I’ll let the music and these brief notes speak for themselves. Music today is so good right now. I’m in complete awe of such a variety of artists across multiple genres, it’s inspiring. Much like the content explosion in our golden age of streaming/television, I think we are seeing something similar with music. Find the iTunes link for the playlist here
, and if someone makes a Spotify or YouTube list, share it in the comments or send me an email (please) and I’ll share them here too.
- “Baby I’m Bleeding,” by JPEGMAFIA. I’ve been wondering where underground hip-hop like this was hiding from me. Apparently all I needed was to ask, “Peggy where you been at?” First listen – get through the intro, it’s worth it.
- “Murder.” by Toby Nwigwe. Note the period in the title. New-school braggadocio with an old school dancehall flair. “I never give it mercy.”
- “My Walk” by Raphael Saadiq. The wobble of the drums. The pitchy synth. The constant refrain. This is some musical journeyman genius right here, every concept, musical and lyrical is connected and supported.
- “Georgia” by Brittany Howard. The trepidation and the pleading she makes us feel with this song could melt a person.
- “Collar of Fur” by Fionn Regan. Kind of Nick Drake-y, I just get lost in this one.
- “Lord Randall’s Bastard Son” by The Walker Roaders. All you need to know is “Lord Randall” is a famous old ballad, and this song is it’s bastard son. Drink up, sing along, and the Pogues rabbit hole always awaits your return.
- “Typical Story” by Hobo Johnson. I really think he’s a genius. The loud-soft dynamics, the manic match of his delivery, and then there’s the underlying thoughtfulness of it all. I really hope he continues to evolve as an artist. And, I really hope we get more lines like this: “I’m afraid of everything staying the same or worsening / so what’s the point in finding calm when calm to me is unsettling?”
- “Ibtihaj (feat. D’Angelo and GZA)” by Rapsody. Feature these two on anything and I’ll listen. I love this song. I know it’s a little long, but every reference – and I mean everything is a painstakingly crafted reference here – is amazing.
- “Coming Home (feat. Ms. Lauren Hill)” by Pusha T. Two legendary voices on a track together. It got stuck in my head and wouldn’t leave.
- “Hair Down (feat. Kendrick Lamar)” by SiR. “If I take off my cool / do you promise to stay?” We can’t all relate to being celebrities, but we can all relate to the difficulties of finding authentic connections.
- “Happiness is a Butterfly” by Lana Del Rey. Another song that the music, dynamics, and lyrics are so intricately woven that it’s jaw dropping. Covered more here.
- “3 Tearz (feat. Run the Jewels)” by Danny Brown. I love when these three get together, it’s pure swagger. Mike’s verse at the end is my favorite.
- “Alphabets” by GZA. The earlier guest spot made me want more, and I ended up dwelling on his later stuff. Of all the rappers I imagine rapping forever, he’s one of the few we can rely on to always maintain a certain high-quality.
- “Polaroid Experience” by Youssoupha. Do I know what he’s saying? No. Do I get lost in this beat and his flow? Completely.
- “Laser Lights” by Rex Orange County. If Stevie Wonder was a kid today he’d be doing something like this.
- “Somedays” by Andy Frasco & the U.N. The lyrics… I’ve got feels.
- “Cathedral” by Hovvdy. There’s more going on here beneath the surface, I’d love to hear the story that inspired this one. I also need to go reread Raymond Carver (no relation, but it made me try the song in some weird, serendipitous way).
- “Sky” by The Muffs. RIP Kim Shattuck. We’ll miss that voice. I love this closing track from the last record, it’s fitting.