Kali Uchis + Tyler, the Creator - After the Storm

Sunflowers, springtime, butterflies, pastels – these are just a couple of things that come to mind when we think of Kali Uchis and Tyler, the Creator together.

The duo has previously teamed up on the song “PERFECT” as well as its corresponding music video:

Clearly, the two have mastered a fresh yet timeless aesthetic and sound together. I am convinced everything these two do together will always be impeccably executed.

Directed by Nadia Lee Cohen, “After the Storm” shows us just how possible it could be to add “LOVER” to your grocery list and go to the nearest convenience store to cross that off.

As a play on Tyler, the Creator’s most recent album Flower Boy, Kali grows herself her very own “Flower Man”, who is forced to endure every season and believe as the song states: “The sun will come up, nothing good ever comes easy.” An animated Bootsy Collins delivers his playful ad-libbing from the labels of his own name-brand foods.

Seemingly set in the surreal time and place of Edward Scissorhands, this music video is captivating to watch and extremely fitting for the types of projects these two consistently and masterfully release. See for yourself below.

Villette - Drip Crimson

“Who do you think I am?”

New Zealand’s R&B beauty Villette ends several tracks rhetorically asking this question in her debut mixtape Drip Crimson. With every track, I feel as though she doesn’t aim to answer this question for herself; rather, she targets those who have questioned her sense of self and sends out a message for those who think they know who she really is.

For example, in “If You Go,” Villette is kicking butt and taking names:

Take me as I am
I’m not the type to switch it up for no one
Think you know me now b****, please
Keep my circle small
You can’t sit with us
You can’t hit with us
You don’t wanna bang like us
You can’t chill with us

Through this song, she reclaims her individuality, and in this way, Drip Crimson is about identity- specifically Villette’s own. She simultaneously reveals her truest self and shares with us a personal and heartfelt masterpiece.

With a cover that oozes pleasure and a name that feels good leaving open lips, Drip Crimson entirely captures the uninhibited, unapologetic self-expression that Villette embodies throughout each track.

As listeners, we explore Villette’s love life and sexuality, both of which are dynamic and entirely relatable. “Missed Call” shows us Vilette’s softer side:

I never miss a call when you’re calling
I promise to stay when it gets boring
I know it’s out of fashion to be this in love
But it’s okay, it’s alright
‘Cause I’m yours

Complete with perfect harmonies, powerful beats and a synth that will have you swimming in her sound, “Missed Call” alone is a showcase in and of itself of the endless talent of this woman. Her vocals and the production consistently complement each other in such a way that neither ever overpowers the other.

Villette strips away any and all façades in a candid and sincere mixtape. Honest and vivid descriptions of her memories and experiences allow listeners to truly get to know who Villette is in every listen-through. These quiet, private moments are like windows to her innermost self, and we get to look inside:

I like it when you get excited
When you’re nervous, when you smile
When you kiss my neck in the morning, wakey wake
So I pretend to sleep to feel you do it again, do it again

Though fairly specific, the lyrics of “Missed Call” are built upon extremely relatable emotions to those who know the complexity of modern day relationships.

My favorite track “Used 2 Be” presents flawless production by KEV and Villette’s velvet voice. A demanding bass mirrors the sexual tension Villette sings about and induces in her listeners. She also continues her acknowledgment of her identity, both past and present, while taking into consideration who she is in relation to someone else:

Who I am, who I am
Who I am ain’t enough for you
What I want, what I want
What I want ain’t enough for you
Reminiscent hearts, devil in disguise
I am just an outline of the girl I used to be

Villette closes Drip Crimson with “If You Go, Pt. 2,” a stripped down ballad with lyrics that seem to be asking herself the question she’s posed throughout the mixtape – “Who do you think I am?”
She faces the prevalent conflict of whether or not we are satisfied with what others think of us and with what we think of ourselves:

Stay, my lover
All I need is you
If you go, will I ever be the same?
If you go, will I ever feel the same?

