Current Faves: Feb. 1 – 8

1. Actin Crazy – Action Bronson

I’ve been in a super weird funk lately (not to sound like total millennial-bourgeoisie-scum, but the ennui is real…) and for whatever reason, Munchies has been the only thing keeping me through. Action’s a dope chef, a great rapper, and over all, an amazingly real dude.

2. Best Friends, Right? – Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse is one of those artists who’s on every playlist that I make. Understandably, though. Been spreading my wings and listening more and more to Frank and Lioness, and this is one of my faves off the latter – probably because it has the strongest Back to Black vibes (Our Day Will Come is also fucking incredible).

3. One Last Time – Ariana Grande

Not afraid to admit that sometimes, I’m super basic. I love this song. Played at least 10 times a day for the past week and I’m not even ashamed. If you’re gonna go for pop, Ariana’s voice is unmatched and the production is basic enough not to get super annoying.

4. Guap – Big Sean

Another reason I love Ariana Grande is because her and Big Sean are literally the cutest ~pop culture~ couple in existence right now. Just watch. Not sure what it is but I really like the sound production on this track, and the lyrics are sooo fuckin’ easy to get with.

5. Playing Dead – Blackbear

I put a remix of this track on my last ‘Current Faves’, but letsbereal – the original is way better. Super cool club production, which ends up being a really unique contrast to the R&B vocals.

5. Lottery – Kali Uchis

Kali Uchis is so incredible! I’m so happy she’s really starting to get some of the recognition she deserves. Super unique, soulful voice with cute production and mad L.A. vibes. Kind of a cross between LIZ and Amy Winehouse?

6. What Do All The People Know? – The Monroes

Another day, another terrible new wave rock song that I can’t stop listening to… One of those songs that’d probably soundtrack the hairbrush-karaoke scene in my autobiographical movie.

7. Chasing Kites – iamamiwhoami

This is one of my favourite songs, and iamamiwhoami consistently releases super solid experimental pop music. All of her music videos are incredible and super art oriented, and the Chasing Kites vid is no exception.

8. Voyeur (Bear//Face Bootleg Edit) – James Blake

I feel like I’m the only electronic production fan to not be into James Blake… I have, however, really been vibing this bootleg. Immense sense of emotional relief – really good example of how to use music design to invoke feeling.

9. The Girl From Ipanema – Amy Winehouse

Such a classic. It’s been raining pretty constantly here in Van, so this song as been kept me sauntering on that cold, wet, class-to-class hustle. Definitely makes you feel like the sexiest one in the room… Or the atmosphere. lol.

10. Survival Tactics (ft. Capital Steez) – Joey Bada$$

To start, R.I.P. Steez. It’s so fucking sad to think that we lost such an amazing talent disgustingly too soon. As much as I wish that these two could take the rap game together, Joey Bada$$ has been holding his own. Great track, great album, really solid old school production – so refreshing to hear this kind of stuff from such a young guy.

11. About The Money (ft. Young Thug) – T.I.

Literally not new at all, already super famous, but I love this song. Really solid vibes, perfect tempo to turn up or down.

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Current Faves: Jan 4-10

Happy 2015! Unfortunately, I’ve started mine in a bit of a musical rut… Here’s some rediscoveries and current faves.

(“Judith with the Head of Holofernes” – Cristofano Allori, c. 1613)

1. Piledriver Waltz – Arctic Monkeys

Definitely in my top 5 all time favourite Arctic Monkeys songs. Super sweet, super dreamy, one of those tracks that makes my life feel like a movie (ultimate goal with any song, is it not?).

2. Norwegian Wood – The Beatles

My relationship with the Beatles is a pretty tumultuous one, but nevertheless, Rubber Soul always stands out as my favourite album. I also read a lot of Haruki Murakami, so there’s just no way I can’t love this song.

3. Satisfaction – Carl Dawkins

I’d heard this song a few times before, but the moment I really fell in love was when it was featured in the ‘A Brave New Love’ video series by the Kooples. This is my favourite clip – must see!!

4. Really Love – D’Angelo

Of course, I added this song again… It’s such a classic, don’t really see how I could get sick of it any time soon.

