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Music Staff Picks: The Best Releases of April

billy woods – Aethiopes On Aethiopes, billy woods reestablishes his strengths as a storyteller, with help from producer Preservation’s experimentally jazzy beats. By now, woods has cemented himself as one of hip hop’s greatest writers, and his brooding yet clever introspection sounds especially powerful over Preservation’s musical backdropping. Samples of pianos will twinkle across some tracks, and pound discordantly on others, while electric guitars ring and horns blow. By the time the harmonica enters the equation, the beats here are unparalleled. It is an enveloping atmosphere completed by excellent percussion, which moves between hand drums, full kits, and shuffling jangles … Continued

Bound and Proud: “Blankets” by Craig Thompson

Even twelve years after its release, “Blankets” is required reading for anyone who enjoys a good comic (or are fatigued by the medium being dominated by ass-kicking superheroes), a touching love story, or is looking for a great narrative to curl up with once the snow starts falling outside. Mix up some hot chocolate, turn on the fireplace, and grab a couple blankets, including this one.

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