The Playlist – January 2014

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Music is a little like food and clothes. These are areas where it’s probably worthwhile for one to explore & expand their tastes. The Playlist is assembled each month by Dappered’s very own music correspondent, Tim Johnstone. Tim is a former Virgin Records Label Rep & current award winning Program Director at KRVB, which was awarded the FMQB AAA station of the year markets 50+. You can also catch his work on Fridays when he assembles the Weekend Dossier

Against Me! “Black Me Out”

This lead single from the band’s new Transgender Dysphoria Blues CD will NOT let go of me. It has everything necessary for a killer rock track. It is by turns meaty, muscular, and memorable. It feels ephemeral and it reaches for the sky. And there is an anything but run-of-the-mill story behind the latest from this heritage band. NSFW due to a few well chosen figures of speech.


Beck “Blue Moon”

It’s been way too long since we’ve had a proper new full length from Beck. This first taste of his upcoming Morning Phase project sounds more like his Sea Change album than his earlier, quirkier work. And that’s just fine. It’s largely acoustic, a bit winsome and maybe just a little bit trippy. This is a good thing.


Mary Lambert – “She Keeps Me Warm”

What do you do when you’ve written the hook to one of the more influential and most successful hip hop songs of the last year? You write the rest of the song. That’s what Seattle’s Mary Lambert did having provided the warm emotional center to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love.” This fully fleshed out version is just lovely. Lambert’s full length album comes later this spring on Capitol Records.


Future Islands – “Seasons”

This Baltimore band goes big on their new collection due out this spring on the venerable 4AD label. The ghost of Pere Ubu haunts the vocal melody of this huge first single. This is passionate stuff with a layered arrangement that reveals more with each listen. Can’t wait to hear the whole album.


Boy & Bear “Southern Sun”

Once upon a time there were bands like America and Poco and Fleetwood Mac who helped create the mellow awesomeness of mid 70’s MOR rock and roll. Bless these guys. They’ve updated the sound and brought it all around again. It’s somehow spacious and intimate at the same time. And the chorus is a pretty huge ear worm.


Foster The People – “Coming Of Age”

The LA based band (and former jingle writers) have reportedly expanded their sound for their upcoming Supermodels release. Whatever they are doing, it’s working: their knack for catching the zeitgeist of the moment is apparent on this summer weather beckoning singalong.


London Grammar – “Strong”

This is not going to get you moving on the dance floor. This is not going to be played to death on your local hit music station. This is not going to fuel your work out (unless you’re logging sexy times on your favorite fitness app). This UK band specializes in stylish, slow burn mood music. Build a fire. Invite over your current squeeze (or whomever is on your list of hopefuls) and enjoy. This is also a favorite from their debut disc.


Secret Machines – “Nowhere Again”

This isn’t new. But it deserves your attention all the same. Secret Machines were a terrific Texas band which fused rock and electronics in a way that brought to mind those who had come before like New Order. I’m sharing it with you guys because Benjamin Curtis of SM (and his later band School of Seven Bells) died recently of cancer and that surprised and saddened me. They should have been a huge band.


Elbow – “New York Morning”

The band certainly knows what works for them. They build atmospheric soundscapes. With hooks. Big unforgettable emotional hooks that grow and build and take over. And they’re really good at it. This is our first taste of their long awaited new full length The Take Off And Landing Of Everything.


Broken Bells – After The Disco

Getting lots of play all over this tiny corner of the internet as of late. But, it’s an early contender for album of the year. Yes, I’m serious. There may or may not be a full review to follow. For now, just bask in the glory of this partnership.

For previous editions of The Playlist, see the growing archive hereTop Photo Credit.