catching up – June 2019

Well, you guys, I think it’s finally officially summer. How’s everyone enjoying the constant sweat and trying to think over the sound of air conditioning and trying to find that right balance between ‘this is an excessive amount of sunscreen’ and ‘oh god I am sunburned to the point it’s starting to bubble’? IT’S FUN, HUH. I kid. Kind of. Anyways, welcome to summer, where there’s a lot of good music coming out and I’m apparently just going to make 9827089762039487 playlists. Alright, let’s chat about the good musics.

“Rides Through The Morning”- Michael Nau
In a month of a bunch of new songs I could say were among my favorite of the year, this finally-released old tune might be my favorite. All grit and soul and timeless feel, this one is a burner that builds and breaks and goes and goes and goes for just over 4 minutes. More like this, please, everyone.

“Not My Body”- Sam Lynch
Another in that group of songs that are now among my favorite of the year, this latest offering from Sam Lynch establishes what it is and then constantly reinvents itself with each verse for the rest of the song. It’s tremendously beautiful in every single way.

“Coming Down For You”- Joan Shelley
I’ve mentioned this before, but Joan Shelley is the most lovely voice out there right now. This new love song from her is no different, as you’d expect.

“I Need A Teacher”- Hiss Golden Messenger
Is “beauty in the broken American moment” my favorite line of the year so far? It’s close, you guys. No one is in the kind of groove Hiss is right now.

“Settle Down”- The Local Strangers
My friends put out a new record and it’s lovely and easily the best album they’ve put together and goodness gracious this song and the way it builds to the payoff in the final minute is just :::chef’s kiss:::.

“Fire”- Bad Flamingo
I’m sorry. We’re all pregnant now. That’s how bodies work when this song plays, I think.

…and now, here’s a playlist of all the songs I liked best in June. I usually try to keep this to 20 or whatever, but this month there was so much good stuff I couldn’t help myself. All the tunes above are on there, but so is the return from Bon Iver, songs from Jaysom, Hatchie, Steve Gunn, and Whitney I can’t stop getting lost in, the best song on that new collaborative album from Calexico and Iron & Wine, a new one form Leif Vollebekk that reminds me I can’t get enough of his sound, the first new single from Joe Pug in too many years that also, somehow, namedrops my hometown, and, well, a re-working of a Dashboard Confessional tune that features Adam Duritz and which I for sure had forgotten how much I loved. Oh, and a whole bunch more. Dig in. There’s a lot to love and discover.

cool cool cool, let’s talk about other playlists now cause I have a lot of them to tell you about.

The Kitchen
Let’s start off with one of my favorite playlist projects lately, and that’s the one that my friend Shana at Swell Tone asked me to make to soundtrack my time cooking in the kitchen with my daughter. I won’t repeat what I wrote for her blog, but I will say that making muffins with Frances is one of the few things I miss about unemployment, because a) she loved it (and by that I mean she mostly just couldn’t wait to eat them) and b) as someone who loves cooking and food, there’s little I want to do more in my life than impart a love of food in that little human, and if I can do that by creating a healthy association between food and dancing in the kitchen I will for sure do that. Anyhow, here’s the playlist Shana and I came up with. I for sure am the reason Lizzo is on there.

quiet summer
I went ahead and created a summer playlist that isn’t all jamz, cause summer isn’t all jamz, kids. Anyways, I’ll be adding to this one through the rest of summer, so go ahead and follow it if you’d like.

….but sometimes summer IS jamz, so there’s this playlist, which I’m still adding to and will keep adding to for the rest of summer.

10 years of summer – mornings, days and nights
One of my friends from back home alerted me that I’ve been making summer mixes for the last 10 years (they used to be mailed to friends, complete with printed cd labels and tracklists and all that and OH GOD THAT WAS SO MUCH WORK BEING A YOUNGER PERSON WAS JUST SO DUMB). So, armed with that information, I put together 3 playlists full of my favorite tracks that have appeared on any of those summer mixes over the years. It was a lot of fun, and good lord are these some stacked playlists.

my very favorite songs of 2019 so far
Well, we all made it to the halfway point, and so I figured I’d join the masses in making a playlist like this. I’ve got about 5 favorite songs of the year at any one time- right now it’s a fight between songs from Spanish Love Songs, Sun June, Rosie Tucker and Michael Nau, I think, but that could change if you asked me tomorrow. Anyways, here’s a playlist- in no particular order- of the 30-whatever songs I’ve loved the most so far this year.


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