of new and old songs that fit my mood and the trends of the month. Having a personal monthly playlist makes a year in review so easy. Share your playlists with me!

See you next week!

March 23, 2018

It couldn’t be a better time for it to be Friday than right now, dear reader. This week has been filled with many hours of planning budgets and orchestrating a massive, two-day photo shoot for my day job - and it all went way, way better than anticipated. Los Angeles has been raining non-stop for the past 48 hours – and it’s Florida rain, not that insufferably light Pacific Northwest mist that spits down on your enough to make your hair frizz up as soon as you step indoors.

I’ve slimmed down the selections to five songs again this week, and each one of them is a true gem. Some weeks I am so nervous I won’t find enough songs to muster up the enthusiasm to share them with you, but there is so much exciting music waiting to be heard out there.

To completely gas myself up (everyone needs to give themselves a pat on the back time to time) I can’t tell if I’m getting better at this, or if new artists are stepping up their game, but the picks for the past month have been ridiculously good.

As always, I hope these songs inspire you to check out more music by these artists, or lead to introducing you to another artist you’ve never heard before!

Remember: if you like what you hear, spread the cheer. Tell your friends about these artists and share the love.

You can contact me by replying directly to the newsletter that is mailed to your inbox every Friday, via my Twitter account, or using the contact page on the cmd+f website.

P.S. If you would like to have this letter sent to your email every Friday, please head over to this link right here to subscribe to never miss a weekly roundup!

________________________________________

“Set It Off” - JessB | It’s the third week in a row I’m opening the letter with a track by a female MC! How could I not when ladies are killing the fucking game right now. JessB was brought to my attention via my dear friend Ana (who tips me off about what’s happening in New Zealand), and I completely lost my mind from the moment I heard “Set It Off.” She’s an exciting rising rapper from Auckland, making big wakes in the Kiwi hip-hop scene. Her EP Bloom packs pure HEAT, y’all. Keep your ears open for JessB; she’s only just getting started. Listen here

“Falling Into Me” - Let’s Eat Grandma | The best way I could describe the vibe of UK duo Let’s Eat Grandma is a cross between the brutal honesty and organic listlessness of MUNA meets the brutally calculated and left field-ness of Björk. “Falling Into Me” sounds like Lorde channeling CAN and Stevie Nicks all at once. It’s maddeningly fresh. Listen here

“Duck Hunting” - Gundelach | This week’s wouldn’t be complete without a song about melancholic nostalgia. Norway’s Gundelache has you aching with nostalgia in your chest. Between the analog synths and his sweet falsetto, “Duck Hunting” paints a vivid memory of beckoning for hopefulness when you’re on the brink of giving up on everything. It’s beautiful. If you dig “Duck Hunting,” give the rest of his new album Baltus a spin - it’s chock full of glossed up Tangerine Dream-esque vibes. Listen here

“Sure” - Hatchie | Back on my shoegaze bullshit. With swirling guitars stick in a My So Called Life-esque daze, “Sure” is a long lost Cocteau Twins daydream. Hymns to fractured relationships never sounded so gauzy. The Australian singer has garnered a lot of buzz, and I can't wait to hear more from her. Listen here

“Bedroom” - Litany | Alright, y’all. This song turns one year in a handful of months – but that aside, “Bedroom” is that song. "Bedroom" is a simmering, two-step lite, atmospheric pop bop. It's the audible nervously biting your finger and trying not to look at that person across the room. Their 4 Track EP is stacked with cottony jams and has steadily been raking in new fans over the past year. They're allegedly working on an album that's set to drop this year, and I hope the hooks stick as hard as the seductively sing-songy "Bedroom." Listen here

New Music Friday Selects

  • Hallelujah! Old boy George Ezra has done it! He’s released his sophomore album Staying at Tamara’s. Stand out track that wasn’t a pre-released single has to be “Shotgun” Listen here
  • Neo John Mayer Shawn Mendes has returned with not one but two new singles. One sounds very retro-James Bay, while the other sounds like a pseudo Mayer Hawthorne bop. Both are good each in their own ways. Listen to In My Blood here and Listen to Lost in Japan here
  • A collab I never could have foreseen… but Thirty Seconds to Mars and A$AP Rocky???? It doesn’t even slap. Listen here
  • Drake is back on his bullshit and gearing up for a comeback. This time brother Aubrey has dropped a “remix” (aka slipped a verse onto) N.E.R.D.’s “Lemonade” featuring Rihanna (which DUH) Listen here
  • Superorganism have covered Carnitas Cabezza “Havana” and now THAT really slaps Listen here
  • Queen Nadine, the only surviving member of Girls Aloud, has a new EP out  Listen here
  • cmd+f alumn FINNEAS hs a new song, and it’s gorgeous Listen here
  • Sunflower Bean’s sophomore album Twentytwo in Blue is out today Listen here
  • Resident brat pop cmd+f alum GIRLI has a new single called “Play It Cool” Listen here

________________________________________

A(lmost a)ll of the tracks I have shared in this week’s letter are archived into a single playlist on Spotify for you to follow here.

