The Fortnightly Playlist, September 6th, 2020

I have this desire to always keep including new and different sounds here. What I always say is this: “You probably won’t like everything I include, but you’ll always find something you like.” This tends to match the feedback I often get, so I think it is working. This blog has been going for nearly 4 years, and the playlists go back another year before the blog. Looking back at some of the early lists this week, I realize that how the process of just paying attention has evolved and broadened my own musical preferences.

Missing live music has certainly been a feature of 2020. The last show I went to was back on January 18th. I saw Dessa and Monakr at The Crocodile in Seattle. I don’t really recall the last time I went over 6 months without going to a show. If you count every local gig at every coffee shop, then it would probably go back to before I could drive. There’s a few artists in the list this edition that I’ve seen live. Sarah Jarosz, Deep Sea Diver, and Naked Giants (x2). I sure hope 2021 holds live music again.

I wanted to point out Mark Lanegan this edition. Lanegan was frontman for Screaming Trees their entire run. They didn’t see the kind of success that some of their fellow Washington bands did through the ’90s, but Lanegan, in particular, has shown himself to be a lasting talent. He’s thankfully also very prolific. It seems now that we can just expect an album every year from him, and we can also expect it to be excellent. He also published his memoir back in April, and I’ve heard it is a very difficult but good read. It’s on my booklist for sure.

Other favorites of mine in this edition are Fantastic Negrito, Hinds, Throwing Muses, Barbi Recananti, and The Harlem Gospel Travelers.

tracklist:
Sondre Lerche – Patience
Fantastic Negrito – Chocolate Samurai
Nicola Cruz – Yeva
Disclosure, Fatoumata Diawara – Douha (Mali Mali)
Chong the Nomad – On Fire
Lila Ike – Stars Align
Blu & Exile – The Feeling
Gregory Porter – Faith in Love
Deep Sea Diver, Sharon Van Etten – Impossible Weight
Mark Lanegan – I Wouldn’t Want to Say
Throwing Muses – Bo Diddley Bridge
Bibio – Sleep On The Wing
Sarah Jarosz – Empty Square
The Harlem Gospel Travelers – Fight On!
Wyatt Waddell – Fight!
Gordon Koang – South Sudan
Bronko Yotte – Galvano
Barbi Recanati – Que No
Hinds – Take Me Back
Mourn – Call You Back
Naked Giants – Take a Chance
Son Lux – Last Light

The Fortnightly Playlist, August 23rd, 2020

Raw hip-hop, bright bluegrass, and some punchy punk rock included this edition. There’s a lot of new music out now, and more right around the corner. I’ve got a big list for you this edition.

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6iB51CPGJQN8nM0WVlrPLr?si=KMEhNXGMQY2oHPK7en2Wug

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6iB51CPGJQN8nM0WVlrPLr?si=Q6YHwDchRI6xkF7WhOtw8g

We begin and end with some cover collaborations. Starting off with Sharon Van Etten and Josh Homme’s duet on “(What’s So Funny ’bout) Peace, Love and Understanding” and ending with an ensemble version of “What the World Needs Now” led by Tank and the Bangas. I’ve seen these songs and others in a similar vein start appearing more often, and it’s no wonder given the sort of uncertainty and division in our world right now.

One song that hit me hard this week was “How Long?” by Fantastic Negrito. I was previously unfamiliar with Fantastic Negrito, and was pleasantly surprised to find he’s already got 3 full-length records ready to be discovered. I’ve yet to give the others much time, but his new album, Have You Lost Your Mind Yet, is really good. It’s one of those records that captures the moment very well, and it deserves your attention.

Marlowe is a project that grabbed my attention with their first album 2 years ago. L’Orange, in particular, has a unique production style weaving in samples of old radio theatre and classic blues and jazz to create a story to his records. Marlowe being something of a Crime Drama. L’Orange tends to work with rappers that have a more laid back approach, but Solemn Brigham has a raw, breathless, loud, in-your-face style that creates a juxtoposition to the atmosphere laid down by L’Orange.

Other favorites this edition include Songhoy Blues, Jonsi, The Notwist, and Sarah Jarosz

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Sharon Van Etten, Josh Homme – (What’s So Funny ‘bout) Peace, Love and Understanding
Songhoy Blues – Badala
Budos Band – Long in the Tooth
Fantastic Negrito – How Long?
Marlowe – Future Power Sources
Blimes and Gab – Shelly’s (it’s chill)
The Notwist, Saya – Ship
Throwing Muses – Frosting
Biffy Clyro – North of No South
Midnight Oil – Gadigal Land
Jonsi, Elizabeth Fraser – Cannibal
Bill Frisell – Keep Your Eyes Open
Jerry Joseph – Dead Confederate
Sarah Jarosz – I’ll Be Gone
Dawes – St. Augustine At Night
Low Cut Connie – Stay as Long as You Like
Illuminati Hotties – freequent letdown
The Big Moon – Why
Doves – Carousels
Marlowe – Preach Honest
Jehnny Beth – Heroine
Idles – Model Village
Ty Segall, Cory Hanson – She’s a Beam
Young Jesus – Pattern Doubt
Tank and the Bangas – What the World Needs Now

