Fortnightly Favorites part 2: 10-1

Look, this is just an excuse for me to make another 2 hr playlist of music I love in the hopes that other people will give it a listen and find something they also love. So here we go…

10. Sitka SunAll The Way West (January 12)
My music listening has grown a lot in the last few years into new territory. I don’t think that when I started doing these playlists, I wouldn’t have gravitated to an instrumental jazz record like I did this year with All The Way West, and I have to give some of the credit to KEXP’s Afternoon Show DJ, Larry Mizell Jr. In the past I’d say that I always wanted to get jazz, and Larry has woven it into his show in a way that has drawn me in more than ever before. Sitka Sun’s album, in particular, was a revelation for me. I also feel like the album art is worth mentioning. That glowing, sun-drenched photo seems to fit the music so well that hearing the music brings it to mind. This was, for me, an accessible jazz record that helped me into that whole realm I’ve wanted into for a long time.

9. Big Red MachineHow Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last? (August 27)
This was one of those records where the pop and indie spheres melded together to give us a window into a pop record constructed with genuine artistry, not the mighty dollar, as the priority. Beautiful songwriting, excellent guest appearances, flowing smoothly from one track to another, and, again, I’ll say it feels distinctly like a pop record.

8. Adia VictoriaA Southern Gothic (September 17)
This album really came out of nowhere for me, and there was a stretch where it was all I could listen to. I have a deep love for the blues, and Adia Victoria gave us a masterclass blues album this year. Beyond that though, she was unafraid to step outside of traditional blues structure at points here. “Please Come Down” is certainly not what most would consider a blues song. This is Victoria’s 3rd album, and it made me go back and make myself more familiar with her previous work. I just couldn’t get enough of it. As with any good blues album, you really feel it deep down in your soul. You can’t ask for better with the blues.

7. Little SimzSometimes I Might Be Introvert (September 3)
Sonically huge. Overwhelming, sweeping orchestral movements, and punching vocals. Little Simz has, at this point, mastered the art of blending beats and samples with her live band. The production value on this is better than any album released this year, but she is far from losing the personal touch in her music. This actually feels like her most personal record yet, lyrically. Songs like “I Love You, I Hate You”, “Introvert”, and “Woman” feel as vulnerable as anything she’s ever done. This personal nature of the record goes right down to the details such as the album title being an acronym for her first name, Simbi.

6. FACESOULYSRA (July 22)
Do you ever have a go-to album for when you need something meditative? That was YSRA for me this year. At this point, it seems necessary to once again shout out a KEXP DJ. This time it is Early Show host Gabriel Teodros. I never would have heard this album if not for Gabriel, and so I was introduced to it while on my way to work first thing in the morning. Nothing gets your day off to a good start like the right music, and this album in particular had some real gems to get you feeling centered and ready for a day at work. I also found it was good music to end your day.

5. Valerie JuneThe Moon and Stars: Prescriptions for Dreamers (March 12)
Valerie June’s was my first favorite early this year from the point that the first singles were released months before the album. My relationship with this record has been building all year long, and I’ve cycled through different favorite songs at different points. I was happy to see this one stay high on my list as the year progressed. Valerie June has mastered different vocal styles, and she blends them together so well. With this record, she built a much bigger sound around those vocals than she has in the past. Often she has tended towards more sparse, bluegrass styles, and the bigger, soul pop sound really complimented this material. It all came together so well on this record. I was certain earlier this year that this would just stay top of the list all year long, and I sort of think that, depending on the day, any of these top 5 could be my number 1.

4. Tony AllenThere is No End (April 30)
Posthumously released after Tony’s passing in April 2020, There Is No End felt like such a fitting tribute to what he contributed to music. The influential Nigerian drummer was the musical director of Fela Kuti’s band from 1968 to 1979, and Kuti himself said that without Allen there would be no Afrobeat. His influence on afrobeat has had a spiraling outward effect on funk, soul and hip-hop, and this record is full of artists whose art would not be the same without him. The title, There Is No End, is such a fitting reminder of the connectedness of all of us. The story doesn’t begin or end with the beginning or ending of one life. Each is influenced by someone before, and each lives on in the influence they had on others. This is the real crux of this record, and it all came together so beautifully with this amazing collection of songs.

