13 songs, 49 min, 6 min reading time.
1) “J’arrive” – Ben Mazué
Given all the other contributors submitting French music, I figured you all must just want more!
Album: “La femme idéale” (2017)
Label: Sony Music Entertainment
2) “Coalition of One” – Little Comets
The lyrics were enough to get my leftist blood pumping, but if that’s not your thing, the guitar is lovely.
Album: “Salt and Its Gentle Corollary” (2014)
Label: Little Comets
3) “Polly” – Whitney
As with Little Comets, cheers to Sam for getting me into Whitney after two years of solid effort! The brass in the bridge on this track is just incredible.
Album: “Light Upon the Lake” (2016)
Label: Secretly Canadian
4) “Yeah Yeah Yeah” – Kognitif
This appeared on my Discover Weekly and became a workout staple while I was training for my last big race. Hadn’t heard of them before or since.
Album: “Soul Food” (2015)
5) “The Partisan” – Leonard Cohen
I had the privilege of seeing him play the year before he died, at what turned out to be one of the longest gigs I’ve ever attended. Towards the end, as the legs of those of us in the standing section began to wobble, he smiled and asked: “did you think Bruce Springsteen was the only one who could still play marathon concerts?”
Album: “Songs From A Room” (1969)
Label: SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT
6) “The Room Where It Happens” – Leslie Odom Jr. et al.
Epic rapping by Lin-Manuel Miranda, this song is guaranteed to get you out of bed even on the grimmest of Monday mornings, but here’s the pièce de résistance: I haven’t actually seen Hamilton – anyone with extra tickets, don’t hesitate to get in touch!
Album: “Hamilton (Original Broadway Cast Recording)” (2015)
Label: Hamilton Uptown
7) “Mr. Tillman” – Father John Misty
I was introduced to Joshua Michael Tillman over Christmas by my sister and I just love the premise of this song: the archetypal conversation with hotel staff.
Album: “God’s Favorite Customer” (2018)
Label: Bella Union
8) “For Jóhann” – Víkingur Olafsson
Even with my French keyboard, I wasn’t able to adorn the first letter of his last name with the accent it carries – sorry Víkingur! The reason his name is so hard to spell is that he is a Julliard-educated pianist from Iceland who has been reworking Bach in ways he thinks people will want to listen to today, including playing some of his favourite pieces as stand-alones instead of giant sets. I think it’s a great way of getting our generation to appreciate baroque music – there’s even some electro mixed in!
EP: “Bach Reworks (Pt. 1)” (2018)
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
9) “You & Me” – MEUTE
German brass band covering a great tune; what’s not to love?
Single: “You & Me” (2018)
10) “Bird Set Free” – Sia
I’m actually quite proud of myself for limiting Sia to one song on this playlist – apologies nonetheless! I rediscovered this after it was used for the soundtrack to Netflix’s Knock Down the House, following the election campaign of the youngest ever member of US Congress, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. I watched it with my flatmate to cheer her up after a breakup, which, it turned out, hadn’t even happened.
Album: “This Is Acting (Deluxe Version)” (2016)
Label: Monkey Puzzle Records
11) “I’m A Stranger Now” – The Tallest Man On Earth
Kudos to Runpip contributor Chris for this one. Neither of us particularly like his voice, but boy can the man strum!
12) “Kanou” – Fatoumata Diawara
A friend came to visit and played me this so now it will forever remind me of a wild weekend of London fun. Fatoumata Diawara is Malian, like Ammadou & Mariam, who you should also check out if you like her stuff.
Album: “Fatou” (2011)
Label: World Circuit Limited
13) “Let It Be” – Aretha Franklin
This came on during a yoga class – why do people keep telling me my life is a cliché? – and I nearly gave up on my parivrtta trikonasana to enjoy it properly.
Album: “Soul Queen” (2007)
Label: Rhino Entertainment Company