Stockholm duo Gustav + Vanilla aka Morabeza Tobacco follow up their instant chillwave classic “TTYL” with another hazy lo-fi jam, out today on Luminelle / Naiv Recordings. “Defenders of the Glam” starts off in full early-Ariel-Pink-homage mode, before becoming a duet on that soaring earworm of a chorus — We could be happy and we could be fine, been waiting forever for you to come by — and lifting off into a warped, glowingly romantic ’80s disco-glam glitterbomb…

Continue reading…

This week on Noisey Radio, The Bay’s own Nef The Pharaoh is in the house to discuss his brand new project, The Big Chang Theory. Then, producer and songwriter Danny Ocean takes us inside the sweeping wave of the Latin-influenced pop music. Plus, fashion icon and rapper J $tash brings us some new tunes.

Listen here at 11 AM EST/8AM PST and 11 PM EST/8 PM PST.

Intro Mix
Lil Gotit – “Loco”
Mac Miller – “Nikes on my Feet”
Mac Miller – “Hurt Feelings”

Nef The Pharaoh

Nef The Pharoah
Nef The Pharoah – “86” feat. Cuban Doll, ALLBLACK
Nef The Pharoah – “Tokyo Driftin” feat. Raymond McMahon
Nef The Pharaoh – “That Was God” feat. Jay Brown, Lesia Brown

Danny Ocean

Danny Ocean
Danny Ocean – “Vuelve”
Danny Ocean – “Epa Wei”
Danny Ocean – “Me Rehuso”
Danny Ocean – “Dembow”

J $tash

J $tash
J $tash – “Nigo 2”
J $tash – “GF”
J $tash – “Guerillas 2” ft. Kenny Turnup, Teddy Blow

Six years ago, a handful of talented poets gathered together in a cramped room for Young Chicago Author’s WordPlay showcase. Some acts were people you’ve never heard of, and others were people you’d get to know soon, including a lanky 19-year-old named Chance the Rapper and an already celestial Jamila Woods. Another poet who took the stage hid behind a black bowler hat, which sat atop a head of cropped corkscrew curls. You probably won’t recognize her immediately in the choppy video that captures the events of that evening, but the wide-eyed innocence of her voice is one you’ve heard before.

“Happily, never dapper / Apathy, ever after / Laughing before the rapture,” she rhymes, reimagining Peter Piper’s tongue twister cadence. Her arms move awkwardly, like an orchestra’s conductor, as she instructs the crowd to finish her call and response: “La, la, la / La, la, la, la.” At 20 years old, she was already capable of commanding a crowd, even if beyond the longest-running open mic group for Chicago youth, she was relatively nameless.

Today, Noname arrives with her debut album, Room 25, where she veers away from the anonymity she used as a security blanket in the past, avoiding most press, photos, and visuals for her songs. Before removing the slur “gypsy” from her moniker in 2016, she told Chicago she considered her creativity “nomadic,” with the ability to make music that transcends genres. The album feels like the first time we’re getting a clear picture of Noname as an artist, its brushstrokes more concentrated and less abstract.

She’s always been an exhaustive storyteller—brimming with narrative-driven stanzas that life in Chicago has written for her—but now the story feels like it’s completely hers. Room 25 encompasses sounds and stories beyond the three-block-radius she was once confined to by her grandmother. We always knew Noname was a sophisticated lyricist, but now, she isn’t just relying on the characters around her. She’s the most important occupant of Room 25.

Noname, born Fatimah Warner, has had six years to do some living. A year after performing the WordPlay showcase in Chicago, she appeared on Chance’s 2013 mixtape, Acid Rap. The two careen around each other’s voices on “Lost,” recounting the tale of two druggy lovers. Noname raps about a love she does gymnastics for, only to denied reciprocity. “The empty bottled loneliness, this happiness you seek / The masochism that you preach,” she says. According to Chance, it was “the best guest verse [he’d] ever got from somebody.”

Over the next few years, she continued peeking in and out of features. On Chance’s “Warm Enough” and “Drown,” her flow seemed to be burdened by the city’s violence—a theme she continued to explore on her compact, 33-minute debut, Telefone. The mixtape showcases the best and worst versions of Chicago. “Diddy Bop” is a light-hearted compilation of ass-whippings, basement parties, and crisp sneakers, but “Casket Pretty” is the polar opposite of that. “All of my niggas is casket pretty / Ain’t no one safe in this happy city,” she sings on the hook. A baby coos in the background as Noname conjures an intense image: “Roses in the road, teddy bear outside, bullet to the right.”

