8 min reading time.
The summer months have been busy, both for me (apologies for the lack of a July Round-Up) and for RunPip, with playlists coming out at least once a week and the waiting list getting longer by the day.
August started with the highly anticipated second playlist from Simon, more than making up for his lacklustre playlist names with his song selection… There are so many tunes from this that I’ve been replaying the whole month but I’ll try and pick some highlights.
It takes real bravery to include multiple songs from the same artist in a RunPip playlist but Simon has pulled it off with two stormers from Jungle. My preference swings to ‘Heavy, California’ with its feel-good chorus.
A contender for my favourite from this playlist is ‘Church’ by Samm Henshaw featuring EARTHGANG. I’ve actually been listening to this so much that I’d forgotten it came from this playlist. Credit to you Simon, not many tunes can get me dancing first thing in the morning.
This playlist steps away from the usual RunPip format and focuses entirely around the music of one group. Don’t be fooled by the title, this isn’t just any old ‘Best of Snarky Puppy’. Instead it’s a whirlwind musical tour that starts and ends with the group but visits solo projects of the individual musicians and spin-off bands, linked seamlessly track to track.
Highlights for me include:
‘Ready Wednesday’ led by Bill Laurance, the group’s pianist, which intertwines piano and bass with swankiness I’ve never heard before.
Clearly August was a month for playlist innovation. Pre-heat the agni and get your ashtangas out of the freezer in preparation for Charles talking you through an hour of yoga with some lovely tunes to accompany. For anyone yoga-literate I can vouch for Charles’ abilities – I’d highly recommend giving it a try.
For those just here for the music, there are some gems. Benjamin Clementine’s ‘Nemesis’ has some great lyrics (who knew dentures could be so romantic?) and some refreshing percussion in the background.
It had been a long time since I’d heard Jaymes Young’s classic ‘Habits of my Heart’. Young has released an emotive new single this year, also worth checking out.
It’s got to the point where my mental calendar revolves around Jake’s monthly uploads. This is definitely a contender for top 3 for me, with a huge range of genres and some amusing explanations to boot.
With a title that suggests Jake’s search for music now involves hitting the keyboard with his forehead, Hubbabubbaklubb’s ‘Et annet sted’ swells with joyous strings in all the right places.
Jake got very excited about ‘Memory Box’ by Peter Cat Recording Co, and with good reason. In Jake’s words, PCRC are a ‘bonkers band’ and that piercing riff as the beat comes in sets the song up to deliver on that description. Really nice stuff.
For me though, Jadu Heart’s ‘Zorah Come Home’ strides ahead of the pack in this playlist. I know full well that the chords and the rhythm here are made to catch suckers like me, but I have both fists pumping at the end of the first four bars and sometimes that’s all that matters.
Penguin have been in touch asking to publish Frances’ playlists but no amount they offered was high enough. Once again we’re granted a fantastic insight into her life, the songs she listens to and the emotions that accompany them all the way from Russia.
I really like True Romance from ‘Citizens!’, not least because Frances used to mock me for running and now here she is publicly admitting to doing it herself.
The beautiful rendition of ‘Linden Lea’ forced me to close my eyes and listen in its entirety. Thank you Frances for the happy listening, we look forward to seeing you back in the UK soon.