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.
For Tom – “For Real”
For Tom is what Jakob Dylan, Dhani Harrison, Amos Lee and Lucas, Micah and Willie Nelson call themselves in this tribute to Tom Petty. And the song they have recorded is one of the Petty tracks unearthed since his death. There is a whole lot of music history in this line up. Jakob’s dad is Bob and Dhani’s was George Harrison. Micah and Lucas are Nelson’s sons who have become successful in their own careers. This is a song that connected with all involved because of its spirit and philosophical take on creating art. Proceeds from the sales of the record benefit The Midnight Mission, a comprehensive homeless services provider in Los Angeles. It was an organization which Petty supported significantly throughout his career. (Song not available on Spotify which seems weird.)
TOKIMONSTA – “Fried For The Night” featuring EARTHGANG
I’m just learning about TOKIMONSTA, a producer/beat maker out of Los Angeles. I am becoming a fan of Altanta rap duo EARTHGANG (featured in last November’s playlist) with every new song and collaboration I run across. This is trippy AF, befitting the title of the song. And it’s not just the song. I almost think it’s better to listen to this first without watching the video. It is nearly overwhelming otherwise. It is also very much worth it. Inventive and fun.
Mick Flannery – “Wasteland”
The first time I heard this song I was wobbly on the whole endeavor early on but as Mick Flannery’s voice and lyrics grabbed hold of me I emerged at the end thrilled with the experience. That’s the best description I have. By the time the song’s arrangement bursts open nearly one minute in, I was enthralled. It was heavy duty and it is a great reminder about what music can do. Flannery is a star in Ireland. With America’s love for fellow Irish musicians Hozier and Dermot Kennedy, I have to think he will find many fans here.
Soccer Mommy – “Circle The Drain”
A bit of a dichotomy happening here on this new single from Sophie Allison, AKA Soccer Mommy. The Nashville artist turns her attention inward in this song filled with melancholy, even as the feelings are buoyed by a fairly laid back, sunny arrangement.
The Boomtown Rats – “Trash Glam Baby”
I might have squealed when I came across this. I am not proud. But for fans of the Irish band, this is all kinds of great news. The Boomtown Rats were vital contributors to the Punk and New Wave scenes exploding in the UK in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Their videos received a great deal of airplay on MTV (this one and this one and this one all were regularly shown on the channel). In the wake of Band Aid and Live Aid, Rats lead singer Bob Geldof focused on charitable work and the occasional solo record. The band hasn’t released anything since 1984. And now they’re back. And while a couple of the original members are not along for this project, the sound is so very much directly descended from what came before. This is a very good thing.
Tyler The Creator – “Best Interest”
Tyler The Creator is not afraid to have fun. It’s one of the things I enjoy most about his music. This is a track recorded during the sessions for his last album and is just now showing up on a new podcast. I’m digging it. (Song not available on Spotify)
Mallrat – “Charlie”
This is all sorts of wonderful. I love everything about it. The insistent rhythm of the beat and the lyrics, the emotional wallop of the story, the way Grace Kathleen Elizabeth Shaw (she is Mallrat) delivers her vocals, the way the background arrangement fills out and expands. All of it comes together in a perfect bit of pop confection. And I love the mantra that comes up throughout the song: “I hope your dreams are amazing.” I’m of the opinion that this is one of the coolest things you could ever say to someone. So yeah. I love this.
Nathaniel Rateliff – “And It’s Still Alright”
Nathaniel Rateliff has stepped back from his band to record his first solo record since finding fame with The Night Sweats. This is a truly lovely song, heartfelt and sweetly melancholic, written in response to the death of one of Rateliff’s close friends and collaborators. It is a chance for Rateliff to return to his roots. I’m looking forward to hearing the entire album. And, no worries. There will be more music from Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats.
Michael Stipe – “Drive to the Ocean”
Earlier this month, Michael Stipe, REM’s front man, released his second solo single on his 60th birthday. He has promised a full length in 2020 and this has been notable since it is the first major solo project he has undertaken since the band called it a day. While Stipe’s vocals are familiar and welcome, the musical arrangements are far different from what REM produced and it is interesting hearing Stipe’s voice in this new context. Like the first single from late last year, this song is available at his website and benefits an environmental organization. (This song is not on Spotify)
Kesha – “Resentment” feat. Sturgill Simpson, Brian Wilson and Wrabel
What is there to say, really? This is a new song from Kesha featuring Sturgill Simpson, Brian Wilson – yes, that Brian Wilson and the songwriter known as Wrable. That is a very interesting assemblage of artists and this song has been finding its way back inside my head repeatedly over the past few weeks.
Real Estate – “Paper Cup” featuring Sylvan Esso
Light and breezy alternative pop from this New Jersey band who step up their game with every release. This ventures very near Yacht Rock territory but the band pulls it off. Their new album The Main Thing will be released on February 28th.
Stabbing Westward – “Dead & Gone”
Here is another band that is releasing new music after a long hiatus. Stabbing Westward formed in the 1986 and hit their stride in the mid 90’s with a series of industrial influenced modern rock songs that were played on Alternative rock stations. Songs like “Save Yourself,” and “What Do I Have To Do” were among their most popular songs. This new song, from an upcoming project, is rather better than I expected and this makes me feel like an ass. I am an ass. I just don’t like being reminded about it. This is excellent gym playlist material.
Yola – “I Don’t Wanna Lie”
Yes. I am fully aware that this is the third, perhaps fourth time that Yola has made the Playlist. I am a fan. This is another bonus track on the deluxe digital version of her debut album Walk Through Fire. It made my top ten for 2019. That this song wasn’t considered for the album is completely baffling. It is a straight up gem. In a perfect world, this woman would be a superstar. That very well may happen yet. As well it should. See her if you get a chance.
Mikey Mike – “Amazon Prime”
I get the impression this guy is a bit of a character (exhibit A and exhibit B). Let me be clear that this is in no way a denigration of characters. They are an essential part of life. This new offering from this Mike Williams, AKA Mikey Mike might just be one of those pop culture Zeitgeist moments that connect people. We are living in an Amazon Prime world. So, yeah. People might relate.
Algiers – “Dispossession”
Algiers has just released a terrific new album showcasing an urgent, soulful brand of post punk that I am immediately taken with. The band is from Atlanta and There Is No Year deserves attention.
Bombay Bicycle Club – “I Can Hardly Speak”
After spending a few years focusing on solo projects, the members of this London band have been previewing music from their just released new album Everything Else Has Gone Wrong. There is a little psychedelic going on here amidst the keyboards, percussion and vocals.
Vince Staples – “Hell Bound”
Vince Staples has launched TheVinceStaplesShow+, which is a “streaming service-inspired website that will host all things Vince.” It’s where you can find this new track that features an old-timey animated video. It’s hard not to smile through this one.
Jarvis Cocker – “Running The World”
HEADS UP: The chorus to this song is not something you probably want to play if you aren’t wearing headphones (The Brits do love to use the c-word). Also, this song might trigger some people as the subject is pretty much politics. The song, originally written for a movie soundtrack over ten years ago, has been re-recorded and caught the favor of the many a fan in the UK as it became the subject of a campaign to make it the lauded Christmas #1 over the Holiday season. See more from Jarvis and his band Pulp below.
THE CLASSIC: Pulp – “Common People”
One of the, if not the best moments of BritPop history.
For previous editions of The Playlist, see the growing archive here.
See the Spotify playlist here.