3. David HuckfeltRoom Enough, Time Enough (March 19)
The second full-length album from Huckfelt outside of his work with The Pines had a focus on re-centering attention onto marginalized and forgotten people. The album features several Native American artists from different parts of the American Southwest, as well as a host of other collaborators. There is an activist narrative just beneath the surface on these songs. It tells a story throughout it, and this is perhaps even more impressive to achieve this level of cohesion with the number of collaborators involved. The voices of Keith Secola, Billy Sedlmayr, Jackie Bird and others are given the attention they deserve, and there’s an overarching theme of perseverance and preservation. It’s a record that cuts right through you. The deep roots of protest folk music show their strength here.

2. Ya TseenIndian Yard (April 30)
I was so taken up by this album. I’d never heard anything like this before. Nicholas Galanin and his collaborators built this incredible sonic landscape of psych-pop and electronica. In addition to his music, Galanin is a prolific visual artist whose pointed political art has made headlines around the world. It’s the first record released as Ya Tseen, a name based on his own Tlingit name, but the Sitka, Alaska-based musician has recorded under Silver Jackson and Indian Agent as well. At the core of the record is the human need for connection, and, amid our ongoing struggles with COVID-19 and swirling political madness, what could be more timely?

1. TorresThirstier (July 30)
There’s a lot to unpack in this album, which swings around through genres dabbling in electronica, punk rock, big rock ballads, and straightforward synth pop-rock and closing in a crashing, dissonant rock song that nearly veers off a cliff-edge. MacKenzie Scott explores a lot of relational concepts in this record. I could have mentioned the pandemic in writing about each of my favorite albums this year. It’s become so pervasive, and feels, in most cases, like it doesn’t need to be said. All of these albums have been written in this environment, and we connect with them in this context. As I’ve reached number one, I’ll bring in what Scott said in an NPR interview.
“I felt exactly the way that everybody else did, which was confused and worried and anxious about the future,” she recounts. “And so I started writing this album as a kind of way to dig myself out of the tunnel vision that can be created by doom scrolling.” She fixated on matters more immediate and life-giving, and wanted to aim her creative energies, as [album producer, Rob] Ellis puts it, “up and out, rather than inward and down.” “I did that for myself first,” she says, “and then I guess I decided that if I could do that for myself, then maybe I could try and help other people to feel that way, too.”

If you have an album or artist that felt significant to you this year, then please do not let it stop at Spotify or YouTube. Support them if you can. Buy their album, go to a show, share with a friend. Thanks.

Tracklist:
Sitka Sun – Presence
FACESOUL – Medicine
Valerie June – Stay
Ya Tseen, Portugal The Man – Knives
Tony Allen, Sampa The Great – Stumbling Down
Little Simz – I Love You, I Hate You
Adia Victoria – Magnolia Blues
David Huckfelt, David Simonett – Bury Me Not (The Dying Cowboy)
Big Red Machine, Taylor Swift – Renegade
TORRES – Don’t Go Puttin Wishes In My Head
Ya Tseen – Close The Distance
Big Red Machine, Fleet Foxes, Anais Mitchell – Phoenix
Valerie June – Why The Bright Stars Glow
TORRES – Thirstier
Little Simz – Introvert
Tony Allen, Marlowe – My Own
Adia Victoria, Kyshona Armstrong, Margo Price, Jason Isbell – You Was Born to Die
David Huckfelt, Greg Brown – Satisfied Mind
Sitka Sun – Dauntless
FACESOUL – Grow–A COLORS ENCORE
Valerie June – You and I
Sitka Sun – Long Shadow
Big Red Machine, Sharon Van Etten, Lisa Hannigan, Shara Nova – Hutch
Ya Tseen, Tunia – Born Into Rain
Little Simz – Rollin Stone
Tony Allen, Ben Okri, Skepta – Cosmosis
FACESOUL – All I Need
David Huckfelt – Land of Room Enough Time Enough
Adia Victoria – Troubled Mind
TORRES – Are You Sleepwalking?
Tony Allen – There’s No End

