2019: Second Quarter Favorites 25 incredible releases from the last three months

For each year's first three quarters, we celebrate by sharing a list of our favorite music releases. Unlike our year-end lists, these quarter features are casually compiled, with an aim to spotlight the underdogs and the lesser-heard among the more popular picks. More from this series


M. Geddes Gengras

I Am the Last of That Green and Warm-Hued World

[Hausu Mountain]

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[LISTEN · READ]

Do you remember the first ambient album you heard that made you appreciate the genre? Do you remember the way the room’s color tinted slight? Maybe it instilled a sense of calm or enhanced your focus. Did it ease you into a memory, gently guiding you along without words or suggestion, giving you space? I Am the Last of That Green and Warm-Hued World by M. Geddes Gengras reminded me of the first time I fell in love with the genre. I could feel the air thicken with Appalachian humidity. I remembered the unkempt trees lazily hanging over the highway, rolling into the way station and waiting in line at the pump. I drifted off into a meditative state with the sounds anchoring me like mala beads. When it was over, I wanted to go back, ease into the record, come and go as I pleased, watch as the world became green and warm-hued.


Puto Tito

Carregando A Vida Atrás Das Costas

[Príncipe]

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[LISTEN · READ]

Recorded throughout 2014-15 in the low-stakes context of a bedroom producer barely into his teens, Carregando A Vida Atrás Das Costas is a blazing document of a geographically-defined sound retrieved by Príncipe from the borderless scrapgrounds of SoundCloud. The Angola-born, Lisbon-based Puto Tito — still only 19 — joyrides the pulse of his Portuguese contemporaries and catalyzes its idiosyncratic mutation through jerky tones and rhythmic fuckery, outré squiggles and disconnected thuds, producer tags and claps clapping a hair too early. This is “deadpan tarraxo” for the empty dance floors of Segundo Torrão, life loaded behind the back, bodies arching and contorting and discovering new poses.


CHAI

PUNK

[Otemoyan]

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[LISTEN]

You don’t have to be Dean Blunt to be mysterious. Enter Chai, a Nagoya-bred school band with members that don’t share their last name and don’t speak on any personal matters. Straddling the line between enigmatic pranksters and fun-seeking carnivalians, PUNK’s MO is self-help truisms and substantive creeds that never wear out their welcome. Who are these girls? They seem bred from a lab that sought to combine Plus-Tech Squeeze Box, Justice, and the music club from K-ON. Theatrics aside, Mana, Kana, Yuuki, and Yuna are unwilling to leave you without a smile. It’s a secretive quest to infuse life into punk, and by god, they just might do it.


Andrew Tasselmyer & Patrick Spatz

Interior Currents

[Constellation Tatsu]

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[LISTEN · READ]

The world has an unerring capacity to overwhelm you quickly these days. You can stick to your rhythm, and then something happens that completely disrupts it. Maybe everything is just moving too fast when we’re expected to get things done, or when and how we’re supposed to respond to events as they happen, even when they have nothing to do with us. The world seeks to isolate us at every opportunity through overwhelming us, to condition us that such a state is perfectly normal and fine. Finding solace in what we can’t control has become so meaningless, because there is barely anything we can control. Yet only in moments of true calm do we realize this situation. The times where we can look inside and recognize the serious problems within ourselves, imposed by a society that wants little more than to turn every man, woman, and trans person into an island.


Beat Detectives

NYPD Records Volume 3: Nefertiti Abstract Movie

[NYPD]

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[LISTEN · READ]

I get the sense from taking in Beat Detectives’ Nefertiti Abstract Movie (though it could easily be any release from the prolific duo of Chris Hontos & Aaron Anderson) that these guys are all about idea generation: jamming into the night, nothing off limits, just scratching those ideas out in the DAW and keeping as much out of the unfinished track graveyard as possible. The result is a gritty, disconnected style that flits around hip-hop in the loosest way imaginable, plucking samples from the ether and often holding things down via a shuffling groovebox. The disjointed narrative seems to invite listening to the tracks on shuffle, suggesting you never know what you might find.

For each year's first three quarters, we celebrate by sharing a list of our favorite music releases. Unlike our year-end lists, these quarter features are casually compiled, with an aim to spotlight the underdogs and the lesser-heard among the more popular picks. More from this series


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