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
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
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
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
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
There’s a lot of great albums coming out right now. Sault, Modest Mouse, Hiss Golden Messenger, Faye Webster, H.E.R, Damien Jurado, Japanese Breakfast, The Mountain Goats, Hiatus Kaiyote, and Tyler, The Creator have all released albums in the last couple weeks, and there are plenty more new releases to come. New singles out from Low, Yves Tumor, Wet Leg, Little Simz, and Lila Ike have me excited about what’s coming soon, as well as the upcoming releases from Torres and Chvrches.
Particular favorites in this edition for me are Spellling, Hiss Golden Messenger, Lila Ike, Hiatus Kaiyote, and True Loves.
Tracklist: Spellling – Little Deer Lila Ike, Skillibeng – Thy Will True Loves – Sunday Afternoon Little Simz – Introvert The Mountain Goats – Dark in Here Lucy Dacus – Cartwheel Modest Mouse – Wooden Soldiers Japanese Breakfast – Paprika Faye Webster – Better Distractions Low – Days Like These TOBACCO – Dianetics Jr Tyler, The Creator – LUMBERJACK I Self Devine – Joy Antagonistic Yves Tumor – Jackie Hiatus Kaiyote – And We Go Gentle H.E.R. – Hold On Hiss Golden Messenger – If It Comes In The Morning Damien Jurado – Johnny Caravella Cedric Burnside – Step In John Grant – County Fair Sault – Fear Wet leg – Chaise Longue
This is another edition of the playlist that I’ll be writing a bit less. There’s so much good music here of all different styles, and so much to say about these artists. I just don’t have the time to write as much as I’d like to these days.
You’ll note there are two tracks here that feature recordings of MF DOOM, who passed away last year. In addition, the song “Ask Anyone” by Lice, Aesop Rock and Homeboy Sandman is clearly a tribute to DOOM. His influence on so many in the Hip Hop community is evident.
Pearl Jam bandmates, Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard, are put back to back here with new singles. Stone’s actually was released late last year. Pearl Jam solo works aren’t always given as much attention, but I always enjoy Stone and Jeff’s work. Stone’s Moonlander album and Jeff’s Tone are particular favorites of mine.
Lastly, an album I didn’t give enough attention to last year was Sharecropper’s Daughter by Sa-Roc. Well, she’s released an extended version of the album with 6 additional songs now, and I highly recommend checking it out.
Other particular favorites in this edition are Tkay Maidza, Xenia Rubinos, TOBACCO, and Ruth B.
Tracklist: Jon Batiste, Mavis Staples – MAVIS Jon Batiste – FREEDOM Xenia Rubinos – Cogelo Suave MALIA – How Come You Don’t Call Me Tkay Maidza – Cashmere I Self Divine, Greg Grease, I-BE – Aspiration Sa Roc, MF DOOM – The Rebirth Dessa – I Already Like You CZARFACE, MF DOOM, Del The Funky Homosapien – Jason & The Czargonauts Lice, Aesop Rock, Homeboy Sandman – Ask Anyone TOBACCO – Everything Around the Knife John Vanderslice – I get a strange kind of pleasure from just hanging on Be Steadwell – Sprung The Killers, Bruce Springsteen – Dustland LUMP, Laura Marling, Mike Lindsay – Climb Every Wall Ament – I Hear Ya Stone Gossard – Near Little Simz – Rollin Stone Mumu Fresh, Amber Navran – Find a Way Leela James – Put It On Me Angelique Kidjo, Sampa The Great – Free & Equal Somi, Seun Kuti, Thandiswa – Milel Wye Oak – TNT H.E.R. – My Own Ruth B – Share Durand Jones & The Indications, Aaron Frazer – Love Will Work It Out Weedie Braimah, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Elena Pinderhughes, Magatte Sow – Ships Come in (A Lullaby) Diana Ross – Thank You
I’m not writing much this time around, but there is plenty here to enjoy. There’s a lot that I’ve been enjoying in this collection of songs. The new songs from Torres, CHVRCHES, Darkside, and Saalt, and the new albums from Sons of Kemet, Kaidi Tatham, Mdou Moctar, and Racquel Jones. There’s also this new Gang of Four compilation featuring IDLES, The Dandy Warhols, and many others.
Spotify and WordPress have apparently decided they will not play well together this weekend, so I could not embed the playlist the way I normally do. I managed to get the link there, but that’s the best I could do this time.
Tracklist: Torres – Don’t Go Puttin Wishes In My Head Chvrches, Robert Smith – How Not To Drown Darkside – The Limit Saalt – Wonderful Amber Mark – Worth It Kaidi Tatham – DSXSWC Bomba Estereo – Se Acabo Sons of Kemet – Throughout The Madness, Stay Strong Mdou Moctar – Asdikte Akal Vel The Wonder, Rome Streetz, NugLife – Spittin’ Waves Racquel Jones – Sacrilege L’Orange, Namir Blade, Marlowe, Solemn Brigham – Pipe Dream Little Simz – Introvert IDLES, Gang of Four – Damaged Goods Flea, John Frusciante, The Silverlake Conservatory Youth Chorale, Gang of Four – Not Great Men Ayron Jones – Killing Season The Dandy Warhols, Gang of Four – What We All Want The Linda Lindas – Racist, Sexist Boy (Live at LA Public Library)
Okay… so May has brushed past quickly… I guess after the seemingly endless months during Covid havechanged the perspective a little. Lots of favorites in the list this edition. Some artists here that I’ve featured quite a lot over the last few years such as Dessa, L’Orange, Aesop Rock, Son Volt, and Making Movies. Also plenty of new artists as always.
