It’s now officially September, and that also means it’s time for my second monthly playlist! Much like the last one, this playlist is a mixture of 15 songs that I’m currently listening to, and also music that reflects where I’m at in life. (For those observant readers, I know it technically has 16 songs because it includes a 0:15 intro for one of the songs, I promise I can count!)
Here’s the Spotify playlist, and the description is below just like last time. I hope you find something you enjoy!
The playlist starts off in a fiesta mood with Magic in the Air (1), by Magic System, a group from the Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire) in Africa. I discovered this song (and band) last week when they performed at a free concert here in Belgium, and was fascinated by their unique music, despite lyrics all being in French! Their genre is known as Zouglou music, a dance style specific to the Ivory Coast that appears to be a weird mashup of reggae, hip-hop, and electronic music. Magic System has been quite popular in the French-speaking world, especially here in Belgium and France. This particular song was also written for the 2014 World Cup.
Next up is Hot Blood (2) by the Icelandic band Kaleo. They’re a blues rock/garage rock band and this song is very similar to the sound of some popular bands like The Black Keys or Jack White. You’re welcome Dad, this one was for you.
This Girl (3), Home (5), and Aloha (5) are all fairly popular deep house tracks that I’ve discovered here in Europe on the radio. This Girl is a collaboration between French DJ Kungs and the Australian funk trio Cookin’ on 3 Burners. Home is by a local Belgian DJ Henri PFR who has just started the hit the scene here in Europe (I’m friends with him on Facebook!), and Aloha is by another French DJ, Møme, and is probably the most popular of the three.
Pickin’ Up The Pieces (4) is by the LA group Fitz and The Tantrums. Fitz and The Tantrums is described as a “neo-soul” and “indie-pop” band, and they’ve been one of the few bands/artists I’ve been really big into in 2016. Many critics aren’t too favorable on their newest album, and while I do like it a lot, this particular song is off their first album (also titled Pickin’ Up The Pieces) and really showcases the band and their genre at it’s best.
When You Were Mine (6) is a song by The Night Terrors of 1927, featuring vocals from Tegan & Sara. Night Terrors are still a relatively small, unknown indie pop duo, with only one album out, but this particular song is really catchy and is their most popular song.
For a few years now I’ve been a big fan of Cambridge-based Passion Pit, and To Kingdom Come (8) is a perfect representation of their style of music, for those uninitiated. Passion Pit was formed as the solo project of Michael Angelakos, although he’s joined by others for his live shows, and he’s been a huge forefront of the indietronica genre. His music has lots of synthesizers, high-pitched falsetto vocals, and upbeat dreamy sounds. Read: the kind of music you expect from a 2016 iPhone or BMW commercial.
High and Low (9) and My Kind of Girl (15) are two newly released songs. High and Low is one of the two new singles recently released by Empire of the Sun in preparation for their new album release in October, and My Kind of Girl is one of the two new singles from Candian singer Michael Bublé.
The next song, DonaldTrumpMakesMeWannaSmokeCrack (10), is just a goofy, sometimes-repetitive but still-catchy song I found this summer that I enjoyed blasting in the car. Ori Tali Ma (11) is a great tropical house that takes the ‘tropical’ style seriously, invoking a sense of being in deep in the rainforests of Amazon or Congo. Technically it’s a remix by LVDNSCAPE of the original Sander van Doorn song, although it was the version that got popular and is more commonly played and known.
I jumped on board the Hozier hype train in early 2015, and Arsonist’s Lullaby (12) was one of his first songs released, coming from his From Eden EP (2014) a few months before the release of his self-titled debut. Hozier is another artist I’d love to write a feature piece on someday.
Back Seat Lover (14), along with its small intro Problematization (13) is a great track from multi-instrumentalist Mayer Hawthorne. I was introduced to Hawthorne from my good friend Korbin back in 2014, and quickly fell in love with him. Hawthorne is a brilliant musician, producer, songwriter, and all-around entertaining guy. He plays in a variety of styles, but most of his music falls under some sort of soul/neo-soul umbrella, although his music definitely branches out into dozens of styles, as many multinstrumentalists do.
The final song, Bailando Por Ahi (16), is in honor of my upcoming move to Madrid. Juan Magán is a Spanish musician/DJ/producer that is known for his many Latino house/Reggaeton tracks, and is one of my favorite Spanish-language songs to get in the dancing mood for.
Thanks for reading and reading to this edition of my monthly playlists! Same as last time, please comment or message me and tell me what you did/didn’t like, any changes I can make, and if there’s anything you’d like to see featured in the future!