The Fortnightly Playlist, 2021 favorites: 25-11

I’ll start with my usual disclaimer that this is not a list of the best albums of the year. I make absolutely no claim to objectivity here. These are my personal favorites. It’s the music released this year that I connected with, and were significant for me. I had a list of about 60 albums I’d enjoyed over the course of the year, and it was hard to whittle it down to these. Hopefully, others have connected with them as well. Enjoy!

25. LowHEY WHAT (September 10)
It takes a lot for a band 13 records and 17 years in to maintain a sonically adventurous approach, but Low manage to do that. “White Horses” start the album off with bold hooks, and moves directly into “I Can’t Wait” which is a bit more direct of a song than I’m accustomed to from them. The album flows beautifully from there, and I’m truly impressed by what they’ve created here with their close, intimate sound swelling to huge, distorted electro-orchestral instrumentals.

24. Jose GonzalezLocal Valley (September 17)
Jose Gonzalez’ latest album is a perfect blend of surprises and what fans have come to expect. His signature gentle sound is full of beautiful vocal melodies and engaging guitar hooks. The album is linguistically interesting as well. Gonzalez is Swedish with Argentinian parents, and this is the first record in his catalog to have songs in English, Swedish AND Spanish. Much of the record is also tied together with birdsong weaving between the tracks.

23. The Hold SteadyOpen Door Policy (February 17)
I’ll always look forward to new material from The Hold Steady. Craig Finn is an excellent storyteller in his lyrics, and they’ve developed a signature driving rock sound that I love. Open Door Policy, while still delivering this signature sound, also carved subtly into new creative grounds. Lyrically, Finn builds evermore on his collection of broken – and very human – characters.

22. Solemn BrighamSouth Sinner Street (September 24)
This album didn’t get the attention it deserved, and it wasn’t even reviewed by many music sites. I’ve loved Solemn’s work together with L’Orange as Marlowe. This project gave a much more personal look at Solemn Brigham. It was very different, and I really enjoyed it. It seems that not every Marlowe fan felt the same way, and missed L’Orange-level production. I felt it all worked really well, and suited the material.

21. Hiatus KaiyoteMood Valiant (June 25)
This album is a little out there for some people, but I love it. Very bold musically, and has me convinced. If you’re willing to follow, then it’s rewarding. If not, then maybe it gets written off as too weird. It takes some very sharp musicians to pull off a project like this one. Irregular time signatures, complex arrangements, a little birdsong here and there… It’s a lot to take in, and it keeps giving with the repeated listen.

20. The War On DrugsI Don’t Live Here Anymore (October 29)
The War On Drugs just makes consistently beautiful music. Their warm, hook-laden, long-form jams have become a signature sound with influences rooted in The Grateful Dead and Dire Straits. Adam Granduciel’s vocal stylings I certainly find to be strongly influenced by Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits. In this record, the War On Drugs lean hard into an ‘80s pop sound, and they absolutely strike a good balance with it.

19. DARKSIDESpiral (July 23)
This album really takes you on a journey. Start-to-finish it’s an engaging, mysterious record, and you never really know for sure which direction it will turn with each song. Incorporating numerous styles and varied instrumentation, I feel like I find something new with every listen. Albums like this one made me feel guilty for placing them only in 19th spot, but that’s me painstakingly planning out this list too.

18. CimafunkEl Alimento (October 8)
Oh hello… hot funk for dark times! This one was endless fun to listen to. The blend of Afro-Cuban styles with classic American Funk, and even featuring the man himself, George Clinton, in the opening track. You don’t get better funk credentials than George Clinton. It’s a solid, high energy dance record that just makes you feel happy, and makes you want to move. As far as guests, I particularly enjoyed CeeLo Green’s appearance as well.

