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The Music Room

At twenty-four, Syd has already joined (and left) the goofball hip-hop collective Odd Future, formed the sultry R&B band The Internet and collaborated with Kaytranada, so it comes as no surprise that she sounds confident beyond her years on her excellent solo debut Fin (Columbia). Syd’s moody, muted tracks display a particular sort of swagger—less Kanye-style Christ figure, more restrained self-assuredness à la Frank Ocean. The album’s understated, beat- and bass-heavy production typically yields the spotlight to her slinky melodies—with the exception of the fragmented samples on “Shake Em Off” and the eerie synth hook on “All About Me”—letting Syd be the album’s true anchor, poised and plucky. It takes a certain fearlessness to include a one-minute, simultaneously sexy and silly track entirely about cunnilingus.

For just two guys, Japandroids make a lot of noise. On their third LP, Near to the Wild ...

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