Jarvis Cocker and the Neverending Cowbell
Kacy Hill! Anthony Naples! Monikaze! Salem Hilal! A HUGE bassline!!
Hello! Welcome to the Unskippables, where the tracks are mostly fresh and we’re all about the ambient stress lifestyle.
A few fun notable reads and releases before we get to this week’s Unskippables:
The Stereogum 20 year anniversary pieces have been uniformly great, and this take on (imo) the best Fugazi album is another delightful read
This piece on visibility and power in a newsroom applies to all creative work - who gets made invisible when we need to believe in singular geniuses?
I released a new track with Michelle Rose! The single “i wanna be wrong” is out everywhere today. I hope you listen and enjoy.
THE UNSKIPPABLES #12
Jarvis Cocker - Elle Et Moi
A cover of Max Berlin? By Jarvis Cocker? And there’s a whole album of this? Fantastic. All you need to know is yes, that cowbell goes on for the whole song.
Anthony Naples - Chameleon
The title track from Anthony Naples’ first album since 2012, “Chameleon” moves from ambient soundscape to deconstructed breakbeat to a fractured guitar and Rhodes duet over a low buzzing drone. It hulks along like a half-built robot, but there’s power in its halting gait, like Battles taking on lounge jazz.
Monikaze - Give Me Your Soul
From Mochi Mochi records, Monikaze is the solo project of Monika Zenkeviciute, and shares the slightly left-of-center strut of early Hot Chip and 00’s IDM. On “Give Me Your Soul,” Monikaze rides a bright and galloping beat with a melody that finds the midpoint between Fever Ray and the best Prince b-sides. Her whole album Waste of Space has a skittish and endearing energy that’s worth a spin.
Kacy Hill - Simple, Sweet, and Smiling
Kacy Hill wrote this song amidst the return of her agoraphobic panic disorder, thinking of being “simple, sweet and smiling” as something aspirational, wanting to be light for the people you care about. It helps that the song’s driving motorik beat and cozy organs match her anthemic intent with a familiar and intimate sound.
Salem Hilal - Never
Brooklyn artist Salem Hilal - who, full disclosure, works out of the same studio space as me - released this monosynth étude earlier this week, anchored around a doodled melody and single-synth performance, with a “Prayer Mix” b-side refracting the performance back through (somehow) even more negative space. All profits from the track go to Make The Road NY, and here’s a little more on the track from Salem himself:
“I recorded it in one take. I used it as a way to get to know a synth better — I used to play the cello, and I found the Model D lends itself really well to muscle memory (there aren’t any menus and all the controls are on its faceplate)….I was a little burnt out from trying to make dancefloor music over and over. I needed a breath, and this really helped with that.”
Pleasure - Get To The Feeling
A really nasty bassline that doesn’t dare get clever for four and a half minutes.
That’s all this week - see you next Friday, and if you haven’t already - please subscribe!