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!

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“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

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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 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

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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 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!

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“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

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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 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!

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“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

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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 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!

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“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

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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 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!

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“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!

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“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

________________________________________

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!

________________________________________

“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!

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“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

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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 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!

February 23, 2018

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Hello, hello.

There is one important detail I must address before going into this week’s picks: last week I selected Kim Petras’ pop bop “Heart to Break” without considering to research the production team behind the jam. After publishing the letter, it was brought to my attention that she is a frequent collaborator with none other than Dr. Luke. Yes, that Dr. Luke. It’s a bit upsetting to discover the art you enjoy is associated with a vile reputation. While in pop music, a bop is a bop. Many argue to separate the art from the artist, but as consumers we have a socially conscious obligation to think about the origins of things we consume. I applaud Kim for smashing through the pop music landscape and paving the way for the transgender community, I must say I’m a little hurt to discover “Heart to Break” was produced by Dr. Luke. It is hardly a surprise considering Dr. Luke has produced some of the biggest Top 40 hits in the last decade. I hope Kim is able to eventually navigate through the pop landscape without him in the long run.

Now that I’ve laid that out, let’s swing into this new week! I try my hardest to pick artists across different genres in hopes there is something for everyone, and this week I think I may have succeeded. Hopefully these five tunes 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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“Cigarette” - RAYE feat. Mabel, Stefflon Don | When this song popped up on my radar, I figured the song would be good before I even pressed play. My expectations were upstaged from the drop of the first note. The song dives straight into the hook, an earworm over syncopated electronic steel drums. While the lyrics are mad corny (they laud about being as addictive as a cigarette), it’s Rihanna-level corny. You know what I’m talking about – song is still so damn good that the lyrics don’t matter and you’re bopping a third of the way through. “Cigarette” is the best tune I’ve heard all damn month. Listen here

“Karma” - Thutmose feat. Alex Mali | I stumbled upon this track via a different Alex Mali song I was forwarded last month. Thuthmose is a Nigerian-born rapper from Brooklyn who gained some attention last year for a freestyle over Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble” beat. While Alex Mali is a skilled rapper herself, rapping takes the backseat for “Karma” and instead she contributes to the sweet, melodic verse. This track is chill as hell. Listen here

“Gentle Frame” - Thunderpussy | Thunderpussy truly are a diamond in the muff (pun courtesy of their Spotify biography). Hailing from my adopted city of Seattle (that I miss so dearly), these ladies are tearing up music venues from coast to coast. Having landed a major label deal late last year, the foursome have dropped their new EP Greatest Tits (truly impeccable pun-mensip) today, and “Gentle Frame” is oozing with confidence and sex appeal. 12/10 recommend headbanging your way through this chorus. Listen here

“The Times I’m Not There” - NE-HI feat. Jamila Woods | What happens when the coziest garage band on the block teams up with a flawless neo-Soul singer? You get the compelling union of “The Times I’m Not There” by Chicago’s very own NE-HI and Jamila Woods. When separating the body of work produced by both acts, the collaboration sounds like it wouldn’t work. Between NE-HI’s fuzzy, low-fi guitar plucks cascading under Jamila’s velvety harmonies, the tune sounds like pure sunshine (despite lyrically not being a happy song). Listen here

“Word of Mouth” - Metroplane feat. Bree Runway | This last one is an insane wildcard. It’s a chaotic gay club dancefloor filler, woven with motorized barbershop quartet “bops” looming in the background like a demon possessed an episode of Glee. If you haven’t pressed play on this song just yet, and are a bit scared to even consider listening to it, I cannot stress to you how fucking fun this song is to dance to. The power vocals served by Bree Runway which she calls out her ex for being caught cheating and flawlessly cuts the bullshit. Truly inspiring. Listen here

New Music Friday Selects

  • JANELLE MONÁE!!! If you can only stomach one piece of New Music Friday News today, it’s the fact that Janelle has dropped not one, but TWO songs with music videos today. For those who have listened to her single “Make Me Feel,” all can agree she received Prince’s blessings for this masterpiece. This is the tune that’s got everyone hyped up. Not to mention J serves some serious, blinged out,1980s neon bisexual visuals Watch here

  • I did not forget to link you the second Janelle video for “Django Jane” Watch here

  • If you thought I’d go another week without mentioning a K-Pop artist: you were wrong. Queen BoA, one of THE biggest solo artists in the Asian music market, has dropped a new mini album One Shot, Two Shot, and it’s fucking fantastic start to finish. Highly recommended for my pop music purists out there. Standout track for me is “Everybody Knows.” Listen here

  • Oh, and BoA goes full on Rihanna (luring men to their demise) in her new music video for “One Shot, Two Shot” Watch here

  • Este Haim of HAIM was embarrassingly drunk at the BRIT awards this week and made headlines after being caught on live TV acting really foolish while Cheryl (Cole) was being interviewed. In the aftermath, Este called Chez to apologize via voicemail and it’s HILARIOUS Watch here

  • So far: women are f*cking killing it this week

  • A$AP Rocky and ten million people have linked up for the new single “Cocky” with Gucci Mane on the hook Listen here

  • Twin Shadow has released a collaboration with the HAIM sisters for a jam fit for a John Hughes film titled “Saturdays” Listen here

  • Puerto Rican legends Ricky Martin, Wisin, and Yandel have released their new single “Fiebre” Listen here

  • Troye Sivan has released an acoustic version of “My My My!” and it still somehow goes off Listen here

  • 5 Seconds of Summer have released their comeback single “Want You Back” and it’s generic, but still listenable. I think if I spin it a few more times it’ll grow on me. I know they have a lot more in them, but I’m happy they’re making music again. Listen here

  • For those craving left-of-center pop, highly recommend listening to the new Kero Kero Bonito EP TOTEP Listen here

  • And for those craving lighter, more folksy rock tunes, Vance Joy’s new album Nation of Two is out Listen here

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As I mentioned above, 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 February 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!

February 16, 2018

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Well, damn. Last week I sent out the newsletter to your inbox with the entirely wrong date simply because I was losing my mind over K-pop videos (as mentioned in the previous letter), and lemme tell you: that K-fever hasn’t waned. Between the Olympic games opening in Pyeongchang last week, my nine-step nightly facial routine, the music, and North & South Korea’s budding public political relations coverage, all things Korea have been thrusted in front of me this week. Naturally, I progressed deeper into the Korean music scene (with my pal Agnes) and we both managed to find a handful of sweet indie artists - one of whom is featured in my top 5 selections for the letter this week.

