Welcome to On Blast, a new weekly column/playlist where we share what music we're actually listening to, new and old.
Lorde - "Ribs" (Ryan Hemsworth's Let's Have A Sleepover Version)
The endlessly affable Ryan Hemsworth has an uncanny knack for taking perfect pop songs and somehow improving upon them (see: his bootleg mix of Frank Ocean's "Thinkin' Bout You"). "Ribs" is the most poignant and wonderful song on Lorde'sPure Heroine, an album full of poignant and wonderful songs. Hemsworth light - but extremely deft - touch gives Lorde's anxiety of growing up an evocative edge. Maximum ;')core emoshun.
Actress - "Gaze"
The indisputable high watermark of Actress' final album, Ghettoville (Tolzmann's review is forthcoming), "Gaze" has been soundtracking the chilly nighttime walks I'm prone to in January. The whole album is incredible, but I often catch myself inadvertently looping this one for half an hour or so.
SOPHIE - BIPP/ELLE
SOPHIE's irresistibly elastic breakthrough single came out last summer, and while it wasn't everywhere the way CHVRCHES or Disclosure were, it did seem to prophesy what post-Grimes pop could sound like in 2014. And goddamn, is it good.
Beyoncé - "***Flawless (feat. Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche)"
My current favorite song to strut to (in slow motion, natch). Bonus: also good for a self-esteem boost. "I woke up like this; we flawless!"
Gorgon City - "Ready For Your Love"
Gorgon City are one of several deep house acts coming out of the UK and other places positioned to be "2014's Disclosure." That kind of hype can easily get out of hand and set people up for disappointment, but their new single (out Jan. 26) has all the trappings of a really good Disclosure song, so you never know...
Nicolas Jaar - Our World
Really inspiring stuff from Nicolas Jaar. Our World remembers the treasure that was John Lennon on the 33rd anniversary of his murder. "An unspeakable tragedy." It hasn't left my regular rotation since its release last December. (Free download)
Sigur Ros - Kveikur
A Good Friend's effusive praise of Sigur Rós' last album, Kveikur (an album we really liked, but for some reason or another, quickly forgot about) inspired a brief listening binge. Yep, the album is still very good; it's Sigur Rós' most immediate work, probably ever. It's also their darkest. You could even say its their dirtiest - "Brennistein" bridges militaristic industrial discord with Sigur Rós' signature post-rock in a way I never imagined possible. But it isn't all Nolan-esque doom and gloom. "Ísjaki," the most traditionally "dream pop" track on the record ranks among the bands' catchiest moments. In fact, it's more instant than most of the dream pop canon. My Good Friend was right, I did undervalue Kveikur.