Drip Crimson is an intimate invitation into the heart and soul of Villette Dasha. We are so lucky she has given us the opportunity to enter and come out knowing more about ourselves in addition to getting to know her. As a self-proclaimed “one-woman band,” this multi-talented singer, songwriter, rapper, producer, and DJ can quite possibly do anything- and I am eager to see what comes next for her.

Check out Tiffany’s show CTRL ALT DLT here:

Johnny Jewel - Digital Rain

The dominion of indie seems overrun by hordes of hard workers who relish in the self-determined deadlines and the morphable dimensions of the home studio. These provisions mount a sort of insoluble problem for musicians eager to issue their creations the moment the tape reel suspends or content with expanding upon their maximalist palettes of sound. For Johnny Jewel, the analog-minded paragon behind Portland’s discotheque-rockers Chromatics, Italo-punk outfit Glass Candy, amongst a handful of names on the Italians Do It Better roster (a label he conveniently founded and currently operates), composing and arranging music transcends the esoteric persona we’ve perhaps unfairly assigned to independent producers. It’s not only an ethos that heartily shows itself in his numberless endeavors but an amalgamation of overcast attitudes and dancefloor beats that render his discography one of the most consistently engaging across the underground spectrum.

In recent years, Jewel’s medium as an overbooked composer has shifted to scoring films that reconcile his danceable, gloomy approach to pop music—from Ryan Gosling’s Lost River to the Belgian drama Home, one is left to wonder how Jewel’s rife sentimentalism translates into his solo work. Last year’s Windswept compiled several afterthoughts from his decade-long tenure, proving that even prolific pragmatists such as Jewel have untouched material to spare. Nearly eight months later, Jewel returns with Digital Rain, a full-length concept album fawning upon the allure and presence of precipitation that coated his hometowns. Vaporous synthesizers and drum machines at his beck and call albeit with incidental restrain, Jewel’s instrumentals sow ambient movements with the textural stamina of his vintage keyboard assortment.

Throughout his career, Jewel’s philosophies as a songwriter rarely reached beyond the anachronistic beauty of all things retroactive and honed heavily on treated modern ears to his dancefloor-direct productions—Digital Rain delves in fanciful melodies alone, bridging his trademarked instrumentation in Chromatics with the reserved moods of his soundtrack work. Twinkling and veiled by misty keyboard lines, the titular opener recalls the restless feeling of being trapped indoors during a rainy day. Likewise, the Tim Hecker-esque drones of “The City of Roses” chalk out a lavish outline of the Portland skyline puncturing the migratory sea of clouds hovering above. Any which way, these sonically captivating illustrations uncover Jewel’s attempt at framing his songs with the isolationist headset he’s customarily sworn off. This time, the idol worship is marginal, if not scarcely visible past Jewel’s meditative intentions.

Johnny Jewel of Chromatics, Glass Candy, Desire, Symmetry

At first glance, the congested tracklist of Digital Rain seemingly insinuates Jewel is merely caching together half-assed sketches floating around in his disk space rather than confident bangers. The truth of the matter is that Digital Rain’s crowning stroke is its cyclical existence; from start to finish, Jewel’s scattered flow of songs mold into distinctive movements—in fact, it’s less of a pushover to listen to Digital Rain without scouring its tracklist. Without these barriers in name only, the splendid progression from “Mirror Image” to “La Ville de Neige” courses into one succinct arrangement rather than splintered fragments.

Ultimately, Jewel’s methodology in Digital Rain scans as a terrific antithesis to career standouts like Chromatics’ Kill for Love and Glass Candy’s B/E/A/T/B/O/X—without the cadenced stomp of the disco guiding his every move, his synthesizer interpretations are far from lifeless or uninspired. Although it will undoubtedly be swept up in the deluge of his profuse output, Digital Rain is a reflective triumph for Jewel and an afterthought for his listeners that may as well suggest a much-needed period of calm before the imminent revival of Chromatics and Glass Candy.