5. The Hunter – Slaves

Surprise, surprise, I used to be suuuuper into punk music. I’m also super into adorable, mod British boys, so when I saw this Fred Perry sponsored interview, I knew I could get down with Slaves. They just released the music video for ‘The Hunter’ and it’s awesome.

6. Blue – Uzi

Valley boy rap over a classic 90s track? I’m so down. Uzi’s accent totally cracks me up, and the music video is juuuust the right amount of fuckboi.

7. And The Beat Goes On – The Whispers

Who doesn’t love the Whispers?! Such a solid disco track, definitely a classic in my books. Also – check out the Pablo J and the Lobsterettes rework. It’s a relatively subtle electro rework, so the disco integrity is definitely not lost (also, it has a cool music video lolol).

8. Moaning Lisa Smile – Wolf Alice

This is TOTALLY unlike anything I’ve listened to in the past two years… but I’m so down. Maybe it’s just because they’re from North London and I’m a total Anglophile, but this grunge-rock track has been my go-to for the past few days. Once again, this is a Fred Perry find.

9. Everywhere – Fleetwood Mac

This has totally been the week of Fleetwood Mac for me. There’s something so unassumingly cool about the band, and this song never fails to make me feel happy.

10. Workinonit – J Dilla

I finally bought Donuts!!! After years of downloading the odd Dilla track, I’ve finally begun to commit. Suuuuch a classic album, such a legend. So innovative, absolute genius.

11. Prototype – Outkast

This is probably my favourite song ever (pretty sure I’ve posted it before…). Such a beautifully simple funk song, always reminds me of cruising down DeKalb Ave back in Atlanta…

12. Bam Bam – Sister Nancy

This is my morning song. Nothing feels cooler than waking up, making a cup of coffee, and jammin out naked to this ultimate classic.

13. Blue Denim – Stevie Nicks

Brought on my a combination of my Fleetwood Mac obsession and the new promo vid for Alexa Chung x AG Jeans, this has been a huge hit for me this week. Makes me feel a lot more free spirited than I actually am…

14. Only One – Kanye West & Paul McCartney

This wouldn’t upload to 8tracks so it’s not on the playlist, but this has been another favourite of mine. Such a beautiful song with such a beautiful story behind it.

Enjoy~

x Syd

Current Faves: Dec. 21-27

1. Beggin For Thread – Banks

I’m aware I’m about a million years late with this one, but I only recently purchased Banks’ album and I’m definitely not disappointed. Nothing Earth-shattering but a really solid, easy album to listen to, and this is my favourite track off of it.

2. Playing Dead (SevnthWonder) – Blackbear

Solid R&B remix I ripped off Soundcloud. Again, nothing crazy special, but I’ve listened to PartyNextDoor Two toooo many times and this is a dope track if you want the something different with the same sort of vibe.

3. Really Love – D’Angelo

Black Messiah is incredible and this is probably the most moving track off of it. Overall the album’s pretty experimental, much more instrument oriented than production based with heavy jazz influences. This song is beautifully simple, with a gorgeous Spanish guitar intro that sets a super sweet but sexy mood.

4. In My Dreams – Danny L. Harle

Switching genres completely, I’ve also been suuuuuper into anything off the PC Music label (as judged by my earlier artist spotlight on Sophie…). This track’s got all of the elements of a PC Music track – Hannah Diamond (og or esque?) vocals, crazy unique samples and sound production, and mega pop vibes, but this track turns down the sickly sweetness just a touch. Special mention to Beautiful (Rustie Remix) – A.G. Cook which achieves the same thing by adding trap bass/drums.

5. Try Me – Dej Loaf

This is one of those songs that I was super unimpressed with when I first heard it, but a friend of mine would put it on every time we hung out and since then, I’ve definitely warmed up. Really simple hip hop production but it’s catchy and gets the point across.

6. One More (ft. MØ) – Elliphant

I have such a huge soft spot for Nordic/Scandinavian pop queens. Simple, basic but unique production, with lyrics and a music video that bleed cool, I can’t get enough.

