Author Archives: Jia

Underneath the euphoric summer of Grouplove‘s single “Ways To Go,” there’s a trace of woozy disquietude in lead singer Christian’s topline wail (Been working like a dog/ I turned all my dreams off/ I didn’t know my name, I didn’t know my name), but it’s burned off by all that late-’90s back-and-forth sunshine. This remix […]

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Lily Allen, welcome the fuck back! “Hard Out Here” couldn’t have come at a better time. The landscape’s getting onerous: when Katy and Gaga and Miley are so baggage-heavy with publicity stunts that even the reliable pop culture ouroboros is growing tired of eating its own shit, and Lorde’s winning by means of (brilliant) avoidance, […]

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Almost five years after the always excellent Spank Rock brought her into the Downtown Records family fold, Stockholm-based singer Mapei is back with what I suspect will be one of my favorite songs of the fall. “Don’t Wait” is a potent, polyglot, perfectly produced little piece of pop that instantly claims its own corner of […]

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Just two weeks after releasing the nostalgic and danceable “Old Love/New Love,” Twin Shadow put a little Tori Amos on deck for his monthly UNDER THE CVRS project and produced a cvr that will summarily rip open the hearts of a whole generation of people who used to put this song on repeat and feel […]

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In its original incarnation, Electric Guest’s “The Bait” is a swinging, commercial-friendly, Gnarls Barkley-meets-West Side Story pop single, but this remix by Shlohmo flips it big time. Here, the track’s suspended deep underwater, pulled down into newly woozy and thick instrumentation and strapped to a crisp and skittery beat. It’s as slinky and authoritative and […]

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There is a great emotional ambiguity to cerebral indie-pop that can skew boring (the National at their worst) but also transcendent (Dirty Projectors, Patrick Watson), and even though San Fermin‘s only released two singles, they fall so obviously on the latter side that I’m swooning. The brainchild of fittingly named, formerly-of-Yale composer Ellis Ludwig-Leone, the […]

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With the first single “Byegone” as actively lovely and inwardly ambitious as anything Bon Iver’s ever done solo, I was already convinced that the new Volcano Choir album was going to be terrific — better by far than their unfocused, ambient debut. Now “Comrade” has cemented that anticipation in full. This song is lacy, surging, […]

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This is the first we’ve heard from the UK-based, sibling-fronted band Bat And Ball, and they make a strong first impression. On “We Prefer It in the Dark,” vocalist Abi Sinclair’s bird-bright voice hits somewhere between CHVRCHES and Regina Spektor, and she suspends a fluttery, dark pop melody over a spare, high-strung XX-meets-Alt-J backing. Keep […]

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Well, Ryan Hemsworth‘s gone and done tons of weird things to my body again. Hot off his Destiny’s Child-adjacent LIZ collab “Day N’ Nite,” this time he’s mashed up A$AP Rocky’s “Thuggin’ Noise” with Britney Spears’ “Everytime” for the Folie Douce project, and I’ve got some feelings, y’all. How to put them nicely? I think […]

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