17. PrinceWelcome 2 America (July 30)
We are blessed with this incredible Prince record this year. The album was recorded in 2010, but was shelved for who knows why. I assume because he felt it wasn’t the record for that time and place. Thank goodness the people in charge of sifting through his vault found it and knew it was a record for this time and place. Numerous tracks on this record felt like they were written during the summer of 2020, and released into our still simmering culture a year later. “Welcome 2 America” and “Running Game (Son of a Slave Master)”, in particular, felt like they were directed at all of the issues we’ve been facing in the last couple years in the US. If you could release something to somehow add to Prince’s mystique in 2021, then this was the record to do it.

16. L’Orange, Namir BladeImaginary Everything (July 2)
I’ve been a huge fan of L’Orange’s production over the past few years, and he’s featured in my favorite albums for 4 years running. This time partnering with Namir Blade, there’s a distinct homage to old school hip-hop woven into this record. There are some excellent, funky grooves through this and coming out especially in standout tracks like “Corner Store Scandal”, “Point to Point” and “Shotgun”. I also really love Namir’s flow on this record, and I was unfamiliar with his work before this.

15. Hiss Golden MessengerQuietly Blowing It (June 25)
I first became aware of Hiss Golden Messenger with 2016’s Heart Like A Levee album, and I am so thankful for each record since. MC Taylor and company have a beautiful, warm, gospel-tinged blend of folk, rock and blues. They cover a lot of ground stylistically. At times delving into bluegrass picking, and at times hitting on a classic soul groove. The songs can be gentle and soft, and they can be full of hooks and grooves. It’s all tied together with cut-to-the-heart, honest songwriting. As an extra this year, we were given really great holiday record from them as well, O Come All Ye Faithful.

14. Arlo ParksCollapsed Into Sunbeams (January 25)
Arlo Parks offered us a very intimate and poetic album this year, and I actually had to go back and double check that this came out this year. It was early enough that some of the singles had been out in 2020. She’s a wonderful storyteller throughout this album, and with wonderful throwback R&B stylings hitting hard. “Hope” and “Hurt are both standout songs here, but there’s really not a weak track on the album at all.

13. Tune-Yardssketchy. (March 26)
Sonically adventurous with wild style shifts somehow melded into a cohesive and hard-hitting indie pop record. “Hold Yourself” was a big song for me early in the year, and I connected with song after song on this record each time thinking a new one was the high point. It’s hard to argue with anything over the massive closer “Be Not Afraid”. This is my favorite record yet from Tune-Yards, and I really think this is an album and a band people will look back on as being among the defining sounds of our current musical era.

12. Brandi CarlileIn These Silent Days (October 1)
Brandi is finally getting some much-deserved media attention with her current record building on what I still maintain was the best record of 2018, By The Way, I Forgive You. For me personally, I don’t know if there’s any topping that 2018 album as it is among my favorites of all-time. In These Silent Days is excellent though. Brandi continues to build her excellent, break-your-heart-and-also-inspire-you, songwriting here, and it is so good to see her becoming a prominent figure in country and pop music. She’s an artist that I hold very dear.

11. Cleo SolMother (August 19)
If you had Cleo Sol as your favorite record this year, then I would not fault you in any way. What an incredible album this is! It’s intimate and tender in ways that I’ve never known another album to be. Mother was recorded in large part with her new child in her arms. That alone seems incredibly difficult, but to come out with an end-product like this seems super-human. It’s an album that you can simply hear the love in every phrase both musical and lyrical. It’s a masterpiece, and I feel downright guilty that it’s not in my top 10 (as if my numbered list really made a difference). I suppose I could have made this post 25-12, and next week done a top 11.