Subscribe to that playlist, share it with friends, or take some inspiration from the ever growing list to compile some of your own.

If you’re interested in listening to what I’m rinsing this month, you can follow my March 2018 playlist here. There I will dump a hodgepodge of new and old songs that fit my mood and the trends of the month. Having a personal monthly playlist makes a year in review so easy. Share your playlists with me!

See you next week!

March 16, 2018

This week’s been a doozy, innit? We time traveled ahead one hour last Sunday here in the States, and it’s knocked the time-space continuum out of equilibrium. I now am eating dinner after 9 pm, hitting snooze for 50 minutes because it’s pitch black in the mornings, and it’s made me grumpy enough about it to be whinging about something that happens annually that I just gotta elaborate IT HAS RUINED MY LIFE.

It hasn’t ruined my life though… in fact, this week’s been a pretty great week. Despite everyone relevant in the music biz flocking to SXSW in Austin, TX this week, I’ve had ample opportunities to rotate my sweater collection under the crisp, early Spring sun. My friend shared a book she’s been working on for a year for me to read, I had some contracts pull through at work, got to photograph some ancient pottery, and Rihanna has effectively launched the end of Snapchat (more on that in the Selects section).

There are SIX songs I’ve plucked out for you - because I honestly couldn’t part with any of them, and you need to hear them all ASAP.

As always, I hope these songs inspire you to check out more music by these artists, or lead to introducing you to another artist you’ve never heard before!

Remember: if you like what you hear, spread the cheer. Tell your friends about these artists and share the love.

You can contact me by replying directly to the newsletter that is mailed to your inbox every Friday, via my Twitter account, or using the contact page on the cmd+f website.

P.S. If you would like to have this letter sent to your email every Friday, please head over to this link right here to subscribe to never miss a weekly roundup!

________________________________________

“Revoke Thee” - Latasha | This is the most last minute addition to cmd+f this week, and queen Latasha have clawed her way to the opening spot  for this week’s letter. A self-proclaimed nerd “hood bitch” from Brooklyn, Latasha is coming to step on all of our necks and take names. She’s a forced to be reckoned with, opening “Revoke Thee” with “Fuck these other queens if they acting like bitches/ Everyone’s a sister ‘til their attitude switches.” The bars are stacked with confidence, a story of a woman who will not be fucked with, and honestly? I feel that. There’s one day in a woman’s life when she realizes she’s tired of putting up with everyone else’s shit, including other women who don’t wanna enjoy the magic of sisterhood, so you just gotta step the fuck up and steer your own ship. But you also gotta be realistic about your relationships with people. If they’re wasting your time - Latasha is here to tell you that you gotta cut these vampires from your life. Listen here

“High Like This” - Kevin George | Make way for a new music prodigy. Kevin George is a 20 year old self-taught producer inspired by Prince, Tame Impala, and The Weeknd. He produced, engineered, and mixed his monster of a track “High Like This.” The moody R&B track is a radio ready single, destined to blow Kevin George out of the water. If DJs slipped this on the radio, listeners would more than likely mistake it for a Rae Sremmurd track – and we all know Swae Lee is the king of hip-hop melodies. Give it six months and we may have a “High Like This” collab with a few seasoned rappers in the mix. Whatever Kevin George is doing, he’s doing it right. Listen here

“Stallion” - The Garden | Orange County’s finest punk outfit The Garden returned at the end of last month with a hair-raising, head-banging, absolutely bonkers single “Stallion.” It’s got it all: rock grinding riffs, frantic drum kicks, abrupt key changes, and sick, sick vocals. Listen here

“Modern Romance” - Satellite Young | Now for a complete 180 from the previous song, I present the sickly sweet, bubblegum  synthpop from Japan’s Satellite Young. “Modern Romance” is sugar rush of electric horns and a ridiculously catchy chorus - regardless if you speak Japanese or not. I guarantee you’ll be humming along and bopping your head side to side before the end of your first listen. Listen here

