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.
Brandon Flowers’ new album The Desired Effect is completely rooted in the 80’s. One need look no further than this new track for evidence of the influence of that decade on current work. Fairlight synth strikes? Check. The Gloria Estefan rhythm? Totally. The title track is even built upon one of the classic and influential pop songs of the decade. Even his type of storytelling comes from Springsteen’s best work from that period. This is among his best work. And this news is just about enough to make any Brandon fan squeal with delight.
When this is the first thing we hear from an artist, alarm bells should be going off. Newly signed to the Def Jam label, Alessia made a name for herself with acoustic cover songs on YouTube. This 18 year old native of Brampton, Ontario (Canada), Alessia Carr (nee Caracciolo) calls this a song for “the antisocial, awkward, and miserable party-goers of the world.” I think I’m in love. And points for what sounds like Portishead (or, Isacc Hayes) as a backing track.
Well this is unexpected. Decidedly lo-fi and completely Courtney. At a time when the sound she helped pioneer is coming back with a new generation of riot grrrls, Courtney steps up to remind everyone that she still has it. And the lyrics leave one wondering just how much this is about Courtney dealing with/playing with the public perception she has dealt with for the last 20 years.
You may have figured out that I’m a fan of Alan Wilkis’ oeuvre. I had the opportunity to chat with him in my studio last month when he came through town. There is a concept behind his full length as Big Data. His take on how we interact with the world in terms of privacy is front and center in his performances and on his full length 2.0. But this? This just has a wicked groove.
The return of Brit Pop comes courtesy of the indie-rock band from Australia. I’m super ok with this. It’s not like all Brit Pop was bad. This seems perfectly timed for the warm weather ahead. And the fact that Noel Gallagher wants to “boo them” when he sees them this summer makes me like them even more.
I dare you not to move to the awesome power of a fully operational groove that The Chemical Brothers lay down on this track with Q-Tip. It’s been 10 years since their last collaboration and this one is just through the roof. Everything about this is terrific, not to mention the video. This bodes well for the new album.
Early entry for song of Summer 2015. Haters gonna hate but this track just puts me in a happy space. This Los Angeles 4 piece mines some admittedly familiar territory (the retro disco backing track) but makes up for it with a huge hook, positive vibrations and a trippy video. “Feeling good ain’t going out of style.” No kidding. This should power more than a few parties in the months ahead.
What happens when one of the greatest jazz singers of the last 30 years teams up with the likes of Nick Launay (Nick Cave, Arcade Fire, Kate Bush, Midnight Oil, Public Image Ltd and so much more) for a Billy Holiday project? Something truly special.
Why this band hasn’t achieved more success this side of the Canadian border is beyond me. It’s been 10 years since they blew me away at SXSX and they just get better. (This track is one I return to time and time again.) I love Emily Haines voice. I love the band’s brand of modern rock. And I love that, with their 6th album coming this summer and their slot opening for Imagine Dragons on the Las Vegas band’s current tour, the band will be introduced to tons of people who could embrace them.
BETWEEN THE BEATS:
THE TAPE OF ONLY LINDA ONLY BETTER: Isolated tracks – because once upon a time, there was no such thing as Auto Tune, and things were less fake. More Duran Duran here. Some David Lee Roth here. And this right here ranks as one of the best.
DANCING ON HER OWN? Her curated soundtrack for the Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1 was one of last year’s best collections. Lorde’s muse for her upcoming album is another example that she has a great ear. And she’s not the only Robyn fan.
A LITTLE LESS TWANG? This seems kind of crappy from an artist’s perspective.
ALL THAT GLITTERS: This band was the face of Glam Rock in America in the 70’s.
THE CLASSIC: Joy Division – “Love Will Tear us Apart”
Ian Curtis died 35 years ago this month. He lost his battle with personal demons. His band, on the cusp of success that may have seemed too daunting for him, would have their biggest hit following his death and would, together with New Order (which emerged from the ashes of Joy Division), become two of the most influential bands of a generation.
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For previous editions of The Playlist, see the growing archive here.