Speaking from experience, make a nice meal to this one. We’ve got a ton of brand new music, some older stuff, and even some old stuff made new. There’s a broad range of genres and styles on display here, so sit back and enjoy the journey. Listen on Spotify or Apple Music.
“Where You Are (Underboss Remix)” by Michael Jackson and Lord Finesse. Ok, I just love how Finesse flips these songs. Do check out this whole album and nod your head accordingly.
“Night Garden (feat. Kenny Beats & Baker)” by BENEE. We are all living in a post-Billie Eilish world. It’s not so bad.
“Los Angeles” by HAIM. I love the experimentation inside of this song. You never know exactly where HAIM is going to come at you, they are making art. I especially love the poppiness of that bridge.
“Lockdown” by Koffee. This song hits some sentimental longing trigger in my brain in a hard way. Maybe it’s the Tracy Chapman “Fast Car” connection, maybe it’s just the rhythm and melody. Koffee also gets bonus points for being a quarantine themed love song.
“Where it Hurts (feat. Tayla Parx).” Sugar-coated pop glory with plenty of shit talking. Hit ‘em where it hurts.
“My Power” by CHIKA. A little positive action, still with that 90s vibe she does so well.
“Compensating (feat. Young Thug)” by Amine. Two of the consistently unique voices in modern hip-hop, apologizing and still not really apologizing for their transgressions.
“Song 33” by Noname. There’s some drama behind this one – it was directed indirectly at J. Cole and google it if interested. Whatever the case, the beat and her wordplay are exceptional. “We democratizing Amazon / we burn down borders / this is a new vanguard, this is a new vanguard / I am the new vanguard.”
“Something to Rap About (feat. Tyler, The Creator)” by Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist. What’s this song like? “This sounds like the boat I haven’t got yet.” It’s like that.
“Lil Cease (feat. Armani Caesar)” by Westside Gunn. I’m already on the record as a sucker for people who make gun noises. Also, skeletal beats – they’re like a magnet. Whatever 90s time warp the Griselda people keep traveling from and to, they’re making me happy.
“Latin Grammys” by Action Bronson. Seriously, does anyone, anyone, combine self-depreciation with James Bond-level swagger the way Acton does? No. This chorus. My god man. Flex away.
“Get By” by Taleb Kweli. Taking it back for a moment. This one has been on my mind lately. We all some uplifting sometimes. And that Kanye beat?
“Forever (feat. Run the Jewels)” by Travis Barker. Raps’ Rasputins and rap’s Putin’s are blessing Barker’s latest solo effort. Let the drums pound.
“Grounds” by IDLES. Speaking of drums, this is some stadium stomping right here. I love the audacity of this track. “Do you hear that thunder? That’s the sound of strength in numbers.”
“Modern Business Hymns” by Protomartyr. I know this bands an acquired taste, but I genuinely think the arrangement and choices in this song to be beautiful. The bridge through the end, starting quiet and then opening up into the airy spaciness, it sounds like light coming through a stained glass (and tranq-tainted) window.
“Montgomery Forever” by The Front Bottoms. They’re back. It sounds like them. It feels like them. And now I feel like I’m unwinding the deliberately cryptic messages in this song to understand exactly what the story is. For now, I know the passion is there and I want to sing along.
“Heartbeat” by Oceanator. Oh my soft spot for pop-punk. True to the genre, the song should be shorter. But true to the artist, the song is about waiting and wishing and maybe this has to be this way for a reason. Either way, this song has anxiety oozing out of it from all sides.
“Freequent Letdown” by Illuminati Hotties. I didn’t see her making a mixtape, but she did and it’s awesome. “I’m always letting everyone down / I’m always letting everyone know I’m down.” Subtle and perfect.
“Scram!” By Jeff Rosenstock. “Don’t you want to go away?” Yes, yes I do. “Go kick rocks and die.” Brilliant, as expected. Part of me hates the word “scram” and another part of me thinks this is the perfect encapsulation of its use.
“Boomer” by Bartees Strange. Pay attention to this one. The hip hop, the blues, the rock – this is a wild ride. I was worried it felt pretentious at first, but there’s something special cooking here.
“Ayye” by Mac Miller. That dance/jazzy vibe Mac could do so well. Sing and vibe along.
“Seven Times” by Lianne La Havas. Man, what a great breakup song this is.
“Graceland Too” by Phoebe Bridgers. She makes me (almost) cry. That is all I’m going to say about that. Only a few artists have this power, and she is one of them.
“Roll Back Your Clocks” by Buck Meek. Late-night cruising music. Modern Nick Drake. The sound and the closeness of it all, it’s a beautiful night encapsulated and a perfect way to end.