“Fish” - Will Joseph Cook | Will Joseph Cook has been on the radar of many alt-pop enthusiasts for a minute. “Fish” came out last year on an EP released not terribly long after the release of his highly lauded debut album Sweet Dreamer. For “Fish,” Cook turned inward, with lyrics so arresting and sensuous, they paint a story so crisp and fresh on your mind. Listen here

“Pasajeros” - Karma Wears White Ties | This last song came to me by way of my glorious editor, Kimmie, and I have been swimming through it all week. She’s thankfully vowed to put together a Spanish indie playlist (which I’ll link to y’all once it’s complete). “Pasajeros” is truly, truly dope. While most of Karma Wears White Ties are in English, "Pasajeros" is a soft, catchy bop in Spanish, opening with a gentle praise to simply shut up.The Chicago band’s vibe is chill, sounding like a cross between Two Door Cinema Club meets Local Natives. Listen here

New Music Friday Selects

  • Hollywood’s first high budget film with an openly homosexual protagonist hero Love Simon “came out” today. It’s received a lot of buzz and praise, warmed a lot of hearts, and also dropped a hotly anticipated soundtrack! The soundtrack features new original songs by Jack Antonoff, MO, and Troye Sivan. Listen here
  • Brother Chuck P is back………. And he has delivered another suave ass BOP. Listened to “Done For Me” by Charlie Puth featuring Kehlani Listen here
  • Rising South Korean K-Pop group NCT have released their first full length album, EMPATHY, this week. It's a mishmash of experimental pop bops. Listen here
  • Miguel… up to some antics…. Out here….slapping his vocals on a Kygo beat…. Instead of a whole ass album… but…. Let him live…. Listen here
  • Leon Bridges dropped two new songs this week: “Bet Ain’t Worth the Hand” and “Bad Bad News.” Both excellent. The second one? Totally slaps. Listen here
  • George Ezra has dropped yet another tune from his forthcoming album Staying at Tamara’s - this time it’s “Saviour” featuring Swedish folk duo First Aid Kid Listen here
  • Louisa Johnson also has a sexy new single this week featuring 2Chainz. Aptly titled “YES” and it’s got high key Dirrty Xtina meets Pussycat Dolls vibes Listen here
  • Lesbian Jesus Hayley Kiyoko has dropped a chamber pop power ballad??? And it’s great? Listen here
  • Halsey has released a new version of her new single “Alone,” this time featuring bars from Big Sean and Stefflon Don. Listen here
  • The Decemberists have a whole ass brand new album out! Listen here
  • As I said in the intro: Rihanna has essentially killed Snapchat. The app stupidly released an advertisement that asked users if they’d rather “slap Rihanna or punch Chris Brown.” Rih took to Instagram, rightfully disappointed, and asked her 60 million followers to stop using the app. The stock shares for Snapchat have plummeted 7% in the time I’ve been reading up on this...  Read here

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A(lmost a)ll of the tracks I have shared in this week’s letter are archived into a single playlist on Spotify for you to follow here.

Subscribe to that playlist, share it with friends, or take some inspiration from the ever growing list to compile some of your own.

If you’re interested in listening to what I’m rinsing this month, you can follow my March 2018 playlist here. There I will dump a hodgepodge of new and old songs that fit my mood and the trends of the month. Having a personal monthly playlist makes a year in review so easy. Share your playlists with me!

See you next week!

March 9, 2018

Happy day after international women’s day!

To keep the festivities rolling, I’ve handpicked five songs fronted by female vocalists, and I’m so excited to share them with you. I’m keeping this opening short n’ sweet, and will let these gals do all the talking.

As always, I hope these five songs inspire you to check out more music by these artists, or lead to introducing you to another artist you’ve never heard before!

Remember: if you like what you hear, spread the cheer. Tell your friends about these artists and share the love.

You can contact me by replying directly to the newsletter that is mailed to your inbox every Friday, via my Twitter account, or using the contact page on the cmd+f website.

P.S. If you would like to have this letter sent to your email every Friday, please head over to this link right here to subscribe to never miss a weekly roundup!