Cleo Sol – Mother

Tracklist:
Cleo Sol – Know That You Are Loved
Tune-Yards – hold yourself.
Prince – Check The Record
Cimafunk – Esto Es Cuba
Solemn Brigham, Marlowe – The Lore
L’Orange, Namir Blade, Marlowe, Solemn Brigham – Pipe Dreams
Hiatus Kaiyote – And We Go Gentle
Arlo Parks – Hope
Jose Gonzalez – El Invento
Hiss Golden Messenger – The Great Mystifier
Brandi Carlile, Lucius – You and Me On The Rock
The War On Drugs – Change
The Hold Steady – Family Farm
DARKSIDE – I’m The Echo
Low – Days Like These
Solemn Brigham – Keep The Hope
Prince – Running Game (Son of a Slave Master)
The Hold Steady – Me & Magdalena
Brandi Carlile – Sinners, Saints and Fools
The War On Drugs, Lucius – I Don’t Live Here Anymore
Arlo Parks – Hurt
Cleo Sol – Don’t Let Me Fall
Hiatus Kaiyote, Arthur Verocai – Get Sun
Cimafunk, George Clinton – Funk Aspirin
L’Orange, Namir Blade – Corner Store Scandal
DARKSIDE – The Limit
Jose Gonzalez – Head On
Hiss Golden Messenger – Sanctuary
Low – Disappearing
Tune-Yards – be not afraid.

The Fortnightly Playlist, November 28th, 2021

So this is my last regular post of the year, and I’ve been going over my year end favorites list and making adjustments. As usual, the task seems harder every year. There are artists and albums I love that simply ended up further down the list. So with difficulty, I’m working toward finalizing that list. In the meantime, here’s some new music including some holiday tunes.

I have been loving this new Hiss Golden Messenger holiday album, O Come All Ye Faithful. In addition to excellent renditions of classics like the title track and “Joy To The World”, there are some great original tunes like “Grace”, and “Shine a Light”. Sometimes people dislike Christmas music because they know those same tired tracks will get trotted out again, and some of them are less than beloved classics. This album sounds fresh and yet also with a familiar warmth. It was great to get this bonus in addition to the record from June, Quietly Blowing It.

An album I can’t stop listening to lately is Adia Victoria’s A Southern Gothic. What am incredible modern blues record this is! Start-to-finish it’s excellent. On this track I’ve included in this edition, “You Was Born To Die”, I particularly love the blending of her vocals with Margo Price and Kyshona Armstrong. Not too give away too much here, but I’ll be writing more about this one in the coming weeks.

Other favorites in this edition are Curtis Harding, The War On Drugs, and Cleo Sol.

IDLES – Crawler

Tracklist:
Valerie June, Mavis Staples – Why The bright Stars Glow (acoustic version)
The War On Drugs, Lucius – I Don’t Live Here Anymore
My Morning Jacket – Love, Love Love
Hiss Golden Messenger – Grace
Amythyst Kiah – Wild Turkey
Bow Thayer – Ogallala
Jake Xerxes Fussell – Love Farewell
Adia Victoria, Kyshona Armstrong, Margo Price, Jason Isbell – You Was Born To Die
Courtney Barnett – Before You Gotta Go
Curtis Harding – Where’s The Love?
Cleo Sol – Don’t Let Me Fall
serpentwithfeet – Shoot Ya Shot
FACESOUL – Through The Dark
Damien Jurado – Take Your Time
Deep Sea Diver, Damien Jurado – Hand In My Pocket
L’Orange – Enjoy Your Little Philosophy
Snotty Nose Rez Kids- Red Sky At Night
IDLES – Progress
Hiss Golden Messenger – As Long As I Can See The Light

The Fortnightly Playlist, November 14th, 2021

It doesn’t feel very fortnightly these days… But no, I’m hanging onto the name. I certainly can’t promise that I’ll maintain consistency on this blog in the coming months as the arrival of Baby Futuremusiclover is quite close now.

Alright, so I love the new BODEGA single, “Doers”. I have been jamming to this one for a few weeks now, and it’s one of their best songs to date. I love the energy they bring here. It’s purposeful, but full of humor as well. There’s a long wait for the new album yet, do I expect them to drop a couple more singles between now and March.

Let’s talk about FACESOUL. The Somalian-born Londoner has given us something truly beautiful in his new album, YSRA. It’s a soulful, meditative, and thoughtful record. I can’t recommend this one enough.