With its tales of death and unplanned pregnancies, Telefone was reflective of the unpredictability of living in an impoverished sector of a big city: On one hand, this is home; on the other, scarcity is your only constant. There’s a lack of resources, a lack of money, and the only thing that feels abundant is the trauma associated with civilian PTSD. Still, with its undertones of blues and jazz, Telefone felt like the antithesis to Chicago’s contentious drill scene, a window into what life was like beyond Chicago’s warring nickname. “When I initially created it, I wanted it to feel like a conversation with someone who you have a crush on for the first time,” she said in a 2016 interview with The FADER. The mixtape shares the name of the childhood game Telephone and Noname’s withdrawn delivery ensures that there’s an amount of distance between her and her listeners, and the message is somewhat distorted by the time it gets to the last participant.

If her debut was proof she could generate a buzz of her own, Room 25 feels like she’s opened a door to a portal she didn’t know she possessed. On the album’s opening track, “Self,” she runs through a laundry list of who she thinks Room 25 will resonate with. Halfway through the 90-second song, she abandons the overthinking. “Y’all really thought a bitch couldn’t rap, huh?” she says. “Nah, actually this is for me.”

It’s a declaration about how she’ll approach this album. Where Telefone felt rooted in community, Room 25 is a lesson in self-preservation—an account of one young rapper learning that in order to be present for those around her, she’s got to be present for herself. She raps with swagger, one a lot less understated than she has projected before. She raps: “My pussy teaching 9th grade English / My pussy wrote a thesis on colonialism.”

Pussy? The word is nowhere to be found on Telefone, but Noname will say it twice more within the first two minutes of Room 25. Previously, thoughts of sex ended in a punchline, “Already fried the chicken, but leftovers was my inner thigh / Nah, I’m just playing,” she rapped on ““Forever.” Now, Noname isn’t joking about being provocative when she says “I know he eat me like I’m wifey,” a line from “Montego Bae” that’s followed by a pretty hilarious lyric about giving felatio in Adidas sneakers. “I say ‘pussy’ like a thousand times on the album,” she said in a recent interview with The FADER. “I just was like, OK, now that my pussy is like this character that’s in the book, how do I color [that story in]?

In the interview, she attributed her sexual awakening to losing her virginity after touring Telefone. “My only reason for not having sex was purely insecurity, purely like, I’m too afraid to be naked in front of somebody,” she told the magazine. Insecurities aren’t present anywhere on Room 25, whether she’s rapping about her experiences in the bedroom or her place in the world.

Doses of social commentary make for some of the album’s most powerful moments. “Blaxploitation” drips in 70s flair, weaving together a montage of audio from various blaxploitation films, including 1975 classic Dolemite. One man says, “The revolution was never meant to be easy.” Another says, “Freedom is everybody’s business.” It deviates from the sing-a-long nature of her older songs, with a fast and exaggerated flow. When she raps, “Eating Chick-Fil-A in the shadows, that taste just like hypocrite,” she pronounces the long “I” in “hypocrite.” Using references ranging from minstrel shows to Hillary Clinton, Noname is taking a subgenre of film that was used to commodify the black experience and remaking it in her image, an apt choice of subject matter following the success of films like Sorry to Bother You and BlacKkKlansman this year.

But Noname isn’t just relishing in her newfound confidence; at points, she revisits the candor and vulnerability that made us fall in love with her music the first place. “Prayer Song”’s swirling production sounds like organized chaos, an appropriate backdrop for when she asks, “Why, oh why, my dick getting bigger / Does violence turn me on?” On “Don’t Forget About Me,” the rapper makes the switch from the narrator we’ve known her to be and becomes a main character, confiding in her listeners: “The secret is I’m actually broken,” she says over an infectious groove, the plucks of a guitar hopscotching behind her words. “Tell ‘em Noname still don’t got no money / Tell ‘em Noname almost passed out drinking / Secret is she really thinks it saves lives.” Though we still don’t know everything about Noname, the song leaves us feeling closer than we’ve ever felt to her. She’s asking those around her to remember her when she hasn’t even remembered herself.