7. Something About You – Hayden James

I always have space for good UK Garage/Pop. Ever since SBTRKT took a more experimental route – which I totally love and support – I’ve felt a bit of a genre void, but this definitely fills that. Found it on the Future Classic Teen Idols compilation album which is awesome and definitely deserves a shout.

8. Down 4 So Long (Remix) Ft. Ezra Koenig & Despot – iLoveMakonnen

Makonnen is a true ATL classic so I will always be down to support him. This song is dope classic Makonnen, and the addition of Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig is so unexpectedly perfect. I think I almost like his verse the best – “shmoney dancing with some goth teens” for lyric of the year?

9. Go Deep (Falcons rare ass remix) – Janet Jackson

I’d say Falcons is one of the few producers I consistently enjoy, so I was stoked when he released an album of ‘loosies’ on Christmas!! This is probably my favourite track off of it – it’s a pretty different sound for Falcons and I’m almost always down with Janet Jackson.

10. Hold Me (ft. Pusha T) – Janine and the Mixtape

Pusha’s been one of my favourite rappers lately so I was stoked to find this track. Janine’s voice is beautiful, the track is super whimsical, and Pusha is a nice contrast.

11. Living For Love – Madonna

I was (and still am) super skeptical of this Madonna album… I think the ~EDM~ references are super forceful and her subject matter is trying waaaay too hard, but this track has made it into my rotation. The more bass-heavy sections still make me cringe a bit, but there’s a quality about this track that reminds me of 90’s pop, which I can totally get behind.

12. Throw Sum Mo ft. Nicki Minaj – Rae Sremmurd

Cannot. Say. How much I love this song. I’ve listened to it maybe a hundred times and it still makes me wanna turn up. Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi are both super talented, the production is great, and Nicki is a nice touch. So far I’m down with all of the released Rae Sremmurd tracks but this is by far my fave.

13. Emerge From Smoke – Shlohmo

Something new and different from Shlohmo! I’m a pretty big fan of Jeremih so I definitely love all his hip-hop production but this track is really refreshing. Great sound production, great progression, overall really powerful vibes – would be great in a movie!!!

14. Brag – Tove Styrke

Back to my Scandinavian pop queen obsession! She’s such a cutie and this song is cute to match. No classic, but a great pop song, again with really unique production and cool vibes.

15. Bent Up ft. Natasha Mosley – Verse Simmonds

I finally sought out the OG track after listening to the Paypal x Ticklish for the hundredth time. A pretty basic 2000s era R&B track but I can’t get enough!

Enjoy!

xo, Syd

Artist Spotlight: SOPHIE

So it’s just been a little while since I’ve posted… lol

Between exams, graduation, a fabulous summer away, moving to Canada, starting school, and reapplying to schools in New York, it’s been a crazy few months full of unexpected discoveries, fun, and stress, stress, stress. For a while I felt a bit lost in everything that was happening, very detached from the things I used to love and extremely uninspired, but luckily now that things are starting to settle down and fall into place, I’ve been able to rediscover old passions and “waste” my time looking, listening, and learning like I used to.

One artist in particular I’ve rediscovered is the amazing, elusive, SOPHIE. I first heard his(?) experimental bubblegum beats last year when my good friend Lorenzo turned me onto BIPP. It’s one of those tracks that is complete mindfucking noise when you first hear it, only slightly more appealing than TV static. Each subsequent listen, however, uncovers a new layer, a new set of samples, another reason to listen again. More or less all of SOPHIE’s tracks (only five officially released so far – woe is me) have this quality. The sheer ingenuity and creativity of the individual samples make the springs and water drops of Jersey Club feel redundant, even on more widely appealing tracks like ‘Nothing More to Say’.

The Sophie/A.G. Cook collab ‘Hey QT’ is a must-hear, as is the Ray-Ban/Boiler Room set he played via stand in last month.

Find Sophie: Soundcloud Twitter 

xo Syd

Current Faves: April 20-26

1. Sheezus – Lily Allen

Not my fave in terms of production, but Lily Allen has always been a total badass and this song just confirms that.

2. Still Together – Mac DeMarco

I’ve heard the name floating around for a while and never really gave him much thought. Finally started listening on a whim and I’m so mad I ever doubted the magic that is Mac DeMarco. This song is incredibly simple, but I swear to god it does things to me every time I play it.