Other favorites in this edition are Adia Victoria, Animal Collective and Bonobo.

Bonobo, Jamila Woods – Tides

Tracklist:Sleigh Bells – Locust Laced

Sleigh Bells – Locust Laced

The Halluci Nation, Keith Secola – NDN Kars (Remix)

Jarv Dee, Bad Colours, Stas THEE Boss – Black Skin

Teen Daze, Cecile Believe – 2 AM

Animal Collective – Prester John

Bonobo, Jamila Woods – Tides

EERA – The Beat

Portugal. The Man, Cherry Glazerr – Steal My Sunshine

Bodega – DOERS

Lonely Guest, Rina Mushonga – Pipe Dreams

Araless – Venomous

La Luz – Goodbye Ghost

George Riley – power

Kojey Radical, Lex Amor – War Outside

Aesop Rock, Blockhead – Jazz Hands

Lady Midnight, Lazerbeak – Duit for Luv (Lazerbeak remix)

Adia Victoria – Please Come Down

FACESOUL – Grow — A COLORS ENCORE

Charlotte Day Wilson, BADBADNOTGOOD – I Can Only Whisper

Explosions In The Sky – Climbing Bear

IDLES – When The Lights Come On

Jack White – Taking Me BackThe Horrors – Against the Blade

The Horrors – Against the Blade

The Fortnightly Playlist, October 10th, 2021

Yes, it has been 2 fortnights since I last posted, and I actually had this mostly ready after a fortnight and a half. This means I have a lot more music on deck for the next edition that would have made this list too long and cluttered.

I am excited about a lot of the music in this edition, and there are multiple artists here that you can expect to see more about come end of the year favorites. One of those is Little Simz in her biggest, and grandest sounding album to date, Sometimes I Might Be Introvert. There are some great personally touches in this album full of huge orchestral songs to give it all balance. You sort of need to hear it to believe it. Big orchestral productions, but retaining personal themes as well as the grit and attitude of her prior work.

Solemn Brigham’s debut solo record has arrived. After two records pairing with L’Orange under the moniker Marlowe (both of which I featured here when they were released), one of underground hip hop’s most exciting lyricists has offered up South Sinner Street. I was looking at a few other reviews as I do sometimes for this blog, and I came across Vanndigital’s review of this record. It wasn’t a long review, but it described the album in a way I find both fitting and unusual. “The album evokes the feeling of climbing onto a house’s roof to survey the nearly-burning city around you, with all the peril that entails – but also the possibility.”

So I’ve written here about the hip hop highlights of this edition, but I have a lot of other favorites in this edition. Brandi Carlile, Strand of Oaks, Idles, FACESOUL, Amyl & The Sniffers, Jose Gonzalez, and Nora Brown all offering something unique of their own here. Enjoy!

W.H. Lung – Figure With Flowers

Tracklist:
FaceSoul – All I Need
Solemn Brigham – Keep The Hope
Haviah Mighty, Grandtheft – Avacado
The Halluci Nation, John Trudell, Black Bear – Remember 01
Eternia, Rel McCoy, Mr Lif, Eliki Sol – The Story of Us
Little Simz – How Did You Get Here?
Durand Jones & The Indications – Reach Out
Amber Mark – Foreign Things
WH Lung – Figure With Flowers
Lorine Chia – Don’t Let It
Hatchie – This Enchanted
Chvrches – Violent Delights
Damon Albarn – Royal Morning Blue
KIRBY – Can We Be Friends?
Weakened Friends – Quitter
Amyl & The Sniffers – Security
Parquet Courts – Black Widow Spider
IDLES – The Beachland Ballroom
Ty Segall, Denee Segall – Feel Good
Amyl & The Sniffers – Guided By Angels
Courtney Barnett – Write a List of Things To Look Forward To
Brandi Carlile – Broken Horses
Strand of Oaks – Jimi & Stan
Andy Shauf – Television Blue
Alt-J – U&ME
Jose Gonzalez – Head On
Guy Buttery, Mohd. Amjad Khan, Mudassir Khan – December Poems
Nora Brown – The Very Day I’m Gone

The Fortnightly Playlist, September 12th, 2021

New Little Simz, Eddie Vedder, Diana Ross, and The Joy Formidable among the features in this edition.