Kristin Corry is a staff writer at Noisey. Follow her on Twitter .

The self-proclaimed “Dean of American Rock Critics,” Robert Christgau was one of the pioneers of music criticism as we know it—the music editor of the Village Voice from 1974 to 1985 and its chief music critic for several decades after that. At the Voice he created both the annual Pazz & Jop Critics’ Poll and his monthly Consumer Guides. Christgau was one of the first critics to write about hip-hop and the only one to review Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water with one word: “Melodic.” He taught at New York University between 1990 and 2016, and has published six books, including his 2015 memoir Going Into the City. A seventh, Is It Still Good to Ya?: Fifty Years of Rock Criticism 1967- 2017, will be available from Duke University Press in October. Every Friday we run Expert Witness, the weekly version of the Consumer Guide he launched in 2010. To find out more, read his welcome post; for almost five decades of critical reviews, check out his regularly updated website.

The Mekons 77: It Is Twice Blessed (Slow Things) These are not the legendary yet by some mischance obscure Brit-born Mekons an adoring cabal swears by—the collective led by Jon Langford whether or not the Country Music Hall of Fame portraitist who also leads the Waco Brothers, the Pine Valley Cosmonauts, the Sadies, and many others admits it. So of course it was Langford who invited the Mekons’ original vocalists—red-tape-cutting touring advisor Andy Corrigan and artist turned international antipoverty volunteer Mark White—to reconvene the 1977 edition of a band where current vocalists Tom Greenhalgh and Jon Langford played guitar and drums. Based on dim recollections of their Virgin debut, I wasn’t surprised to learn the singers still can’t sing, their breathy keen and outraged croak oddly indistinguishable sometimes. Yet as a Mekons fan I stuck at it, and to my surprise, these raggedy-ass plaints now add up to my favorite Mekons album since 2002’s OOOH!. Corrigan and White are old enough to wonder when humanity got bored with peace and recognize that what we do now is the future. They extol border crossers, lose a daughter to war, and note that “the average British household has 50,000 things.” They’re “Still Waiting” for “an end to world hunger” and “the money to trickle down.” And Brits though they be, they take care to address “You Lied to Us” to the president of the United States of America. A MINUS

Tropical Fuck Storm: A Laughing Death in Meatspace (Tropical Fuck Storm/Mistletone) Crucially, this reboot of vocalist-lyricist-guitarist Gareth Liddiard’s Perth-spawned, Melbourne-based, Canberra-averse Drones, who earned grunge-retro renown in their politically dysfunctional land without ever breaking Stateside, leans on three women: guitarist-keyboardist Erica Dunn, drummer Lauren Hammel, and former Drones bassist Fiona Kitschin, without whose shading and amplification the frontman’s sociohistorical ravings might evoke a woke Nick Cave flexing his baritone. Although Socrates’ hemlock meets Jesus’ crucifixion and “The Future of History” details Gary Kasparov’s 1997 defeat by a computer, the history part is seldom head-on. But whether the subject is family of assholes in legal trouble they deserve or plywood houses that should be armor-plated, Liddiard’s songs are more sociopolitically situated than less verbose types generally manage, plus there’s a Trump number where an Oompa Loompa brandishes drones and nukes. “The down side is that we’re all about to get royally fucked / And the upside is we’re all about to get screwed,” he concludes. In most rock, this kind of dark joke comes off cheap if not stupid. Tropical Fuck Storm know how to scare you with them. A MINUS

Ceramic Dog: YRU Still Here? (Northern Spy) Disruptive, radical, all that good stuff, Marc Ribot-Shahzad Ismaily-Ches Smith jams are nonethless strongest at their most ideological (“Fuck La Migra,” “Pennsylvania 6 6666,” “Muslim Jewish Resistance”) ***

Ike Reilly: Crooked Love (Rock Ridge) Never-say-die hipster rails at the powers that be—wins one occasionally, too (“Boltcutter Blues,” “Clean Blood Blues”) **

Marc Ribot: Songs of Resistance 1942-2018 (Anti-) True politics, true musicianship, and true diversity, with barely an anthem or fight song to be heard (“John Brown [Feat. Fay Victor],” “Knock That Statue Down [Feat. Mark Ribot & Syd Straw],” “Ain’t Gonna Let Them Turn Us Around [Feat. Steve Earle & Tift Merritt]”) *

Follow Robert Christgau on Twitter.

