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