Please go forth and enjoy these five fantastic songs I’ve hand-harvested for you to enjoy this week. Hopefully these inspire you to check out more music from these artists, or lead to introducing you to another artist you’ve never heard of 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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“Faded Love” - Tinashe feat. Future | While most of y’all may already know the name Tinashe, she’s (unrightfully) still a Who and (unfairly) slept on. Tinashe is my Ride or Die. I will join a #Justice4Joyride campaign and preach the gospel of Tinashe until she’s back on the Top 40 radio circuit. While homegirl hasn’t had a break since her smash single “2 On” a few years ago, she’s managed to throw down a gazillion features across nearly every genre, collaborating with virtually anyone, and taking on absurd marketing campaigns. She’s a hustler. On her latest single “Faded Love,” Tinashe is back to doing what she does best: sexy, slinky, repetitive hooks over watery synths. Future jumps on the track to sing about how he’s ready to give up the player life (and surprisingly not to shit talk CiCi). While repetitive, the beats are more mesmerizing than grating. The end of the track loops perfectly with the beginning, and I spent well over an hour Wednesday night perusing Target with this blaring through my headphones on repeat. Listen here

“Game Ova” - Tobi Lou | Blessings to my pal Agnes for unearthing this gem. While this song has been floating around the net since 2016 (damn!), it’s held up. While “Game Ova” is admittedly a bit of a fuckboy anthem, the hook channels some serious Chance the Rapper vibes, meaning it’s absolutely undeniable. Highly recommend listening to this one in a car on a sunny day with the windows down. Listen here

“Valentine (What’s It Gonna Be)” - Rina Sawayama | Hallelujah! cmd+f alumni Rina has pushed pop further into the hyperactive, futuristic R&B we CRAVE. This jam is a feast for the ears, packed on with lush, dense layers of jerky synths snaking their way beneath guitar licks and melodic hook after hook. There are approximately four different varieties of choruses interpolated throughout, and honestly, the first time I heard it I lost my mind. Lyrically, it’s refreshing to hear an ode to Valentine’s Day with the promise of a short-term fling, and not dripping with corny confessions of undying love: “Making promises is dangers / I’m just a phase / I’m just your Valentine”  Listen here

“찰나 Ksana” - Love X Stereo | Love X Stereo are an electro duo from Seoul producing delicious, dreamy synth-pop. Their latest single, “찰나 Ksana,” was released in a Winter Olympics-inspired compilation featuring a handful of other K-Indie artists. It sounds like an outtake from the beloved and iconic Drive soundtrack, bouncing between near silence and nervous vocals over an unrelenting bouncing bassline, to a soaring chorus. Listen here

“Heart to Break” - Kim Petras | Kim Petras’s name has been floating around a lot for the better part of 7 months, and I don’t think her name is going away anytime soon. This week, Interview Mag has dubbed her the “new Charli XCX” (which has me wondering which identity Charli XCX is morphing into next???), and she unleashed a brand new face melter. “Heart to Break” is honest to god a Grade A, solid pop bop. In stark contrast to dear Rina’s anti-Valentine anthem, Kim goes the distance with a reckless attitude, risking her heart and loving for love’s sake. When you’ve got the bubbliest of pop hooks in your tune, I say bring me some wine with that cheese–let’s class this bitch up. “Heart to Break” is pure poptimism at its finest. Listen here

New Music Friday Selects

  • I know most of y’all are PERCHT to see the new Black Panther film this long weekend.  Kendrick Lamar, the music supervisor behind the music inspired by Black Panther has gone and released the most fire homage to LA in a new music video for “King’s Dead.” The video opens with Kendrick sitting at the top of a palm tree eating elotes. Truly an icon. Watch here

  • Everyone’s favorite lesbian Americana singer Brandi Carlile has dropped her latest masterpiece, By the Way, I Forgive You Listen here

  • Ireland’s freshest rapper Rejjie Snow has released his latest album Dear Annie, and it’s got some pretty tight production and features from the likes of Anna of the North, Jesse Boykins III, Caroline Smith, et al Listen here

  • And as for the world’s favorite Irishman, Niall Horan’s released an “alternate version” (ahem, a shorter radio cut) of his Fleetwood Mac-lite-esque new single “On The Loose” Listen here

  • The highly anticipated Khalid and Normani collab “Love Lies” is out today and I have listened to it exactly one time and can’t remember enough to elaborate beyond that Listen here

  • Frank Ocean covered “Moon River” this week and every music critic on the net bust a nut. It was deserved, to be honest. Listen here

  • Aussie pop icon Delta Goodrem is back with her sexy new jam “Think About You” - written by Julian Bunetta and John Ryan (of Niall Horan’s “Slow Hands” acclaim), this is a new direction for Delta that I am HERE FOR Watch here

  • You have to listen to this Everything Is Recorded by Richard Russell album - it’s got new songs featuring vocals from Sampha, Giggs, Ibeyi, and PETER F*CKIN GABRIEL!!! Absolutely beautiful. Listen here

  • Ride have a new EP out called Tomorrow’s Shore - great for fans of shoegaze Listen here

  • My favorite music project to ever be put out has been iamamiwhoami - a creepy, maxi-minimalist experimental music project that started ten years ago in which a new song was released every few weeks with an entire fucking music video. Every year and a half, iamamiwhoami would upload a series of well produced, beautiful music videos for every song - and for ages, fans tried to unfold the mystery of who was RESPONSIBLE for the freaking project. Anyhow, word got out a defunct poprock artist name Jonna Lee decided to completely reinvent herself into this Scandinavian Tilda Swinton of synth-pop, and SUCCESS. She gained a loyal following, and entirely new identity… and now she’s thrown the towel on iamamiwhoami and rebranded her music project to IONNALEE. The debut IONNALEE album EVERYONE AFRAID TO BE FORGOTTEN is out today, and I honestly have butterflies in my stomach Listen here

  • Stumbled across this interesting article on why most people don’t listen to new music once they “get old” (mid-20s on up) - and appaz the music we listened to as Young Teens is so impressionable, it forms all our opinions on music during those ages! Read here

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As I mentioned above, 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 February 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!

February 9, 2018

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So, my sinking into a K-Pop hole has only gotten more dire this week. I’ve resolved into a zombie, just watching dance routine after dance routine on autoplay on YouTube, feeling very much like those hazy college days when I’d pound 3 Benadryl to help me sleep after drinking a pot of coffee – except this feeling I get from watching these videos is disgustingly enjoyable. It’s the whole “your body needs sleep to function AND you have a day job you gotta stay awake for” that’s tripping me up. Fortunately, es Viernes y estoy ready 2 partaaaay.

As noted last week, it’s been brought to my attention that a few readers haven’t realized there is a NEW cmd+f 2018 playlist. This is the playlist where I dump in all of the songs I mention in the letter (that are available for streaming) into a single Spotify playlist. You can find that specific playlist here in which I’ll be updating regularly with the weekly cmd+f picks. Please feel free to subscribe to the list so you’ll have one central place for you to listen to nearly every song I post every week, and share with your friends!

