Well folks, it seems my listening preferences just get more and more diverse as the time goes on.
How can it be! I know you're wondering, since my music picks always range everywhere from old school reggae to chill future bass funk to Lady Gaga. Well... this week I'm throwing a little somethin' extra in the mix: podcasts.
WHAT! It might sound pretty outrageous but stay with me here, there's still going to be music! But with all the commuting I do these days because of work, I've discovered a newfound appreciation for podcasts and have just a few I want to share with you, and only because they are THAT worth listening to. I'm pretty sure everyone listens to podcasts at least sometime or another these days so this shouldn't be too outside y'alls comfort zones anyway.
Also, since my last post, a lot has happened in the music world so if you've been living under a rock for the past two months let me catch you up to speed... SXSW kicked off festival season back in March and this year's South By Heavyweight Champion Title without a DOUBT goes to Anderson .Paak (totally called that one!); the light of my life, the HBO original series Vinyl wrapped up its first season and although I miss it and Birgitte Hjort Sørensen and her winged eyeliner terribly, my other favorite music show Empire is back just in time, and so far the music, and Cookie's outfits, are back and better than ever; Coachella happened and as far as I'm concerned nothing really to report there; and of course, Beyoncé dropped her visual album, Lemonade, on Saturday via an HBO special, and if you missed that then I damn well hope you have a great, culturally relevant friend who recorded it so you can witness Queen B in all her glory, bc yes the album is amazing but the special is just awe-inspiring. And yes, I think Lemonade is worth writing a whole positive blog post about, to all those who thought otherwise. *eyeroll* *@Becky with the good hair*
Now that's settled, let's get to the podcasts, and then of course, what you all came here for... the music :)
1. 2 Dope Queens
Stream via WNYC (link) or the Podcast App (link)
If you've hung out with me lately, you're probably done hearing me rant about this but, THIS PODCAST is just TOO DAMN GOOD. I had not a clue what I was getting into when I started listening to this, so when I discovered it to be this incredible, hysterical, unforgettable mixture of stand up and cultural explorations hosted by Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams, I was blown away and hooked immediately. I hope everyone feels the same. Listen to them all.
2. TED Radio Hour
"The Money Paradox" (link), "The Source of Creativity" (link), "What We Fear" (link)
Now that I'm out of school, I frequently yearn for opportunities to be learning and expanding my horizons on a daily basis. Well, TED Radio Hour is like being in the best lecture with the coolest professor you ever had, but you don't have to take notes and there's no midterm, and you leave with this brand new sense of curiosity for the world. It's hard for me to pick a favorite one of these since I've listened to about 50 episodes in the past month, however, I've selected a few that I would recommend to get started with above.
3. The Moth
"All At Sea" (this story is out of this world, link), "I Can Die Now" (link), "Birth of the Homobile" (this is my favorite! link)
One of my absolute best friends introduced me to The Moth, which is exactly one of the reasons why she is a best friend of mine. The Moth, if you don't know, is an organized story slam, where speakers ranging from average Joes to Nobel winners share a story with an audience from stages all over the world. The podcast version of The Moth collects 3 or 4 stories together in one hour long episode once a week that you should really subscribe to, but in the mean time, I've selected a few stories here to get you hooked on this.
And now, for the jams!
1. Barrabas - Wild Safari
Now, you wont find this track on my playlist because Soundcloud has some sort of annoying copyright ownership policy something or other, but it is definitely the most important track on this list because it is impossible to listen to this without getting on your feet and grooving. Part of my love for this track is credited to scene from Vinyl where I originally heard it (this scene, no spoilers, one of the best out of the whole season IMO I want to live in that party), but also it's just such a great, unearthed Afro Soul track and I can't get enough of the hook. Indulge.
2. Wayward - Only Flaw
Fast-forward to the present, and allow me to introduce to you the London duo, Wayward. This seemingly undiscovered producer group has a goldmine of a Soundcloud feed, and this uplifting, tropical house track is no exception. For fans of ODESZA and Rüfüs, keep these guys on your radar and cross your fingers for a US tour in the future!
