Get It Straight – Spendtime Palace
Spendtime Palace is awesome five-man band from Southern California. The troupe of high school friends embodies southwestern American culture, from their cover art to their instrumentation. My favorite part of “Get It Straight” is how the bass carries the melody throughout the song, occasionally interrupted by sweet guitar riffs. The lead singer’s voice is distinct, which is nice to hear in an age of repetitive music.
How Sweet It Is [To Be Loved By You] – James Taylor
I was indoctrinated into James Taylor’s world by my mom, and this song is one of my favorites. There’s not a lot to say about this song; it’s really just a feel-good song that you can listen to on repeat.
Morning Dance – Spyro Gyra
The last song was inspired by my mom, but this track was introduced to me by my dad. Spyro Gyra is a jazz fusion band that rose to popularity in the 1970s. The band is named after spirogyra, a genus of green algae that Jay Beckenstein, the band’s founder, learned about in college. As you can tell from their name alone, Spyro Gyra is a unique group that developed their own style of music and forged their own path in the jazz fusion scene.
Fallen – Jaden Smith
When I first listened to SYRE, I hated it. But after listening to Jaden Smith’s breakout album more and more, it started to grow on me, specifically “Fallen.” In this track, Jaden shows off his vocal versatility, flexing his vocal range in the chorus and spitting bars in the verses.
Up The Junction – Squeeze
“Up The Junction” is perhaps Squeeze’s most iconic song. The British rock band rose to fame during the late 1970s in the UK. Oddly enough, this new wave song is based on a collection of short stories by Neil Dunn. In addition to Dunn’s work, Chris Difford, the lyricist, said the group borrowed from Roxy Music and Bob Dylan when writing the song. The lyrics, carried along by a familiar, punchy melody, tell a simple and relatable story. This song is truly a classic.
Look Alive (feat. Drake) – BlocBoy JB
901 Shelby Drive.
Tired – Sugar Candy Mountain
Tired is a word that describes my Belmont Hill experience in a lot of ways. Sugar Candy Mountain is formed by the duo of Ash Reiter and Will Halse. The music they make is categorized as psychedelic pop, with emphasis on the psychedelic. Although they use fairly common primary instruments – guitar, bass, drums, synths – the music they produce sounds nothing like anything I’ve heard. Reiter and Halse’s songs create an intense yet soothing soundscape that is sure to make you question the music you’ve heard before. If there was a place called Sugar Candy Mountain, I think this is the music that would be playing there.
Enjoy Right Now, Today – Tyler, the Creator
One of my new favorite songs. The title says it all. Tyler describes this song as the closing credits to the album if it were a movie, and I think that sums the song up perfectly.
Big Shot – Kendrick Lamar
The Middle – Zedd
Location – AJR Spotify Sessions