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“The Game Remix” - Gabriel Garzón-Montano feat. Junglepussy | I spent Tuesday night leaning over a kitchen counter reading a book whilst getting myself reacquainted with Junglepussy’s discography. She’s hands down one of the best rappers from New York ever, armed with solid bars, and oozes levels of self love and confidence that I can feel myself start believing I have within me just listening to her voice. Her latest release is a collab with Gabriel Garzón-Montano, completely commandeering the instrumentals and replacing his lyrics with her own groove. This reimagination is thrilling, just turning the jam on its head. I wanna swim in this song. Listen here

“Wayside” - Renata Zeiguer | For those of you trapped in a snowstorm, and those of you sleeping off the days of the late summer sun, prepared to be swept off your feet by the punchdrunk, hazy folk jam ‘Wayside.” Listen here

“Like You Like That” - L Devine | This choice is an absolute curveball: I heard it back in November when it came out. Well, I actually tried to listen to L Devine’s EP back then, but it was likely an evening I was too overwhelmed by a barrage of higher profile releases, and it was sadly swept under the rug. “Like You Like That” came back to me this week after finding its way onto the formerly-collaborative Popjustice playlist, “POPJUSTICE EUPHORIA COME ON YOU FUCKERS LET’S FUCKING HAVE IT.” Peter’s been slowly chipping down the list from a whopping 1600+ entries, and I dip in the list every other day to see what remains. “Like You Like That” took me by surprise – it’s a highly calculated bop crafted to appeal to pop purists. It’s got the whimsical repetitive vocal inflections a la Terror Jr, and the curious sensuality of a Tove Lo track. Listen here

“Twentytwo” - Sunflower Bean | This song is absolutely gorgeous. I’m a bit annoyed with myself for putting off listening to this until this week, but I’m glad it found me. Sunflower Bean caused a bit of a buzz in 2016 around the release of their debut album Human Ceremony, and were noted to be fresh out of high school despite their sound being beyond their years. “Twentytwo” is a divine, dreamy mid-tempo track boasting a message of resilience on societal expectations for young women. If you can spare a moment, I can’t recommend the glossy, Olivia Bee directed music video enough. Listen here // Watch here

“Cat’s Cradle” - Hannah Epperson | Hannah Epperson is a phenomenon. A trained violinist, Epperson composes two versions of all her tracks: an Amelia (a devoted experimental pop interpretation), and an Iris (a stripped, minimalist interpretation). Using vocals and her loop-pedal, it’s mind blowing how the same song can sound from two worlds – each like a long lost fraternal twin living on separate ends of the galaxy. Highly recommended listening for fans of Andrew Bird, Patrick Wolf, and Sufjan Stevens. Listen here (Amelia version) // Listen here (Iris version)

New Music Friday Selects

  • Years & Years have finally returned with their first single since the release of their 2015 debut album Communion. Sticking with the lite-Catholic theme, the lead single is titled “Sanctify,” a low key Catholic guilt BOP about dear Olly Alexander engaging in intimate relationships with straight dudes. The music video also introduces us to Years & Years’ fictional universe of Palo Santo, a reversed-Blade Runner-esque society in which the androids are running shit and humans are a commodity. In the video, we see Olly: grind a chair, crawl on the floor, and is really just feeling hisself. 20gayteen is really out here. Watch here

  • Remember Vera Blue from the November 17, 2017 letter? Homegirl has released her Women’s Reckoning anthem “Lady Powers” as an official single this time throwing Kodie Shane for a verse on the track. YOOOOW! Listen here

  • Bellowing cherub George Ezra pulls through with yet another taste of his forthcoming album Staying at Tamara’s with the heartfelt ballad “Hold My Girl.” George’s kindly dressed up like a goofy dad for an equally sweet lyric video Watch here

  • James Bay has cut off all his hair and has apparently shed all that sadness from his shoulders. His latest single “Pink Lemonade” is a surprisingly upbeat, thirst-quenching delight Listen here

  • Editors return with their 9-track album Violence, and it’s a complete melter. Highly recommend “Hallelujah (So Low) Listen here

  • My favorite girls MUNA are celebrating 1 whole year since the release of their debut album about u with the release of an acoustic EP, About U: One Year On Listen here

  • Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard’s band Calpurnia have shared their debut single “City Boy” Listen here

  • ZHU and Tame Impala have linked up for the track “”My Life” Listen here

  • WSTRN jumped on a remix of Mabel’s “Fine Line” and somehow make this jam BETTER Listen here

  • [yodels] WET ARE BACK! If you’re in need of a bit of a Mood for a light cry after being rejected by someone, please consider bumping “There’s A Reason” Listen here

