May You Enjoy Your New Endeavors: A Playlist
May was a time of transition for me — work wise that is.
I left my internship at Edelman a month early to pursue my new freelance gigs, and a month later, I couldn't be happier with the decision I made.
To celebrate and encourage myself, I named my May playlist "May You Enjoy Your New Endeavors", or as Lia would like it to be referred to, "Songs Lia Likes". Unofficial title.
I was blessed with a great deal of artists I love releasing fantastic new albums, and even some artists I'd never previously been super into releasing work that hooked me.
Like Janelle Monae, whom I haven't really been able to get enough of this past month or so since listening to one of the first tracks off her new album, Django Jane. It was followed up with a few pre-releases that sound just like the person she's most often compared to: Prince. High praise indeed. Her song with Zoe Kravitz is also a total jam. I like to replace yelling the word "Screwed" with "spooned". Pro tip.
I learned that London Grammar multi-instrumentalist Dom Major (I went to school with him in the UK!) had an elder brother who also produces some fantastic music. His album, A Song For Every Moon came out last year, composed of songs he'd written on a self-imposed deadline each month. But I only just learned of it, and was thrilled to hear his blend of electronic, post-dubstep, James Blake-esque beats with his melodic guitar and beautiful songwriting. A James Blake lite of sorts. Exactly what you want for when you're craving that sound but something a little sunnier for the lengthening days.
Leon Bridges released a new album I'd been waiting for for ages, and it had a new energy that made it so much better than if he'd just recreated his debut. Arctic Monkeys' new record was very different from what I — and I think most people — were expecting, and it sounded much more like an Alex Turner solo project than a Monkeys one. But once I learned the premise was space casino lounge singer, it's marvelous. Just spot on. And lyrically next-level.
Cautious Clay also released a full solo EP, and I got the larger fix of him that I'd desperately been seeking. It turns out he'd released a lot of the songs off of it prior, which I'd had no idea about (clearly not searching that desperately) but to hear them all in one giant orgasm of a project was luscious. I also read a piece that said he can play the flute. What a talent.
Donald Glover had a huge month, hosting SNL, releasing more Atlanta, promoting the new Star Wars, and releasing the cryptic This Is America. It's a fascinating listen, and reading deeper into the wild video and the lyrics made it all the more appreciable as a searing contemporary work. Much more artsy than anything else his contemporaries are making, but isn't that exactly his intention?
Tove Styrke is a former contestant on Swedish Pop Idol who makes a total jam, DRAM came back into my life with a feature on Chromeo's new track that I have a feeling could build to song of the summer, and Girls by Rita Ora and friends was like a supergroup of popular female artists came together to make the ultimate top down banger.
And lastly, speaking of bangers, Anderson Paak is ramping up to something, I can feel it. After doing an Apple Music commercial last month, he released another huge track, Bubblin', which was then all over the NBA Finals. He's right on the cusp of being the next big thing, and I cannot wait to see how big he can get. What a talented individual, with the voice of an angel and the ear for a beat.
I'll be back soon with more. Whatever you're getting up to, I hope it's going well. Enjoy your new endeavors.