19 May 2017

Thinking of a Master Plan

Around a year ago I started my Cool It Now newsletter and now I’m on the fourteenth issue, a special all music themed one! It contains links to an incredible article about the rise of flute rap, as well as a Spotify playlist of my seventeen tracks for the summer. It’s a winner, just like my all Gosling edition from earlier this year. So while the frequency of the newsletter has stalled, the quality has gone up! I mean, I hope. Here are all the past issues, and below is my song notes for the seventeen tracks included in Cool It Now, Vol 1. And for the record, "Paid in Full" is always the best flute rap!

1. Bishop Briggs, “Wild Horses” (2017)
This twenty-four year old British singer by way of Japan seems fond of wearing Chun Li buns and got inspired to sing via Tokyo’s karaoke bars.

2. DJ Khaled, “I’m the One” (2017)
I’m starting my hunt for the dance jam of the year, the one I hope will be everywhere on a dance night. This one features Bieber, Chance, Lil Wayne, and Quavo — the latter whom I had to Google to clarify his role in Migos. I’m not 100% sold on it but after ten listens it really sticks in your head...

3. Tegan & Sara, “Boyfriend (2016)
For some reason I haven’t really gotten into T&S’s post-Closer album, Love You to Death. A clear oversight.

4. Khalid, “Location” (2017)
Only nineteen, Khalid is calls upon Eighties new-wave for the cover art to his debut, American Teen. This track is straight alternative R&B though, and is simply ear candy.

5. Lady Gaga, “The Cure” (2017)
Gaga back!

6. Sheila E, "The Glamorous Life, Re-Recorded” (1984)
I have a pretty big hole for songs from the Eighties — FOB life — and am only catching up now. Unfortunately I got addicted to the non-canon version of “The Glamourous Life” because I didn’t know it wasn’t the original. Whoops. If this song gets played on any dance floor this summer, I’m golden.

7. Little Dragon, “High” (2017)
Hey Little Dragon, where you been? “Ritual Union” was 2009, and while the nothing else caught my attention on Season High, this moody confection was perfect.

8. Paramore, “Told You So” (2017)
I know exactly nothing about Paramore aside from recognizing their name. Apparently it’s lead singer Hayley Williams plus a rotating cast. Their new album is a shift into 1980s new-wave also, and I’m digging into it now.

9. Anya Marina, “Shut Up” (2016)
Featured on the Riverdale soundtrack, Marina hails from Ann Arbor, MI and started her career in San Diego. I only knew her previously from a cover of T.I.’s “Whatever You Like.” Her 2016 album Paper Planes has some gems.

10. Drugdealer, “Suddenly” (2016)
I asked Ameer what he’s been listening to recently and he answered “Drugdealer” aka Weyes Blood. That’s enough of a recommend for me!

11. LL COOL J, “I Need Love” (1987)
It’s officially/unofficially breakup season so a little soft side of James Todd Smith always helps right?

12. Hailee Steinfeld, “Starving (Acoustic)” (2015)
I love Stenfeld the actress but I’m starting to suspect I like her better as undercover pop starlet.

13. Marvin Gaye, “The Shadow of Your Smile” (1968)
I asked my friend D for her recent listens and here was her answer: "I've been listening to an obscure [posthumously released] Marvin Gaye record on repeat. The record is called Vulnerable. I guess he lost his woman or something so he's all sad and shit. But I love it.” Clarinets are sad…

14. Linying, “Paris 12” (2016)
Intrigued by a twenty-three year old Singaporean Feist? Yeah, me too. Her voice is penetrating. Oh yeah, Feist herself has a just released new album, Pleasure.

15. WILDWOOD, “Moonrise” (2017)
I can’t even find anything about this artist, and she’s got just one track on Spotify. One shot, one kill.

16. A Taste of Honey, “Boogie Oogie Oogie” (1978)
Recently we looked up our birthday jam, the number one song on the Billboard charts when you were born. Mine turned out to be disco cut from A Taste of Honey. Alright alright!

17. Cat Stevens, “Father and Son” (1970)
The closing song from Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Ronan Keating did a cover of this song in 2014, which is fitting because the villain from the first Guardians was named Ronan the Accuser. Marvel synergy?