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.
NOTE: Looking for something particularly spooky for your Halloween get together and/or handing out candy to the neighborhood kids? Checkout our Halloween specific playlist. A super extended version is also available on spotify. No tricks. Just an extra treat this month.
As my very smart pal said to me, “Is anyone having more fun”? The answer, apparently, is no. Bruno Mars digs deep into 70’s and 80’s funk for an instant party machine. Everything about this is on point. The harmonies. The Cameo meets Commodores synth leads. The way Buno’s vocal cadences bring to mind The Sugarhill Gang. All of it. Golden. “Players. Put your. Pinky rings up. To the moon”.
The name sounds like something leftover from the Summer of Love. And the same can be said about the song, in the best possible way. It’s roots are in Melanie and The Edwin Hawkins Singers, young Rod Stewart and Robert Zimmerman. But I can easily imagine Richard Ashcroft leading The Verve through a version, or Spiritualized, or Bobby Gillespie and Primal Scream. It is joy when joy is exactly what is needed. (UPDATE: They are apparently really good at this kind of stuff.)
A truly lovely song which moves and shifts along instrumentation reminiscent of Massive Attack’s Blue Lines (one of the best releases of the 80’s). Sparse piano and understated bass anchor Solange’s layered vocals. It is a subtle kind of beauty.
Nevermind the fact that this feels something like a bookend to their earliest recordings of American blues classics, and as such the wrapping up of loose ends (it has been 11 years since their last studio album), this is just a hoot. The band sounds great but this is clearly Jagger’s show. The man just doesn’t age. Sharp as a tack, on point and ferociously energetic, he just seems to be having a blast.
These Maryland kids, and I use that term correctly, rock. And the fact that they are roughly 14 – 18 years old makes all of this just that much more fun. Because if this is what they are putting together right now, imagine what’s to come. Thanks to my fearless editor for keeping me up to date on all things rock.
This is not “Big Time” or “Sledgehammer” Peter Gabriel. This is not “In Your Eyes” Gabriel. This is Peter Gabriel the sound technician. “The Veil” is a sonically adventurous political story which lands somewhere between “Red Rain”and “BIKO.” It might take a few listens to even reflect on the lyrics, the arrangement being so important to the atmosphere projected here. And at first Gabriel’s vocals are otherworldly and an instrument in itself. But by the time the lyrics connect and you catch on to the story, there might just be a hint of paranoia in the room.
Eliot Sumner’s “Information” album is among the best I’ve heard this year (we featured “After Dark” in last month’s playlist). It’s not just the genetics at play here. Wait, maybe it is exactly the genetics at play. But song for song, this album is a showcase for Sumner’s songwriting. When you are the offspring of one of rock’s biggest stars (Eliot is the daughter of Sting and Trudy), you need to work harder than everyone else. You have more to prove. These songs stick around. Sumner’s vocals find their way into your head. And you get a track like this which will power more than a few gym playlists.
The Parisian duo who are not Daft Punk return with new music. Their debut album remains an electronic music staple. This, from their upcoming 3rd release WOMAN, brings a familiar buzzcut foundation to a song with vocals which are more summer than fall. But I’m not complaining. As the song emerges, and transforms, additional layers of instrumentation come aboard and the arrangement builds before falling away, returning to, Summer, as it were. Good fun.
I’m just going to stand back and let T.I. do his thing. Because this seems relevant to the times we find ourselves in.
Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker, Mark Ronson, and Queen Of The Stone Age’s Josh Homme are at the heart of this first official single from GaGa’s upcoming project. There is an intensity here with GaGa’s vocals that perfectly fit the music. This has not set entirely well with her pop fans (fickle beasties that they are, whatever). Is it one for the best of collection? Maybe not. But for the moment it’s pretty fun. Fickle beasties that we are.
A Nashville duo who don’t really have time for that whole genre thing, Muddy Magnolia serves up a song for the times. Because, reality. Just catch the lyrics, get with the groove and spread some damn positivity.
Earwig makes magic with this one. What starts off a retro indie-rock circa 1994 (these guys go back to that heyday), grows into something entirely different when Lydia steps up to the mic. It becomes tears in your beer power pop. It becomes a reminder of that relationship that you wish you hadn’t screwed up. It brings all the feels plopped squarely among the guitars and the great big enormous hook. Also, did I mention Lydia’s voice? Because yeah.
When the likes of Lyyke Li, Andrew Wyatt (Miike Snow), and Peter Bjorn & John’s Björn Yttling come together for a new project, I’m all ears. There are elements of Fleetwood Mac and CSNY here with a slight prog rock feel to the instrumentation. But those harmonies manage to grab the attention here, even as the guitar line catches a groove, as an organ takes the song out and you find yourself hitting replay.
Emile Sande has found great success since her introduction to American airwaves in 2012. She has performed in front of a billion people (she was featured in both the opening and closing ceremonies of the Summer 2012 Olympics in London). She has toured the world. And with this first taste of her upcoming 3rd release, she has returned with a statement. The artistic growth on display here is exciting. This is exhilarating stuff. There is confidence. It activates the tingle zones. It connects emotionally and physically. That’s quite the achievement.
THE CLASSIC: Tool – “Rosetta Stoned”
How can you not appreciate a song like this? As our editor points out, it’s a song about a guy “who believes he was abducted by aliens.” Also, because math and stuff, it uses 4/4, 5/8, 5/4, 11/8, 3/4, and 6/4 time signatures. So, eat that Frank Zappa. Oh right: the music. It’s Tool. You’re getting the goods.
For previous editions of The Playlist, see the growing archive here.
Click here for the Spotify playlist.