The Fortnightly Playlist, June 23rd, 2019

Another two weeks worth of new music here. New albums from Charly Bliss, Kishi Bashi, Keb’ Mo’, Tyler The Creator, and a collaboration between Iron & Wine and Calexico. Also, new singles from Julien Baker, Kyle Craft, and Bat for Lashes.

Open Mike Eagle has a new release of songs made for his Comedy Central show The New Negroes with Baron Vaughn. Each tune is a collaboration with the musical guest of the episode. You may find with these that some hold up better than others without the music videos. Personally, I think “Police Myself” (featuring MF Doom), “Woke as Me” (featuring Phonte), and “Racism 2.0” (featuring Sammus) hold up best as songs without the visuals.

I dug into Kishi Bashi’s new album this week, and it is so good! The American singer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter has an impressive resume recording and touring with a wide array of artists including Of Montreal, Regina Spektor, and Alexi Murdoch. Omoiyari is his 4th full-length solo record, and it features a bright and varied sound full of intricate weaving strings and a positive message. As NPR points out in their review, the positive message is right in the title. Omoiyari is the idea that thinking of others fosters compassion. This is a beautiful record.

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Tracklist:
Charly Bliss – Blown To Bits
Bat for Lashes – Kids in the Dark
Flume, London Grammar – Let You Know
Tyler, The Creator – I Think
Open Mike Eagle, Sammus – Racism 2.0
Sophia Eris, Lazerbeak, Bionik – Feel The Burn
A-WA – Ya Watani
Sinkane – On Being
Fruit Bats – Gold Past Life
Kishi Bashi – F Delano
Kyle Craft & Showboat Honey – Deathwish Blue
Frankie Cosmos – Windows
Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real – Turn Off the News (Build a Garden)
Julien Baker – Red Door
Calexico, Iron & Wine – Midnight Sun
Hiss Golden Messenger – I Need a Teacher
Keb’ Mo’ – Ridin’ On a Train
Bad Books – UFO
Julia Shapiro – Shape
Teen Daze – Drifts
Kishi Bashi – Marigolds

The Fortnightly Playlist, June 9th, 2019

Sometimes I really can’t stop thinking about this list. It has to be right, and I’m making changes right down to when I post it. Pulling a song last minute because it doesn’t fit, or adding a song I just came across and just can’t leave out. This is one of those, but I think I got it right in the end. There are some big artists here with new singles out. Sleater-Kinney, Sufjan Stevens, Bon Iver, Pixies, and Phantogram all have new singles out in the last couple weeks, and if those aren’t big artists for you then it is possible we live in different worlds.

Playlist Here!

Let’s talk Sleater-Kinney. Because I think it is really something to see a band reinvent themselves at this point in their career, and still hold to the essence of what they have already built. This new single is different. The new album is produced by Annie Clark, who you may know better as St. Vincent. You can hear her influence on this first single. Where you may tend to think of Sleater-Kinney as fitting largely into punk, on “Hurry On Home” the beat is much slower than what you expect of a punk band. The drums are slow and heavy, and the song grooves. St. Vincent blended her own sound with the band’s established sound extremely well, and it became something all its own. I’m excited to hear more of this record.

I’ve written plenty on this blog about Sinkane. I’ve given the band more attention than many artists, and Life & Livin’ It topped my year-end favorites list in 2017. Sinkane’s music is worth the attention, and they do things that most artists don’t. It’s somewhere in this blend of African Psych-funk, and Brooklyn indie synth-pop, but Ahmed Gallab has a slough of influences that form such a unique and interesting artist. He is the band-leader of William Onyeabor tribute, Atomic Bomb. Of course, William Onyeabor is one of the clearest influences on Sinkane, but through this project Gallab has worked with David Byrne (Talking Heads), Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz), Dev Hynes (Lightspeed Champion, Blood Orange), Amadou & Mariam, and Alexis Taylor (Hot Chip). While working with such a diverse list of artists would surely help bring out the sound Sinkane has developed, it is Gallab’s personal life that has been formative in his lyrics and message of the music. Born in London, early years of life in Sudan, and then his family moved to Ohio. His multicultural experience growing up has become a hallmark of his music, and of who he chooses to work with on each record. On the new record, Depayse, this melting pot of sounds and influences is at its best, and is honed to an even better balance that has built on the foundation of the first four Sinkane records.

Durand Jones & The Indications, Cave Clove, Hatchie, Dessa, and Fontaines D.C. are among my other favorites in this edition. Enjoy!

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Tracklist:
Operators – I Feel Emotion
Flying Lotus, Anderson.Paak – More
Durand Jones & The Indications – Long Way Home
Keb’ Mo’ – I Remember You
TK & The Holy Know-Nothings – Emmanuel
Stef Chura – Scream
Sleater-Kinney – Hurry On Home
Fontaines D.C. – Liberty Belle
Amyl & the Sniffers – Cup of Destiny
The Pixies – On Graveyard Hill
Wand – Thin Air
Sufjan Stevens – Love Yourself
Hatchie – Stay With Me
Tame Impala – Borderline
Sinkane – Everyone
Yeasayer – Fluttering in the Floodlights
Phantogram – Into Happiness
Dessa – Good For You
Bon Iver – U (Man Like)
Aldous Harding – Weight of the Planets
Cave Clove – Sage Advice