Back to our regularly scheduled newslettering: please go forth and enjoy these five fantastic songs I’ve hand-harvested for you to enjoy this week! Hopefully these inspire you to check out more from that artist, or lead to introducing you to another artist you’ve never heard of 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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“Pumper” - MAI LAN | To quote my pal Richard, “Bloghaus is back, baby!” For those unfamiliar with the “bloghaus” genre, it was a very unique grade of electro-clash pop music that blew up during the short-lived but much loved Music Blog Dynasty circa 2004-2010 (around those years I’d say). Labels filing takedowns of music uploads and the creation of music streaming essentially MURDERED the era of music blogging, though a couple giants remain (a la Brooklyn Vegan, Stereogum, and Pitchfork) and have turned into full blown music news outlets. As for MAI LAN’s “Pumper”, it’s a high energy, repetitive BOP channeling French pop queen Yelle and early M.I.A. “Pumper” has inspired maaaany moments of dancing in my kitchen this week. It’s wicked fun and infectious. Listen here

“It’s Alright” - Sam Valdez | Once again I’m pulled into this pseudo-Americana music vibe that’d just been grabbing at my ears the past year. Sam Valdez sounds much less like Jade Bird but more like Trespassers William singing over a Ride instrumental. “It’s Alright” is raw, moving, and dreamy. Listen here

“Let’s Make Out” - Dream Wife | Looking for a last minute Valentine? Maybe this’ll give you a boost - next time you’re out, bump “Let’s Make Out” at full volume, and it’ll convert any room into the Troubadour, and every single person in the room’ll have no choice but to start rocking out. Dream Wife are brash, bold, and FIERCE. You can’t get more in your face than opening a track kicking and screaming, “LET’S MAKE OUT!!!” Listen here

“Come Through” -  The Regrettes | I can’t get enough of this second wave evolution of brat pop - The Regrettes are The Runaways incarnate, oh, and did I mention they’re fronted by a cool AF high school teen? Frontwoman Lydia Night formed The Regrettes a couple years ago while taking music lessons in Burbank, and they’ve been churning out smart, Grade A rock hooks ever since. Their newest single “Come Through” is a delight. Listen here

“Never the Right Time” - Janine | Listen to New Zealand pull through AGAIN with another wickedly talented artist! Janine delivers solid, honey smooth R&B vocals for the sensuous slow jam “Never the Right Time.” After an over stimulating week, this tune pairs perfectly with a hot bath (extra bubbles) and a bottle of red. Listen here

New Music Friday Selects

  • The New Gospel has arrived: Kendrick Lamar’s tightly curated album of tracks inspired by Marvel’s Black Panther dropped today. Staaaaaaaaaaaacked. Can take a 90% guess it’s all you’ll be rinsing this weekend. Listen here
  • Everyone’s favorite bellowing cherub, George Ezra, is coming out with a podcast!! It’s cleverly called George Ezra & Friends, and that is the entire premise - just a conversation with friends. The podcast debuts on Monday, February 12 with his first guest Ed Sheeran. Pre-subscribe via Apple Podcasts: Subscribe here
  • George Ezra’s little bro, commonly known as Ten Tonnes, has a new single out today called “Lay It On Me” and it’s a bop. It’s a must listen for fans of early The Kooks and The Cribs. Listen here
  • The one, the only, the legendary Franz Ferdinand have dropped their fifth studio album Always Ascending today. I’ve listened to a good chunk of it, and it’s lived up to my early 80s disco/new wave expectations. Listen here
  • Pop-purist leaning friends will be pleased to know the Fifty Shades Freed soundtrack is now available - new tracks from Dua Lipa, Ellie Goulding, Sabrina Claudio, Julia Michaels, and many more. Listen here
  • Whenever The Wombats drop an album, they consistently surprise the hell out of me. It’s better than I’m expecting it to be, and I’m so grateful they’re still putting out tunes, let alone entire albums. Highly recommend listening to their new album Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life Listen here
  • James Bay has cut off his hair, thrown in the hat, and released a new song, “Wild Love,” that is rather good Listen here
  • Not to be melodramatic, but MGMT have just dropped one of the best albums of the last decade, just over 10 years after their debut album Oracular Spectacular. The production on Little Dark Age is retro, yet timeless, but still reflective of this present cultural crossroads we’re at in the 2018 identity. LEVELS. Listen here
  • Calvin Harris is allegedly tryna re-invent the dance wheel post Funk Wave Bounce Vol 1 last year, but instead has put out a watered down Major Lazer track fit for airtime on Rinse.FM featuring PARTYNEXTDOOR. I mean, go off. IHEARTRADIO is gonna beat this one to death if it gets a radio deal. Listen here
  • Looks like Drake is really making sure we don’t totally forget his ass - this week he paid for $50,000 worth of groceries for a community in Miami, and today he’s done more charitable work laying down opening bars AND the hook for BlocBoy JB’s new track “Look Alive.” BRING THIS TYPE OF ENERGY ON YA OWN ALBUM, AUBREY. Listen here
  • [Jay Sean is back klaxon] Mmmm, yes, love me VOCALS. “Emergency” is beautiful Listen here
  • EZRA FURMAN’S ALBUM TRANSANGELIC EXODUS IS OUT TODAY!!!! Ezra self described it as a “queer outlaw saga.” Listen here

________________________________________

As I mentioned above, 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 February 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!

February 2, 2018

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Today’s letter almost didn’t happen thanks to my entire week getting derailed by work obligations, getting sucked into yet another TV show (German post WWI mystery-thriller Babylon Berlin), and spending absolutely all of my Wednesday night listening to EXO songs (more on this Very Expansive Event can be found under the New Music Friday Selects section). Also, the Grammy’s f*cking sucked this year, so I’m going to leave my commentary on that subject AT THAT.

It’s been brought to my attention that a few readers haven’t realized there is a NEW cmd+f 2018 playlist. This is the playlist where I dump in all of the songs I mention in the letter (that are available for streaming) into a single Spotify playlist. You can find that specific playlist here in which I’ll be updating regularly with the weekly cmd+f picks. Please feel free to subscribe to the list so you’ll have one central place for you to listen to nearly every song I post every week, and share with your friends!

For this week’s letter, I’d been waffling around about ten songs I wanted to choose between this week, and then the New Music Friday releases dropped (which are rather good), and I ended up throwing down two emerging artists to highlight this week with extremely fresh releases (ahem, today). I hope you enjoy all five finds as much as I do.