3. WDL - Stardust (feat. Elliphant)
Now y'all know this wouldn't be a playlist without some Swedes! So here they are - introducing first and foremost this epic upcoming producer WDL, who has a sound that ranges from quintessential future to astounding experimental, with a common theme throughout of being dope. I picked "Stardust" because it's great, it features the Swedish rhyme-spittin' siren Elliphant, and it sings to my current infatuation with outer space. Dig it.
4. Justin Jay & Friends - Can't Complain feat. Josh Taylor & Benny Bridges
I featured a track similar to this one last time around so I was going to omit this song, but the more I listened to it, the more it grew on me. I really dig Justin Jay's style, and this track is a good representation of it as it evolves throughout the whole 4 minutes and 31 seconds. Perfect for pregames, late night drives, and getting yourself out of bed in the morning with a positive affirmation.
5. GRMM - Something From Nothing feat. QUINN XCII
I wonder what it must've felt like when Sydney-based producer GRMM and Detroit's own QUINN XCII got together to create this track, because I'm sure there must have been a tidal wave of excitement when they realized what they had made. This track falls under the umbrella of future sound à la Flume and Louis the Child, but upholds its own unique rhythm that took it to the top of the Hype Machine charts. If you haven't already enjoyed this one, then kick back and let it take you away.
6. Flume - Say It feat. Tove Lo
Speaking of Flume... here's another release in anticipation of his upcoming second album release, Skins. So far I'm starting to feel like there's a lot more pop-influence in this new album, but that's alright because it's Flume and he does it well, especially with the signature sound of Sweden's pop icon, Tove Lo.
7. Isaac Hayes - Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic
Here comes another Vinyl-inspired record, sorry I'm so obsessed this is the last one I promise! Now, I'm not one for like, the super sexy, sweaty funk music, so this slightly more uptempo jam by the honorable Soul Man himself, Isaac Hayes, is right up my alley. I feel like I just wanna get down and swing my hips to that bassline for daaaays, and the breakdown at 3:25? I'm done.
8. Sir the Baptist - Wake Up feat. ChuchPeople
Sir the Baptist appears to be a very confident, self-aware artist who identifies as a urban hymnist under the genre of Church Pub Rap, which made me a little skeptical at first. Through further investigation, however, I've come to conclude that his outspoken nature might just be doing great things for the values he believes in and the changes he's trying to make in our world. This song is a PSA to his city of Chicago to foster community and inspire hope, as well as just being a generally uplifting gospel & hip hop fusion track. Look out for Sir the Baptist though, as he's on a mission to becoming the Pope of Hip Hop and I don't think anyone or anything will be able to hold him back!
9. QUIÑ - H2H (Produced by Krys$hun)
Upcoming artist alert! I really love the honey sweet, sensual vocals of Biana Leonor Quiñones, or Quiñ for short. Second-time shoutout in this post to my best girl Rosa, for introducing me to this Quiñ cat, I see her voice appearing on many a tracks from artists like Kaytranada or Snakehips type in the future. Dig this original one by her first!
10. SNAKEHIPS - Falling
On that note... Here's the most recent release from my favorite SNAKEHIPS. They've been all over the map in the past year and so I really love this track bc I feel it reconnects with their original style with that chimey, funky sound paired with a strong female songstress, Malika being that showcased voice in point here. Can you spot the SNAKEHIPS watermark in this one? ;)
11. Ambassadeurs - Halos
Taking things down a notch, I really love this mellow, electronic track from Berlin-based producer Ambassadeurs. He's been producing quite a bit of both original and remixed tracks lately that are worth spending some time checking out, but I really clicked with this Chrome Sparks type track in particular. Apparently this, and the rest of the songs from this EP were made "with the bare minimum of equipment to hand," even sampling some old cassettes. I applaud the experimentation!
