Since its first appearance in The Panel almost four years ago, “The Playlist of the Issue” has become a customary article for the publication. Not only does it provide a great opportunity for Panel staffers to write about their favorite songs, but it also exposes Belmont Hill students to new music genres. For those reading The Panel for the first time, “The Playlist of the Issue” features two authors who each pick five songs which they feel deserve recognition and write about them. Henry Moses ‘21 and Jalen Walker ‘21 have taken on the job.
Click on this link for access to the playlist so you can listen, anywhere, anytime: Click here to be directed to Spotify
Nothing Burns Like the Cold (feat. Vince Staples) – Snoh Aalegra
This song has been a constant for me ever since I was first introduced to it two years ago by a YouTube recommendation. I go through chunks of time where I listen to it all the time, then I forget about it for a few months, then I find it again. Maybe it finds me; it always comes at the right time. It’s a jazzy and silky flip of the classic Portishead song “Glory Box,” which itself is a flip of the Isaac Hayes tune “Ike’s Rap II.” This progression is a cool musical conversation with the terminus, for now, being this Snoh song.
Paradise Circus – Massive Attack
I’ve been taking a lot of walks recently. You know, just wandering the dead streets of my sleepy town at night. This song has been the soundtrack to these wanderings. It’s eerie and circuitous, perfect for these meditations. At some points orchestral and ornate, and at other points driven by a snare and high hat, the beat sort of lulls you into its world.
When the Moving Stops – Planet Giza
I think it’s really the instrumental that drives my interest in this song. There are some cool vocal parts, but the beat is what I stay for. It’s always cool to get a music recommendation from an artist you respect, and this was the case for this track. As I said before, I was intrigued immediately by the little snippet of the beat that I heard. I listened to the whole thing, but I was skeptical at first and didn’t add it to my songs right away. But I realized that I kept returning to it; I was kind of addicted.
Galatea’s Guitar – Gábor Szabó
Master Hungarian guitarist Gábor Szabó mixes his country’s traditional music and late sixties jazz perfectly on this track. Like the first two tracks I listed, this one is also slightly eerie, but in a good way.It is like you’re out to do a dirty deed that is ultimately a good thing. You know what I mean. It’s just sly. Simple as that.
Slap Pie – Men I Trust
Now that we’ve gotten the eerie songs out of the way, I present to you my cheery selection. My dancing selection. My vibing selection. This song could be technically nuanced or really simple; I have no idea. But it doesn’t matter either way because to me, this song is beyond technical discussion. It would be like the world’s leaders discussing their favorite films right now: it just doesn’t matter. The song allows me to be mindless for a few minutes and just disconnect from anything of importance.
Find a Topic (homies begged) – Isaiah Rashad
It would be silly for me to say that this isn’t my favorite song on Isaiah Rashad’s 2016 album, The Sun’s Tirade. Certainly, the album is full of songs that bang, which explains why I listened to this album religiously five years ago, but I think this track is a cut above the rest. Rashad masterfully uses this track to respond to Dave Free’s request on Silkk Da Shocka for him to “find a topic” and stop talking about nothing. In Find a Topic (homies begged), Rashad responds beautifully, and then some, which makes this song one to love and return to frequently.
3 AM – HAIM
This song’s production and sound are really nostalgic for me, and that nostalgia smacks me in the face every time I listen to this track. It’s clear that HAIM utilized sounds that characterized the R&B of the late ’90s and early 2000s to get this track to be as perfect as it is. When I first listened to the album that this song comes from, Women in Music Pt. III, which was released this summer, nothing stuck. But, 3 AM has been on repeat for me for months since that first listen, and I think perhaps I’ll return to the album sometime soon and reevaluate my initial thoughts.
Black Balloons Reprise (ft. Denzel Curry) – Flying Lotus
This track is at the center of Curry’s “black balloon trilogy,” which finds its roots on his 2018 album TA13OO. On the reprise, Curry and Flying Lotus link up to produce this underappreciated banger. Lotus creates an ominous sound that Curry dominates easily, gliding atop it to provide listeners with an even more ominous explanation of what exactly the black balloon is and what it represents. This track is exciting conceptually, and Denzel utilizes his impeccable flow to add to it seamlessly.
I Laugh When I’m With Friends But Sad When I’m Alone – 070 Shake
If you know me, you know I love 070 Shake because she’s got an incredible ability to make music that just reaches out and tickles your soul. As an intro track to her album Glitter, this song is tense, it’s emotional, and if it catches you at the right time, those two feelings can be quite visceral. I recommend this song, along with everything else in Shake’s discography.
We Live in Brooklyn, Baby – Roy Ayers Ubiquity
If you played NBA 2K13, please stand up. I’m gonna be honest: I think that game has the best soundtrack ever crafted in human history. This song is simple, lyrically, and production-wise, but there’s something exceptional about how Roy Ayers Ubiquity was able to make it all mesh. It’s just so beautiful. It makes me feel as though we really live in Brooklyn, baby.