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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“Proud of Me” - Mahalia feat. Little Simz | British singer Mahalia has been signed to a major label since she was 13 years old, and six years later she’s dropping pure heat. With the likes of Jorja Smith and SZA paving the way for inspired (and I fucking mean this! Their music is truly charged with life), soulful female vocalists, Mahalia is laying bricks to make her way onto everyone’s radar. She captured the interests of very buzz-worthy publications (i-D, FACT mag) with her summer single “Sober.” On “Proud of Me,” Mahalia’s rich vocals weave out the story of her passion for creating music for herself and not for the fame. She sings about musicians who aren’t able to handle keeping up with the demands of the celebrity side of being a musician, and she vows to keep doing this “music thing for herself.” Consider the song a massive “thank you” to her family for supporting her for being talented as heck and keeping her grounded. I can’t wait to hear more from her this year. Listen here

“All the Vultures” - hunter & wolfe | It was difficult to narrow down a single choice from hunter & wolfe’s Late Than Never EP. In fact, I’d have no regrets choosing any one of the tracks of the bunch - but ultimately committed to the opening track “All the Vultures.” The meticulously layered piano chords woven throughout take me back to the days of Something Corporate, in which the piano complimented the song as if it were a vital backup singer that toyed with the hopeful- or hopelessness wavering throughout the tune. hunter & wolfe have been writing music together since 2011, so it’s hardly a surprise they’ve managed to dig deep for a song this absurdly rich, vibrant, and utterly effortless. Listen here

“Back of Your Car” - Swimming Girls | For those of you currently covered in blankets in the blistering cold, consider Swimming Girls’ latest single “Back of Your Car” a sip of summertime bliss. It’s a powerpop jam fit for fans of Tegan and Sara, flourished with pseudo-80s vibes and a massive chorus. You can practically smell the sunscreen and raging teenage hormones through the vivid imagery coursing through the lyrics: “And I can feel you sweating/Your love so rough it’s like the sea/Let’s go to the back of your car/How I hope you understand/My dreams dry up and fall apart/Now we’re lying in the sandListen here

“Jaguar Spring” -  JW Ridley | Holy balls – the first time I heard “Jaguar Spring” was electrifying. The guitar struck me with parallels to Orange Juice on downers and The Durutti Column, which means I can confirm the tune is pure goth bliss. Listen here

“Gayby” - Sam Vance-Law | Poised with the theatrical wit of Sufjan Stevens and the messianic tweeness of Jens Lekman, Sam Vance-Law is the queer kids answer to the void Patrick Wolf has left behind since going dark for the music scene circa 2012. A bonafide chamber pop delight, “Gayby” is the third single from his forthcoming debut album Homotopia (out in March!), a collection of songs surveying the life of a gay man in the 21st century. It was only a matter of time until we’d stumble upon the gay Father John Misty. Listen here

New Music Friday Selects

  • NUMBER 1 NEWS PRIORITY: NEW YEARS & YEARS MUSIC IS ON ITS WAY!!! The former BBC Sound of 2015 (jesus!!!!) winners hit up the BBC Radio 1 Sound of 2018 live broadcast to perform their hits “King” and “Take Shelter,” and made a surprise debut performance of a lush new track, “DNA.” Following the performance, they Tweeted “new music is coming in a few weeks,” which, hallelujah! Listen here

  • It’s been a year since one of my favorite band, MUNA, released their debut album About U. Today they’re celebrating this momentous occasion with a live stream at 3pm EST/Noon PST. They’ll be recording acoustic versions of songs from the album and hosting a Q&A session via NPR. Watch here

  • For those of you truly interested in the CRAFT of music making will be excited to hear Spotify is added songwriter and producer credits on their desktop app! I’m really stoked they’re acknowledging in the importance of highlighting the hardworking teams that are behind some of our favorite songs. Read here

  • The biggest boyband in the world (and I’m not talking about BROCKHAMPTON) have shared a new “album,” and it’s fuckin’ wild. KPop superstars EXO dropped COUNTDOWN on Wednesday evening, and my life spiraled into hours of listening to “Electric Kiss” on repeat. Granted it opens and you think you’re walking into the opening of Fifth Harmony’s “Boss,” but eventually it deviates into its own explosive chorus. I spoke with a few fans upon (freaking out over) the release, and was informed most of the songs had been released over the years as promotional singles and are just now being thrown into a single album (because their fans will buy anything and everything associated with them). Other standout track on the album that had me losing my mind was “Run This.” Production is wild, y’all. Listen here

  • For those of you surprised I listen to Kpop: 1) you must be new here, and 2) RED VELVET HAVE NEW MUSIC! One of KPop’s most beloved girl groups has re-released their latest album with a handful of new tracks that are VERY good. If you have listened to Red Velvet, you’ll likely know which songs are new. If you haven’t listened to Red Velvet, enjoy. Listen here

  • Rather than prioritizing your time to listen to the new Justin Timberlake album Man of the Woods, I highly recommend you take ten minutes to use up one of your monthly New York Times article credits to read Jon Caramonica’s review of the album instead. Pop music criticism at its best. Read here

  • Rae Morris has pulled a Dua Lipa for her sophomore album Someone Out There, re: she’s released half the songs as singles ahead of release, and those singles still slap, therefore the album is at least guaranteed to be half good. Listen here

  • Tove Styrke has released another solid pop tune titled “Change My Mind.” While I agree with it now, I’m not particularly overwhelmed by it. I’m sure I’ll be obsessively looping this on repeat in a couple weeks as I do with all of her singles. Definitely a grower. Listen here

  • The highly anticipated Black Panther soundtrack track list was announced this week, and everyone has proceeded to rightfully lose their shit. The full album drops next Friday, and I’m going to spend the next 7 days foaming at the mouth waiting for that James Blake and Anderson .Paak collab. In the meantime, Kendrick Lamar and The Weeknd’s collab “Pray For Me” came out today. Hopefully this will get you through the week. Listen here

  • Pale Waves have released another single ahead of their debut EP (why????) called “The Tide,” and it’s rather good. I’m hoping the EP has at least two unheard songs on it….we’ll see. Listen here

  • Lykke Li is BACK with her new single, “Time In A Bottle.” She’s serving serious Lana del Taco meets Dolly Parton vibes, and I’m very here for it Listen here

  • I was having a conversation with a friend this week about what qualifies as the sound of Alternative Music? I argued the Grammy’s have deemed the genre boring-rock-music-your-dad-wouldn’t-listen-to (I don’t have a dad in my life, but I’d imagine dads aren’t into The National very much) when it should in fact be music pushing sounds in all genres to the outer limits and borderline genreless. Based on my logic, I’d say Rhye could easily be categorized as Alternative Music. If you dig, check out their brand new, sensuous album Blood Listen here

  • LEGENDS Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliott, and Kelly Rowland have linked up for a ball bustin’, ass clappin’ fever dream titled “Get It” Listen here

  • I wonder what Quavo’s rates are - he’s managed to land some vocal bits on the new Iggy Azalea track (which isn’t horrible, just, weird? It’s not even enough to be considered a rap track) Listen here

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As I mentioned above, 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 January 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!

January 26, 2018

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On January 27, 2017, the very first cmd+f newsletter was sent out to 12 very wonderful friends via Tinyletter. I initially started it as a new means to share music with friends in a central, organized forum, and as an easy place to document all of the new music I was consuming. It also turned into something I looked forward to writing every week after spending a year of writing empty news bites, elbowing my way through an arms race of publishing passionless content.

