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.
Sleater-Kinney – “Hurry On Home”
Original riot-girls return with new music produced by St. Vincent. This is all you need to know. Just crank it.
The Avett Brothers – “High Steppin'”
It’s a North Carolina kind of playlist this month. The Avett Brothers are a band that overtly share their feelings and struggles through their music (see Mission Statement: Closer Than Together right here). “High Steppin'” surprises at first, built as it is upon a throbbing bass synth. Attention achieved. And then the band brings more familiar Avett Brother instrumentation like piano and fiddle into the mix alongside their sibling-perfect harmonies and by the end you’re thinking about where you can get one of those suits or that skeleton outfit or taking line dancing lessons or simply hitting repeat, repeatedly.
Keane – “The Way I Feel”
Keane has been missing in action for a good while now. The band took a break several years back. Singer Tom Chapin released a well received solo album in 2016 and members Tim Rice-Oxley and Jesse Quin worked together on their Mt Desolation project. Chapin had once remarked that he felt too old to have Keane get back together. Whatever dude. Chapin’s voice is in top form here and Rice-Oxley continues to produce soaring medleys perfectly arranged. This is an injection of joy delivered just in time for the Summer days ahead.
The Band CAMINO – “See Through”
Me, upon seeing that this band was going to be playing our main rock venue in town: “Who dat?” Ten minutes later, Joe: “you should check out these guys.” Two days later, Billboard Magazine: How Elektra Records signed The Band CAMINO, Rock’s Next Big Thing. Good call Joe!
Jai Paul – “He”
The Nude Party – “Chevrolet Van”
Everything old is new again. More good music from North Carolina. The Nude Party are up front about their MO: they are a good time rock band. They leave the angst and the politics and the activism to others. They deliver British Invasion rock that flirts with other genres and influences all in the name of making you smile. Mission accomplished.
Hiss Golden Messenger – “I Need A Teacher”
MC Taylor is the man behind this Durham, NC band. This is the first taste we are getting of the band’s upcoming 7th album. With “I Need A Teacher,” Taylor continues to share deeply personal stories about himself while merging alternative rock, gospel, folk and Americana. The jangly guitars, harmony vocals, and organ are timeless and inviting. This is supremely satisfying.
Another Sky – “Apple Tree”
This British band are masters at delivering a fresh take on the shoegaze sound pioneered by the likes of My Bloody Valentine, Rise, and Chapterhouse while bringing the melodic flair of Stone Roses. There is so much to like here, from the production and arrangements, to the distinct hooks found in each part of the song. I think the thing I appreciate the most is singer Catrin Vincent, who’s voice, according to Paste Magazine “ascends from the deepest pockets of her throat, resulting in a versatile vocal range that most female vocalists don’t possess.” I can’t wait to hear more.
Wilder Woods – “Supply & Demand”
Wilder Woods is a new project from NEEDTOBREATHE’s singer Bear Rinehart. Not so much of a reinvention but a new musical personality inspired by his life as a traveling musician and father of two young sons (they are the Wilder and Woods of the band name). Here’s a good story about Reinhart’s thoughts about branching out. “Supply & Demand” is a stone-cold summer jam, light and airy, warm and welcome.
The Seratones – “Gotta Get To Know Ya”
Music for people like myself who would rather be in a club or intimate venue that allows for a total immersion into the music and atmosphere than being in an arena or stadium where much of that can be lost. Hopefully I will find the opportunity to get sweaty and happy doing the white guy shuffle seeing these guys do their thing in the not too distant future. Because, hot dang, this is all kinds of fun. More please.
Liam Gallagher – “Shockwave”
What do we have here? Perhaps the younger Gallagher has decided to keep up with brother Noel’s recent output? There is absolutely nothing new going on here. And that’s ok. Because this has all the swagger Gallagher brought to OASIS and more importantly, it feels natural. You’ve got the power chords, the Beatles-esque melody in the bridge, and most importantly, Gallagher’s snarl delivering lines like “You made your bed all pretty/You reap what you sow/Backstabbed all your friends/And yes it’s all about who you know.” Any one want to put $5 on a bet about who this song is written about?
