In our TYF Monthly Mixtape feature, our music writers share Spotify playlists of the songs – new and old – they’ve had on repeat for the last month.
September was a very long and very distressing and stressing month for numerous reasons, so my playlist reflects a person trying to enjoy music during a bonkers crazy month. These are mostly songs that provided me with some level of calm or comfort during the time. That explains the soul/reggae selections and the soft rock (“Sailing” is absurdly fluffy), and the three (!) new Fleet Foxes songs. Other selections like “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart,” “Papillon” and “The Name of the Game” are cozy old(ish) favorites while the selections from Aluna, Disclosure, and Sylvan Esso are just pretty fun new songs. Good riddance to September!
A couple of the songs on this playlist are ones I discovered by listening to good old alternative rock radio. Chief among them is Kennyhoopla’s post-punk shouter “How Will I Rest In Peace If I’m Buried by a Highway?”, which was a modern rock hit earlier this year. The song’s expressive vocals and angular guitars are a welcome throwback to the heydey of Franz Ferdinand and Bloc Party. Beabadoobee has consistently impressed with the singles she has put out in advance of her debut full length Fake It Flowers, and “Worth It” is my favorite one yet. It musically reminds me a bit of my hometown heroes Belly, but Beabadoobee’s love of ’90s guitar music also shows through her strong lyrics and knack for melodies. Aside from radio cuts, I’ve been enamored by the live album released by Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets, a band put together by the titular Pink Floyd drummer that revisits the psychedelic space rock that band was known for before Dark Side of the Moon. The Saucerful of Secrets band really does breathe new life into songs like “One of These Days”, “Astronomy Domine”, and “The Nile Song” and showcases the strong resemblance and influence that the early Floyd has on current psychedelic bands. I also sort of bridge the history of jazz in this playlist with two songs: Duke Ellington’s 1940 absolute classic “Harlem Air Shaft” and the new British jazz fusion group Dinosaur’s gripping “To the Earth”
Two great things happened to me in September.The first thing is that Fleet Foxes graced us with their newest album Shore. An album that is currently, as of recently, my most played album of 2020. The record is full of life and provides an oasis of hope in a year full of negativity.The secondly thing is my discovery of my new favorite rapper-under-20, Baby Keem. His style immediately grabbed my attention and has captivated me ever since. Keem’s last major release, 2019’s DIE FOR MY BITCH, is a gleeful immersion into debauchery and youthful exuberance.On top of that, September signals the end of the summer. Many of us, myself included, didn’t really have a traditional summer. This playlist is a mix of all of the songs I was listening to between that transition. A lot of summery vibes and concluding with a series of my favorite Baby Keem songs.
Jazz and folk are two genres I’ve always enjoyed tangentially, but haven’t explored too often, outside of my time in high school jazz band. This month quickly and unintentionally became an exploration of both of them. This playlist features a few classics, with Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin’,” and “Freddie Freeloader” by Miles Davis, but it mainly focuses on tracks that fuse jazz and folk alongside other influences. It starts off a little melancholy, but soon picks up with short, punchy tracks like “Blister in the Sun,” by Violent Femmes and “No Action,” by Elvis Costello & The Attractions. But after a short, chill detour through reggae with The Beat’s “Rough Rider,” and The Upsetters’ “Drugs and Poison,” it devolves (or evolves) into a variety of long, extended, prog-rock compositions from King Crimson, and The Stooges. And the saxophones on most of these tracks are just as fun as they are inventive.
What music did you love in August? Let us know in the comments!