Do You Remember? A short playlist titled "September"?
To be candid, my September playlist is far from my most creative. Perhaps the title gives that away. After the summer of new releases and inspirational travel, I found myself in a bit of a lull musically. So, what with my birthday coming up, I looked backward.
But before I did that, I finally hit the end of my Beach Boys kick. One song from them in particular stuck with me though, a recording of “Barbara Ann” where the band messes around at the end, playing around with the hook in a way that made me remember jamming around in college with my roommates.
It also made me remember further back a song I used to love by the Kooks, where they’re also recording themselves messing around in the studio before they start the song. And then the beat they create is infectiously happy. So I went on a Kooks kick for a while.
I also finally got around to listening to the Strokes — and none of them had even died (that I knew about) to finally prompt me to listen to them! And I finally see what all the fuss was about. The whole Is This It album is awfully prescient for some of the bands that I loved that came along soon after, with shaggy hair and punk-lite sensibilities. Like the Arctic Monkeys, who my Mum got me tickets to see for my birthday. That concert isn’t until the end of October, but I’m already excited, and revisiting some of their more curveball tracks, a few of which I added to my playlist.
I was showing my friend Conner the musician Jack Garratt, an English artist like James Blake’s younger, poppier brother, when I started listening to Tase Sultana, an Australian artist I knew of from a FIFA soundtrack that Louis had been into for a while. I listened to her album more and more and found myself enjoying the impressively built, atmospheric sounds she creates solo.
If there was one artist I spent the most time hitting repeat on during September, it was probably Dijon. I must confess, I know practically nothing about them, but they don’t have a full EP out yet so I’m left to crush on the individual singles they release. But Violence( a few months back was just an addictive song to me, and when I played it for Conner he observed it sounded like Frank. So I doubled down and found some new tracks, and listened to them again and again. Their voice is just so relaxing… Until they let rip, and it’s the most exhilarating thing.
Nao supposedly has a new album coming out, which my Apple Music lied to me about having hit my library, so I’ve been checking back every day since. No luck, but the few tracks she’s released in advance of the album have been promising. She put on one of my favorite concerts I’ve ever been to, so I’m excited for that to drop to hear new stuff from her.
Noname also had a new album come out, and I must admit I was a little underwhelmed. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it, I just struggled to find a single song on it that was vaguely ear-wormy. I’d be willing to admit that perhaps her music isn’t for me, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate her beats or melodies like on her earlier EP. Nonetheless, there was some of what I liked on her song Part of Me, so that went on.
Similar to Dijon, I was desperate to hear more from Jessie Reyez, another artist I’ve featured on a playlist before (her song Figures, and the remix with Daniel Caesar is one of my favorite songs of the year), after I heard her underwhelming spot on Eminem’s underwhelming album. So I did a little digging (went to her artist page on Apple Music) and found she had a few tracks I hadn’t listened to. So they went on the playlist to play catchup.
One of the songs I most enjoyed listening to over the past month was, somewhat surprising myself, REM by Ariana Grande. Having finally calmed down from God Is A Woman, I gave the rest of her album a chance, and found that one to be just as much of an infectious bop. Subtler, but sexier for sure. And not many people could take a song originally penned for Beyonce and make it completely their own. But not many people have a voice like Ariana Grande.
Her ex, Mac Miller died recently too, so while I didn’t need any motivation to get into the Strokes, I will confess that as usual, I started listening to his songs after his passing. Ariana’s influence can be heard all over his The Divine Feminine album, and while I’d hardly consider myself his biggest fan now, I did enjoy a few songs that sounded like a cross between Ariana and Chance. Stay has a Donnie Trumpet-esque horn and a real feel good bop, and Dang! has the easy lay up of being blessed by Anderson .Paak — who also needs to release new music ASAP.
And lastly, in case you like I turning another year older need a few songs to finish your night sliding into your feelings, 6lack’s sophomore effort came out recently, and had a few tracks which provided a mellow, pained, and thoughtful soundtrack to reflect to.
I’m currently struggling with finding October music, so have sunk into a deep, PNW fall-inspired Justin Vernon hole, so if any artists want to put out some new music to rescue me… It would be appreciated. But I’m cozy here for now.