Morgxn – “A New Way”
Morgxn, an L.A. based musician originally from Nashville, has an innate ability to craft arena-side hooks buoyed up in driving, propulsive arrangements infused with possibilities. Moreover, these songs manage to stick with you, coming back around and popping back into your gray-matter like a friendly affirmation. And that is what this song is. An affirmation for who you are as a person and how anyone telling you otherwise. It is a reminder that your beliefs matter and in the face of adversity it is important to remain true to yourself.
Orville Peck – “Turn To Hate”
The masked-cowboy crooner releases another gem from his recommended debut album Pony, included on most of the listicle “best albums of the year-to-date” posts that pop up with regularity this time of year. Yes, I’m a fan.
Mattiel – “Keep The Change”
All kinds of retro inspired fun from Mettiel Brown and the guys who comprise this band out of Atlanta. Jack White is a fan. I understand why. Mattiel’s “mischievous energy” as described by The Guardian, is hard to ignore and Brown’s vocals are not only engaging but completely authentic.
Bradley Cooper – “Black Eyes”
For those of you who are not familiar with the “A Star Is Born” soundtrack and didn’t think you would have any interest at all. Lukas Nelson (below) also appeared in this movie alongside Cooper, who directed. Cooper collaborated with some fantastic songwriters including Jason Isbell, Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt of Miike Snow. And credit to him for his work throughout because more often than not, the transition from actor to singer songwriter can be cringe-worthy.
Flying Lotus – “More” (featuring Anderson Paak)
DJ and Producer Flying Lotus gets an assist from Anderson Paak on this single from his new album Flamagra. The groove and beats are infectious and the ridiculously genius chorus emerges to put a cap on a wonderfully psychedelic adventure.
Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real – “Bad Case”
Lukas Nelson knows what it takes to be a successful musician. He has spent his life on the road. For reals. Lukas’ father is Willie Nelson and for the past 5 years, while making music on his own, he and POTR have been Neil Young’s backing band on his tours. Forty years ago, a song like “Bad Case” would have found it’s way to pop radio where The Eagles aired alongside the likes of disco hits, Debbie Boone flavored adult contemporary songs, rock songs from Styx and Boston and classic R&B.
Efterklang – “Vi er uendelig”
The band is Danish. I don’t understand a thing being sung here. But this is evidence that a song can be transcendent regardless of whether one can actually follow along with lyrics. See also, Elizabeth Fraser of Cocteau Twins. A quick on-line translation yields an understanding of that song title to me “we are endless.” In the sense that I have found myself repeatedly thinking about this song since originally hearing it, I would call this haunting.
Lana Del Rey – “Doin’ Time”
A SoCal mashup whereupon Lana Del Rey does what she does in her version of one of Sublime’s biggest hits. Summertime, summertime indeed.
Sturgill Simpson – “The Dead Don’t Die”
No offense to fans, but I am not really a fan of modern country music. It simply doesn’t appeal to me. But I love traditional takes on the genre and nobody, and I mean nobody is doing it better than Sturgill Simpson. “The Dead Don’t Die” is from the new Jim Jarmusch movie of the same name (featuring Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Tom Waits, Steve Buscemi and many others) and with any hope, will be included on his upcoming release.
WIVES – “The 20 Teens”
I love that this site refers to this Queens NY band as “scuzz-rockers.” I love the musical touchstones my mind makes over the course of the song. I hear bits of Sonic Youth, The Pixies, and with Jay Beach’s laconic vocals, a bit of Mark E. Smith and The Fall. I am more than OK with the elements of 90’s indie rock which is becoming a thing again.
THE CLASSIC: Moodswings – “Spiritual High” featuring Chrissie Hynde
In 1992 Grant Showbiz and James F.T. Hood released an album under the moniker Moodswings. Showbiz had been a roadie and music producer and Hood was a drummer for The Pretenders, The Impossible Dreamers, Kid Creole & the Coconuts, and Jeff Beck. Their debut album is completely a product of its time, when ambient and house music was crossing into modern rock. “Spiritual High” is essentially a reworking of Jon Anderson and Vangelis’ song “State Of Independence” (Donna Summer also recorded a version) interspersed with recordings of Martin Luther King Jr. Not surprisingly, it is Chrissie Hynde’s vocals which carry the production here, providing a new context for her expressive voice to shine. Bliss out bruh. And enjoy it here because for whatever reason, this album is no longer available on streaming services or for sale.
For previous editions of The Playlist, see the growing archive here.
See the Spotify playlist here.