  • Sail away with Lil Yachty’s new tape Lil Boat 2 Listen here

  • The Wrinkle In Time soundtrack has arrived and it has the first officially released Sade track in, like, a decade. How blessed??? Also, please support seeing this film this opening weekend if you can. Listen here

  • The Neighbourhood, aka American The 1975, have a new self-titled album Listen here

  • Not only has Vince Staples launched a GoFundMe campaign for $2million to fund his retirement after receiving swashes of criticism for his new live stage arrangement, he’s also kindly released a new track, “Get the Fuck Off My Dick” Listen here

  • Run the Jewels have remixed Lorde’s “Supercut” and it’s dope, obvi Listen here

  • The bottom half of the new Beach House song, “Dive” is far superior. Stick out listening to the 2:30 intro and you’ll be rewarded greatly Listen here

________________________________________

A(lmost a)ll of the tracks I have shared in this week’s letter are archived into a single playlist on Spotify for you to follow here.

Subscribe to that playlist, share it with friends, or take some inspiration from the ever growing list to compile some of your own.

If you’re interested in listening to what I’m rinsing this month, you can follow my March 2018 playlist here. There I will dump a hodgepodge of new and old songs that fit my mood and the trends of the month. Having a personal monthly playlist makes a year in review so easy. Share your playlists with me!

See you next week!

March 2, 2018

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This week I started to learn Italian.

No, really. I signed up for a Duolingo account and told my boss I was going to learn Italian for the sake of a project we’re going to be doing later in the year, but I’m mostly motivated by a surprise trip to Tuscany later this year. With that, I’ve asked friends to recommend some Italian films and songs, and about 95% of them got cheeky and recommended Call Me By Your Name. Very relieved to know my friends are caught up on the culture.

Nevertheless, the Call Me By Your Name vibes are looming over about half my picks this week, impressing a major early 80s, lo-fi Italo Disco-y kinda sound on half these jams.

Time for new tunes! Hopefully these five songs inspire you to check out more music by these artists, or lead to introducing you to another artist you’ve never heard before!

Remember: if you like what you hear, spread the cheer. Tell your friends about these artists and share the love.

You can contact me by replying directly to the newsletter that is mailed to your inbox every Friday, via my Twitter account, or using the contact page on the cmd+f website.

P.S. If you would like to have this letter sent to your email every Friday, please head over to this link right here to subscribe to never miss a weekly roundup!

________________________________________

“Opposing Truths” - Sean Nicholas Savage | Opening this week’s picks with a brilliant wildcard I stumbled across in a random playlist. “Opposing Truths” is truly a feeling above all else; it’s a daydream, an afternoon four daiquiris deep in a lounge chair basking in the salty-summer air. Listen here

“People to Go” - Strange Names feat. Jorge Sorcarras | You may recall Strange Names from the December 8, 2017 letter for their single “Into Me.” Now they’ve got a new album out called Data that came out last Friday, and it’s lined wall to wall with prime head bopping material. “People to Go” is a standout track for me considering the unexpected twists, from opening with distorted, bubbling audio, to the kooky lyrics, and the vibrant composition. It’s unusual, but feels a tinge nostalgic (much like “Into Me” sounded like a Jane Austen film adaptation directed by John Hughes). Listen here

“Morning Again” - Elisa Coia | Sometimes life needs you to follow the call of the disco ball. “Morning Again” is an eerily poignant soft, early 80s Italo disco inspired tune that’s so unbelievably relevant to the current hair-raising political climate happening right now in America. Elisa delivers some heavy-hitting lyrics: “The judges, the jury, the shotgun, the sway / The boys in the blue know but they'll never say / Seems like the kid was running for his grave / What was his name?” over a steady kick drum and sultry piano keys. At times, the way she delivers the lines in the song has her sounding borderline exhausted, even a bit numb. Touche. “Morning Again” is a stunning track. Listen here // Watch here (precaution: allusions to gun violence)

“Left to Right” - Marteen | Y’all, I can’t believe we got a Bryson Tiller clone out here who’s actually a baby-faced 16 year old from the Bay Area. Marteen is no Bieber tho– nah, his VOCALS got me positively shook. He’s smooth as hell, confident, and honestly I can’t believe those notes are coming out of a 16 year old??? He’s a self-taught R&B-style vocalist, which is also insane. Marteen’s only got his first EP, NOTHANKYOU., out, but he’s already blowing past the typical corny teen-pop phase and throwing down seriously strong R&B pop jams. With a voice that sounds at least ten years older than the body it’s coming out of, son is on track to  releasing big, big, biiiiig things. While the entire EP slaps, I’ve plucked “Left to Right,” a groovy little dance number, to introduce you to Marteen. Listen here