Throughout this past year, I trialed a mini radio show through Anchor.FM, and expanded the newsletter into a full on website. I found meaning in this project through the cmd+vent advent calendar in December: understanding ways music brings joy into our lives.

(Nearly) one year later, this project is still kicking. I’m so pleased to have finally established an outlet that aims to highlight the pure joy I take out of my devotion for discovering new music. The act of sharing new music and simply discussing music brings me so much personal fulfillment. The act of putting together cmd+f’s weekly letter alone is deeply satisfying to me. I’ve been vaguely hinting on expanding cmd+f over the past few months, and that next step is a Mighty Big Leap. When the time does come, I hope you’ll take that jump with me.

For now, happy birthday cmd+f!!

So, I’ve rebranded the BONUS section to the freshly titled New Music Friday Selects. It’s more fitting, as a bulk of the bonus content highlights contain the most anticipated releases of the week, surprise releases, and the occasional status update of a new release by a cmd+f alum!

Before you hit that section up, it’s time to check out five smashing tunes by emerging artists!

Remember: if you like what you hear, spread the cheer.

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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“A Foreign Affair” - Client Liaison feat. Tina Arena | Opening this week’s batch of fantastic finds with a gloriously campy 80s-injected pop bop by Australia’s Client Liaison. “A Foreign Affair” is a major, major tune that has been HIDDEN FROM THE UNIVERSE. Australia is generally a wash because it’s covered in spiders and snakes the size of school buses – that’s beside the point! Client Liaison have also included pop icon Tina Arena (who I learnt about via my faaaavorite pop music podcast duo Dan and Andy of Popchops) on this blisteringly good chorus. To those who are unfamiliar with Tina Arena, she’s absolutely massive - like, on par with who Celine Dion is to Canada. For as essential as Tina’s pop career has been in Australia and France, I’m surprised I’ve only just stumbled upon this track in the last couple weeks. I’m not sure if it’s been a particularly successful single in Australia, but it deserves to be heard and played at FULL VOLUME. Listen here

“Here Lies” - Jorge Elbrecht feat. Tamryn | Less than one second into “Here Lies,” and you’re suckerpunched straight in the chest by the force of fourteen thousand sounds booming out of the speakers all at once. The jolt of sound rolls open and outward through the song, graciously unfolding layers of a steady synth loop disrupted by a crunchy, disjointed rumble of sirens, police dispatch comms, and machine guns. “Here Lies” is so busy battling through the thousands of layers of sounds battling to bubble through the surface of the song, it’s impossible to decipher what to prioritize listening to first - the sonics or the lyrics? Are the lyrics even important? It wavers between sounding hopeful and the soundtrack to getting decked in the face by an axe murderer. Listen here

“Arms of Pleonexia” - Cabbage | My fav scuzzy post-punk bros Cabbage announced their debut album Nihilistic Glamour Shots is dropping at the end of March! Cabbage have never been one to hold back on making political statements in their lyrics. Their new single “Arms of Pleonexia” is a hot take on the UK’s bloody history of arms deals that have supplied mass destruction in war torn countries around the world. After recently watching the TV mini series The Last Post, this history of disturbing the peace in the Middle East is rather fresh on my mind. “How long til we take responsibility?” the chorus coos. “Arms of Pleonexia” is the most punk drag I’ve heard in at least a decade. Read those greedy government jerks for filth. Listen here

“Freaking Out” -  Yehan Jehan | Imagine: Hall & Oates shared an edible then recorded “Private Eyes” and I’m pretty sure you’d end up with something that sounded very close to Yehan Jehan’s “Freaking Out.” It rests on a low key funky vibe that borders on sounding more careless about enduring heartbreak than complete numbness. The lush harmonies woven through the chorus will stick to your eardrums like white on rice. Listen here

“I’m In Love Without You” - FINNEAS | This song hands down brings the DRAMA. While I’m unsure of FINNEAS’s sun sign, I feel a kindred spirit to this Scorpio-dense bath of groveling for a lover you might not even HAVE to move on from. 12/10 CAN RELATE. The song opens with (no joke) twenty layers of ghostly harmonies echoing “I’m in love without you….please don’t still love me….but you still find a way inside my dreams.” The song chops up the last lyric into a dense, electronic synth line FINNEAS sings over throughout the rest of the song. It’s...fucking genius. It sounds entirely genreless/its very own brand of forward thinking pop, and I am obsessed with it the more I listen to it (pro-tip: it loops perfectly when you have it on repeat). Song aside, the most shocking fact I learnt about FINNEAS is he is the brother and co-songwriter to pop darling Billie Eillish (who’s been doing very well for herself since she featured on cmd+f last March!). I’m excited to hear what other tunes FINNEAS has hiding up his sleeve this year. Listen here

New Music Friday Selects

  • The powerpop tune of the month, Liam Payne and Rita Ora’s “For You” for the Fifty Shades Freed soundtrack, now has a lush music video. Liam Payne’s involvement on the track has only furthered my Rita Ora stanning, and for that I’m beyond grateful. She looks absolutely stunning in a scarlet gown, swaddled in a bed of roses, while Liam is donning a velvet evening jacket like he’s a baby Enrique Iglesias. This also marks the first music video my man’s reciprocated direct intimacy with another mujer, and honestly, kick up that sex appeal a few notches, please. Watch here

  • Talented vocalist and global superstar who keeps testing my patience, Stefani Germanotta, commonly known as Lady Gaga, has dropped a stripped version of her song “Joanne” - it’s beautiful, but I am STARVED for a massive pop tune. Listen here, I guess

  • Migos’ Culture II is here and-there-is-a-Drake-co-lab-bor-ray-shun (raay-shun) [skrr skrrr] Listen here

  • James Blake has surprise dropped a new, dope single, “If the Car Beside You Moves Ahead” Listen here

  • Foaming at the mouth ‘cuz The Vaccines have dropped another banger, “Nightclub” Listen here

  • If you’re looking for an atmospheric instrumental music, one of my favorite composers, Nils Frahm, has a new album out called All Melody Listen here

  • Franz Ferdinand have gone full-on 1983, whence disco meets the goths, and I’m INTO IT. “Lazy Boy” is a choooon Listen here

  • The Cassie of the 20-teens, Jhene Aiko, has whispered her way thru yet another single. Swae Lee knows how to write a damn hook, but this Rae Sremmurd drop throughout “Sativa” isn’t meant to be anything other than a very, super chill ass song. The video on the other hand is pretty freakin’ wild. Watch here

  • What’s more refreshing that hearing Jack White jam the fuck out? Listen to his new tune “Corporation” Listen here

  • Techno legend DJ Koze has returned with new material for the first time in nearly 5 years with his Seeing Aliens EP. It’s a bit more pop and accessible than other cuts in his archives, but it’s a glorious peak into his forthcoming 16-track full length LP, Knock Knock (out May 4) Listen here

  • The legendary CRAIG freakin’ DAVID has a brand spankin’ new album stacked with jams. Standout track off The Time Is Now would be “Brand New” Listen here

  • Color me shocked, but the new Django Django album Marble Skies is actually a rather fun listen. Must hear for fans of Temples, Jagwar Ma, Yeasayer, and (the now defunct [R.I.P.]) Wild Beasts Listen 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 January 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!

