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.
This is not your, uh, well, not YOUR Decemberists. I mean, obviously it is and all that. But, this is a different Decemberists all the same. The band decided to work with a new producer/collaborator. More importantly, they wanted to acknowledge some of their influences that haven’t been apparent in their previous releases. Those influences? Kraftwerk. New Order. Roxy Music. And from the get go, those influences are front and center. But by the time Colin Meloy arrives, weaving his dark tale, it once again feels very much like the band many of us have come to love.
True story. When we received the digital download of this track at the station, I played it for my staff and they thought it was pretty cool. They liked the grittiness and the backing choir. I appreciated the way the song builds. Across the bullpen, my good pal who works at the hard rock station was bemoaning the death of Jack’s guitar rock all over social media. He was chuffed. I imagine this reaction is not unusual.
Over the course of three singles, this LA band has brought us lush, Talk Talk inspired modern rock that invites headphones and hoodies. It is so easy to get caught up in this stuff. Their debut disc drops on February 23rd and I am really looking forward to this. Catch their NPR Tiny Desk Concert for more.
One of the most beloved of the 90’s indie rock bands is still going strong. And this is just what fans want. There is so much about this that makes me smile. It’s enough to make feel, uh, not so old. The energy. The fuzz. The harmonies. The guitars. All good.
There is nothing not to like about our first taste of Nathaniel Rateliff’s upcoming 2nd LP with the Night Sweats. The sound is faithful to their superbly entertaining debut. It might be a bit restrained from their barnstorming hit “S.O.B.” but it is very much cut from the same cloth.
I was not expecting much here. The band has done what they can to continue on despite losing their charismatic lead singer, and, sadly, their second charismatic lead singer. So when this came out before the holidays, I listened out of curiosity. And I was pleasantly surprised. If you want STP to sound like classic STP, this seems to fit the bill. Their new frontman certainly seems to be able to replicate Scott Weiland’s howl. Mark this down as a pleasant surprise.
I’m going to let this one speak for itself. ❤️
Cozmic Pop with a “Come Together” groove and so, so, so much more. You can get lost in here.
Oh I think we are going to be hearing a lot from this band. This feels raw and honest and the sincerity of vocalist Matt Quinn brings a unique feel to their music.
As my editor says: “Straight. Ahead. 21st century rock.”
Light and airy production provide a bubbling base for chill wave grooves and falsetto vocals. Again, headphones seem appropriate. Appropriate to the title, this is just weightless. Borderline mesmerizing.
The first new music we get from Andrew W.K. in nine years is a gloriously unhinged sonic assault that lines up with W.K.’s motivational speaker side-gig. Just about everything you’ve ever heard in every hard rock song ever is squished all up inside this and it is silly and genuine and I couldn’t help but grin at the sheer earnestness of the whole thing. Having spent a good portion of an afternoon with him at a music festival some years back, I can attest this is pretty much his general demeanor. So there’s that.
Three twenty somethings from NYC whip up a whole lot of fun here. All sorts of fun. I’m always a sucker for big hooks dressed in harmonies and power chords.
While not nearly as well known as The Decemberists, Nate Lacy’s Mimicking Birds has also updated their sound for their third album. The band has introduced modular synthesizers to their Modest Mouse influenced sound and it provides a wonderfully expressive background to Lacy’s layered, reverb heavy vocals. “Belongings” is dreamy and fluid, occasionally surprising, and I’m looking forward to more.
Anytime someone’s music reminds me of early Patty Griffin, I’m instantly engaged. Jade Bird is a young singer songwriter who has a big voice and wields it as a force in this new song. There is a confidence here and I enjoy how she brings a fresh take on the loud quiet thing that was such a big part of 90’s indie rock. And where I mention Patty Griffin as a comparison, I would add Maria McKee as well.
For previous editions of The Playlist, see the growing archive here.
View the Spotify playlist here.
Editor’s Note: This Playlist was assembled before the Grammys, and I was slow getting it published on the site. So if you want to lob any “but what about XYZ that I saw the other night” critiques, you can send those in to email@example.com. Because it was my fault. But, in case you need a Grammys fix, this. Also a personal favorite, Bruno Mars. But he has set the bar so damn high. I mean, it’s hard to top this and especially this. That’s all. Carry on.