A great 2016 gets even better for Anderson .Paak on the VIP Mix of Vindata’s “Own Life”

2016 has been an incredible year for rap, with giant names like Kanye West and Drake and Kendrick Lamar releasing albums, steady forces such as Future and Young Thug, newcomers Lil Durk and Lil Yachty, too. To these ears, though, the two artists with the best case for 2016 rap game MVP are Chance The […]

Nao’s debut – ‘For All We Know’ – is without a doubt the week’s best new album

It wasn’t until 2015’s February 15 EP that Nao really started to garner attention for her progressive, entrancing music – that EP’s “Inhale Exhale” is still great, and is present here – and ever since that EP’s release in May 2015 the curiosity of what a Nao full-length would sound like has been palpable. This week sees the release […]

How To Dress Well looks for clarity on “Lost Youth/Lost You”

Every since he emerged on the scene in the midst of the alt-R&B takeover, Tom Krell (aka How To Dress Well) has stood out as the micro-genre’s bleeding, beating heart. From Love Remains to Total Loss to “What Is This Heart?”, How To Dress Well’s music has always been gorgeous, but also an emotional rollercoaster. That’s not to say […]

Mac Miller teams up with Anderson .Paak on his “Dang!” good new single

Taken from the forthcoming The Divine Feminine, “Dang!” continues Mac Miller’s evolution from a rich man’s Asher Roth to a respectable rapper in his own right. He teams up with would-be rap game MVP Anderson .Paak (had Chance The Rapper not released anything this year) for a song that’s as sure-footed as we’ve ever heard Miller. […]

The 2016 MTV VMA Nominations

I predicted the nominees this weekend, and today they’ve been announced. Here’s the official list plus my initial predictions. Spoiler alert: Don’t take me to Vegas with you. Video of the Year: Adele: “Hello” Beyoncé: “Formation” Drake: “Hotline Bling” Justin Bieber: “Sorry” Kanye West: “Famous” Video of the Year (Predictions) [3/5] Adele – “Hello” Beyoncé […]

“Conceptual Romance” finds Jenny Hval at her most personal

From 2013’s Innocence Is Kinky to last year’s apocalypse, girl, Jenny Hval has made a name for herself as a left-field songwriter-composer, complete with a clear artistic vision. Hval’s music has always been breathtaking for its singularity, for its visceral yet cleansing properties, but “Conceptual Romance” – taken from her forthcoming excellently titled Blood Bitch – is something else entirely. […]

The Linedots crash onto the scene with “Small Talk”

It’s always good to hear your favorite artists return with great music, but it’s almost just as gratifying coming across a new band, a new song that sweeps you off your feet. That will happen if you give the Linedots – Evangeline Ling and Kevin Emre – and their single “Small Talk” a chance. The song mixes […]

Diana Gordon shines in front of the mic on “The Legend Of”

Chances are you’ve heard a Diana Gordon song before. You certainly have if you listened to/watched Beyoncé’s Lemonade (Gordon has writing credits on “Don’t Hurt Yourself,” “Daddy Lessons,” as well as being responsible for the perfect “Becky with the good hair” line on “Sorry”). And she lets you know it on “The Legend Of,” her first single released as Diana […]

Unsolicited Advice: How some of music’s biggest stars can curb recent controversies

In the past couple of weeks, several artists have found themselves in hot water – from Taylor Swift’s recorded approval of “Famous” to A$AP Rocky doubling down on his “All Lives Matter” and “Bill Cosby is innocent” claims to Father John Misty’s implosion during a festival performance organized by WXPN – and I have some ideas on where […]