July 2014 – The Playlist

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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 


Spoon – “Do You”

Britt Daniels and his band have been making consistently smart and catchy indie-rock for going on two decades. And from what’s been heard from their new album, the streak continues. Daniels excels at the subtle swagger and there is always a bit of the effed up under the surface. This has to be one of my favorite videos in forever.


Jenny Lewis – “Just One of The Guys”

The former Rilo Kiley heartbreaker just lets down her hair and charms absolutely everyone with this first track from her new album The Voyager. Like Neko Case, she can smoothly slide from genre to genre within the confines of a single song. She just glows here.


Lenny Kravitz – “The Chamber”

Just like a white winged dove…Lenny Kravitz. What the hell? Did not see this coming. Playing just about everything on his first new music since becoming better known as Cinna in the The Hunger Games movies, Lenny manages to create a pretty meaty vibe with this retro (what else?) four-on-the-floor groove thing from his upcoming CD Strut.


Shabazz Palaces – “Forerunner Foray”

Spaced out prog rock hip hop from the Emerald City.


Sylvann Esso – “Coffee”

I recently had a a couple acquaintances recommend this to me. The first was one of my go-to reliable sources. The other, Matt Nathanson, who was hanging out, doing a guest DJ set with me at my day job. This two-piece didn’t start out to form a project. But they have connected with all manner of music fans. Feist for the chillwave blips and beats set.


Various Artists – Beck Song Reader

This is not how most artists release music. In 2012 Beck Hansen released his first new album in four years. Only it was via sheet music. And while many folks have taken to YouTube performing songs from the collection, the eyeglass manufacturer Warby Parker has just assembled a various artist collection of songs Beck didn’t record. Except for the one he does here, “Heaven’s Ladder”, which is among the best offered on the disc. Jack White, fun., Lord Huron, Jarvis Cocker and Sparks are among some of the other notable artists included. Proceeds benefit a pretty cool organization determined to help foster creative writing for kids.


Nico Vega – “I Believe (Get Over Yourself)”

This is the current sound of multi-hyphenate alt rock. This is made for mass audiences. So with that as a starting point, let’s just get to it, shall we? There is nothing wrong with hook-filled, assured, reach-for-the-sky stuff like this. If you think this sounds like Imagine Dragons, that’s not an accident. Nico Vega’s lead singer Aja Volkman is married to Dan Reynolds of ID and he produced this track.


Starset – My Demons

Calling occupants of interplanetary rock. This is cinematic rock from a band that created their own mythos and back story, delivering it via electronics, power chords, and a totally gym friendly energy. It’s all here in one tidy package.


The Black Keys – “Keep Your Hands Off Her”

As is often the case, a respected and generally forgotten classic artist from the past gets introduced to a new generation of fans thanks to a successful current band. This time it’s the Black Keys and their appreciation for Junior Kimbrough. While their all-Kimbrough cover ep Chulahoma isn’t new, these performances still resonate. Here’s the original.


How To Dress Well – “What is this Heart?”

Easily some of the iciest white boy soul to come around since the pasty brits were slamming this stuff in the mid 80’s. Apparently his third album. He being Tom Krell. Tom Krell being How To Dress Well. What Is This Heart? is reportedly a bit more polished than previous efforts. Cue the “sell out” cries from the ardent first adopters any moment now. Whatever. This is pretty solid stuff right here.


The Pierces – “Team”

This is a perfect example of how a cover can bring completely new context to a song you’ve heard a billion times. The harmonies and the chamber-folk production owes much to 70’s Stevie Nicks/Fleetwood Mac and that’s about as far away from Lorde’s milieu of urban New Zealand. I’d buy this if I could.

For previous editions of The Playlist, see the growing archive here.