SM’s Aces and Spades


12 songs, 51 min, 8 min reading time.

The songs I stumbled across in July, and I am better for it.

Author: SM

Spotify link

Deezer link


My mate sent me this. We always send each other tunes we like. Joking, he told me to listen to it while staring out of a train window but it’s much better to listen to while cooking, or on a run (probably).

Album: “Late Night Tales: Bonobo” (2013)
Label: Night Time Stories

2) “10,000 Days” – Kiefer

I went on a date with a girl who told me to listen to Kiefer. Her Dad works for a record label and hands out certificates to the artists who sell the most records each week so I trusted her judgement and she was right. This is the latest of a discography full of easy-listening yet danceable piano jazz.

Single: “10,000 Days” (2019)
Label: Stones Throw Records

3) “Jack Your Body” – Steve “Silk” Hurley

I heard this song referenced on a video about house music on You Tube so I had a listen. Apparently one of the first of its kind, it’s an abrupt and in-your-face beat full of ‘80s sound effects and grunts, but a lot of fun.

Single: “Jack Your Body (S&S Reloaded)” (2016)
Label: S&S Records

4) “Natural Blues” – Moby

I first heard of Moby because A$AP Rocky sampled him in a song (terrible, I know). Me and a mate went charity shopping for CDs a couple of weeks ago and I found ‘Play’ by Moby. 99p later we whacked it on in the car home and this was the song that stood out.

Album: “Play” (1999)
Label: Mute Records

5) “Nights Over Egypt” – The Jones Girls

Addictive bass, drifting vocals and a hook that keeps you coming back, I found this on Jimothy Lacoste’s playlist of songs he likes. It’s been in rotation all summer.

Album: “Get as Much Love as You Can” (1981)
Label: Sony Music Entertainment

6) “Roo” – Chance the Rapper, Taylor Bennet

One of the only good songs on Chance the Rapper’s latest album, Roo represents a narration of Chance’s relationship with his brother, Taylor, and, later, Taylor’s view on the same topic. The vocals are eerie and sparse, Chance’s verse is tidy and Taylor hops and skips over the hi-hats. These two are always good on tracks together (see: Broad Shoulders and Grown Up Fairytales). Also think the name is sweet.

Album: “The Big Day” (2019)
Label: Chance the Rapper

7) “Love Rendezvous” – M People

Another charity shop pick up, it seems everyone in South Birmingham has owned and subsequently donated M People’s ‘Best Of’ album. Overexcited, I bought the first one I saw for a premium £2.50, unbeknownst to me that I would encounter at least 4 more of the same album for at least half the price. Oh well. Love rendezvous is the first song I played off the album because I liked the name. It’s a groovy little number: lots of jumping piano chords and Heather Small’s unmistakeable vocals. Also available in several different club mixes by lots of different DJs, if you’re that way inclined.

Compilation: “One Night In Heaven: The Very Best Of M People” (2009)
Label: Sony Music Entertainment

8) “No Lie” – GoldLink, WizKid

GoldLink dropped a new album this summer. It’s a convergence of black music all leading back to sounds of Africa via his hometown, Washington, and the Islands. The breakdown in No Lie is tremendous. The gothic creaking and the bouncy beat hosts GoldLink at his best. Big tune.

Album: “Diaspora” (2019)
Label: RCA Records

9) “Full Circle” – George Fitzgerald

I’d heard George Fitzgerald’s name at least a thousand times at uni without ever taking the time to listen to him, but, as he was one of two names I recognised on the Wilderness festival line-up, I did some last-minute cramming and went to see him just before my shift started. He was brilliant and I’ve been picking through this album and his earlier stuff since. I played Full Circle back to back to back on the train home. It’s great when you find a song you can’t get enough of.

Album: “Fading Love” (2015)
Label: Domino Recording

10) “Little By Little Love” – Tom Grennan

Also saw this man at Wilderness. The girls I was with were very excited by him and while I hadn’t heard of him and didn’t love the set, this song stuck. Classic British boy vocals and an acoustic guitar has a rightful place in any summer playlist; the tambourine and a charming chorus made it a regular in rotation this month.

Album: “Lighting Matches (Deluxe)” (2018)
Label: Insanity Records

11) “Int’l Players Anthem (I Choose You)” – UGK, Andre 3000

Three Stacks at his best, feel free to rewind as soon as his verse finishes. Pimpin’ music for your summer in the garden.

Compilation: “The Essential UGK” (2014)
Label: Sony Music Entertainment

12) “iMi” – Bon Iver

New album from Justin Vernon and the gang. It’s not a classic, but iMi, with the help of a few others, including our kid James Blake, is a record that gets better with every listen as you find yourself more and more comfortable in your distorted, low-fi surroundings.

Album: “i,i” (2019)
Label: Jagjaguwar