CURRENT: Tobias Jesso Jr. – “Hollywood”

The big city has a way of hardening the softest of souls, so Tobias Jesso Jr.’s somber, unsure “Hollywood” is hardly revelatory in its subject matter. But much like “True Love” before it, “Hollywood” succeeds due to the earnestness Jesso Jr. pumps into his composition. “I think I’m gonna try in Hollywood” quickly devolves into frying in Hollywood, and ultimately, dying in the city of Angels. A dissonant, wailing horn section caps the song, acting as Jesso Jr.’s last grasps of air in a city designed to suffocate those who fail. Their loss is our reward.

His debut album will be released in the spring through True Panther. Buy the single now at iTunes.

CURRENT: Mark Ronson – “Daffodils” (feat. Kevin Parker)

It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Kevin Parker of Tame Impala. Earlier this year, he quietly uploaded a cover of Michael Jackson’s “Stranger in Moscow” to his Soundcloud page, with not much else coming from his camp since.

This week, Mark Ronson began unveiling tracks from his forthcoming LP Uptown Special, with the best of the bunch being his collaboration with Parker on “Daffodils,” a track Parker has been floating around in concerts since last year.

The team-up of Ronson and Parker isn’t the most obvious collaboration for the superstar producer (lead single collaborator Bruno Mars better fits that bill), but in the context of Parker’s “Moscow” cover, this pairing begins to come into focus. Ronson made his name with his callbacks to 60s-era pop on his work with Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen, and while “Daffodils” maintains some of that aesthetic, Parker’s psychedelic influence is impossible to deny, while Ronson’s own flirtations with electronics produce a thrilling finale.

Be sure to check out Mark Ronson’s LP Uptown Special when it drops on 27 January.

CURRENT: Jessica Pratt – “Back, Baby”

“Back, Baby” is the first single from Jessica Pratt’s forthcoming Drag City debut On Your Own Love Again, and washes over the listener where the rain subsides. The song thematically focuses on the fragility of time, with Pratt’s vocals the closest to personifying that theme as one could get. It’s a simple and direct song, as if Pratt knows our emotions are complex enough for us all.

On Your Own Love Again is out 27 January 2015.

NEW MUSIC: ‘Broke With Expensive Taste’ Has Landed

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Azealia Banks’ long in the making debut LP Broke With Expensive Taste has finally arrived. “212” brought Banks to a wide audience in 2011, serving as one of the year’s greatest singles. The following years have seen the release of the 1991 EP and the Fantasea mixtape.

As much as her music has made headlines, her very public Twitter confrontations (including with another rising MC, Iggy Azalea, and electronica acts Disclosure and Baauer) threatened to derail the obviously gifted artist.

Thankfully, Broke with Expensive Taste is as good of an album as we could have expected after hearing “212” for the first time, and maybe better. Check out the opening “Idle Delilah” for proof. Get the album at iTunes now, or stream it on Spotify.

CURRENT: Ariel Pink – “Picture Me Gone”

pom pom still has a couple of weeks until it hits record stores and digital outlets, but it’s easy to see what type of album this will be from its first three singles, “Put Your Number in My Phone”, “Black Ballerina”, and now “Picture Me Gone”.

“Gone” might just be the best song on pom pom; at least it was the immediate standout after a first listen. The song musically finds Ariel playing it straight, recreating a great lost relic of the 1970s. Framed this way, his lyrics appear even more surreal, such as when he begins the song by proclaiming a toast to when “you were 8 and I was only 41,” or the second verse with, “I backed up all my pictures on my iCloud so you can see me when I’m gone.”

On “Picture Me Gone,” Ariel Pink shows us exactly what we’d be missing without him around. After his public dismissal of Madonna’s work, among other questionable quotes, a lot of people would love to “picture him gone”. With this song, he makes it seem almost too easy. All you have to do is tune out.