In our new feature TYF Monthly Mixtape our music writers share Spotify playlists of the songs – new and old – they’ve had on repeat for the last month.
Think of it as a successor to our old Newish Music Tuesdays column. Here’s what we loved in April 2019.
For this month’s playlist, I wanted to make something that represented the slow and gradual seasonal shift from spring into summer. Living in Ohio has always been a toss-up as far as weather is concerned, so we’re always going between two extremes. There are songs featured in this that are my absolute go-to’s for both sunny and rainy days. Nothing expresses these changes more than these artists, in my opinion. Kevin Abstract and Brent Faiyaz give me a sense of calmness that can only come from a slow and downtrodden day. Conversely, the new Flume and Anderson .Paak projects are perfect for the transition into summer. Also, I featured songs on this playlist for those moments when contemplation is required. April is often a very busy month for me, so sometimes, I need those times to unwind and mull over the future.
April was one of the most consistent listening months I’ve had this year– in that a lot of what I gravitated towards in the beginning of the month stayed on my playlist through the end of the month. Since the start of the 2019, I have been working on becoming more well-versed in modern country (particularly with the female artists of the genre) so April was pretty heavy with some of my more recent discoveries in that area. I spent a lot of time listening to some old favorites as well as a handful of new releases from Lizzo, Carly Rae Jepsen, and Marina. Overall, my playlist for April is a batch of songs that fit into country, pop, electronic, or all-three.
Having turned 20 this April, I had a look back on 20 songs that turn 20 this year with me, straight from the ARIA charts of 1999. Whilst having a laugh at how most of the songs on that list are now memes, it baffles me that this generation still goes on singing every word and humming every tune. Funny, it’s trendy to even dress like it’s 1999 now- scrunchies, tube tops and all.
I probably spent more time than I should trying to make my playlist have a good flow to it while also featuring bunch of the new music I loved in April. I’m not sure how moving from proggy, Moog-loving jam band Dopapod to dance-punk architects ESG works, but it does. The latest albums from Fontaines D.C., Wand and Pure Bathing Culture all took up a sizable chunk of the month for me, and I’ve included my favorite song from each one. I got really into Wild Nothing this month, and I love their ’80s dream pop inspired sound so much that I’m a little surprised I didn’t get to them sooner (I know they’re a big deal in the indie sphere, but I have such a backlog of “indie famous” bands that I didn’t get around to Real Estate until earlier this year). Their most recent single “Blue Wings” is one of my favorites of theirs, and I really love the Prefab Sprout-esque backing vocals hiding in the chorus.
April in New England doesn’t exactly pop with color like some may assume and instead we were stuck with buckets and buckets of rain. As such, it took a little more to put a bounce in my step with some sleepy folk, romantic soul and a couple of Buckleys thrown in for equal measure. It’s been on replay since the start of the month and the first four or five songs in particular are all timers in my book.
This set of songs are generally songs I was listening to throughout the month of April, a lot of which were brought back into my life after some time away. I started with “Head Over Heels” because it’s got such a great energy to start with. “Screwed” and “Summertime Magic” are songs that I’ve been listening to again–the former because it’s been a year since Dirty Computer (!) and the latter because of the cute use of it in Guava Island. “Laid,” “Tops” and “Joke” are songs that I have on an old April playlist and which somehow feel absolutely perfect for this time of the year. “Bastards of Young,” “Look What I Found” and “The Great Pretender” are on film soundtracks that I revisited this month, or discovered for the first time (Adventureland, A Star is Born, American Graffiti). I reviewed the pilot of the series Fosse/Verdon which led me down a long road of Bob Fosse research which led me to revisiting the soundtrack to Cabaret (a movie I love), and being introduced to Gwen Verdon with “Who’s Got the Pain?” which is a crazy nonsensical song that will burrow into your head for hours. The end of the playlist gets a little gloomy, but kind of atmospheric and epic with the new FKA Twigs song, one of my fave tracks from the newly-on-Spotify Lemonade and “Mountaineers” which is a kind of epic song that I always skip right to the middle to because that’s where it really gets good. Finally, I closed with some nice 80s vibes, because that’s what I do and because I wanted to end the playlist on a slightly more upbeat note.