 

The Fortnightly Playlist, August 10th, 2020

A little late this edition…

One of the most fun covers I’ve heard recently has to be Hinds cover of The Clash’s “Spanish Bombs”. The garage-pop quartet from Madrid do an excellent job both staying true to the spirit of the original while making it very much their own.

I have to mention the new Marlowe 2 record. Now, I was pretty clear about how much I loved that first Marlowe record, and it landed #3 on my favorite records of 2018. L’Orange and Solemn Brigham are back with the follow-up, and it has hit hard. By the time the release was available in the US, it was among the top downloads in the UK. I’m excited to listen to this one much more, and you can expect me to share more from it.

If you’re looking for a new supergroup that sounds different than anything else currently, then look to Dinner Party. Robert Glasper, Kamasi Washington, 9th Wonder, and Terrace Martin have made a beautiful album this year. Jazz, Funk, Hip-hop flowing together joyously. This is different, and it’s so needed.

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Courtney Marie Andrews – How You Get Hurt
Deep Sea Diver – Lights Out
Hum – The Summoning
Cloquet – Garden
Washed Out – Time to Walk Away
BIIANCO, Chong the Nomad – Put You in the Kitchen
Chong the Nomad, Hollis – Take Two
Hollis – Sedative
Residente – Hoy
Marlowe – Can’t Have Me Nothing
Gabriel Teodros – Lemonade
Black Thought – Thought vs Everybody
Noname – Song 33
Dinner Party – First Responders
Phoebe Bridgers – I Know The End
Sylvan Esso – Ferris Wheel
Fontaine’s D.C. – A Lucid Dream
Hinds – Spanish Bombs
Courtney Marie Andrews – It Must Be Someone Else’s Fault
The Chicks – March, March

 

The Fortnightly Playlist, July 26th, 2020

Hey, listen to this!

Lots of flavor from around the world in this edition. Burna Boy, Amber Figueroa, Mammut, Transglobal Underground, Nihiloxica, and Ana Tijoux all bringing a broad array of sounds this time around. It’s also hard to ignore Sault right now. I still don’t know much in terms of who and how many are in Sault, but whatever. They have been making serious waves since last year. They’ve released 3 full albums in a year and a half-ish, and it’s all top notch. The song I chose to include this edition, “Bow”, also features Michael Kiwanuka and is probably the most boldly African-influenced we’ve heard from them.

I need to make clear that Gabriel Teodros has made one of the best albums of the year. Teodros has always had his messaging clear, and finally it seems our culture is hitting on some of the same touchstones. “If They Come For Me In The Morning…” has been ringing in my head since I first heard the song, and the rest of this excellent record, What We Leave Behind, has followed suit. I can’t get enough of this one. Also, starting tomorrow (July 27th, 2020), Gabriel will be hosting an early morning radio show every weekday from 5-7AM Pacific Time on KEXP, so give it a listen because he’s making some good noise.

In the past on this blog, I haven’t often included big pop albums. Sometimes though, an album or artist just can’t be ignored. Beyonce or Kendrick Lamar, for example, become cultural touchstones that are more universal than a typical summer jam. I don’t think I would have expected to include Taylor Swift here, but her surprise album, folklore, has hit in that way. This song, “peace”, has struck me, in particular, and I definitely recommend the album.

Particular favorite of mine in this list are Gabriel Teodros, Hum, Black Ends, and Burna Boy. Also, really loving the new Tunde Adebimpe single, and I’ll include it once it’s available to stream.

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tracklist:
Open Mike Eagle – Neighborhood Protection Spell
Aisha Fukushima – Pandemic
Gabriel Teodros – What You Leave Behind
Sault, Michael Kiwanuka – Bow
Black Ends – Stay Evil
Transglobal Underground – The People Carrier
Ana Tijoux, PJ Sin Suela – Pa Que
Haim – All That Ever Mattered
Burna Boy – Wonderful
Amber Figueroa – Mi Fuego
Taylor Swift – peace
Pacific Range – Santa Monica (Through the Canyon)
Mammut – Sun and Me
Hum – Waves
Dope Walker – Shakes
Nihiloxica – Tewali Sukali

The Fortnightly Playlist, July 12th, 2020

This was a hard week. You see, we’ve had travel plans for a while now, and we finally made the call to cancel them. It was a big trip that we’ve been working toward being able to do for years. It was always off in the future. We had careers and our finances to sort out. It was finally going to happen. I know we’ve got a lot to be thankful for, but it was hard to let go of that trip. We still have our jobs, and, so far, we are still healthy. There are some songs in this edition that helped encourage me this week, and maybe they will do the same for you too.

