A sonic journey from the South of England to the South of the U.S.A, via the Pacific Northwest
Here’s some subpar, unedited photos of a small music festival and some August Ish for your ears:
Seeing as how I built most of my August playlist on the back of my UK trip, it’s filled with songs that stuck with me from my time back in my home nation.
It kicks off not with a Brit though, but with a Houston, TX native. And not just because I’m food obsessed — though the cover photo for this post is a wallpaper from a restaurant spot in Raleigh’s Morgan Street Food Hall in Raleigh. Not only did I read Travis Scott’s (and Kylie Jenner’s) GQ profile on the flight home from the U.K., but his new album released while I was flying to Edinburgh. I spent the bus ride Lia and I took from the airport to downtown trying furiously to get the bus’ wifi to download the album, because the description mentioned Frank. And James Blake. And the Weekend.
Blood Orange released new music too, and while I typically find their stuff a little too atmospheric to sit and truly engage with, I did enjoy Chewing Gum, A$AP Rocky’s feature, and it served as a nice jumping off point to get into some of the other British artists on the list.
Kate Nash, Dua Lipa, and NAO all made appearances. All of them evoke pretty strong memories for me. NAO for the time Lia and I saw her electric performance in Boston, Dua Lipa for her album of bangers which got us through a fair bit of hedge-driving, and Kate Nash for recalling other British roads I’ve driven — although those ones were when I was much much younger, and thankfully not behind the wheel myself.
Similarly HAIM’s cover of That Don’t Impress Me Much; a Shania Twain jam that my Mum used to delight in playing. It got me excited for my trip back down to Raleigh to see her.
2018 has so far been a continuing year of girl power, and music is obviously no exception. Billie Eilish is one of my favorite new artists and put out a new single recently. Mitski may be a little intense for me at points, but her new album was a must-listen and had some surprisingly not-downbeat tracks. My Nina Simone fascination continued, and Ariana Grande released a candidate for song of the year, God Is A Woman.
Lia and I scored some free tickets to the Capitol Hill Block Party, a music festival in our very own neighborhood in Seattle. Father John Misty headlined, but I enjoyed it more for some of the smaller acts I was able to discover. The Teskey Brothers are the newest Australian import just waiting to take over the USA in the jet stream of the Hemsworth brothers and Margot Robbie, and the lead Teskey has a voice like Otis Redding. A simply unbelievably warm and desperate sound I couldn’t get out of my head after watching them on a small stage at the festival, playing their first ever USA gig!
We also saw Jamila Woods, who I knew best from some work with Chance the Rapper (she even sung Sunday Candy!) but her music is beautifully listenable. We also saw Bully, a woman-led punk band from Nashville who were so energetic it was impossible not to enjoy, and Unknown Mortal Orchestra (the Kiwis are coming too, the Lorde foretold), who I recognized from FIFA soundtrack fame. I found their song, Necessary Evil to be the biggest ear worm though — and we ended up hearing it in a very trendy store in Shoreditch too.
To round it off, there are a couple of Drake tracks from his new album, which while on the whole was a disappointment still contained a few slow burning hits. There’s a Cautious Clay number on there too, because duh, a Leon Bridges song off his new album and one in collaboration with Seattle band ODESZA which may be the most uplifting tune ever. And I couldn’t not include Nicki Minaj’s diss track to end all diss tracks, Barbie Dreams. And there’s a trace of my Beach Boys infatuation toward the end too…
Enjoy the last of the summer songs! We’re moving into fall and my birthday next, so let’s get sad!