Exclaim!'s Staff Picks for April 17, 2023: Shygirl, Charlotte Cornfield, Navy Blue

BY Exclaim! StaffPublished Apr 17, 2023

The first weekend of Coachella is done and dusted — and, the even more widely-celebrated first weekend of not spending the entirety of your life savings to watch Frank Ocean's set get cut short in the desert swelter, has also come to pass. Whether you were on either of those opposing ends of the spectrum or fell somewhere in between (e.g., caught some of the livestream, perused people's outfits on Instagram), we have another edition of Exclaim!'s Staff Picks hot and ready.

Speaking of hot, you can find more flame emoji-worthy new music in our reviews section.

Charlotte Cornfield
"Cut and Dry"
(Next Door)

Charlotte Cornfield always fills her lyrics with beautiful, evocative images — and on the honey-sweet, softly yearning "Cut and Dry," those details include "your day-old clothes, your unmade bed." This exceptionally pretty plea for reconciliation is the latest taste of Highs in the Minuses follow-up Could Have Done Anything, out May 12.
Alex Hudson


Not-so-secretly one of Winnipeg's greatest bands, Mulligrub returned earlier this month with the ascendant "Homebody," a fluorescent tangle of guitar and voice that finds the trio in the house and in their own heads. "Homebody" first surfaced as a demo on Real Love's Beach Station Blues IV compilation in 2015, but its 2023 form is a level-up in every sense; the drums patter like rain, the guitars dart like shimmering fish, and Riley Hill's and Kelly Campbell's elastic voices snap against one another in sideways harmony. It's good to have them back. 
Kaelen Bell

Navy Blue
Ways of Knowing
(Def Jam)

On his major label debut, polymath Sage Elsesser remains grounded, yet receptive to growth in delivering clear-eyed reflections on the feelings and figures that have shaped him to this point: parents, grandparents, close friends and contemporaries. His warm, spirited writing is a welcome match for gospel-leaning production handled entirely by Budgie, making for a listen that, if nothing else, is a reminder to call your family and tell them you love them.
Calum Slingerland

Crispy Crunchy Nothing
(Fire Talk / Royal Mountain)

Crispy Crunchy Nothing epitomizes the hollow-ringing phrase "something to chew on." Likewise, it marries excess and lack with not a single one of its 14 tracks making it to the three-minute mark. In raw, piecemeal folk snapshots and grungy bursts of feeling, the project helmed by Madeline Link mirrors the fragmentary and perpetually unfinished grieving process — as she drawls on the closer, "So now I feel alive / So now I feel alive."
Megan LaPierre

"Playboy / Positions"
(Because Music Ltd.)

Since Toronto had a delusional start to Hot Girl Summer last week, it's only fitting that the return of milder weather is soundtracked by an icy Shygirl effort. A standout from Nymph_o, the deluxe edition of last year's Nymph, "Playboy / Positions" serves as a voyeur to the opposing sides of her sexuality. It's a double-edged sword that switches up midway, leaving no room for diffidence. 
Sydney Brasil

James Vickery
Sheet Music
(Left Side Recordings)

James Vickery pushes the envelope on his latest EP Sheet Music, introducing the project by putting an R&B spin on Willy Wonka's "Pure Imagination" as surgically-layered a cappella harmonies melt into his unmistakably smooth vocals on "Only You." Fellow London native Kojey Radical's conversational rap verse fits perfectly on "With U," ushering in the EP's finale: a proclamation of love co-written by Toronto's Dylan Sinclair, "Always Knew."
Ben Okazawa

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