There’s a double dose of Jenn Wasner’s gorgeous vocals in this edition with a new single from Wye Oak and a new EP under her solo project, Flock of Dimes. Wasner is one of my favorite vocalists lately, and this new Wye Oak single, “AEIOU”, was one that hit me as soon as I heard it the first time.

Another song that I’ve been connecting with is Joensuu 1685’s newest song, “Light in the Heart of Our Town”. The Finnish band is reunited after Mikko Joensuu’s trio of solo albums, Amen I, Amen II, and Amen III. I’ve recommended those before, but I can’t recommend them enough.

Other favorites here are Tre Burt, Phoebe Bridgers, Ayron Jones, and Fenne Lily.

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tracklist:
Sufjan Stevens – America
Joensuu 1685 – Light in the Heart of Our Town
Phoebe Bridgers – Graceland Too
Tre Burt – Only Sorrow Remains
Khruangbin – Time (You and I)
Chicano Batman – Moment of Joy
Sault – Stop Dem
Ayron Jones – Take Me Away
Death Valley Girls – Breakthrough
Smokey Brights – Shelter Me
Fenne Lily – Alapathy
Half Gringa – 1990
Wye Oak, Brooklyn Youth Chorus – AEIOU
CeeLo Green – Lead Me
Tre Burt – What Good
Holly Macve – Little, Lonely Heart
Odina – Heartache
Flock of Dimes – Thank You Friends and Strangers

The Fortnightly Playlist, June 28th, 2020

Local, National, Global artists, relative unknowns and household names, new projects and longrunners… I like the balance I’ve struck this edition.

When artists respond to the world and events surrounding us, they put to words a lot of things we feel and weren’t able to put words to. It’s a skill that seems all the more important right now. As I noted last edition, Run The Jewels is probably the most fitting artist to drop an album into the chaos of the past month, and I’ll stand by that. A lot of artists have been working to help us process. Anderson.Paak’s new single, “Lockdown”, nails it. Beyonce’s new single, “BLACK PARADE”, does as well. One of my favorite discoveries of the last couple weeks is Gabriel Teodros new album, What We Leave Behind.

Other favorites in this edition are Jade Hairpins, OCNotes, IDLES, and Songhoy Blues.

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tracklist:
Cults – Spit You Out
Pottery – Hot Heater
Teyana Taylor, Quavo – Let’s Build
Gabriel Teodros, Aisha Fukushima – It They Come For Me In The Morning…
Anderson.Paak – Lockdown
OCNotes – Illusions Illusions Prelude
Jade Hairpins – Don’t Break My (Devotion)
Bully – Where to Start
Moses Sumney – Cut Me
Songhoy Blues – Worry
The Neverly Boys – Let Love In
IDLES – Grounds
Run The Jewels, 2 Chainz – out of sight
John Legend, Rapsody – Remember Us
Beyonce – BLACK PARADE
Public Enemy – State of the Union (STFU)

The Fortnightly Playlist, June 14th, 2020

Hey folks, got some new music here! It took some time to get around to writing this because it felt like there were so many other places that required time and energy. Here it is though, and there’s some great new music here. Hopefully, there is some encouragement for you in it.

I have been very into this new Moses Sumney record, and I’m excited for my vinyl copy to arrive that I ordered last week. Sumney is an artist that doesn’t really put out easy music. It can take time to, and a few listens to get into what he is doing. It can take listening actively to get the real reward of it. That said, it isn’t so far out there that he’s inaccessible. He’s got a skill that draws you in very well, and you can follow into the harder areas. In Grae, he touches on romance, race, rage, peace… it’s a record I can see looking back on in 10 years as a masterpiece.

If there’s a more fitting artist to release a record into the chaos of the last few weeks than Run The Jewels, then let me know. RTJ4 was always going to garner a lot of attention, but dropping it into the world now with an array of guests that include Mavis Staples and Zack de la Rocha just makes it that much more impactful. Run The Jewels has never been shy about their political positions, and listening to it in the our current context hits hard.

Other favorites in this edition are Perfume Genius, Little Simz, Parisalexa, and Galactic.