Okay, so the new Little Simz album is huge. Orchestral arrangements combining with her raw rhyme delivery make for a powerful combination. It’s well worth your time.

David Huckfelt’s album, “Room Enough, Time Enough”, has actually been out since February, and I did include a song or two earlier this year. This album has really stuck with me though, and I decided to include another track in this edition. Expect more on this one. It’s a favorite this year.

Other favorites in this edition are Big Red Machine, Breeze, Joy Crookes, Cleo Sol, Madi Diaz, and Deserta.

Tracklist:
David Huckfelt – Better To See The Face
Eddie Vedder – Long Way
Parquet Courts – Walking at a Downtown Pace
Deserta – Lost In The Weight
Andy Shauf – Spanish On The Beach
Faye Webster – In A Good Way
Lucy Dacus – First Time
The Joy Formidable – Farrago
Breeze, Cadence Weapon – Come Around
Diana Ross – If The World Just Danced
Durand Jones & The Indications, Aaron Frazer – Private Space
Curtis Harding – Can’t Hide It
Cleo Sol – Heart Full Of Love
Joy Crookes – Feet Don’t Fail Me Now
Little Simz – I Love You, I Hate You
LUMP – Gamma Ray
Lucie Silvas, Brandi Carlile, Joy Oladokun – We Don’t Know We’re Living
Big Red Machine, Taylor Swift – Renegade
Marissa Nadler – Bessie, Did You Make It?
Madi Diaz – History Of A Feeling
Loma – Going Out
Porridge Radio – New Slang
FUR – When You Walk Away, Pt 1

The Fortnightly Playlist, August 29th, 2021

Hey, need a break to process all the terrible things happening in the world? Here’s some music.

New albums here from Cleo Sol, Kele, Eliza Shaddad, and Big Red Machine. Also featuring singles from Xenia Rubinos, Lava La Rue, Pond, and Low.

Once again, not writing a ton. This is partially due to some major overhauls to our home and life in preperation for… our first child. We have a daughter on the way in early January. So there are lots of changes coming, and significant amounts of writing on this here blog that I do just for fun has been shuffled to a bin in my brain marked “low priority”. I like to think I have some keen insights on the music occasionally, but for the most part you all can come to your own conclusions. That said, I am still doing the playlist for now. We’ll see how crazy life gets though.

Low – More
Foxing – If I Believed In Love
Altin Gun – Ordunun Dereleri
The True Loves – Lavender
Lava La Rue – For You
Xenia Rubinos – Sacude
Cleo Sol – Sunshine
Eliza Shaddad – Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood
Balmorhea, Clarice Jensen – Landlessness
Sufjan Stevens, Angelo De Augustine – Back To Oz
Big Red Machine, Fleet Foxes, Anais Mitchell – Phoenix
Eliza Shaddad – Heaven
Courtney Barnett – I’ll Be Your Mirror
Kele – The One Who Held You Up
Nation of Language – This Fractured Mind
Pond – America’s Cup
Prince – Check The Record
DARKSIDE – Inside is Out There

The Fortnightly Playlist, August 15th, 2021

Here’s new music! I know I often haven’t been writing a lot lately. That’s probably going to be a thing for awhile for a number of reasons. That said, I have this music that I’ve been listening to and enjoying, and hopefully you find something here that you enjoy it too.

Ya Tseen’s Indian Yard continues to be an album that I find super exciting and engaging. I managed to write a bit about it for last edition, and I expect that one to be something I write more about at the end of the year.

Prince. Prince forever and ever, please. I love this “new” album. Prince had this full album ready to go in 2010, but shelved the project. It is unreal how much it feels like this album was made in 2020/21. The people in charge of releasing his music since his passing must have felt this when they decided to release this now. It underscores once again, what an incredible artist he was and the lasting power of his work.

