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. Got a Spotify account? You’ll find a link to this month’s playlist at the end of the post.
Ryan Adams – “Bad Blood”
This is exactly the kind of thing Ryan Adams haters hate the most about Ryan Adams. The man seems to do nothing but make music and he has a talent for timely reactions to the musical zeitgeist of any given moment. So his decision to record a version of Taylor Swift’s 1989 (one of those occasional cultural phenomenons so all consuming you can’t escape from it even if you try) raised few eyebrows. When he said he remade the album in the style of The Smiths, people noticed. Then he actually released the whole thing. And damn if it isn’t pretty good.
Sam Smith – “Writing’s On The Wall”
Well, considering the strings swell in the most Bondian manner from the outset, it’s sets the scene immediately. We have a Bond theme here people. But while it takes some time to get back to the flourishes that provide the context, Smith has in the meantime worked his acrobatic voice from verse to chorus and back with ease, sweeping right along with the relatively sparse arrangement. It’s haunting in a way these songs normally aren’t. And it gets better every time you hear it.
The Dead Weather – “Cop And Go”
If there was an editor’s note for this entry it would say: “They sure can make some wonderfully slimy yet charming shit, can’t they?” Yes. Yes they can.
Janet Jackson – “BURNITUP” Featuring Missy Elliott
Oh hell yes. Missy gets it going and Miss Jackson takes off with it. Take note ladies. This is how you do it.
The Blue Stones – “The Hard Part”
Well hello boys. Super nice to have you back. And to find out that you still got it. This features everything we appreciated about you guys in the first place. This is slinky. This is sexy. Can’t wait to hear the whole album.
Bleachers & MØ – “You’re Still A Mystery”
While everyone seems to be talking (and buying) Ryan Adams’ 1989 cover release, Jack Antonoff of Bleachers got to make the version of “Strange Desires” that he had heard in his head. Antonoff explained that he always writes his songs with a female singer in mind, and to that end he enlisted the help of Sara Bareilles, Sia, Charlie XCX, Carly Rae Jepsen, Elle King, Lucius and more. And all of a sudden it’s 1981 and it’s Kim Wilde and Rodney on The ROQ and John Hughes movies and MTV. Besides that, it provides a deeper appreciation of the source material from a songwriting standpoint. Also, it’s free.
TesseracT – “Survival”
This progressive metal band from Milton Keynes, England have led the Djent subgenre. Fans of the band are happy to have one of their former lead singers back for this new album. The band is not afraid of melodies and Daniel Tompkin’s vocals, layered with harmonies, fit perfectly atop the Cinemascope qualities of the music.
Dave Gahan and Soul Seekers – “All Of This And Nothing”
Depeche Mode’s lead singer heads back to the studio with producers Soulsavers for his latest release. Soulsavers provides a rich background for Gahan’s famed voice. It’s much more organic than most Depeche Mode projects and, with this single at least, sounds faintly Americana Gothic. This works for me, especially much of the backing instrumentation and arrangements. Doesn’t appear to be available for purchase yet.
Black Peaks -“Glass Built Castles”
Well this was unexpected. Aggressive and textured, this Brighton based band slips between intensities and various levels of rock within moments.
Jeff Lynne’s ELO. – “When I Was A Boy”
This sounds like a lovely lost John Lennon song. A somewhat understated return from Jeff Lynne, this initial track is from ELO’s first major album in over a decade. The vocals are relatively unadorned. And it holds much promise for the forthcoming full-length.
THE CLASSIC: The Faces – “Stay With Me”
Before Rod Stewart OD’ed on leopard skin tights and MTV and saw his mojo assassinated in the 80’s, he led one of the best rock and roll bands in existence. This is visceral. The fuzz is as thick as the pile shag carpets of the era. And it still resonates.
For previous editions of The Playlist, see the growing archive here.
Click here for the Spotify playlist.