Thank you for waiting.
The start of each cmd+f is typically reserved for neutral/positive chatter on popular culture without getting too personal. It’s intended to excite you, dear reader, for new music — an act that should be joyously celebrated as often as possible. Music should move you, and be there to engorge your enthusiasm, or put a damper on times of listlessness.
After disappearing (yet again) without warning for well over a month, I’d be foolish to tell you everything is okay.
Everything is not okay. We’re all (hopefully) looking at the relentless, hellish 24 hour news cycle; the world is a mess. Despite all that, I have well over 50 songs queued up in my never ending cmd+f playlist, but tuning in each week to deliver a letter the past several weeks has been difficult as hell. For the first time in over a year, I felt no joy in wanting to talk about all of this new music I’ve been excavating. Watching the quick decline in the health of my beloved companion, certified best boy golden retriever, Duke, was one aspect of my persistent lethargy. We said goodbye a handful of weeks ago, and my routine has been all out of sorts. I no longer having regular walks around the neighborhood, or him to watch me dance to my new cmd+f digs in the kitchen throughout the week.
Creating cmd+f has been so deeply fulfilling, but to be completely honest, the routine/predictability of it all has been wearing me down. This letter started as an outlet for me to share music recommendations with friends, but along the way, I’ve found the act of exchanging music with other people is vastly more rewarding.
After much thought, I've decided it’s time for cmd+f to step away from my voice from time to time. Me stepping back will help bounce back from this burn out, and allow more time to expand cmd+f’s potential. There are so many opportunities for this space to grow, and I hope you would like to join me in making it possible.
With the success of the 2017 cmd+vent calendar, in which I asked a dozen friends to write about how music impacted their lives throughout 2017, I’ve decided to steer cmd+f into a more communal ~atmos~ beyond the holiday season… by inviting one reader per month to share their music discoveries by emerging artists, or artists likely flying under our radars.
To the dear readers currently subscribed to this letter via email, I’d like to encourage you to reply to this letter (really, just hit “reply” at the top of your box and I promise I’ll get your message), give me a hello, and let me know if you’d be interested in taking over cmd+f one week. You’ll get to write an opening monologue, introduce yourself, and gush about five songs really hitting at your heartstrings.
I’m currently keeping this invitation open to email subscribers only — so if you have a friend with a vibrant musical palette that isn’t currently subscribed, please have them head over to this link right here! If you're unsure if you're ready to commit and aren't subscribed, sign up using the link provided and reply to the next cmd+f letter that hits your inbox.
Now, let’s get into the new music. I’ve got five tunes by incredible ladies that have been jumbling around my brain for many weeks now. I’m beyond excited for you to finally be acquainted.
Remember: if you like what you hear, spread the cheer. Tell your friends about these artists and share the love.
“Laugh It Off” - Chelsea Jade | cmd+f alum Chelsea Jade dropped her debut album Personal Best last Friday. Newsflash: it’s fucking incredible and sounds like the sophomore album you had expected from Lorde – yet so distinctly original. I first featured Chelsea Jade in May 2017 for her tune “Life of the Party,” and described it as a “Broods bop on Benadryl.” That dazy, dreamy quality runs throughout the album, like smooth silk and warm tea in an ocean breeze. “Laugh It Off” opens with a wavering sample of Des’ree’s 1994 hit “You Gotta Be,” then melts into a blissed-out, clap-stomping bop. Listen here
“Evergreen” - YEBBA | This stunner was brought to my attention about a month ago from my dear friend Hope. “Evergreen” is YEBBA’s debut single, packed with tenderness, soul, and breathtaking harmonies. Lauded by Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith (and Hope, and Me), Abbey Smith, AKA YEBBA, has been working on new material to knock our socks off.This song dropped last OCTOBER, and although that was many moons ago in terms of delivering you fresh tunes, I couldn’t NOT highlight it in a letter. The ghostly, powerhouse vocals will give you chills. Its timelessness is a testament to its namesake; it’s truly “Evergreen.” Listen here
“Stock Image” - Miya Folick | My most rinsed song of the last three weeks has been “Stock Image.” When the first chorus bursts through, it’s like squeezing juice from an orange directly onto your tongue; tangy, sweet, and a burst of energy. As I noted in the opening remarks, I’ve been journeying my way through a bit of a personal funk. It was oddly satisfying to find the making of this song was rooted in feeling not quite yourself. Miya noted: “‘Stock Image’ is the conversation you have with yourself when you're feeling lost and your color has faded…. I wrote it from a place of feeling shallow and gray and wanting to feel full! Vibrant!” Listen here
“Sticky” - Ravyn Lenae | Neo-soul, Chicago singer-songwriter Ravyn Lenae linked up with The Internet’s Steve Lacy to produce a confident, off-kilter five-track EP. “Sticky” dropped in December last year, but holds it own over wonky riffs clunking around beneath Ravyn’s ropy staccato. Listen here
“Mother” - Ina Wroldsen | If you don’t think you’ve heard of Norwegian songwriter Ina Wroldsen before, think again. She’s steadily climbed the ranks, starting out with dozens of bangers written for The Saturdays, then eventually leading up to Calvin Harris’s 2015 international, radio ready club banger with Disciples “How Deep Is Your Love” (featuring her vocals!!). She’s paved the way for Anne Marie’s commercial success in the UK the last couple years, coining songwriting credits for Anne’s Clean Bandit collab “Rockabye,” and now Ina stands on her own two feet with her latest EP, HEX. I’ve chosen to highlight “Mother,” a soaring, cinematic ballad of epic proportions, rooted with a thunderous chorus. Listen here
New Music Friday Selects
- So many dope releases have dropped in the last month. To catch up to speed, I’m going to highlight mostly past featured artists, and rising acts!
- Compton rapper Buddy’s debut album Harlan & Alondra is out and it’s a modern masterpiece. Honestly so, so, so incredible Listen here
- The Internet have dropped their highly anticipated and aptly titled album Hive Mind Listen here
- Billie Eilish is back at it again with her latest single “you should see me in a crown” Listen here
- London producer Deadboy has dropped a new EP titled Psychic Hotline Listen here
- Allie X is out here serving some somber neo-Lana del Rey realness with her new single “Not So Bad in LA” Listen here
- Not only have Years & Years FINALLY unleashed their sophomore album Palo Santo, which is start to finish a GEM, they also surprise dropped a remix of their single “If You’re Over Me” featuring Key of the legendary K-Pop group SHINee Listen here (album) and Listen here (legendary remix)
- Jay Park’s first EP under Roc Nation is out and it’s really dope Listen here
- Pale Waves have a sweet video out for their new single “Noises” Watch here
- Ben Khan has confirmed his debut album is dropping August 10!! Check out his music video for “a.t.w (against the wall)” Watch here
A(lmost a)ll of the tracks I have shared in this week’s letter are archived into a single playlist on Spotify for you to follow here.
Subscribe to that playlist, share it with friends, or take some inspiration from the ever growing list to compile some of your own.
NEW MONTH, NEW MUSIC! If you’re interested in listening to what I’m rinsing this month, you can follow my July 2018 playlist here. There I will dump a hodgepodge of new and old songs that fit my mood and the trends of the month. Having a personal monthly playlist makes a year in review so easy. Share your playlists with me!
See you soon!