Every week, the Noisey staff puts together a list of the best and most important albums, mixtapes, and EPs from the past seven days. Sometimes it includes projects we’ve written about on the site already; sometimes it’s just made up of great records that we want everyone to hear, but never got the chance to write about. The result is neither comprehensive nor fair. We hope it helps.

Noname: Room 25

With its undertones of blues and jazz, [Noname’s debut] Telefone felt like the antithesis to Chicago’s drill scene. “When I initially created it, I wanted it to feel like a conversation with someone who you have a crush on for the first time,” she said in a 2016 interview with The Fader. Though artfully assembled, the mixtape borrows much from the childhood game of Telefone. Noname’s inward delivery ensures that there’s an amount of distance between her and her listeners, and the message, like the game, remains somewhat distorted by the time it gets to the last participant. If her debut was proof she was self-sufficient and could generate a buzz of her own, Room 25 feels like she’s opened a door to a portal she didn’t know she possessed. On the album’s opening track, “Self,” she runs through a laundry list of who she thinks Room 25 will resonate with. Halfway through the 90-second song, she abandons the overthinking. “Y’all really thought a bitch couldn’t rap, huh?” she says. “Nah, actually this is for me.” — Kristin Corry

Dilly Dally: Heaven

Heaven is healing, intimate, an understanding that absence weighs more than presence, that life is both sweet and sour. It’s the record you wish you had in high school, a voice acknowledging your hurt all while giving you mantras to hold the hell on to. “The more I do this life, the more I realize that music is 100 percent the closest thing I’ve ever had to a religion,” Monks says. “It’s through music that I seek to find the answers for all the pain that exists. Hopefully this record will spawn a bunch of new cults or something, that’d be sick.” Monks jokes, breaking into a grin. “Like the good ones, not those bad ones.” — Jill Krajewski, Dilly Dally Almost Died

The Goon Sax: We’re Not Talking

We’re Not Talking looks beyond the boilerplate of ‘Australian Rock’, finding inspiration in avant legends like Jenny Hval, Pere Ubu, ESG and The Raincoats. Tracks like “Losing Myself” and “We Can’t Win” experiment with synths and drum machines, giving the music a hermetically sealed, internal feeling that’s true to the songs’ tone. Violins screech on “She Knows” as if laid down by Vicky Aspinall, while baroque horns on “Make Time 4 Love” cast Louis as a dour, sassy Jens Lekman, giving his theatrical vocal (one of the best on the record, going from romantic to downcast to straight-up petulant over the song’s runtime) an adequately dramatic padding. — Shaad D’Souza, The Goon Sax Are Indie Pop’s Next Best Mess

The Dirty Nil: Master Volume

[The Dirty Nil] is a high-voltage machine—an opening act that blows away every headliner with ease and a smile. For their appropriately titled sophomore album, Master Volume, the band set out to make a perfect rock record and they succeeded. On “Pain of Infinity,” the Nil crafted a spiraling, hypnotic hook capable of boring its way into any eardrum. “Auf Wiedersehen” is the album’s Germanic fuck-off power ballad. “Always High” and “I Don’t Want That Phone Call” both break from traditional “sex, drugs, and rock and roll” norms, pleading with a friend to pump the breaks on their substance intake before things head south. And the closer, “Evil Side,” features a slow build-up that carries the record out on a wave of feedback and distortion. — Dan Ozzi, The Dirty Nil’s ‘Master Volume’ Is the Album Rock ‘n’ Roll Deserves

la plimbare: la plimbare

In mixing field recordings from the coastal town of Constanta, Romania with more-often-than-not-atonal squelches of synthesizers, the sound artist la plimbare positions herself as an audio documentarian marking our environment’s slow slide into total disrepair. Bird calls ring listlessly over commercial drones, water sounds swirl in anxious loops, evoking the long-tail destruction of the organic in favor of (ultra-profitable) mechanized industry. It’s a reminder of what we stand to lose as we continue to neglect the needs of the planet we call home. Once it’s gone, only a low hum of despair remains. It’ll sound like a saw wave. — Colin Joyce

