TRØN & DVD "Manhunt (Kiam)"
The brothers Van Dunk are back! You probably know them better as TRØN and DVD, and get ready to get to know them even better than that on the follow-up to their full-length debut. Manhunt (Kiam) finds their skills stronger than ever, furthering the themes they toyed with on 2017’s Afraid Of The Dark, but with an angry maturity that I guess everyone has been experiencing over the last few years. Their rhymes are as strong as ever, their beats even more blistering than ever before. And if you can be judged by the company you keep, then get ready to be impressed with this lineup of guests! Labelmates Jennifer O’Connor and Amy Benunartea, as well as Coheed and Cambria’s Travis Stever, underground rapper SB The Moor, and others. Oh, and also REDMAN!!! Yeah, I saved the best for last. Check out the 1st single from the album, “Me Time.”
Sequoyah Murray "Before You Begin (Thrill Jockey)"
At the ripe young age of 22, Sequoyah Murray’s full-length debut Before You Begin (Thrill Jockey) is as singular a musical statement as I’ve ever heard. A mixture of R&B, electronica, gospel, African polyrhythmic music, Tropicália, psychedelic music, modern hip-hop and trap, jazz, and everything else an amazing record collection should include-this is truly a journey through the future of music. Consisting of sounds played and made almost entirely by Sequoyah, be it via instrument or with his THREE-OCTAVE RANGE VOICE… yeah, I said it. I mean it too, his voice is a wonder. This is normally the part of the blurb where I try to come up with a sound-alike comparison. A shorthand to give you an idea of what this record sounds like. But… man is it tough in this instance. The closest I can get? George Michael covering Bjork. Does that actually work? Well, you tell me and check out the stunning, otherworldly “Penalties Of Love.”
Long Beard "Means To Me (Double Double Whammy)"
Means To Me (Double Double Whammy), the sophomore release by Long Beard, is a “dreamlike space that weaves between shoegaze-tinged guitars and upbeat, jangly pop” (and allow me to thank Double Double Whammy for not only releasing this beauty of an LP but also making my job a little easier by writing in the PR so succinctly what I was attempting to put into words right then). Leslie Bear (who IS Long Beard) moved back to her hometown while making this record (shout out Jersey pride!)–that examines what it is to call a place “home.” (For me, it’s wherever Hazel barks at the door of the balcony protecting us from any dog she can hear anywhere in Hoboken – thanks Hazel….). Co-produced by Craig Hendrix of Japanese Breakfast, this is a haunting, dreamy shimmer of an album. Check out “Getting By.”
mxmtoon "the masquerade"
To call mxmtoon an “internet sensation” is like calling The Beatles “a pretty popular band.” Take, for instance, the song “prom dress” that appears on her new album the masquerade. In just about 2 months, the video for that song has been viewed nearly 3.5 MILLION times. That’s… that’s astounding. That’s like a million more people than watch The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Not bad for a young woman who started out on youtube and TikTok performing songs solo on the ukulele. Here we have all of the songs from the record both in their solo acoustic fashion, and more lushly arranged versions. Sophisticated, jangly, ukulele indie-pop with constantly impressive turns of phrase that can somehow, sometimes sound like Lana Del Rey recorded an album with ‘90s R.E.M. I swear, that makes sense in my head. See if it makes sense in yours and check out the aforementioned “prom dress.”