This is already my favorite month. For on the first day of December the universe gave to me…the Hamilton Mixtape concert starring The Roots, Regina Spektor, Andra Day and Ja Rule & Ashanti. If witnessing music from these iconic masterminds is not the best way to enter the last month of a very tumultuous year, I’m not sure what is. Also #hamiltonmixtape is officially out so please, please feast your ears.
I was in a severe music-listening funk during the Thanksgiving holidays, but shortly thereafter, incredible songs just started to pour in. I don’t know if it's a result of creative response triggered by mass chaos and distress (Vulture so eloquently wrote, “alienation is the wellspring of art”) or a shift in my own perception and clearing of the mental blockage, but I feel inspired and energized by the quality of music released in the past few weeks.
The playlist opens with Brooklyn-based Lady Lamb (b. Aly Spaltro) and her song “See You.” I most enjoy her inquisitive, neutral, repetition of “The F Word” – which adds a current of urgency to an otherwise relatively tame indie-acoustic track. Her EP Tender Warriors Club came out this week on Mom+Pop and she kicks off a living room tour in 2017, so you have ample opportunity to jam with the songstress in the new year.
The next song by Portland’s Lady Fern (FKA Jordan Dean Riddle) also unsurprisingly starts off the bat with a curse word, as apparently expletives are the only things that speak to me these days. I featured the song “Sun Soaked” during the summer, but had to include “Our Time” as the lyrics hijacked me from the opening verse, “This is the s*** that I live for…” Because great music truly is. Riddle’s lo-fi style and gravelly voice get me every time. This track’s a little older than “Stay” – but there you go, I linked to it if anyone is really disappointed in my concentration on “greatest” and not so much "latest."
I’d be remiss if I did not mention JANEE’s Orchestrap single “Lake” – it completely embodies whatever you think that genre does, filled with cinematic strings, synthy gamer sound effects, and multiple drops. I can’t find anything on the band/producer/artist. So let’s let the music speak for itself shall we?
“Some Places,” the track from Swedish best friend duo Grapell (Emil Erstrand and Nils Nygårdh) is a perfect blend of new and old; a few keyboard notes paving a path for an intro that’s saxy AF – and prior to this, I didn’t know a woodwind could make me blush. The duet has eighties vibes mixed with the more current Snowblink’s “How Now” sing-song sashay. My style/music/name/life hero Zella Day underscores her hippie goddess celebrity with “Man on the Moon” – a trippy, retro-revved track, with a few pinches of auto-tune in all the right places.
I could actually go on and on, but I have a real job I need to get back to and a holiday party that needs prepping for. Though this playlist might not start your party per se, it’ll be a pretty good addition to your hangover recovery kit, alongside the Advil & the OJ. As always tag #IndieSkim in your submissions or when you're listening.