3. High You Are (Branchez Remix) – What So Not

I have no idea how I missed this song when it came out last year, but I guess better late than never. It’s not super original, but it’s a great upbeat track that’ll put you in a good mood for sure.

4. NRG (Hudson Mohawke) – Duck Sauce

Now for an upbeat, good-mood song that IS original! I actually really like the original radio edit too, but HudMo’s heavier beats add another unexpected but amazing level to the track.

5. Fancy ft. Charli XCX – Iggy Azalea

Damn I love Iggy so much. This song is incredibly simple but makes me feel boss every time I play it.

6. Shot Caller – Tchami

I’ve had this song for a while so it’s kind of phasing out of my rotation, but Tchami is a total badass and is killing the house scene right now. A+++, must listen.

7. Get Over You – DJ Q

This song is everything I want in a track right now. It’s house at its core but with some pretty clear jersey/future/whatever elements thrown in (sorry, genres are hard).

8. Party Dip – DJ Yolo Bear

I downloaded all of the LuckyMe advent calendar tracks a few months back, and this was the first song that really stood out to me. It’s a great intro into the world of jersey club (I think? Sorry, genres are really hard).

9. F1 Totoro – Lumumba

Found this randomly on iTunes so I have no idea who Lumumba is or what fucking genre this is, but if you’re looking for a well constructed electro track with a SICK F1 sample, definitely check it out.

10. Fallback – Peedi Crakk

Rap is my comfort blanket for sure. For me, this is just one of those old school tracks that feels instantly familiar when I hear it.

11. Huzzah! – Mr. Muthafuckin eXquire

Sorry – this is ratchet af. Mr. Muthafuckin eXquire is some small time rapper who made his way onto the Stereogum monthly playlists and into my life. I love him and this song.

12. Good Pussy in Chicago – Mr. Muthafuckin eXquire

This too. Not sorry.

x Syd

Current Faves: Oct 27 – Nov 2

1. Alright – Jamiroquai

Instantly puts me in a good mood. Jamiroquai (and everything like it, Daft Punk, Breakbot, Earth, Wind & Fire, etc.) just makes me want to dance and never stop, gotta love it 🙂

2. ATM Jam (Kaytranada Remix) – Azealia Banks ft. Pharrell

A great track, perfect mix of R&B, Funk and House. I’m not a huge fan of Azealia Banks (a lil too sassy if you ask me) but she is great at what she does. Also, props to Kaytranada for making dope R&B tracks even better!

3. Battle for Middle You – Julio Bashmore

I’ve been waaaaay up on my house game this month, and this is one of the sickest tracks I’ve found. Repetitive enough to lose yourself in but fresh enough to keep you on your toes.

4. Body Party – Ciara

I’ve also been way up on my R&B game this month, and as cheesy as it is, nothing beats how sexy this song is. If only I had the ass to sustain the hip shaking this requires…

5. F Dat – Slick Shoota ft. Purple

Mad Decent is stepping onto the deep house bandwagon! I’m so happy to hear something new from my fave label, and this track definitely does not disappoint. Good mix of House, R&B and Mad Decent experimentation.

6. FDB (LAKIM Remix) – Young Dro

I think my enjoyment of this song means that my indie past life is officially dead… Oh well, this remix is sick and it feels really good to get a little ratchet every now and then.

7. Hold Tight – Justin Bieber

Speaking of R&B, Justin’s new singles have been sooo gooooood. I’m (only slightly) ashamed to admit it, but I’ve really been enjoying them, this one in particular. I think he’s really found his own as an R&B artist, and the minimal beats behind his singing really showcases his vocal talents.

8. Jump – Madonna

Find a better feel good song than this, I dare you. Almost nothing feels better than driving downtown with the autumn breeze and this song blasting. Gotta love being a girl, right?

9. Life Round Here – James Blake ft. Chance the Rapper

I’ve never been a James Blake fan – I feel like I really should be, but I can’t seem to quite dive in – but this song may change that. The juxtaposition of James’s softness and Chance’s hardness, combined with the soft synths and the strong hip hop beats really creates a beautiful composition.

