For reasons I cannot comprehend, it’s been a year since my last music playlist on the blog. Music is such an important part of my life, and nothing gives me more joy than finding new songs to add to my collection (except maybe cooking, of course!). A lot of my music isn’t what you might classify as mainstream, although there are definitely exceptions. I love discovering lesser known, but amazingly talented, unique artists. Some of the names on this list deserve so much more recognition than they presently have.
A lot of these songs helped me get through a particularly stressful, final month of college, and they are still at the top of my playlist. This is a mix of old songs, and new, with some that have been around for years, and others that only released in the last few weeks. These songs are a little on the mellow side, which I think reflects my present state of mind. As usual, my personality is all over the place, and I can never settle on a particular genre, so my music reflects that chaos.
Here’s my mid-November playlist:
Kings of Convenience- I Don’t Know What I Can Save You From
My cousin introduced me to this band a couple of years ago and I have been hooked on ever since. Their music is so calming and dreamy. Kings of Convenience have released three albums so far, and they’re all so good. I usually listen to their albums when I’m feeling anxious, or have trouble falling asleep at night, but also when I just want to feel assured that everything is good in the world. This particular song is absolute perfection. Every time I listen to it, I feel like I’m transported to a quaint street somewhere in a fantastical land (Like out of a scene from Le Fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain). This list isn’t made in any particular order, but I Don’t Know What I Can Save You From is number on for sure. Words cannot describe how much I love this song.
Marika Hackman- Ophelia
Many years ago, my family and I visited the Grand Canyon, an absolutely unforgettable experience. The one thing missing on that trip was music, since my iPod had been stolen in Las Vegas when we stayed at the Trump Hotel (I don’t really like associating with anything remotely ‘Trump’, but I was younger then, and they did have a FABULOUS breakfast buffet). This song makes my soul feel alive. It takes me right back to the amazing memories I have from that trip. Marika Hackman has a such a wistful, haunting voice. If I close my eyes, I can imagine standing at the edge of a cliff, listening this song reverberating among the hills, in time with my heart beat.
St. Vincent- New York
This woman is amazing. Her music is experimental, passionate and reflects a lot of her quirky personality. St. Vincent’s new album Masseduction dropped just a few weeks ago, and while most of the songs are a little faster paced, this one is my current favorite. There’s real raw emotion to it. That being said, the entire album is amazing, and definitely worth listening to. St. Vincent is one of those artists I wish more people knew about. I first heard her voice in the song Roslyn in which she featured with Bon Iver. It was love at first listen, and I haven’t looked back since.
LANY- Hot Lights
I came across this song while watching the first episode of The Girlfriend Experience and ended up replaying a scene multiple times just so I could listen to it. Hot Lights is the quintessential retro bar/gastro pub song. Imagine a hazy atmosphere, wine, lights, dancing, and you’ve got the spirit of this song. It’s classy and sexy, definitely not one of those wild party anthems. This is the kind of music you want to listen to when you’re out with friends and just want to have a relaxed, memorable time. I wish more of LANY’s songs were like this one.
Beck- Colors (whole album)
Beck’s new album Colors is nothing like Morning Phase which had a more mellow sound (I loved that album too). Its eclectic, and exciting with almost psychedelic, retro undertones. The songs are bustling with such palpable energy, you can’t help but feel uplifted when you listen to them. I’m not going to pick a song here. I love so many of them, its just too hard. Maybe in a couple of weeks I’ll have a favorite. Beck is so incredibly talented. The fact that the same person can skirt around and experiment with so many genres and get it perfect every time, well wow. You have got to listen to this album guys, there’s no way you won’t love it.
Camila Cabello- Havana
I didn’t know much about Camila Cabello until singles from her upcoming album were released. Havana was the first song I listened to, and I was really surprised at how much I liked it. Influenced by her Cuban heritage, Camila’s songs are unique and refreshing in an otherwise mainstream genre. I hope the rest of the album has songs as great as this one. In the meantime, I’ve decided to learn some moves to Havana! I’m lazy and don’t like to exercise, so dancing is the perfect way to let loose and get fit. This is either going to be a complete success, or total disaster. 😛
Ibeyi- Away Away
Twins Lisa-Kainde and Naomi Diaz are the formidable duo of Ibeyi, a band whose music is heavily inspired by their Afro-Cuban heritage. Their music has hints of the Yoruban language, and is a perfect medley of hymns, chants and percussion. Their music is unlike anything I’ve ever heard. Its melodious, powerful yet soft, and every song has so much meaning. I love learning about new religious cultures and traditions. Several of Ibeyi’s songs make references to the Santeria religion, which has fascinated me for many years now. This song, Away Away released this year, is my favorite so far. If you love soul-electro music, and crave a little something different, this song is for you.
Big K.R.I.T released his first independent album a few weeks ago titled, 4eva is a Long Time Ago. Despite being considerably lengthy (it’s got about 20 songs!) this album is easy on the ears, with soul searching lyrics and an array of different sounds. My favorite song on the album, Justin Scott, named after Big K.R.I.T himself is a particularly introspective track. With orchestral backing and a heavy soul influence, this song is simply beautiful, and makes for an enriching musical experience.
The song Le Festin by Camille is one of my favorite go to, happy songs. I heard it for the first time in the movie Ratatouille, and liked it so much, I went on a rampage of Camille’s albums. I’ve already mentioned on the blog my eternal love for all things French, and I feel like Camille’s music perfectly encompasses those feelings. Seeds is the first English song of hers that I have come across, and it is something special. The song really stood out for me, not because it was easy to understand, but because the music was just so beautiful. Camille’s voice is layered and airy, and the melody is one that stays with you. In fact, I’m humming it right now…
P.s. Thoughts? I wish I could have gotten a better picture of Camille. Copyright is a pain.
Dua Lipa- New Rules
This song is on my list mostly because, it’s just really addictive. I’m kind of skeptical of a lot of new singers these days, since a handful of big names really can’t sing (personal views only! :P). Dua Lipa blew my mind. She has a strong, throaty voice, and her live performances are extremely faithful to the official version. I haven’t listened to much of her music, but I do play this song several times a day.
And that’s all for now! Enjoy. 🙂