January 19, 2018

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Holy CRAP, this week’s new music Friday releases are incredible. It feels like how October and early November music releases used to feel - brimming with fresh pop bops, jams, and bangers left and right. This week we’ve got a host of artists making a comeback with new albums and album announcements, solid singles, intense music videos… and extremely embarrassing rap careers from 1999 being unearthed from the depths of the earth. I’ve put together just enough content to distract yourself from living in the IRL for the rest of the MONTH! If you don’t have that kind of time, at least you can digest most of it this weekend while you try and muster up the energy to find enjoyment in cleaning your toilet.

Check out my top 5 songs by emerging (and established!) artists that may have flown under your radar.

If you like what you hear, spread the cheer.

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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“Mind Hijacker’s Curse” - Chad VanGaalen | Chad VanGaalen is by no means a new artist. In fact, he’s been releasing music for the past 15 years - before the rise of music downloads and streaming. I’m almost sure I poached a couple albums off someone’s iTunes in the Bellarmine Lobby using a music sharing software my freshman year of college and listened to maybe half of an album. Anyhow, Chad’s a veteran to this whole music artist thing, and he’s got a solid, established fanbase who’s been sustaining his work for well over a decade. His latest album Light Information dropped last year in September, and I’m gonna be frank: my eyes definitely glazed over that press email from SubPop. This past weekend I made a last minute trip to San Diego to visit with a friend. Her friend was driving us to dinner when “Mind Hijacker’s Curse” came on. The twang of the guitars, and lilting, wavering synths pecked through the speakers dancing around our conversation about a New Zealand restaurant that opened in North Park (I think). It’s high key melancholic, with lyrics clamoring for the preservation of evaporating time. If this is your first time listening to Chad VanGaalen, take some time out this weekend to sift through his discography - it’s chock full of gems like “Mind Hijacker’s Curse.” Listen here

“Lottery” -  Jade Bird | As an avid anti-country pop music listener, I’m 1000% sure if most country pop music sounded like the material Jade Bird is throwing down, I’d happily become a country music stan. “Lottery” is a colorful, sweet friends-to-lovers anthem stacked with a big chorus and even bigger vocals on par with Brandi Carlile. While digging up some background info on ol’ Jade, she cites her greatest musical influence as Loretta Lynn, who seeps through her vocals. What shocked the hell out of me more than anything is finding our Jade is only 20 years old and British. A Brit! Nailing this Americana music game! Listen here

“Slower Than Usual” - Ariel Beesley | This was such a pleasant surprise - Ariel Beesley’s first official single! You may recall first hearing Ariel in a previous cmd+f letter as the featured vocalist for Love Thy Brother’s pop belter “Love Me Better.” Her debut single is virtually a Blondie tribute, and that’s definitely nothing to be ashamed of, innit. The tune is about a stranger Ariel met in Stockholm that she essentially fell in love with during her time there, but as the greatest love stories go, timing wasn’t right for either of them. The two lovers shared their very own Call Me By Your Name moment (this particular comparison is likely highly exaggerated, but it brings the drama) where they were very much in love during the time they were together, and they savored every moment they had together. The pre-chorus chimes in with a desperate plea for time to wane: “smoke your cigarette slower than usual/here with me.Listen here

“Infinite” -  solace | Soulful songstress solace’s single “Infinite” is sublime. From the innovative LA collective Milky Wayv, the track transforms from minimal to a full blown atmospheric slow jam. It’s absolutely breathtaking. Listen here

“Egyptian Luvr” - Rejjie Snow feat. Aminé | The first time I properly heard Irish rapper Rejjie Snow, he opened for Years & Years at the Fonda Theater in LA a couple years ago. I’m 100% he is the first and only Irish rapper I can recall of the top of my head. His song “Blakkst Skn” featured a hook sung by the lovely Rae Morris, and was produced by the beloved Kaytranada. Since that performance, he’s chipped his way up the ranks, dropping tunes with cool kid heavyweights Jesse Boykins and Joey Bada$$. Today he dropped a new EP, Dear Annie: Part 1, featuring the opening track “Egyptian Luvr.” The tune’s got a funky groove produced by none other than Kaytranada, features guest vocals by Dana Williams on the hook, and a guest verse by Aminé. “Egyptian Luvr” is slick as hell. Listen here

BONUS

  • My prayers and good energy sent out into the universe last week have been answered: George Ezra has dropped a BRAND SPANKING NEW SINGLE call “Paradise,” and it’s surpassed all expectations. My new editor, Kimmie, described the sound of the single as making her “want to fall in love immediately like a teen movie” or “when [she] would skip school to drive to the beach with the windows down.” Not only has George inspired playing hookie and falling in love, the bellowing cherub has announced his highly anticipated sophomore album Staying At Tamara’s will be out March 23, and he has 2018 tour dates in UK, Europe, USA, and Canada. Word on the street is First Aid Kid (the folksy Americana Swedish duo who have released their very own album Ruins today) will be featured on a track on the album. PHEW! Big year for Georgey - it’s good to have you back, sir. Listen to “Paradise” here

  • Today really is better than a post Christmas shopping trip - Rita Ora has also released a new song! It’s sponsored by Absolut Vodka - which, before you say “I can’t believe she has a song sponsored by vodka,” remind yourself it’s Rita Ora we are dealing with here. The finest pop musique hustler in all the land - now enjoy “PROUD,” a mid-tempo generi-pop tune sponsored by Absolut Vodka, and don’t you dare forget it. Listen here

  • Troye Sivan has released ANOTHER single!! “The Good Side” is a gorgeous ballad that Harry Styles wishes he released as his debut single. Judging by Troye’s first two comeback singles, it’s evident he’s going to be a force to be reckoned with this year on the pop music scene. Listen here

  • Looks like Rae Morris is pulling a Dua Lipa and continues to release a new single each week leading up to the release of her debut album to the point that we will likely only have three songs we’ve never heard by the time the album drops, but who cares? Who actually friggin’ cares when Rae is satiating that hunger for her album? It’s a blessing. Listen to "Lower the Tone" here

  • Bad week to drop a single with Offset, Tinashe… what kinda fucked up karma does she have for the universe to keep sabotaging her career? Ironically titled “No Drama,” this single with the human pigeon issa bop. Listen here

  • Porches’s highly anticipated album The House is now out. From the select tunes I’ve heard, it’s dark, melancholic, and got enough drum machines in it to make you wanna dance. Listen here

