February: never great. This year was no exception, but at least we were gifted an absurdly good amount of music to make the unending month a little more bearable than before. But just to reiterate: February is for the birds. Anyways, here’s what stuck with me during the shortest month of the year, along with a few playlists to make listening to it all that much easier for you. Enjoy.
“Cuz I Love You”- Lizzo
Let’s just state, again, for the record what has become an indisputable truth: Lizzo is a national treasure. “Cuz I Love You” is a deeply endearing, funny, ridiculously catchy love song, and is very easily one of the best songs I’ve heard so far in 2019. Additionally: I don’t want to talk about how many times I’ve listened to it over the last few weeks.
“Brooklyn”- Tyler Lyle
Man, this song. I’ve loved it since I first heard it back in 2017 as part of the first installment of his monthly Secret Lair project (it was called “Floating Empire” back then, and it was gooooooood, you guys). It was just Tyler and a guitar on that version, and this version adds only a few small, delicate, perfect touches and flourishes to what was already one of my favorite songs of his. We don’t know when his next full-length is coming, but it’s on the horizon and I, for one, can’t wait to hear it.
“Habit”- Rosie Tucker
Goodness, this one came out of nowhere and absolutely punched me right in the face. There’s something so engrossing about those moments when everything cuts out and Rosie starts rattling off her pointed observations, memories and/or grievances with old loves that won’t die (and maybe never fully will, honestly). They are my favorite moments in a song so far in 2019.
“Everybody Needs Somebody” / “Watching the Wires”- Hiss Golden Messenger
My favorite songwriter, currently, back with two songs that, for the moment, are one-offs and are, most certainly, perfect for this moment. There’s something about the way M.C. Taylor writes about life and how we are all making our way through it that connects deeply for me, and these songs are no different. I don’t think anyone is operating at the level- both in terms of quality and the sheer prolificness- that Hiss Golden Messenger is at currently.
“The Running Styles of New York”- The Tallest Man on Earth
A decade-plus into his career and it seems that Kristian Matsson is re-finding his voice. “The Running Styles of New York” finds its footing somewhere in the sweet spot between the raw, urgent work of Matsson’s early work and the lush-sounding output from his last few full-lengths, much like the songs on the tremendous EP he slowly revealed last year. It’s weird to say this after all this time, but I think this might be the best The Tallest Man on Earth has ever sounded.
and now, time for some playlists.
what I liked in February 2019
Here are the 20 songs I liked most this last month. It was a lot harder to get this cut down to just 20 than anticipated, honestly. There’s a track from Wild Pink that’s a b-side from my favorite record from 2018, a new one from Wet that has sounded perfect as spring starts to try to peek its head out from under the snow, a track from The Spielbergs that makes me feel young, a collaboration from Liz Cooper and Okey Dokey that is :::chef’s kiss:::, a cover of The National from Sophie Morgan that is, well, it is very, very good, a new tune from Donovan Woods that reminds us all that he only writes good songs, and a track from Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever that is among the best I’ve heard all year, just to call out a few. They are all very good tunes, that’s what I’m trying to say. Listen below or click here to listen on Spotify.
covers I enjoy
I have been meaning to make this playlist for some time now and, well, it finally happened. Here are covers I like that are available on Spotify. I’m adding as I remember (the old brain isn’t the steel trap it used to be), so this list is far from complete, but it’s full of some of the very best covers I’ve ever heard. Every time Gillian Welch’s cover of “Black Star” comes on I think Radiohead should just give her all rights to the song. Listen below or click here to listen on Spotify.
Figured I’d go ahead and share this one last time since winter is (finally) winding down and I’m going to go ahead and start in on a spring playlist next week. These are the songs that got me through another long winter. Listen below or click here to listen on Spotify.