Another month, another lockdown. As we prepare for another extended period behind closed doors, our writers and guest selectors have collated their list of songs that have been high on rotation. Leading the way, this month we have Lachlan Stuckey from Surprise Chef, UsThree and Joscelyn Wynter jumping on as guest selectors. Hopefully this edition makes your life in lockdown a little easier.
T-Rex Musiq x
#1 // Look Around // Danielle Ponder & Karate Boogaloo
#2 // I Flip My Life Every Time I Fly // Snooch Dodd & The Pro-Teens
#3 // Turnaround // Ambiance
#4 // La Valla // Bronx River Parkway
#5 // In My Tenement // Jackie Shane
Pick of the month: Look Around // Danielle Ponder & Karate Boogaloo
This tune is a fine example of true collaboration between artists. Danielle Ponder is a singer and public defender from New York, and is a true representation of soul music in 2020. KB are four dorks from Darebin, who have learnt to play soul through years of absorbing and reflecting on music and culture from the other side of the world. On this tune, Danielle's integral and powerfully expressive vocal performance sits atop an instrumental that both illustrates the wonderfully bastardised 'Melbourne soul' of Karate Boogaloo, whilst being highly considered to best support Danielle's vocal.
#1 // Lockdown // Anderson .Paak
#2 // I DON’T CARE // PARK HYE JIN
#3 // Girlfriend // Charlie Puth
#4 // Down the Line // Remi Wolf
#5 // All I Need // Jacob Collier, Mahalia, Ty Dolla $ign
Pick of the month: Lockdown // Anderson. Paak
Super funky, love how the kick and the bass are in sync, just makes the whole thing bounce. The track is so simple so as to highlight the lyrics, which are super relevant and powerful in light of the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement. Definitely an eye opener.
#1 // King Kunta // Kendrick Lamar
#2 // Paradise Circus // Massive Attack
#3 // Resistant Strain // Knomad
#4 // Da Root // Complexions
#5 // Blue Crystal Fire // Robbie Basho
Pick of the month: King Kunta // Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick’s unapologetic and assertive critique of white supremacy, modern society and the music industry is pushing our culture forward, song by song. This reclamation of power and meaning through a deep exploration of creativity is too important to ignore. Kendrick builds an entire universe of storytelling in a visionary sonic landscape and is a real powerhouse of audio-visual innovation. This is what a revolution sounds like.
1 // Polar Lights // Booka Shade, Joplyn
2 // Getting Better // The Beatles
3 // I Need A Forest Fire // James Blake, Bon Iver
4 // Both Of Us // Jayda G
5 // Pain // The War On Drugs
Pick of the month: Polar Lights // Booka Shade, Joplyn
Released a few months ago, Polar Lights has been consistently in my music rotation throughout these winter months due to its profoundly beautiful, melancholic electronic textures and tones that encapsulate a cool, introspective and isolated mood that pairs very well with current external circumstances. It’s a particularly down-tempo single released during the 2020 pandemic from the iconic German electronic duo Booka Shade, whose typically upbeat and emotive house and techno tracks have featured prominently in clubs and festivals around the globe for the best part of a decade. Collaborating with a fellow Berlin-based artist, the tracks pensive and haunting vocals from Joplyn float in and out of the mix, embodying a physical and emotional isolation that has become collectively prominent in recent times: “Just go ahead and cut yourself off”
#1 // How to Ruin the World // FYI Chris
#2 // Idontknow – 7” Version // Jamie xx
#3 // The Difference // Flume (Jon Hopkins Remix)
#4 // Cold Water // Cut Copy
#5 // The Walk Home // Loure
Pick of the month: Cold Water // Cut Copy
The three year wait for a Cut Copy album has been worth it. The electronic veterans have hinted at being capable of delivering an atmospheric album with hits like ‘Standing In The Middle Of The Field’. ‘Cold Water’ shows with confidence to listeners that this is the right path for the band. Sonically, it is brilliant with lo-fi arrangements that are hypnotic causing Dan’s voice to soar as he speaks of love in today’s uncertain context. This song will give you a few moments of zen that well all undoubtedly need. Cut Copy’s upcoming album Freeze, Melt could be their best album.
#1 // Pacman // eaJ
#2 // Nina Cried Power // Hozier feat. Mavis Staples
#3 // The Whole of the Moon // The Waterboys
#4 // Some Kind of Disaster // All Time Low
#5 // Fallen // Gert Taberner
Pick of the month: Pacman // eaJ
eaJ is a Korean American artist who’s only been releasing solo songs for about six months; usually, he’s playing guitar in K-rock band Day6. Pacman shows off eaJ’s personality and song-writing ability in a rare, intimate way. The laid-back piano in the verse is the perfect platform for eaJ’s unique vocal style and tone, and gives no warning of what’s to come in the chorus: while the song suddenly swells with strings, backing vocals, and a marching snare beat, the real kicker is eaJ’s voice. I was left literally teary-eyed when I first heard his vocals, emotion burning through every word and some truly mind-blowing adlibs over it all. If you’re looking to get to know eaJ in just one song, this is it.
#1 // Alone Not Lonely // Aroma Mane ft. Blessed
#2 // Malleable // Max Leone
#3 // Blue World // Mac Miller
#4 // BEST INTEREST // Tyler, The Creator
#5 // 3AM // Haim
Pick of the month: homebody // Kamal
For the past couple of months, music has been my main distraction so when I came across Kamal’s homebody it stayed on a constant loop. I found comfort in the song’s rhythm as the melodic humming of the lyrics resonated so well with me. Despite being forced to stay inside and the external chaos of a global pandemic, I’ve come to find solace with the idea of being my own company for the time being.