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.
M83 – “Do It, Try It”
Whereupon Anthony Gonzalez tips his hat to fellow Parisians Daft Punk. Totally fun. Sounds like Spring. On repeat.
Sturgill Simpson – “Brace for Impact”
Sturgill Simpson is not a member of the bro-country contingent. He is not spouting stereotypes for CMT. His last album was something of a breakthrough, connecting with the alt country crowd, Americana sets and some rock fans as well. His new album continues to blur the lines. He even dives into dangerous territory, covering Nirvana’s “In Bloom” with intriguing results.
Wild Belle – “Throw Down Your Guns”
The new single from Chicago siblings is a giant leap forward from their excellent debut. This is compelling and substantive. It begs the hip-sway. It demands compassion. And it is catchy as hell. Even if you ignore the overt social message, the song just clicks as a series of connected musical vignettes, each playing off the other until the track builds to a collective pay off. There is also a rather lovely, significant story here about the inspiration for the song and the symbolism of the bells.
Rob Zombie – The Hideous Exhibitions Of A Dedicated Gore Whore
He’s baaaaaack. And he’s pretty much doing what he does, with the added bonus of a Wurlitzer-like circus organ. You know what you are in for: power riffs, big beats, audio samples, and rawk, thank you very much.
Frightened Rabbit – “Get Out”
Can’t. Stop. Listening. The Scottish band’s 5th studio album offers a feast of dense, swirling indie-rock. The hooks are meaty and substantive. Scott Hutchison’s vocals, often buoyed by a host of backing singers, are plaintive, moving and honest. The guitars are layered and processed, serving to bring both atmosphere and direction to a collection of songs resilient and powerful.
Royal Blood – “Where Are You Now”
Brand new music from the UK twosome. This was written specifically for the HBO series Vinyl. While the show has been on the receiving end of some fairly terrible reviews, the music from the series has been excellent. Royal Blood’s Mike Kerr told Noisey “Hearing [Vinyl character] Richie Finestra talk about the first time you heard a song that made your hairs on the back of your neck stand up or made you wanna dance or kick someone’s arse, I just wanted to write a song that gave me that sort of buzz.” Done and done, that.
Charles Bradley – “Ain’t It a Sin”
One time James Brown impersonator transitioned into a late in life career singing and performing his own songs. Solidly grounded in 60’s and 70’s R&B, Bradley had found a perfect home at Daptone records. This is where bands like The Heavy came from.
SO THIS HAPPENED:
Slash and Axl bury the hatchet and 500 fans crammed into the Troubadour get to be there when it happened. Don’t be a hater. Update: Axl has a busted foot and performed the other night, throne style.
BETWEEN THE BEATS:
AND BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE: Because sometimes it’s fun to dance to the end of the world.
TOO BIG TOO FAST? Say it ain’t so Skrillex?
IS THIS THE REAL LIFE? Ignore the overachieving dude who delivers the story and revel in the behind the scenes history of the most unlikely number one rock song ever. Scaraboosh. Also, “What the fuck is this?”
DAY OF THE DEAD: Aaron and Bryce Dessner of The National have curated a massive tribute to the Grateful Dead called Day of the Dead coming this May. It is the latest in a series benefitting the Red Hot organization. The guys have rounded up a who’s who of current musicians. Included in the list of contributors, War on Drugs. See below.
War On Drugs – “Touch Of Grey”
“Touch Of Grey” was the Grateful Dead’s biggest commercial hit. It came at a time when pop music was produced in a way that nearly instantly sounded dated. While keeping true to some of the period production flavors, the War on Drugs steers the track in a dreamier direction. It is effervescent. Adam Granduciel’s wavering vocals recall Jerry’s original delivery while introducing some decidedly Dylanesque phrasing into the mix. This was made for backyard beer drinking barbecuing Summertime fun.
Devour The Day – “Step Aside”
As my very good friend said about this one: “I love well executed, effects heavy, 21st century straight forward rock.” This would be that.
Cullen Omori – “Cinnamon”
One time member of the Smith Westerns goes solo, travels back in time, and ends up in the middle of a mid-80’s John Hughes soundtrack. This shimmering shoe gaze anthem features bright vocals, synths and a sense of nostalgia notably older than the artist himself.
THE CLASSIC: Nina Simone – “Mississippi Goddam”
Simone’s powerful protest song of the early 60’s is just as relevant today as it was then. And that is just pathetic. This is Nina at her most fierce.
For previous editions of The Playlist, see the growing archive here.
Click here for the Spotify playlist.