In particular this edition, I’m enjoying The Goon Sax, Foxing, Soccer Mommy, Torres, Heartless Bastards, Altin Gun, and Tiawa.

Tracklist: 
Prince – Welcome 2 America
Ya Tseen – Close the Distance
Goon Sax – In The Stone
DARKSIDE – I’m The Echo
Kasper Bjorke – Glassy
Foxing – Where The Lightning Strikes Twice
Ty Segall – Harmonizer
Torres – Drive Me
Soccer Mommy – rom com 2004
Son Volt – War On Misery
Heartless Bastards – Photograph
The Murlocs – Francesca
Hiss Golden Messenger – Way Back in the Way Back
Kevin Devine – You’re My Incentive
Hussy – New Fair
Emma-Jean Thackray – Golden Green
Brian Jackson, Ali Shaheed Muhamed, Adrian Younge – Duality
Durand Jones & The Indications, Aaron Frazer – The Way That I Do
Yola – Barely Alive
Lava La Rue – Magpie
Altin Gun – Kesik Cayir
Tyler, The Creator, DAISY WORLD – RISE!
Tiawa – Sonhos Cor De Rosa

The Fortnightly Playlist, August 1st, 2021

I always prefer to make these playlists to flow one song to another well, and it can be tricky including the stylistic diversity that I like to include. I like the way my last several playlists have worked out, and I’ve listened to them quite a bit myself. This edition is one I’m pretty proud of, and I don’t mind saying it.

There are a couple albums, in particular that I’m really excited about in this edition, and the first one is Indian Yard by Ya Tseen. This is a new artist for me, and this new record has firmly grabbed my attention. Nicholas Galanin is an indigenous artist from Sitka, Alaska. Ya Tseen means “be alive”, and is a reference to his Tlingit name, Yeil Ya Tseen. He has also been been a noteworthy visual artist in recent years working with a broad range of mediums.

I’ve been looking forward to the new TORRES album, Thirstier, for quite some time now, and it’s living up to the anticipation. I’ve been enjoying this one a lot already. MacKenzie Scott has a big, bright sound on this new album, and it’s filled with pointed lyrics and catchy melodies. It feels like an album I needed this summer.

Ya Tseen, Portugal The Man – Knives
Vok – Skin
Wolf Alice – Lipstick on the Glass
Garbage – Wolves
The Joy Formidable – Chimes
Torres – Hand in the Air
Ya Tseen, Nick Hakim, Iska Dhaaf  – A Feeling Undefined
Haelos – Somnum
Las Cafeteras – La Sirena
Femme It Forward, Rapsody – Iconic
B. Dolan, Nya Trysha – Your Close Friend
Sarah Neufeld – With Love and Blindness
Brandi Carlile – Right On Time
Fuel Fandango, Amadou & Mariam – Ruido
Woods – Nickels and Dimes
Nation of Language – Wounds of Love
Jupiter & Okwess, Yarol Poupaud – Jim Kata
Death By Unga Bunga – Egocentric

The Fortnightly Playlist, July 18th, 2021

This edition has a proper summer jams feel, and I’m really happy with that. There are some mellow moments, but it definitely tends upbeat and happier.

Particular favorites of mine this time around are Nation of Language, Curtis Harding, Xenia Rubinos, and The Muslims. Enjoy!

Tracklist:
The Haunted Youth – Coming Home
Nation of Language – Across That Fine Line
Chvrches – Good Girls
Sharon Van Etten, Angel Olsen – Like I Used To
Torres – Thirstier
Nap Eyes – When I Come Around
Hiss Golden Messenger – It Will If We Let It
Curtis Harding – I Won’t Let You Down
Durand Jones & the Indications, Aaron Frazer – The Way That I Do
Billy Bragg – I Will Be Your Shield
Strand of Oaks – Galacticana
Xenia Rubinos – Working All The Time
Noga Erez – End of the Road
H.E.R., Cordae – Trauma
Jungle, Bas – Romeo
Snapped Ankles – Rhythm is Our Business
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Yours
The Muslims – Fuck These Fuckin Fascists