10. The Paris Swing Box – Parov Stelar

Most of Parov Stelar’s songs are just as upbeat and incredible as this one, so this is more or less of a placeholder for his entire repertoire. I really need to start going to parties where they play this and we swing dance, grinding and twerking is soooo overrated 😉

11. Retro City (LOUDPVCK Remix) – Adventure Club

Then again, who can’t resist some good trap. I’ve been on a huge LOUDPVCK kick – easily some of the best trap I’ve found – and I absolutely adore this Adventure Club remix.

12. Think About It (TACHES Remix) – Naughty Boy ft. Wiz Khalifa & Ella Eyre

Back to that ever lovable House + R&B combination. I literally can’t help but dance when this comes on, whether it be in my car or in art class (I may or may not have danced around the last class… oops).

13. When A Fire Starts to Burn – Disclosure

I couldn’t pick a favourite Disclosure song, so I picked this one as an example, but any song on ‘Settle’ is bound to be just as good. I unfortunately missed their show on October 26th, buuuuut it was just announced that they’ll be coming back in January! Gotta love luck.

14. Y.A.L.A. – M.I.A.

YALA has started a revolution in my life – sorry to everyone who’s talked to me in the past week, as I’ve probably said YALA at least 20 times during our conversation. The song is incredible and I am SO PUMPED for Matangi, coming out in November.

What have you been listening to?

xo, Syd

Current Faves March 10-16

SUMMER IS NEARLY HERE! Can we all just quickly celebrate the end of Winter and thus, the reintroduction of fun music!

1. Grammy – Purity Ring

I’m definitely not a Soulja Boy fan (not really a Purity Ring fan, either, for that matter) but this cover is amazing. It’s so cute and fun and upbeat and definitely worth checking out.

2. Always – Jahan Lennon

I’m very clearly a HUGE Mad Decent/Diplo fan, so of course I’m going to love the label’s only ‘Indie’ artist. This song is great, perfect for drivin’ around in the Summer.

3. Hanging On The Telephone – The Nerves

I watched the film ‘Electrick Children’ this past weekend, and I’m in love. The film is very good (definitely worth watching) but the soundtrack is incredible. This song is more or less the theme song, and after hearing it in context with the film, I’m obsessed.

4. Diane Young – Vampire Weekend

I had a pretty unhealthy obsession with Vampire Weekend about 3 years ago, so it’s actually pretty weird for me to finally be listening to them again! So far I’ve only heard this song off of their new album, but I really like the new direction they’re taking! It’s still pretty surf-pop-y but it’s definitely got a more experimental edge.

5. Gorgeous – Kanye West ft. Kid Cudi

Let me just start by saying that Kanye West deserves all the hype he’s gotten. I’m not hugely into rap, but even a novice like me can tell that he makes excellent music that’s super innovative.

6. Boy Oh Boy – Diplo & GTA

HOLY SHIT. I can not say enough about how much I love this song. I’ve been in a pretty terrible mood the past few days but this song alone can pick me up and immediately make me want to dance. The Missy Elliot sample is perfect, and the transitions are flawless. Good job, Lord Diplo ❤

7. Jah No Partial (The Reef Remix) – Major Lazer

I’ve had this song for a while but when I listened to it in my car for the first time, oh. My. God. The bass is incredible, and heavy enough to make for an actual physical experience. P.S. How excited am I for the new album?! The Ezra Koenig/Major Lazer collaboration looks especially intriguing!

8. A Community Service Announcement – Jonathan Boulet

(Please ignore what’s posted in the 8tracks, couldn’t find the actual song)

An old Indie favourite that never fails to feel epic when I listen to it. Definitely deserves to be the soundtrack of some kind of inspiring montages.

9. Mirrors – Justin Timberlake

All hail Justin. I’m not in love with the new album so far, but this is definitely (in my opinion) his strongest track. It’s got the same insane romance that his past hits include with some really cool audio elements.

10. Mykonos – Fleet Foxes

Another old favourite. Songs like this honestly make me want to abandon civilized life and move to the Appalachia’s and live amongst the trees (kind of) (not really) (I still like the song).

xo, Syd

ALSO – Get excited for new Major Lazer, Strokes, and Phoenix this month!