Aphex Twin: Collapse EP

The bitcrushed cityscapes and rippling countrysides in the video for Aphex Twin’s tensely coiled “T69 Collapse” more or less get at the atmosphere of the latest from Warp’s most acidic prankster. Both on that quasi-title track and elsewhere he experiments fractalized visions of familiar forms—experimenting tesselating dub on “1st 44,” muzak breakbeats on “pthex”—resulting in the purest pleasures of an RDJ release in recent memory. It’s precarious comfort food, like a dosed bag of Lays. Bet you can’t eat just one. — Colin Joyce

Dustin Wong: Fluid World Building 101 With Shaman Bambu

These multi-dimensional electronic explorations rocketing along with immense joy and unbelievable naivety. Wong, the splatter-painting multi-instrumentalist, crafts boisterous jams for an “imaginary ensemble” of jumpy digital percussionists, which sounds something like a group of adolescent AI trying to recreate “Under the Sea” before giving up, giggling at how funny a steel drum sounds. — Colin Joyce

6lack: East Atlanta Love Letter

The mystery of 6lack found its way throughout his debut, FREE 6LACK, a 14-track album that used gloomy production to teeter on the lines of hip-hop and R&B. Two years later, 6lack is no longer hiding behind his dreads and the new father is using East Atlanta Love Letter as an attempt to right his wrongs—or at least that’s what he says on “Loaded Gun.” “Zone 6” and “lemon pepper wet” references aren’t the only cultural signifiers in his 48-minute tribute to his hometown. With the exception of J. Cole, East Atlanta’s tracklist features Future and Offset, and cites Young Thug as someone whose music he uses as refuge on “Thugger’s Interlude.” The 14 tracks aren’t the “baby, please” love songs pulled from the 90s, but “Pretty Little Fears” is his version of a love song. “Could you tell me like it is / Pretty little fears / Music to my ears,” he sings. East Atlanta feels somewhat like a conversation when 6lack strings together vignettes of stories from women before retorting with an answer with his suede vocals. 6lack isn’t your traditional romantic, but he’s loving the only way he knows how. — Kristin Corry

Devontée: Head Gone

After three years of loosies, Toronto’s Devontee finally followed up his 2015 tape District Vibe with a project that doubles down on the modern GTA identity he helped mold. With a Kardinal Offishal guest feature on “Real Rudebwoy,” an album title borrowed from dancehall, and key interjections of “are you dumb?,” Head Gone couldn’t be more Toronto if it tried. Compared to the somber ruminations that continue to define the scene’s major players, Devontee has more fun with things, dropping lines like “W on my head like I’m Wario” into the mix and burning sticky, Migos-esque hooks like “Never That” into the brain. The famous “WOE” neologism Devontee coined stands for “Working on Excellence” and Head Gone shows that’s just what he’s been doing. — Phil Whitmer

Follow Noisey on Twitter.

Pop icon Mariah Carey recently announced that she will be releasing an album sometime this year. Also, actor Jim Carrey has a new TV show or something. Like most websites, we love participating in the time-honored internet tradition of ranking things, and we’d love nothing more than to put together the official rankings of both Carey’s albums and Carrey’s movies. But time is money here so they’re just going to have to share a list. We’re sorry. We wish we could devote a ranked list to each of them but we’re tight on time right now. Something came up this week and it became a whole thing, ugh. So anyway, please enjoy this ranking of Mariah Carey’s albums and (most of) Jim Carrey’s movies.

36. Glitter

Glitter?

35. Mr. Popper’s Penguins

All the LSD in the world couldn’t make this movie watchable.

34. Dumb and Dumber To

Literally the only people who wanted this movie to get made are 60-year-old bachelor uncles who own whoopie cushions.

33. Merry Christmas II You

Unlike the other Carrey’s woke antics, Carey has actually delivered real social commentary through her art. You see, the album was a “gift” you paid for because she understands, better than anyone, that the true spirit of Christmas is consumerism. You’re welcome.

32. Lemony Snicket’s a Series of Unfortunate Events

It sure was.

31. The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

It sure wasn’t.

30. Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse

“What the fuck you know about what I need on my mind, motherfucker? My name was on the street? When we bounce from this shit here, y’all going to go down on them corners and let the people know: Word did not get back to me. Let them know Mariah step to any motherfucker… MY NAME IS MY NAME.” — Mariah Carey

29. Fun with Dick and Jane

Yeah, we could make the obvious dick joke or we could ask where Téa Leoni’s been at lately!

28. A Christmas Carol

This movie was like watching all the cutscenes in a Christmas-themed version of Grand Theft Auto.

27. How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Ron Howard, you’ve done it again!

26. Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel

LOL. “OBSESSED” IS THE BEST DISS RECORD ABOUT EMINEM EVER RECORDED. JOE BUDDEN, WHO? MACHINE GUN KELLY, WHERE?

25. The Majestic

Not funny.

24. E=MC²

“Touch My Body” premiered at the season premiere party of The Hills season four, meaning it was the last time we saw the Lauren Conrad and Mariah Carey crossover in the pop culture zeitgeist.
Fun fact: The initials LC and MC can also be put in alphabetical order. Yes, this is definitely correct.

23. Bruce Almighty

This is a movie about a white guy who thinks he can do a better job at being God than Morgan Freeman.

22. Earth Girls Are Easy

Oh, uh, we’ve definitely seen this one. Totally. He’s like an alien or something.

21. Charmbracelet

Due to the success of Pokémon, Carey briefly had the album under the working title Charmeleon. While the title would ultimately be changed, several years later her song inspired the single “All I Want For Christmas is Mew!

20. Yes Man

Same fucking premise as Liar Liar. What are we… stupid???

19. Rainbow

Remember when Mariah Carey did a cover of Phil Collins? Mariah doesn’t. Remember 98 Degrees? Mariah doesn’t either.

18. Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls

Gets a lot of points for forcing a generation to watch and then think about that whole Rhino scene for the rest of their lives. Disturbing shit.

17. Me, Myself & Irene

Trying to remember anything that happens in this movie and only coming up with that scene where he gets a huge boner.

16. Emotions

Credit to Mariah for releasing the world’s first emo album. Sunny Day Real Estate owes her a debt of gratitude.

15. Man on the Moon

This movie was cool until you watch the doc about the making of it and then realize that Carrey was just using method acting as an excuse to harass the cast and crew.

14. Liar Liar

Pants on fire! Haha! Anyway the pen is blue!

13. Merry Christmas

We owe her everything for inventing Christmas.

12. Mariah Carey

The beginning. The end. The alpha AND the omega. She had the range, but life did not. The nucleus for all that is good, bad, and better than Jennifer Lopez.

11. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

Minus points for the rampant transphobic humor. Plus points for talking out of his butt.

10. Batman Forever

Fuck the haters. The Schumacher era of Batman ruled! Bring on the Bat Nipples. Riddle me this: Why didn’t this movie win the Oscar for best frickin’ movie ever made?

9. Music Box

8. The Truman Show

A movie ahead of its time, The Truman Show gets points for predicting some version of the technological Big Brother hellscape we’ve found ourselves in, but it also stinks because oh my god we get it this movie resonated with you as a kid and you think about it when you tweet and stuff. Oh, and in case we don’t see ya…. Good afternoon, good evening, and be sure to hit that Subscribe button, guys.

7. The Emancipation of Mimi

Literally an album of bops. Start to finish.

6. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

This one gets points for technically being Carrey’s best movie, but loses points for basic people quoting “Meet me in Montauk” in their dating profiles for at least a decade.

5. The Cable Guy

Critically LOATHED. Audiences hated this movie when it came out because Carrey’s performance did not meet his previous cinematic standards of talking out of his own ass. But boy was everyone wrong because this film fuckin’ ruuuules. “Doth thou have a mug of ale for me and me mate? He has been pitched in battle for a fortnight, and has a king’s thirst for the frosty brew that doth might brow for doth!”

4. Daydream

If you listen to this album without crying, you can’t be trusted. “One Sweet Day,” “Always Be My Baby.” COME ON!

3. Dumb & Dumber

There is literally not a single unfunny second in this movie.

2. Butterfly

Thanks to Mariah Carey this album contains the only known artifact of Sisqo and Prince being on the same song together. Nothing will surpass this.

1. The Mask

Smmmmooookey.