First of all, I’d like all of us to take a minute and appreciate this really creepy photo of this dude looking at us all–yeah. Anyways, it’s a new month so you know what that means. If you don’t know, now you do–a new playlist. Let’s get right to it, shall we?
Fear of Men starts off this playlist and the first half of the more mellow songs. “Alta / Waterfall” is a fantastically instrumented song with some great ambient waaah whaaa’s going on in the background of what would otherwise be a pretty straightforward track. This song seems to add another dimension about two-thirds of the way through, and there’s something charming about that. Speak is next, and come on Diane, just be reasonable, gah. Diane is so unreasonable, am I right? “I know it feels like we always fight/And I know it feels like I’m always wrong/But I get the feeling I’m always right/Even more as the fights go on.” This song should be called, “Being a guy.”
Hospitality is up next with “Rockets and Jets,” and I love the impressive thumping bass on this track paired with vocals and guitar chaos. The song breaks down about halfway through and rebuilds itself in a pretty awesome way–just good tunage all around. Woods follows that with “Leaves Like Grass,” and it takes us from the jets in the sky to the leaves in the forest. There’s something homey about the warm keyboards and optimistic riffs making this a delicious track for your morning coffee. Last Lynx plays “Lacuna” next, which is sort of the same feel as the prior song, but slowed down and with a few more moving parts. What makes this track so great is the addictive drawing verses that leave you wanting more, in a good way.
Elephant is next up with “Elusive Youth,” and this is a great vocal display paired with a melodic backing. This song is probably better for summer than the winter, but who cares? It still rules, and it always pays to think warm these days. SALES slows it down a bit and brings us back to a simpler time when all you needed was a guitar and a repeating beat. Simple is sometimes way more, and I fully appreciate how awesome this song is.
And the award for best vocals on this playlist goes to… Marissa Nadler. This beautiful song is a tour de force of her voice, and I love this ephemeral-sounding sampling of beautiful melodic singing. Too good to ignore. However, since we’re on the subject, how about Farao in “To Sleep Apart?” This track is much simpler than the previous one, but just as beautiful. These songs are paired together for a reason, and the reason is apparent when you close your eyes and listen fully. In case you just can’t get enough, Angel Olsen is next with “White Fire.” This vocally-powerful track is in good company with Marissa Nadler and Farao, and this trio is just fantastic. Tom Brosseau is next, to show that dudes can do these vocal-heavy songs too with “Cradle Your Device.” This song is really funny–just listen to the vocals; it’s a double entendre.
There was no real easy way to do this, but I tried to slowly blend songs into more rock-heavy sounds. We start the blending with Incan Abraham and their sort of 80’s pop rock song, “Concorde.” There’s always one of these sorts of songs on these playlists, so I guess it’s kind of obligatory at this point. Nevertheless, this song is a really awesome song that makes me want to drive through Miami at midnight. George Ezra and his track “Cassy O” picks up the pace in this porch-stomping romp of a song, and marks the beginning of the impending craziness (or at least songs that aren’t as slow).
Gentle Friendly gets us going with their buzzing guitars and popping drum beats in “Autumn Nite.” This song is just fantastic–it sounds like absolute nonsense at first, but the longer you listen the more you hear. I love how complex this song is. Cloud Nothings is next with “I’m Not Part of Me,” and they open up with some growly guitars but come back up for air with some light vocals that sound lovingly-recorded in a garage. I love this song, but just don’t listen to it on low volume.
Special Explosion is next, which is a great mix between the first and second half of this playlist. Strong vocals, but with heavy guitar behind them–very northwestern sounding. Palehound is a really awesome strong female vocal sound with tinges of indie rock–is that a xylophone? “Holiest” is a fantastic track that I’ll listen to way past February. “Hot and Cold” by Ex Hex follows Palehound as a continuation of the rock/indie blend. This track has an amazing riff around the 1:20 mark of the song, and I love the general flow of this song overall.
Protomartyr wants to eat your first born children. “Scum, Rise!” is so sad it’s kind of humorous. I love the outbursts of this song and the nonchalant vocals about your father never loving you, followed by echoing guitars and an abrupt ending. Bleeding Rainbow brings up the caboose of this playlist with “Images,” and yeahhhh. Just turn this song up–there is so much greatness going on with this song that you’ll probably need to listen a few times to figure out what just happened to your brain.