  • Cashmere Cat has finally lived up to this unending hype and released a song I can fuck with, but it’s more than likely because Major Lazer also had their hands on the track. Featuring breathy, distorted vocals from Torey Lanez, “Miss You” is a winner. Listen here

  • Jorja Smith turns into a hired assassin in Italy in the video for her newest single “Let Me Down” featuring Stormzy Watch here

  • Lady Leshurr’s got a siiiiick new freestyle video, "R.I.P." Watch here

  • Unsure if the gays will rejoice, but it appears Kylie Minogue has gone full Joanne for her boot-kickin’ come back single, “Dancing.” What sounds like a long lost STEPS track is a lot of fun, but I really miss the “sticky, bruised knees in a sweaty club and feeling pretty slutty after 3 tall drinks” Kylie, you know? Listen here

  • SG Lewis has shared another brilliant single, “Aura,” featuring J Warner, and it’s brilliant. No SG Lewis album or extended projects have been announced, but please put in a prayer circle for a damn album. Listen here

  • Ah, yes, I did mention embarrassing mixtapes up at the top, didn’t I? Well, Tommy No 1, aka Hollywood Heartthrob and director Christopher Nolan’s golden boy Tom Hardy, had an unsuccessful rap career in the late 90s. Tommy No 1’s beatmaker and partner in crime, Eddie Too Tall, was TV writer Edward Tracy. The lost gems surfaced Thursday when Edward dropped the mixtape on Bandcamp. It’s reeeeeally rough, and I’m grateful Tom’s spared himself a lot of grief and become an actor. Read all about it 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 January 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!

January 12, 2018

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What a big and exciting week for music! If you’re a pop and dance music fan, the artists have heard your cries and DELIVERED. It’s as if they knew 2018 would start off as a bit of a shitstorm and we’d need some TLC.

Looks like this week’s 5 tunes are full of girl power. Check out my top picks from emerging artists that may have flown under your radar.

If you like what you hear, spread the cheer.

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!

________________________________________

“raingurl” - yaeji | Crank up the bass - yaeji is here to save your freakin’ weekend. Frankly, I’m ashamed I hadn’t heard of yaeji sooner. I have no excuse as she was nominated for BBCs "Sound of 2018" this year. “raingurl” ticks all of my boxes. It’s got a sick, wobbly bass, and an absurdly good, repetitive hook that glides over a tight, gay club house beat. Yaeji is already an established dance producer in the hip underground outlets (re: Boiler Room), and has racked up millions of streams over the years (hence my surprise I haven’t heard of her until this week? Also, I ‘discovered’ this song as a recommendation on YOUTUBE. I don’t think I’ll be over this reality.Please accept my apologies for not bringing her forward sooner.). More people need to hear her shit to break up the gaudy powerhouse vocals and choral arrangements over dance music that’s been swallowing the genre the past few years. "raingurl" fuckin' slaps. Listen here

“The Kids Are Alright” -  Chloe x Halle | Perhaps the most eloquent “fuck you, we’re gonna be fixing your mess soon enough” by millennials ever put into verse, R&B sister duo Chloe x Halle have written a beautiful ballad declaring the youth actually do have their shit together, are capable of standing on their own, and are creating new opportunities for themselves to not only thrive, but also not live in abject misery and hopelessness. The song builds to a wonderful bridge, where they remind fellow millennials: “Don’t let them turn you numb // Don’t let them get you strung // … Better go and get your life.Listen here

“Bad Boys” - Lilly Ahlberg | What’s a week of cmd+f without a GOOD Scandinavian bop? This is a maaaahassive tune that’s fit for Zara Larrson or Tove Stykre. Produced by Future Cut (who's got production credits for Shakira's iconic "She Wolf," Lily Allen circa Alright, Still aka her best music phase, and a few Little Mix bops), it's a winner. Listen here

“sad boy” -  deer scout | From "Bad Boys" to a "sad boy." Just one sad boy - the saddest boy in the world, in fact. When my pal Agnes sent this song to me, I was initially put off by the DIY-sound of the track. It reminded me of the times I went to secret basement parties in college before they were shut down by Seattle PD. Instead, it's a depressive lullaby. The chorus is what totally sold me on this melancholic track. Listen here

“Cut Yr Teeth” - Kississippi | Have you ever heard a song that sounds precisely like the moment in time you’re listening to it? “Cut Yr Teeth” sounds like that post-holidays slump that settles in a week or two after New Years. All of that inflated energy of obligatory faux-joy, the gluttonous indulgence on baked goods and buckets of wine, the sheer exhaustion from socializing too much, the pressure of starting off a new year with big goals and knowing you’re probably setting yourself up for failure all just comes crashing down on you at once. It sounds exactly like all of that. The tune is about a crumbling relationship that was built on a faulty foundation to begin with, so my comparison isn’t much of a stretch. Listen here

BONUS

  • Troye Sivan’s debut album Blue Neighbourhood has disappeared from US Spotify for streaming, which, honestly, is a hate crime. While this news is completely DEVASTATING, the Australian YouTuber turned gay pop icon has dropped a new single, “My My My!” and has effectively washed over the negative fuckery that’s swindled its way into 2018 so far. Co-written by Allie X, “My My My!” is a low key, sultry bop dripping with confidence. I am beyond excited to see what Troye’s got up his sleeve for 2018. Listen here // Watch here

  • Other former entertainment star turned gay youth music idol Hayley Kiyoko has unleashed “Curious,” a radio-ready single that’s impressed the shit out of me. Listen here

  • BBC Music has announced their “BBC Sound of 2018” winner today, and the nominees were chock full of exciting rising acts from the likes of Billie Eillish, Pale Waves, Khalid, Rex Orange County… and they have handed over this prestigious title to Sigrid. After somehow managing to woo top level DJs at Apple Music, BBC, and loads of other music outlets when her debut single dropped last year, her hive-mind hype was massive. If Sigrid the sound of 2018, I am going to take a 300-day long nap.

