11 songs, 45 min, 13 min reading time.

I’m happy with this playlist. I think it might be one of my best. A good, varied selection that I’ve had on repeat numerous times over the last few days.

Author: Jake

Spotify link

Deezer link

1) “Woodrow” – 1010 Benja SL

I really like the scat part of this, very clever. It will be interesting to see if he can pull that off live. 1010 Benja SL recorded the song with his father, a gospel pianist and minister from Flint, Michigan. He is an exciting artist signed to Young Turks. One to watch. A long form Pitchfork interview giving you insight into his life can be found here.

Single: “Woodrow” (2020)
Label: Young Turks Recordings Ltd.

2) “Wind on Tin” – Jess Williamson

I quite like country indie rock stuff every now and then. This track, from Jess Williamson’s fourth album “Sorceress”, is a good example when it works. Laidback but featuring a nice story. Hopefully, this will be the album that gets Jess Williamson the listenership she deserves.

Album: “Sorceress” (2020)
Label: Mexican Summer, LLC

3) “Snowden” – Doves

I’ve really been enjoying the most recent series of Later… with Jools Holland on the BBC. It was altered for COVID-19 and instead of the usual format a guest syncs in via video call and chooses tracks from the Later archives. Ultimately, this has meant the choices have been of higher quality as the guests have done their research; they then discuss with Jools why they chose the songs they did. A bit like a video version of RunPip in a way, based on archive Later footage. Anyway, I was reminded of this track, previously having only heard it as a kid when it received airplay on the radio, by guest Guy Garvey who apparently provided some of the sample of the live version of this on Later…

Album: “Some Cities” (2005)
Label: EMI Records Ltd

4) “I Know The End” – Phoebe Bridgers

Phoebe Bridgers seems to be having a stormer of a year. Rightfully so, she is receiving a lot of acclaim for her latest album “Punisher”. This track is the closing one and what a way to end an album. It starts off relatively mellow leading you down a path that then takes a sharp turn out of nowhere, when the track really kicks in after 2:17 becoming something very special. The lyrics are great helping to tell the story very well.

Album: “Punisher” (2020)
Label: Dead Oceans

5) “Ordinary Guy (feat. The Mattson 2)” – Toro y Moi

A cover of Latin soul singer and fellow Afro-Filipino Joe Bataan’s song from 1967. Toro y Moi announced that the track was released to support Bandcamp’s day benefitting the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. I know I’m harping on about lyrics in this post but these ones really resonated with me. The funky, jazzy style with the straight to the point lyrics really hit a chord. There is nothing wrong with being ordinary or not having a fancy car or attending exclusive nightclubs.

Single: “Ordinary Guy (feat. The Mattson 2)” (2020)
Label: Company Studio

6) “Feel The Way I Want” – Caroline Rose

A song for self-empowerment. Again, it’s the lyrics accompanied by that upbeat catchy tune. “I’m so in love with myself, it’s so romantic.” “I’m looking good, I don’t think it’s a crime.” This song is a triumph about staying true to yourself. You should feel the way you want to and not let others tell you to be a certain way. I’m a big introvert and it’s taken me ages to come to terms with that considering school, university and work is all about extroversion, but songs like this help me to understand there is nothing wrong with it.

Album: “Superstar” (2020)
Label: New West Records, LLC

7) “Gasoline” – HAIM

HAIM returned to close out this month with their third album “Women in Music Pt. III”. Keeping everyone occupied with dance lessons on Instagram, HAIM seem like a generally nice group who would be easy to get along with. I think they also love Deli bars for some reason. One is featured in their album artwork and they often do impromptu gigs in them (see YouTube). Laidback, indie rock; I think this would be good for a road trip.

Album: “Women In Music Pt. III” (2020)
Label: Universal Music Operations Limited

8) “Rabbit Hole” – Bastien Keb

I have been a big fan of Bastien Keb for a few years now. He was the artist I was in love with prior to the creation of RunPip. “Flowers” still has a special place in my heart. This low key, delicately layered piece is wonderful. Recently signing to King Cross based label and turntable maker Gearbox Records, I can’t wait for more from Bastien Keb. I’ve been listening to it with a huge grin on my face but equally it could be a great song to just bawl your eyes out to.

Single: “Rabbit Hole” (2020)
Label: Gearbox Records

9) “A Hero’s Death” – Fontaines D.C.

Here we go. The month where Dubliners Fontaines D.C. entered my world. Their terrific first album “Dogrel”, with “Dublin City Sky” and “Roy’s Tune”, blew me away. It took this new single from their upcoming second album for me to find them (sometimes I’m late to the party). Again, the lyrics and the way the track is made is something special. Although they declare “life ain’t always empty”, when you combine it with the weird harmonies and the lyrics found in the verses you could argue they are being ironic, cynical even. A good BBC article on their upcoming new album can be read here.

Single: “A Hero’s Death” (2020)
Label: Partisan Records

10) “Softness As A Weapon” – Kindness

I love a song with good brass instrument honks in them. Fortunately, this one has them a plenty. Maybe it could even do with a few more? Kindness is a non-binary artist and during the promotion for their third album, they did an open and honest interview with Gal-Dem, an online and print publication committed to sharing perspectives from women and non-binary people of colour.

Album: “Something Like A War” (2019)
Label: Female Energy

11) “Faith Made of Silk” – Nicolas Jaar

Nicolaas Jaar is a genius. “Cenizas” came out just as coronavirus and lock downs were taking over the world. This is what he had to say on his blog:

“The music comes from a desire to feel everything – a few years ago, I stopped drinking alcohol, smoking, consuming caffeine, eating animals, etc., and, for a period of time, I also quarantined myself alone somewhere on the other side of the world to be able to work on music for months on end. I didn’t want to keep feeding the system. Its [the system’s] hunger, its past. I didn’t want to work from ambition. Where I would work to impress first, and love second. I wanted presence first. Love first. I thought that if I had this privilege and this luck, to be able to talk to people through sound, then I better work on myself & get rid of negative shards within me. I didn’t want to unwittingly throw [the shards] back into the world. Of course, this didn’t happen… the shards kept piling up and I had to accept the fact that the darkness that I was trying to get away from would always rear its head…Hopefully Cenizas only shows darkness so as to show a path out of it. I want this music to heal and help in thinking through difficult questions about one’s self, and one’s relationship to the state of things. We are living in a time of complete transformation, a metamorphosis — and the transformations are happening within as well. There is potential for great healing and great destruction.”

Album: “Cenizas” (2020)
Label: Other People