This week was a weird one: There's no thoroughfare, so it's choose your own adventure. There's regal, metallicized pop from Wyles & Simpson, a lotta raw silk courtesy of Awful Records' Ethereal, and a real live Skrillex joint. The overarching theme is sincerity: Every track has a story and that story is as warm-blooded and living as its storyteller. You still don't know what'll happen when you turn to page 71, but isn't that what makes choosing so fun?
Ex-Cult, "Cigarette Machine"
"Lyrics like I couldn't stay clean in my routine—delivered in tough, snarling little punches—rehash sordid memories from frontman Chris Shaw's time spent growing up in rural Germany."—Patrick D. McDermott. Read the full write up here.
Skrillex and Trollphace, Yogi's "Burial (Remix)"
"When you can make music as direct and powerful as Skrillex can, you get afforded the opportunity to make musical choices that might otherwise be considered kind of leftfield, but still have them bang."—Alexander Iadarola. Read the full write up here.
Wyles & Simpson, "Light & Dark"
"Wyles' almost jazz standard-ready vocals circle Simpson's rolling, string-inflected beats, and the pair take turns to rise and fall. It's an immediate and deeply satisfying listen."—Ruth Saxelby. Read the full write up here.
"Ethereal was one of the first artists I ever pitched to FADER, four years ago, off the strength of a blunted take on drum & bass he was working at the time. My pitch was rejected, but on some cosmic justice shit, now, after a period of uncertainty, the Atlanta producer and rapper has the growing profile he deserves."—Duncan Cooper. Read the full write up here.
"Produced by A. K. Paul—Jai Paul's brother and co-writer who's recently stepped out from the shadows while we still wait patiently for something new from Jai—it curls like smoke caught in a shaft of sunlight."—Ruth Saxelby. Read the full write up here.
Sunless 97, "Pure4Sure"
"I've only seen them live once, but I can still feel the warm thrill of dancing to their beat. Alice and Ed's voices fit together like interlinking fingers on new single "Pure4Sure," slipping freely through their elongated take on dancehall's breezy lilt."—Ruth Saxelby. Read the full write up here.
Lo-Fi-Fnk, "Can U Feel It?"
""Can U Feel It?" is as dreamy as anything they've crafted before, full of the shimmery bursts that Balearic pop is known for backed by a restrained beat that meanders forwards, as if it might break free from the tempo at any moment."—Patrick D. McDermott. Read the full write up.
E.m.m.a., "Light Years"
"The universe as composed not with some $3000 dollar modular synthesizer but with the tried-and-true FL Studio—and she's not done with that concept, either, as she told us in a conversation about "Light Years," the track we're premiering today."—Alexander Iadarola. Read the full write up here.
Quilt, "Mary Mountain"
"A few years back, music journalist (and, full disclosure personal acquaintance) Liz Pelly went on tour with Massachusetts band Quilt and kept a diary about the experience, a series that made me think about how well-suited Quilt's meandering, harmony-laden folk would be for a cross-country trek."—Patrick D. McDermott. Read the full write up here.
Soft Fangs, "Point of View"
"His new track, "Point of View," is a sleepy little back-porch rock song with thin percussion, wispy vocals and a nowhere-fast melody."—Patrick D. McDermott. Read the full write up here.