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tracklist:
Sam Lachow, Raz Simone, Magik – Good Reasons
Little Simz – might bang, might not
Austra – Risk It
Gorillaz, Tony Allen, Skepta – How Far?
Run The Jewels, Josh Homme, Mavis Staples – pulling the pin
Moses Sumney – Bless Me
Perfume Genius – Your Body Changes Everything
Protomartyr – Processed By The Boys
Rolling Blackouts, Coastal Fever – Falling Thunder
Smokey Brights – Since ‘85
Galactic, Ivan Neville, Anjelika “Jelly” Joseph – Something’s Wrong With This Picture
Parisalexa – Chocolate
Jessica Domingo – Get You
AURORA – Exist For Love
LEVV – Morning

an attempt to process current events through music.

It’s on everyone’s mind. It’s in front of our faces on every screen. I believe that over time music can help us see different perspectives. That it can be a window into parts of our culture that we don’t always see ourselves. I think there is context here that can help us understand how we came to be where we are. I think there’s something important here. Please take a little time to listen.

Listen here.

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https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6ktiRqeJDljwATyULrc80a?si=eTYlDlHYQK6TGzcSTnd7eg

The Fortnightly Playlist, May 24th, 2020

Back with a bit of everything. There’s a couple good collaborations in the mix this time around including this project by Haley Henderickx and Max Garcia Conover as well as new music from a project called Bronson (ODESZA and Golden Features). A bit of psychadelic bluegrass, some art rap, quiet ballads, and rowdy punk anthems hopefully compiled in a way that it isn’t too jarring. The usual, I guess.

Listen on spotify here.

I’ve been especially into the new Moses Sumney album and what has been released so far of the new Smokey Brights album. Also, really enjoying the new IDLES single (and the video with it), and the new Empress Of. Enjoy!

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Finn Andrews – Body of Light
The National – Never Tear Us Apart
Empress Of – Bit of Rain
Bronson – VAULTS
Ghostpoet – Nowhere to Hide Now
Little Simz – one life, might live
Yves Tumor – Gospel For A New Century
Residente – Antes Que el Mundo Se Acabe
Waxahatchee – Fire
Perfume Genius – Without You
Moses Sumney – Bless Me
Soccer Mommy – Circle the Drain
Eliza Shaddad – Pure Shores
Car Seat Headrest – Weightlifters
Fontaines D.C. – A Hero’s Death
IDLES – Mr. Motivator
Mitski – Cop Car
Sibille Attar – Hurt Me
Damien Jurado – Fool Maria
Haley Henderickx, Max Garcia Conover – Slow Talkin’
Bow Thayer – It’s Time to Wake Up
Phoebe Bridgers – Kyoto
Smokey Brights – Save Us Sarah
Moses Sumney – before you go

The Fortnightly Playlist, May 10th, 2020

Hello again. There’s some great music in this edition. Some that i see likely to be among my favorites for the year. Also, we’ve got a lot of music from around the world here, and I always enjoy discovering and sharing artists from outside my typical realm of experience. Everything here is a really good representation of what I’ve been listening to lately.

Listen on Spotify

Since his 2017 debut album, Aromanticism, there’s been a lot of excitement around Moses Sumney. I was admittedly slow to pick up on the album, and then found a lot of others listing it among their year-end favorites. When the EP Black in Deep Red was released in 2018, I knew I he was an artist to watch. Certainly no letdown here. Grae: Part 1 is an incredible album. Sumney is someone who thinks through all aspects of record. The writing, the visuals, the overarching themes, the music itself are all part of his impressive skillset. In fleshing it all out, he’s not afraid to bring in collaborators. This record credits over 40 collaborators. Not just musicians, but production and visual artists coming together on this masterpiece.

Alison Mosshart has established herself in the past couple decades as a fierce rock powerhouse with Discount, The Kills, and The Dead Weather. Now we have our first taste of her as a solo artist with this new single, “Rise”. It’s a slowburning, moody rocker full of swagger that builds perfectly. Looking forward to hearing more from Mosshart.

Other favorites of mine in this edition are Nicola Cruz, Richie Spice, Joensuu 1685, Chuck Prophet, and Throwing Muses.

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tracklist:
Half Waif – In August
Childish Gambino – 35.31
Polyrhythmics – Digital Cowboy
Richie Spice – Valley of Jehoshaphat (Red Hot)
Lila Ike – I Spy
Nicola Cruz – Levanta Muertos
Moses Sumney – Colouour
Superocean – When You’re Around
Death By Denim – Jump to Mars
HAIM – The Steps
Woods – Strange to Explain
Chuck Prophet – Marathon
Alison Mosshart – Rise
Throwing Muses – Dark Blue
EOB – Shangri-La
Smokey Brights – Dance Until We Die
Car Seat Headrest – Hollywood
Moses Sumney – Neither/Nor
DakhaBrakha – Sonnet
Joensuu 1685 – Hey My Friend (We’re Here Again)
Damien Jurado – The End of The Road