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 Reset. Got a Spotify account? You’ll find a link to this month’s playlist at the end of the post.
Oh hell yeah!
It’s been far too long since we last heard from NYC’s indie-rock darlings. This first taste of their upcoming project is a sumptuous yet light-as-air spring treat. Instant earworm.
Yola Carter, who just goes by her first name, has had a remarkable life. Her backstory is a doozy. But it is her voice that commands attention. While she has been a hit at various Americana music festivals, her debut solo album feels like a mash up of classic country and British Northern Soul. Only, you also get some Muscle Shoals vibes here, 70’s singer songwriter influences and more. There is a distinct timelessness to these songs. Dan Auerbach (the dude clearly never rests) signed Yola to his label and produced this album which also features some big Nashville names like Vince Gill. Did I mention she toured with Massive Attack as a backup singer? She’s the real deal.
These two are simply amazing. These Mexico City guitarists found fame in Ireland which is where the rest of the world caught up with them. Incredible musicians. They are so fun to watch. If you ever get a chance to see them, jump on it. It is great to have new music from them.
Oh but I am a sucker for this sound. The Better Oblivion Community Center is a project from Conor Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers. They pretty much surprised everyone when they released this single, and an album, and performed on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert all on the same day back in January. It was a nifty introduction to the world. This song, along with the album, has been in constant rotation on my daily playlist since I first heard it.
SOAK is Bridie Monds Watson, of Derry, Ireland. She is about to release her second album (following her muti-award winning 2015 debut Before We Forgot How To Dream) Deja Vu. She may only be 22 years old, but her life experiences and perspective on life in this day and age show a wisdom far beyond her years. This particular song reminds me of Lykke Li and that is never a bad thing.
Sparse production and a slinky rhythm provide the base for Fike’s easy-going vocals which bounce from melodic verses to melodic rap. Catchy stuff from this 23 year old. Fike is definitely someone to keep an eye on.
Because sometimes you just want to be someone you aren’t. Because sometimes it is a blast just letting go and blowing off steam and moving like you’re unleashed. Because sometimes you want to rock like nobody is watching. As my best pal says, “this is a d*ck swinger.”
This is a real treat. Folk-rock singer Josh Ritter teams up with Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit and we all win.
True story: I had not heard of Lizzo before she took the stage at a music festival a few years back. Over the next 40 minutes she and her backup dancers owned the stage, conquered the crowd and left a huge, happy impression on yours truly. I have been a little obsessed ever since. She is all about positivity in all things, especially her own lady parts. Definitely explicit.
I will always give Karen O the benefit of the doubt. She is fearless in her approach to music. Her work with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, her soundtrack work on Where The Wild Things Are, her new collaboration with Danger Mouse – she is always doing something different. Yes, this is the Smashing Pumpkins song. And yeah, she puts her own spin on things.
Uh, more of this please. Oh wait, turns out there is. Yay!
My friend at the radio station and I were having a conversation about Patty Griffin recently. We are both big fans. She mentioned that when people like (name withheld on account of manners – rhymes with fido) write sad songs, they leave her kind of bored. When Patty writes a sad song, she continued, she ends up sad but happy at the same time. Patty is one of those artists that people introduce to their friends, co-workers and anyone who will listen. I’m kind of doing that right now.
“Somewhere, Molly Ringwald is wistfully looking out a window as a light rain pitter patters upon the window…and this song is playing as the camera slowly frames in on her, to show the symmetry between the single tear running down her porcelain cheek, and the raindrops on the pane of glass she looks through.” That imagined John Hughes scene comes courtesy of my good friend who brought this to my attention. CHVRCHES step back into the 80’s with another excellent pop song.
The Claypool Lennon Delirium – “Blood and Rockets- Movement I, Saga of Jack Parsons – Movement II, Too the Moon”
If you had told me last month that I would be totally into a project from Les Claypool (Primus), I would have done that awkward bark-laugh thing. (You know what I’m talking about. That poorly formed outburst that represents shock, abhorrence and denial all wrapped up in a haughty utterance.) But here I am. Sean Lennon (you’re no doubt familiar with his dad) is the other half of a project called The Claypool Lennon Delirium. Maybe because I had no idea what I was getting into when I first heard this, but it turns out I’m a fan. This is not your grandfather’s prog-rock, but it’s pretty close. What really got my attention was the subject of the song. The story of Jack Parsons is simply amazing.
I did not see this coming. This isn’t what I was expecting to hear from a band that, with their last album, reached a more mainstream audience. Bravo for not settling in. This is one of those songs I’m still figuring out 20 listens in. That is not a bad thing.
Built To Spill recently announced a new tour to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of their album Keep It Like A Secret. This announcement sent me back to my BTS library and kept me there for a while. Doug Martsch defined indie rock in the 90’s with a series of fantastic releases. I will always love this particular track from the previous release. It is a sprawling affair, and when the journey is over the world seems too quiet. This is a masterpiece.
For previous editions of The Playlist, see the growing archive here.
See the Spotify playlist here.