Ayron Jones has been grinding along and building his career in the Pacific Northwest for some time now with a couple independent releases, and last year was signed to Big Machine records. I would describe Ayron Jones and his band as a Post-Hip-hop Grunge-Blues, but I’m not expert when it comes to accurately distilling an artist down to a few words like this. I’ll clarify this a bit. The Grunge and Blues should be clear within listening to a few songs, but “Post-Hip-hop” isn’t a term I’ve ever really heard thrown around. I think that a lot of current rock music right now has been influenced by the philosophy and the techniques of hip-hop, and I also think that this is a defining characteristic of rock music in our current era. This is, in part, why we see classic Hip-hop acts being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Ayron Jones is an artist whose rock music clearly has a Hip-hop edge. Ayron himself has described his music as being influenced by Blues, Hip-hop, Grunge, Hard Rock, and Soul. I strongly recommend giving his new album, Child of the State, a listen.
At this point, I sort of wonder how L’Orange manages to absolutely kill every beat he makes. Now for the last few years there has been a L’Orange project in my top 10 at the end of the year. It seems this may again be the case. Imaginary Everything was released this week, and this time around L’Orange is paired with Nashville multi-instrumentalist/producer/MC, Namir Blade. I was unfamiliar with with Namir Blade before this album, and I’m enjoying his work here enough that I’ll have to take a look at his previous albums. One thing that I’ll note here about Blade is something that I think of with numerous rappers, and I think is something many hip-hop fans struggle with at some point; the use of the N-word. I don’t think it is my place, as a white man, to criticize any black person about this usage, but at the same time I would be lying to say it didn’t make me feel uncomfortable. At times, I think that is the point, and those are the instances where I actually think the word may be useful. Sometimes we should feel uncomfortable. In large part, I tend to agree with one of my favorite rappers, Akala, that there is just too much blood attatched to the word to use it casually. I tend to gravitate toward artists that keep it’s usage very sparing. I’m not familiar enough with Namir’s work really say whether his usage casual or conscious (and again, it should be said with emphasis that it isn’t my place as a white person to judge when a black person should or shouldn’t use the word), but I did feel that it was time to bring this up. There have been a fair number of songs that have included the word, and I know I’m not alone in finding this difficult territory.
Other particular favorites in this edition are Kaidi Tatham, Dessa, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble (featuring Moses Sumney), and Tomo Nakayama.
Tracklist: MALIA – Lucid Dream Hiatus Kaiyote, Arthur Verocai – Get Sun Wu-Lu – Times Kaidi Tatham – Intergalactic Relations Tony Allen, Jeremiah Jae – Gang on Holiday (Em I Go We?) L’Orange, Namir Blade – Shotgun Aesop Rock – Jumping Coffin Busdriver – airliner_patio Ayron Jones – Boys From The Puget Sound Sleater-Kinney – Worry With You Modest Mouse – We Are Between Weyes Blood – Titanic Risen Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Moses Sumney – Soon It Will Be Fire Anjimile, Lomelda – 1978 (Reunion) Tomo Nakayama – On The Way Dessa – Talking Business Jose Gonzalez – Visions Robert Finley – Sharecropper’s Son Ayron Jones – Baptized in Muddy Waters Making Movies – La Marcha Son Volt – Reverie
I don’t think I had a lot of set expectations when I began making these playlists in early 2016, and not even when I began to write more for them and started this blog in late 2016. I certainly don’t think I expected that it would lead to the amount of jazz and afrobeat included on a regular basis, but I really love that it has happened that way. I always sort of wanted it to span genres, and it seems like these recent posts have done this more than ever before.
Anjimile is an artist that I haven’t been familiar with until recently. It’s interesting to begin with an artist on a project of remixes, but Anjimile’s latest release is orchestral remixes of songs from last year’s album Giver Taker. The arrangements are beautiful, and it motivated me to go back an give some attention to the original versions of these songs. In particular, this song “In Your Eyes” featuring Jay Som has really grabbed and held my attention.
This posthumous album from afrobeat legend, Tony Allen, has quickly become one of my favorites so far this year. The string of collaborators are so varied in their styles, and it helps highlight Allen’s versatility. The mix is excellent, and it keeps his genius drumming prominent. Tony is most famous for his work with Fela Kuti. The two were longtime collaborators, and they shaped West African music for decades (and by extension, heavily influenced hip hop and modern soul/funk around the world).
Other favorites in this edition are Faye Webster, Jose Gonzalez, Manchester Orchestra, and Jupiter & Okwess.
Tracklist: Lianne La Havas, Wu-Lu – Seven Times (Wu-Lu Remix) Faye Webster – Cheers Damien Jurado – Tom Hussy – I Tried Veps – Ecstasy Flying Lotus – Crust Str4ta – Rhythm In Your Mind Sons of Kemet – To Never Forget the Source Tony Allen, Lava La Rue – One Inna Million Little Simz, Cleo Sol – Woman Tobe Nwigwe, Lanell Grant – Caged Birds (SIO Version Alfa Mist, Kaya Thomas-Dyke – People Jose Gonzalez – El Invento Anjimile, Jay Som – In Your Eyes (Reflection) iLe – No Es Importante St Vincent – The Melting of the Sun Laura Mvula – Church Girl CIVIC – Radiant Eye Dinosaur Jr – I Expect It Always Iceage – High & Hurt Mad Foxes – Crystal Glass HEALTH, Nine Inch Nails – ISN’T EVERYONE Flock of Dimes – No Question Manchester Orchestra – Keel Timing CHVRCHES – He Said She Said Bomba Estereo – Profundo Tom Jones – I Won’t Crumble With You If You Fall Jupiter & Okwess – Bakunda Ulu The Black Keys – Going Down South Rhiannon Giddens, Francesco Turrisi – Black As Crow Dropkick Murphys – Queen of Suffolk County