I struggled figuring out how to open this month’s playlist, so I figured that I would start with a song that has no particular pigeonhole to begin with. “Dograces” by Dub Thompson is weird, awesome, terrible, lovely all wrapped into one. It’s going to set the mood for this month’s playlist, because I’m feeling a bit all over the radar this month. Following it up is “Alexandra” by Hamilton Leithauser, a track that starts up and doesn’t slow down a single beat all the way through. Truckin’ along like a porch-stomping hootenanny.
The Kooks are next with “Down” in their funky head bobber with a great sound to it. It slowly builds over time to a collective vocal style that is a little reminiscent of the Isley Brothers, but with a totally different take. Say Hi is next with “Such A Drag” and their thumping bass. For some reason I associate the feel of this song with its immediate predecessor, but with a different sound to it; both build up and collapse on themselves. These tracks are just great together.
Strand of Oaks is about to hit you right in the nostalgia bone if you’re a ’90s kid. Pay close attention to the lyrics and transport yourself back to the age of analog. Howling Bells is the perfect track to follow, softening the last song with female vocals but still portraying the same vibe. “Slowburn” is a great track with something for pretty much everyone.
Royal Canoe marks the point in this playlist where things slow down a bit. “Exodus of the Year” is a haunting track that takes the last two songs and turns down the volume, while keeping the same high level of instrumentation. This is a fantastic sound with lyrics as well-rounded as its sound.
Sons Et Al. is next, and these vocals are beyond great. “Day by Day” is a perfect rainy day song (April showers bring May flowers?) for Sunday mornings while you sip some coffee. S. Carey‘s track “Crown the Pines” is next, keeping up the layered-vocal theme, and this one is just as beautiful. The strings come in about halfway and take this song from great to masterful–this song hits on all cylinders and gets my super-official “favorite song of the playlist” award.
SlowClub thinks this downtempo business needs to turn around, so they come in with “Complete Surrender.” This electronic thumper has a lot going on that makes this a particularly interesting song. Up next is Total Control in what sounds like a Joy Division remake with “Flesh War.” I’m not too hot on the chorus, but the longing guitar work is well worth the price of admission.
Kidnap Kid‘s song “Like You Used To” sounds like an outer space prom song, and that kind of rules. Wye Oak gets weird with “Glory” and keeps the space sounds going with their track. I had a lot of inner debate about whether to include this next song, “Before your Eyes” by Friendly Fires & The Asphodells but I figured it fit in with these other spacey songs, and so what the heck? Viva la space pop?
“Cadillac Girl” marks the last turn of events in this playlist, as OnlyReal opens up the garage door and gets the band back together for the upcoming summer. If this song doesn’t make you feel like the end of winter is upon us, nothing will. Bringing up the rear is Real Estate with another summery song, aptly named “April’s Song.” Since this is “April’s Song,” I guess we don’t really need any of the other songs on this playlist. Regardless, this is a really warm-sounding summer instrumental guitar track that will close this playlist out with ease and good vibes. Until next month, y’all…