“Baby Don’t Stop” - NCT U | I hands down could not resist including this song, as it’s completely consumed my entire f*cking week. Please ignore the fact it’s got nearly 5 million streams, as I can assure about 3.75 million are from me. “Baby Don’t Stop” is currently only available to stream on YouTube (at least here Stateside), and it’s in music video form. This particular track will cater to pop purists who are in for the whole package: vocals, dance, and fashion - a triple threat that is pushing more K-Pop groups to the forefront of the Western pop charts right now. We pop fans have craved this level of unattainable perfectionism for so long, we haven’t realized how STARVED for entertainment we have been. The glory of early 00s pop is bubbling in South Korea and slowly boiling over into Western music, and I am beyond ready. Now, to briefly summarize this song/video, it’s performed by two members of South Korean boy group NCT, Ten and Taeyong. “Baby Don’t Stop” sonically screams major Troye Sivan mashed with “The Whisper Song” vibes (weird, but, it totally works), but the masterfully synced choreography steals the damn show. My friend Mari described watching their choreo as “making [her] feel like an alien who took over a body [she] can’t control.” It’s amazing what the human body can do to reach that level of coordination, and so gracefully. I’m obsessed and can’t wait to watch every live performance of this damn song. Also: you'll be hearing a lot more about NCT via me and likely more relevant Western music journalists this year. Listen/watch here

New Music Friday Selects

  • It’s March meaning we are WEEKS AWAY from George Ezra’s sophomore album Staying At Tamara’s! George’s kindly shared a lyric video for another tune off the forthcoming album called “Pretty Shining People.” It’s a delightfully sweet tune about coming together and loving each other, paired with George singing karaoke in an ugly brown suit to a vacant room draped in tacky tinsel. What a wonderful New Music Friday blessing Watch here

  • New MNEK song called “Tongue” got me wigless. I expected nothing less from him Listen here

  • It’s been announced that Charli XCX is going on tour with T*ylor Sw*ft and Carnitas Cabeza instead of doing a world tour with Red Velvet, Carly Rae Jepsen, or virtually ANYONE ELSE

  • Another disappointing tour story: The lineup for the FINAL Vans Warped Tour EVER is out and it’s beyond disappointing. Then again, the most iconic bands who started out on Warped Tour are either disbanded or above the mess that is WT… even for nostalgia’s sake Look here

  • ALMA has a new EP/mixtape/collection of songs??? or whatever the kids are calling it these days Listen here

  • 2018 continues to give the gays what they want: Kylie Minogue and Tove Lo are performing at NYC Pride, and Years & Years have officially announced their first comeback single is called “Sanctity” and will drop NEXT FRIDAY

  • I’m double bulletting this Years & Years news because next week the entire letter may just me cruising on capslock about it

  • ALLEGEDLY DJ Khaled has a new song out called “Top Off” featuring Future, JAY-Z, and Beyonce, but it’s also allegedly only available on Apple Music, which I don’t have, so I will have to wait until iHeartRadio gets hold of it, eh.

  • Welp. iHeartRadio is about to file for bankruptcy. We’ll see how much content and promo to get rising artists into Top 40 radio happens now… Read here

  • Everything Everything have a new EP, A Deeper Sea, and “Breadwinner” is MENTAL Listen here

  • Experimental pop collective Superorganism have shared their debut self-titled album. Congrats! Listen here

  • SG Lewis has unleashed yet another futuristic R&B jam, “Coming Up” Listen here

  • Need to diversify your retirement portfolio? Spotify has gone public! Read here

  • Kelela has dropped a SIMS-inspired music video for “Frontline” Watch here

________________________________________

A(lmost a)ll of the tracks I have shared in this week’s letter are archived into a single playlist on Spotify for you to follow here.

Subscribe to that playlist, share it with friends, or take some inspiration from the ever growing list to compile some of your own.

New month, new playlist! If you’re interested in listening to what I’m rinsing this month, you can follow my March 2018 playlist here. There I will dump a hodgepodge of new and old songs that fit my mood and the trends of the month. Having a personal monthly playlist makes a year in review so easy. Share your playlists with me!

See you next week!