Pryor Stroud: “For What It’s Worth” is an atmospheric R&B slow jam that seems to be on the verge of a self-destructive nervous breakdown; both vocalists, in a mere moment or two, could succumb to an onslaught of uncontrollable weeping, and the beat—a network of noxiously woozy bass and high-reverb electro blips—likewise could bottom-out at any second and strand these vocalists in the very psychic emptiness that they seem to be combatting. All-in-all, the track’s take on downcast, pseudo-sung hip-hop is nothing you couldn’t get from a throwaway Drake song, but its acute sense of sonic melancholy is deserving of multiple listens. [6/10]
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Genre blending is the modus operandi for multi-instrumentalist and producer Kyle Norton, based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. “I Feel Like I’m on Fire”, the lead track of his debut EP under new moniker Norty, is testament to that. With a electronic bedrock, it opens with an anachronistic jazz lounge bassline, piano notes, and brushed drums. The atmosphere is thick and swirls like curlicues of smoke as tempos shift, Norty’s relaxed vocals and hip hop beats join the sound collage.
Emmanuel Elone: There’s a lot to like about “Porch Light”, from it’s beautiful fingerpicking to the sweet fiddle sections. However, the best part, in my opinion, about the song are O’Donovan’s vocals, which are eerily reminiscent of Indigo Girls. At times, it can feel a bit sleepy, especially when the delicate instrumentation and O’Donovan’s melodic vocals combine, but “Porch Lights” is still a great country folk song at its core. [7/10]
Pryor Stroud: The latest release from the Kills’ upcoming Ash & Ice LP, “Heart of a Dog” is a chugging roots-punk stomper that showcases Alison Mosshart’s charred, vindictive, and cyanide-laced vocal acuities. Lyrically, the song refashions the Stooges’ “I Wanna Be Your Dog” to highlight a female protagonist, a protagonist that, while re-gendered, still desires with an animalistic intensity: “I’m loyal / I’m loyal / I got the heart of a dog,” Mosshart belts, and you can imagine her crawling on all fours, frothing at the mouth, baring her teeth, just like Iggy’s anti-hero, but here there’s an even greater sense of unease. Once unchained, what is this dog capable of? [8/10]