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.
Heads up fellas. I haven’t been this excited about a playlist in some time. This one features some truly great music from artists you know and that are new to you.
Well this is unexpected. I don’t really recognize much Green Day in this but I’m told by all of my dudes – all of them – that this is the good shit right here.
I’m telling you this right now: women across America will be gleefully hate-singing “I’m gonna build castles from the rubble of your love” for the foreseeable future. This is simply fantastic.
Two things are true. Nostalgia is one hell of a drug. Also, I’m pretty sure that if Liam Gallagher were to smile it would shock us all to our core (shudders).
This British trio is completely new to me. Released on the legendary Blue Note label, GoGo Penguin bring elements of electronic music to this hyperkinetic, percussive piano driven exercise.
Welcome back Missy! More than just the EP though, please. Thank you.
Gary Lightbody and the guys of Snow Patrol are celebrating their 25th Anniversary as a band and they’ve recently embarked on a series of EP releases to mark the occasion. “Time Won’t Go Slowly” is altogether much more chill than what we heard on last year’s terrific Wildness. Lightbody is positively laid back and very nearly carefree here. Lightbody comes across unburdened. The band is revisiting their hits and catalog faves in the current EP series (Here is a lovely update of “Chocolate”) and a new album is coming in November.
I guess it is fair to say that I did not know what to expect from Sturgill Simpson for this new album of his. Since releasing his fantastic debut album (with one of my favorite songs of the last 10 years) his psychedelic Americana sound has evolved and grown with each new project. So when I found out that this new album is all part of a new anime project I was only mildly surprised. None of that matters. This is just so much fun. And if you miss Sturgill version 1.0 you can hear him via his production work on Tyler Chiller’s excellent new album.
I haven’t heard this combination of multi-hook, genre busting goodness since The Cars arrived on the scene (rest in peace, Ric Ocasek). White Reaper happily barge through walls of sounds, with hooks the size of continents, change-ups that arrive with the power of a chorus before hitting what is the actual chorus. It is dazzling. That it is also unabashedly joyful is something I appreciate so much.
Pernice Brothers – “Mint Condition”
It has been nearly ten years since Joe Pernice made a record under The Pernice Brothers name. Pernice has also recorded with The Mendicants and Scud Mountain Boys. “Mint Condition” is legendary power-pop coming out of The Midwest. The Shoes. Matthew Sweet, and Cheap Trick to name a few. Guitars chime like The Byrds. Harmonies float upon a steady, catchy beat.
This is an emotionally immersive experience. And I got lost in my head about how the raw emotions and intensely personal expressions thereof resembles nothing less than a force. As in, to behold. Powerful stuff. Best listened to on repeat so you can pick up on all the things you missed the first few times through including focusing at least one entire listen on just the string arrangements.
This is where I point out that I have been able to spend some time with Joshua Ostrander AKA Mondo Cosmo and he is straight up one of the nicest humans I’ve ever met. I’m of the opinion that his breakthrough single “Shine” was the song we all needed when it was released in the fall of 2016. “Black Cadillac” is another slice of timeless roots rock, Ostrander’s vocals at the front, rage and righteousness atop a mountain of sound last heard on Exile On Main Street.
Documentarian Ken Burns is just now introducing his devotees to a new PBS series on Country music. The music of Eilen Jewell could easily fit right into the earlier parts of the genre’s history. This is lovely, spirited, roots-Americana with nary a trace of irony. Just respect. Her new album is a genuine joy.
To get newly discovered music from Coltrane now, this long after his passing, and of such quality is the definition of a treasure. What a fantastic story behind the fresh sides from the master.
It was only, what, 13 years? Something like that? All that waiting. The slow drip of updates while Maynard made music with two other bands. Yet, when all was said and done, this is no Chinese Democracy. This is first rate metal-prog rock that is supremely satisfying.
Velvet Negroni is the nom de plume of Jeremy Nutzman, an artist and producer out of Minneapolis. “Kurt Kobain” is retro-funk straight out of Paisley Park and yet utterly of this moment. It is also so much more than that. This is fresh and sexy and slick in the best possible sense.
Van Dyke Parks. If you know who he is, you’re my new best pal. Also, this is for you. Because he was the first thing I thought of when I heard this beautiful new song from Jamie Drake who is based in Los Angeles. This was chiefly due to the wonderful, expressive string arrangements throughout the song. And it is in fact a lovely song, born of another time and place and plopped right here and now finding a perfect home with Drake’s electronic elements fusing into something new and charming.
Once upon a time in the 90’s there was a rad indie-rock band from LA called that dog and they wrote whip-smart songs with killer harmonies that packed a punch. And then they were not. But now they totally are again and this is one of the nicest returns I could imagine. Hearing this is like catching up with friends you haven’t seen since you got on like fire in the 90’s. But without the sucky awkwardness stuff. Because this picks up from where it all left off. On repeat.
All the feels. I’m just now finding out about this artist and I don’t have the energy to try and tag him with a genre. I’m too busy being completely caught up in everything that is going on here. The depth of the production. The multi-level vocals which diverge and reunite, each with it’s own remarkable melodic adventure. The stop-start approach to the track, the shifts in tempo all deftly managed with aforementioned vocals. I am reminded about how exciting music can be when you run across someone doing something that completely speaks to you. Last time that happened was with Frank Ocean. This is really good.
These guys do melodic atmospheric nu-metal better than anyone at the moment. WE WILL FIGHT YOU. OK maybe that won’t be necessary.
OMD remains criminally under appreciated. None of their contemporaries have maintained the level of quality that OMD has since getting back together earlier this century. Their last two albums have carried the torch of their early work, updated in contemporary settings. And everything that made their classic tracks shine are replicated here with all of the earnest passion the band was known for. They wrote heartbreaking songs about Joan Of Arc. They sang fearlessly about science and culture, songs showing a curiosity about the world and they did all of that with an ability to buoy it all amid euphoric and emotive synthesized symphonies. I don’t know how else to describe it. Andy McCluskey’s vocals plead for every feel you could possibly handle. His multi-tracked harmonies squeeze you for all he can. You can only let it wash over you. John Hughes is writing a screenplay for this song right now, somewhere, somehow. Because, this is as good as OMD gets. This many years on and they still matter.
For those of you who feel like modern country music has left you behind as it has become its own pop format, I present Midland. Traditional country from a band that made their debut just a few years ago. Looks like they had some fun on a Netflix set making the video for this one.
Lower Dens deliver glistening, polished 80’s inspired synth-pop better than just about anyone at the moment. The Baltimore band just released their new album The Competition. And they do it with the glamour of a Bryan Ferry record.
Sudan Archives made an appearance on this playlist last year with her first EP. We now have the first music from her debut full length coming later this year. It’s best not to discuss musical genres when describing what Sudan does. What is best is simply putting on some ear phones and enjoying the ride. It is a sonic treat.
As far as covers go, this is one for the ages.
For previous editions of The Playlist, see the growing archive here.
See the Spotify playlist here.