Hello music followers! To anyone paying close attention, I know I never posted a January playlist and I apologize. I was pretty burnt out on music after the hours upon hours I put in to my Best Albums of 2016 list, but to make it up to you all I made this first official playlist of 2017 bigger than usual with 25 songs!
If you happen to be joining these playlists for the first time, let me explain real fast. I make a playlist around the start of each month that’s usually ~15 songs. The songs are typically a good representation of what I’m listening to at that current moment, and can include newly released music as well as older music I’m discovering for the first time or that I’ve simply gotten back into. I try to stay away from the super popular Top 40 radio hits so that it gives a lot of new music for you all to discover. And lastly, if you ever have something specific you like, dislike, or any comment/criticism on my playlists, please let me know in the comments below! Enjoy!
I start off with “Despacito” (1), a Spanish-language Latin pop/Reggaeton song that’s at the top of the charts right now (that’s not cheating since no one back in the States will have heard of it, right..?). My close friend Zoa showed me this song during our trip to Segovia a few weeks ago and I’ve had it on repeat ever since. The list features two other Spanish songs: “Traicionera” (8) and “Bailar” (11); “Traicionera” is my favorite of the three, and “Bailar” is a more upbeat house song by (ironically) American DJ Deorro.
“Sun” (2) isn’t a new song by any means (along with song #24, “The World is Watching”); their album Beacon was released in 2012. Irish Indie pop band Two Door Cinema Club has been a favorite of mine since discovering them in 2009 prior to their debut album Tourist History, but while Tourist History has always been a huge favorite of mine, I never got into sophomore album Beacon until recently, which explains these two songs’ presence here.
My next song breaks my rule about popular songs; “Paris” (3) currently sits at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. However, I’ve been into the NYC DJ duo since 2012 when I stumbled across their single “The Rookie” (I tried hard to channel my inner pretentious hipster when I wrote that) and although recent success with “Closer” brought them into the spotlight I still love almost every song they’re putting out.
The next song, “Down” (4), along with “One Time” (9) and “Lips” (14) are one of my most surprising discoveries of late. I found out about Philly-based duo Marian Hill a few weeks ago because “Down” (4) was in a commercial I saw while streaming a late-night NFL game. I’m not sure what you classify their genre as (personally, I put it somewhere around minimalist hip-hop fused with electronic, R&B, and some jazz) but the laid-back tempo alongside simple jazzy melodies, soulful singing, and some electronic sampling really does it for me. It’s a style I started getting into around the end of 2016 so discovering Marian Hill now was perfect timing. Side note: I’ve been mainly exploring their early music and haven’t touched full-length debut Act One yet, so expect to see more of them next month.
If you have seen a couple of my previous playlists you’d know I’m a huge fan of tropical house and deep house music, and that trend certainly hasn’t stopped here. My recent artist obsession in this genre has been Dutch DJ LVNDSCAPE; I included his remix of “Ori Tali Ma” in my September 2016 playlist but hadn’t listened to much more until recently. I’ve tried to get more music exploration out of using SoundCloud, and on LVNDSCAPE’s profile I found his Season Mixtapes he releases periodically, which are hour+ mixes of both his current music and other favorites from the genre he enjoys. You can thank the first two Season Mixtapes for “Every Single Piece” (5), “Everday My Life” (6), “Forever And A Day” (10), “Tropic Love” (18), and “Waterfalls” (21). All of the above are LVNDSCAPE songs or remixes except “Tropic Love” (18), with “Every Single Piece” (5) being my current favorite.
“Concert Pitch” (7), “Alive” (19), and “Ice On The Dune” (23) share a similar story to the Two Door Cinema Club songs above. I’ve been a casual fan of Empire of the Sun for a while, but after the release of third album Two Vines last year (which I placed at #7 in my Top 20 of 2016) I started listening to them more intently. I heard “Alive” (19) in a bar last week randomly with a friend and realized they had a third album I wasn’t aware of. I apparently thought after debut Walking On A Dream the next album was Two Vines, but sandwiched between these is second full-length album Ice On The Dune, an accidentally discovery I’m very happy for.
“U MAKE ME” (12) is one of the songs I’ve recently discovered either through Spotify’s New Music Friday playlist or my Discover Weekly playlist. Atlanta-based artist Issac Lee is brand new to the scene (it’s his debut single), but it reminds me of “Electrify” by Oliver (which was on my October 2016 playlist) in that it’s a synth-heavy 80s-esque EDM track. Other songs that I’ve found via the same two playlists include indie pop tracks “Tonight” (15) and “Old School” (16), as well as tropical house single “Cashmere Sweater” (17).
The final few songs I haven’t covered yet are a hodgepodge; “Stay Closer” (13) is from ZHU’s older EP THE NIGHTDAY EP, which I also took a while to discover. Gryffin is an up-and-coming DJ that has released quite a few popular remixes in the past few years, and finally released his debut single “Heading Home” (20) at the start of 2016. I found this song in January although I don’t remember where or how, but I really like the melody and beat; it’s one of those songs that always gives me these super nostalgic vibes when I listen to it. “Oceans Away – Sam Feldt Remix” (22) is a recently-released song originally by A R I Z O N A. I honestly debated between this remix and the original because I love both depending on what mood I’m in, but as of writing this the remix won out by a slight margin. Finally, the playlist finishes out on a very mellow note with indie folk “Winter Song” (25) from The Head and the Heart that I also somehow discovered recently.
That’s all until next month! I hope you were able to find some new music you liked, whether that’s a song, artist, or entire genre. Remember that I love any and all comments, so don’t by shy!