Follow My Playlist: Summer Sixteen


We’ve arrived at that point of summer down here in Texas when the Sun obliterates even the idea of cloud cover by 9AM. Lucky for me, this extreme heat plays into my hermit lifestyle and I’ve been able to jam a lot of jams and read more than I probably ever have before (hoo-ray, I know).

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Give It A Spin: KAYTRANADA’s 99.9%

It’s the end of July and so it’s the end of Debut Album Appreciation Month. How about we close it out with a brief introduction to (the other) Canadian wunder-producer Kaytranada, who set the standard for album of the summer back in May with the release of his debut 99.9% — which has been in heavy rotation for me, and generally good for my mood, ever since.


To get to know the man behind the music allow me to point you in the direction of this profile by Alex Frank for The Fader, it too is one of the best works of its kind this year. And yes, to really get the full Kaytranada musical experience you have to explore the depths and range of the numerous mixes and re-mixes on his Soundcloud. Soundcloud isn’t what it used to be, and that’s a topic for another day but, seeing “prod. Kaytranada” on a track meant an auto-repost, regardless of who provided the vocals for the track. Trusting Kaytranada to deliver production that’s sharp, capable of surprise and sparks curiosity at times; production that builds upon a groovy, life-affirming bounce hasn’t led me wrong yet.

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Give It A Spin: Jamila Woods’ HEAVN

While it’s Debut Album Appreciation Month — a thing I made up that could be a reason (not that you need one) to go back and listen to albums such as Get Rich or Die Tryin’, Country Grammar, or, say,
Hot Fuss, to name three random debut albums from the early 2000s — allow me to direct your attention to a new one and encourage you to download HEAVN, the timely and deeply personal debut album from Chicago artist Jamila Woods.

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HEAVN has all the freshness you’d want out of a debut in terms of sound, but Woods’ lyrics are the real juice of the album; her message is what drives the connection to the listener and is worth sharing widely. Plus there are a few you-got-me, I-got-you features from fellow Chicagoians NoName, Chance the Rapper (you probably first heard Jamila Woods on “Sunday Candy“), Saba, and Donnie Trumpet, which is a wonderful thing as the music and art coming out of Chicago seems to, well, keep coming; an uplifting bright spot amongst such deadly times there. Continue reading “Give It A Spin: Jamila Woods’ HEAVN”

Give It A Spin: Gallant’s OLOGY

When actively seeking new artists and albums on a daily basis — or at least trying to — you find there’s a lot to like out there, good work that’s worth sharing for one reason or another (I collect what new music I come across regardless of genre in this playlist here). But, on more rare occasions, you come across a work that speaks perfectly to who you are or what you’re into at that particular moment in time, something that conveys relatable feeling yet is endlessly enjoyable. For me, back in April when it was released and still now, that’s the modern soul album, Ology; the debut album from singer Christopher Gallant.


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Follow My Playlist: Modern Soul Food

Essential Soul Food is one of my deepest and most followed playlists (behind Essential Beatles) and I listen to it every morning. The only problem is that R&B and soul is diversifying at an astounding rate, not just in terms of where it’s coming from, but more often in terms of the sounds artists are using to convey feeling — complex, modern feeling. Those sounds of the future don’t always fit with what I think of as the soul that makes up so much of Essential Soul Food, so allow me to present: Modern Soul Food. There will be some overlap as Essential will cover it all, but this playlist is built to highlight the depth and variety of fresh and innovative music with soul released in the last few years, today, and beyond.

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Follow My Playlist: Netflix and Roll


A little over a month ago Chance The Rapper released his third mixtape, Coloring Book, and it’s wonderful. So wonderful he’s going on a Magnificent Coloring World Tour to celebrate and the VIP package includes a limited edition coloring book and crayons. Anyway, in my Coloring Book Top 3 (a thing people are doing on the Twitter but don’t @ me it changes every day), alongside “Summer Friends” and “All Night”, is “Smoke Break” featuring Future. It’s so good I decided to make a playlist around it, one for watching movies with the sound off or otherwise slowing things down. Continue reading “Follow My Playlist: Netflix and Roll”

Follow My Playlist: Collected Spotify Sessions


Is it weird that I like most Spotify Sessions I hear and am happy to discover them at the bottom of my favorite artists’ profiles? Well, I do, and last year I started collecting favorites along the way in this here Collected Spotify Sessions playlist, some of which may surprise you. For example, I’m not big on Sia or Hozier, but I dig their Spotify Sessions. Continue reading “Follow My Playlist: Collected Spotify Sessions”