There’s a lot of music out there. To help you cut through all the noise, every week The A.V. Club is rounding up A-Sides, five recent releases we think are worth your time. You can listen to these and more on Spotify. Little Simz, “101 FM” [Age 101 Music/AWAL, December 4] The English emcee Little Simz’ 2016 album, Stillness In Wonderland, was an immensely likable LP, showcasing a rapper at ease within wide-open, jazz-y spaces, transitioning smoothly into croons and watery interludes. Nice as it all was, though, none of it exactly stuck, which is why it’s fun to hear her lace some harder drums on the new single “101 FM.” She’s nimble and unaffected, reminiscing over hand-rolled Rizzla joints, fuss-free battle raps, and playing Crash Bandicoot as a kid. After “Boss” and “Offence,” it’s her third single in advance of a 2019 LP, all of which show a clearer focus, a harder edge, and a lot more promise. [Clayton Purdom] Holly Herndon & Jlin, “Godmother” (featuring Spawn) [4AD, December 3] Over the last two years, avant electronic producer Holly Herndon and her partner, Mat Dryhurst, have been rearing a baby. Not just your everyday baby: Spawn is an artificial neural network who’s been learning the voices of her parents and evolving on contact with Herndon and Dryhurst’s audiences and their extended family of artist and collaborators. On “Godmother” Spawn makes her studio debut by interpreting the work of Herndon’s friend and fellow experimentalist Jlin—Spawn’s godmother—in the voice she learned… [Read full story]
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