  • I neglected to include this in last week’s letter: Amber and Luna of KPop’s severely underrated and underrepresented girl group f(x) dropped a sexy dancefloor filler. SM love to neglect their girl groups and still haven’t made the song available to play anywhere but YouTube. At least we can feast our eyes on the video. Watch here

  • George Ezra announced in his newsletter yesterday he’s got some “big old music news” next week, and, please @ GOD BE AN ALBUM AND A TOUR ANNOUNCEMENT. If you’re not subscribed to receive his newsletter, I’d like to encourage you to consider letting the bellowing cherub slide into your inbox every week. Subscribe to George’s Weekly Journal Here

  • Overnight superstar Jorja Smith has linked up with Stormzy for a beautiful new ballad, “Let Me Down” Listen here

  • Fifth Harmony dropout, Carnitas Cabeza, has released her debut album if you are in the mood for, erm, whatever the mood she does Listen here

  • I can’t believe I’m at an age where I can call a band I loved in middle school are officially...rock veterans. Anyway, Franz Ferdinand have officially entered their total Blondie phased and dropped another groovy gay disco single, “Feel the Love” Listen here

  • cmd+f favs The Academic have unleashed their debut album Tales from the Backseat. For fans of Two Door Cinema Club, Mystery Jets, and Bombay Bicycle Club Listen here

  • BØRNS has put out the album we expected Harry Styles to drop - the polyester Gucci suit and eye shadow-toting pop-rock Blue Madonna. He’s the master of the falsetto hook - give this a spin over the weekend Listen here

  • Swedish singer/songwriter Skott has shared her new EP Stay Off My Mind. Previous cmd+f selects by her were impressive, soul-shattering ballads. This time Skott offers sweet, uptempo jams. Listen here

  • For the total rock purists, firstly: I’m impressed you’re still reading this letter. Secondly, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (personally my favor “Club” band) have shared their new album Wrong Creatures and it fuckin’ shreds. Listen 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 January 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!

January 5, 2018

Whoa. Welcome to 2018.

It’s a brand new year full of brand new flavors and feelings. So far in this first week it’s been a bit of a shitstorm - quite literally on the East coast as y’all suffer it out under a deep freeze (stay toasty, buds).

This year, I wanna take steps to make cmd+f to feel more like a community. After the response to cmd+vent, I believe it’s feasible. I know I spend every week telling y’all what you could be listening to, but that’s from one perspective. To accomplish this, I’d love to hear from you about your music experiences throughout 2018. Was there a song on your Discover Weekly that blew your mind? Were you stopped in your tracks in the middle of picking out a detergent and heard a wicked tune humming over your head? An above average concert opener? How about a song from that party you went to last weekend when your friend’s cousin DJ’d? As I said last year: your new favorite music act is always looking for new fans. Give us the goods, and everyone wins.

If you like what you hear, spread the cheer.

For now, it’s business as usual: strap in for 5 exciting emerging artists to slip onto your radar.

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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“Prune, You Talk Funny” - Gus Dapperton | Gus Dapperton has the full package to dive headfirst into 2018 as one of the most buzzworthy and compelling acts to watch this year. He already has a loyal following of fans trickling in by the day from all corners of the net, racking up millions of streams on YouTube bootlegs and authorized streaming platforms. Gus not only has a formative, definitive aesthetic about him (eccentric art school weirdo who clearly worships David Byrne), but he’s got off-kilter earworms that’ll burrow into your brain for days. “Prune, You Talk Funny” is a whimsical, breezy bop. What’ll assure your love for this tune is the music video - so please watch that before skipping straight to the song stream. You’ll understand this elusive charm that just oozes from him and his music; from his bowl cut, to his oversized polyester suits with deck shoes, and teal eyeshadow. Gus is at the top of my list of artists to watch this year. I have a feeling he’s going to catch on with a large audience. Watch here // Listen here

“Fever Thoughts” - Louis III | This is a debut single. This! A debut single! What in the hell?! “Fever Thoughts” sounds exactly like that hazy, nauseated restlessness an insomniac feels when trying to go the f*ck to sleep. The production is definite Frank Ocean-esque, paired with crisp R&B vocals. The dizzy sample loops scratch at your spine and try to seduce you to sleep. Listen here

“1986” -  HÅN | Perhaps the most cinematic single plucked out for the letter this week, “1986” is magical. Italian songstress HÅN’s creamy vocals glide over an increasingly confident chorus of melancholic synths. This song is begging to get tipped by a music supervisor for an episode of Shadowhunters (which, yes, please) - the sweet intimacy and honesty in the lyrics is like fresh, powdery snow. Listen here

“King of Pop” - Roy Irwin | New Zealand artist Roy Irwin churned out one of the catchiest tunes about battling with depression in 2017. The lyrics are pretty vague, but there’s mentions of leaving the house wasted but coming home jade. Sonically the tune sounds like a bike ride in the park on a perfectly sunny day. Irwin’s entire album, also titled King of Pop, is littered with catchy tunes about avoiding Your Actual Feelings to Avoid Getting Into How Bad Things Are Actually Going With Someone You Don’t Really Care to Get Into It With. That was a mouthful, but people with depression will get it: sometimes you gotta fake it, or you gotta circumvent your reality to make it through the day, or a single conversation. Irwin’s managed to bottle this essence of irony so effortlessly.  Listen here

“Don’t Fade” -  JGrrey | After living with this song for a few weeks, I found out this song was almost never released as a single. Rising South London artist JGrrey whipped up a recorded version for a performance on YouTube channel COLORS (in which artists are invited to perform live in a brightly painted monochrome room), got a rave reaction (duh), and released a proper studio recording. It may be a cheap shot to suggest JGrrey is a “mini Adele,” but girl got pipes and incredible song lyrics. Listen here

BONUS

  • Running out the gate, the best release of the week is Liam and Rita’s “For You” for the Fifty Shades Free OST. The quality of the tune has come as a surprise to virtually every pop fan who’s laid ears on it, but I knew they had it in ‘em. Is 2018 Rita’s breakout year? Will she finally stop getting lucrative yet shoddy TV hosting gigs and finally be a music artist? Anyhow, ISSA BOP. Listen here
  • An official press release came out this week announcing Kendrick Lamar and TDE are supervising Marvel’s Black Panther soundtrack, including his new collab with Grammy nominee SZA - “All the Stars” Listen here
  • Bruno Mars out here, continuing to be the king of releasing the song of the summer in January. He’s dropped a remix of “Finesse” featuring none other than America’s sweetheart from the BX, Cardi B. The music video, an homage to 90s comedy sketch show In Living Color, has caused quite a buzz. I even shared it with my mom and she bumped to it. Watch here
  • Last week Allie X and VERITÉ officially released a music video for their soon-to-be sleeper hit “Casanova” Watch here
  • Charli XCX has covered Wolf Alice’s “Don’t Delete the Kisses” and transformed it into a distorted, desperate hyper-pop ballad. Listen here
  • Interscope labelmates Lana del Rey and BØRNS join forces on a euphoric collab, “God Save Our Young Blood,” and honestly, it’s okay, and isn’t a total waste of your time listening to it Listen here
  • THE VACCINES ARE BACK Listen here
  • Raunchy rapper and frequent Charli XCX collaborator cupcakKe has dropped her new album Ephorize. Please proceed with extreme caution if considering playing this around prude co-workers - “Spoiled Milk Titties” in particular is not safe for work (in case the title didn’t give that away). Listen here

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The New Year has brought on a clean slate - thus, a fresh playlist is born. A(lmost a)ll of the tracks I am going to share in the cmd+f newsletters this year will be 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 lists of your own.

If you’re interested in listening to what I’m rinsing this month, you can follow my January 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!