12. Vallis Alps - Oh!
Even more mellow, here's a sweet electric indie jam from the Seattle group, Vallis Alps. Heard this one in a yoga class and it felt amazing to move to the refreshing melody and poetic lyrics. Recommended listening for jogging on the beach or a sunset barbecue.
13. Luna Shadows - Hallelujah California
If Zella Day is the new Lana del Rey, then Luna Shadows might be the next Zella Day. Which is a silly notion of course, because all these wonderful artists should be appreciated for their individual creativity and work ^^ I digress, this dreamy songstress is destined to be on the soundtrack for Summer '16 with her indie pop, hippy vibes. Take a peep at her rad Insta feed while you float away to her next big single.
14. Major Lazer - Wave feat. Kali Uchis
Major Lazer is without a doubt one of my favorite players in the modern music world, both for their endlessly diverse releases as well as their explosive performances (literally). I uncovered this track amongst all the upbeat, loud bangers on their latest album, Peace Is The Mission, and fell quickly under the spell of Kali Uchis's hypnotic vocals over the delicious reggae vibes. Bump this.
15. Lola Coca - Bad Girlfriend
Remember when I said my listening preferences keep getting even more diverse? Here's another great example of some of the stuff out there that is bound to change the game. The bold Lola Coca hails from the UK, as you can tell from the rhythm of her rhymes, and is relentless in her words in a way that would make Beyoncé proud. Like a love child of Dizzee Rascal and Lily Allen, Lola Coca is one to watch.
16. Nazeem & Spencer Joles - The Kids Are Alright
If you like soul hip-hop, then "The Album" by Nazeem and Spencer Joles out of Minneapolis is what you need to hear now. I endlessly support these artists, and their spectrum of style offers a little something for everyone. Seriously, keep your eyes on these boys.
17. JMSN - Cruel Intentions (Remix) feat. Snoh Aalegra
You probably recognize JMSN (pronounced "Jameson") from the Soulection tribe, and if you're a follower of my playlists you should also recognize Sweden's own Snoh from one of my earlier editions (Volume 5, to be exact), and you'll definitely recognize the collaboration between the two as a great, rich, and sultry record perfect for setting any type of intimate or inspiring mood.
18. Whitney - No Woman
I'm really, really crazy about this song, and also so excited about this band so I'll try to keep it brief. Whitney, already one of this year's most talked about indie bands, is a combination influences of old soul music, The Band, and modern R&B artists such as Jeremih, that results in a delightfully modern, country indie charm. This track in particular will wrap you up and warm your heart, in a way that will make you want to slow dance or two step with your sweetheart by the fireside. *swoon*
19. Jonathan Wilson - Desert Raven
I don't know where or how I stumbled upon this song - quite frankly I think it found me - but I couldn't be happier about intertwining with the acoustic, free-spirited melodies of Jonathan Wilson. I've been burning incense and staring at the clouds through the tree tops with this song on repeat so I haven't made it through the rest of Jonathan Wilson's repertoire but I invite you to do it with me as I ignite another stick of Sandalwood at sunset ;)
20. Gnash - You Just Can't Be Replaced feat. Rosabeales
Had to save the best for last! Now, the darling Gnash has been heating up for quite some time now, to the point where I've even started hearing his tracks at my local Corepower Yoga studio (you've know you've made it when...), so I hardly need to push his music because it's spreading quickly on its own, BUT! This record right here features, you guessed it, my ride or die Rosabelle (3rd time appearance in a post, damn girl!) making her vocal debut, which I know is huge for her, and her addition adds the perfect amount of magic to this modern love ballad. I especially love the amorous exchange around 2:30... s'cute :')
Thanks as always for reading everyone! I hope you enjoy my words, but mostly, I hope you find a new favorite song (or podcast) somewhere in this mix of things that totally changes your day or week or month or life! I look forward to sharing another batch of amazing jams with you next month. xo!