Curator’s Note: Welcome to The Panel’s second iteration of the Playlist of the Issue, a tradition started by Gus Lamb ‘17 and Armin Thomas ‘17. For each issue, we’ll give you our current top five songs, tunes which span across genres, moods, and time periods. It is our hope that our playlist can serve as inspiration for your own creativity. Likewise, if you have a catchy beat stuck in your head, please feel free to let us know–perhaps you will see your pick in the next issue!
Arnav’s Top 5 Picks:
Rapper’s Delight (Long Version) – The Sugarhill Gang
Full disclosure: I first heard Rapper’s Delight when former Panel editors Gabe Schmittlein ‘16 and Jay O’Brien ‘16 performed live at Coffee House. Since that performance, I have regularly returned to the song when I needed a little groove to brighten my day. Rapper’s Delight has become a core piece in my personal 800 song throwback playlist, which pays testament to its unique and creative structure. P.S If you choose not to listen to the long version, you’re truly missing out.
If You Need To, Keep Time On Me – Fleet Foxes
In the Fleet Foxes’ latest release If You Need To, Keep Time On Me, the band’s rhythmic quirkiness and vocal harmonies drive the song’s simple success. The universally relevant lyrics pair beautifully with the soft yet mystifying undertone developed by the gentle sounds of the piano and acoustic guitars. In short, this acoustic-folk song is perfect for the ambitious listener hoping to broaden the scope of their own Spotify playlist.
Mi Gente – J Balvin, Willy William
It’s no mistake that the fresh Spanish tune Mi Gente has recently made its way to the top of international charts. Can I understand the majority of the lyrics? Sadly, no. Will that detract from my absolute love for the song? Never. Regardless of which language you have pursued at Belmont Hill, Mi Gente is both highly accessible and attractive to open-minded listeners who enjoy energetic dance beats.
Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You – Whitney (Bob Dylan Cover)
Whitney’s Spotify single Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You preserves all that is authentic about Bob Dylan’s classic, while seamlessly infusing the song with a refreshingly modern twist. The sounds from each instrument are beautifully distinct in this song–in fact, the nature of the cover somewhat parallels that of a live performance. Ultimately, Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You showcases the Chicago-based duo’s musical versatility.
I Found Lovin’ – Fatback Band
The Fatback Band’s timeless funk tune perfectly epitomizes the beauty of the genre. The song has all the playful qualities one has come to associate with funk: a non-apologetic use of the synthesizer, soulful vocals, and a memorable chorus. I promise, once you hear the song for the first time, you won’t ever forget it’s impressive grooves.
Seth’s Top 5 Picks:
Spice Girl – Aminé
Anna Mae, Amino, Amen, Anime? Aminé. After dropping his overnight mega-hit Caroline, up-and-coming hip-hop artist Aminé registered on the radar of music fans everywhere. The Portland-born rapper followed up with his debut album Good for You, which has gained acclaim as one of the best albums of the year. Aminé’s music has a unique sound, and the versatility and range of the songs in his album are sure to impress. Definitely give this track a listen, along with the rest of Aminé’s new album.
Guru – Coast Modern
I discovered Coast Modern on, you guessed it, the “discover” section of Spotify. Coast Modern is comprised of Luke Atlas and Coleman Trapp, two quirky guys from LA. Their music is categorized as “indie pop,” but it’s definitely unlike anything I’ve ever heard before. The instrumentation is beautiful, and the lyrics are smart and insightful; their overall sound is simply smooth. Guru depicts a rocky relationship that needs mending, but both sides are still trying to make it work. I also recommend Going Down, Animals, Hollow Life, and Dive. Their debut self-titled album actually dropped the same day as Good for You. Spooky.
Let Her Go – Mac Demarco
Mac Demarco may have rose to fame as the king of indie rock, but don’t think for a second that his popularity has corrupted his laid-back nature. He is one of the most genuine, down-to-earth, and likeable artists I have ever witnessed. Off his 2014 album Salad Days, Let Her Go features Mac’s distinct voice and effervescent guitar riffs. The Canadian singer-songwriter echoes the age-old saying: “if you love something, let it go.” I started listening to this song almost a year ago and I still listen to it consistently to this day. If you listen closely, you might catch the similarity between the chord progression during the chorus and a certain Disney movie’s theme. (Okay, I’ll just tell you: it’s Beauty and the Beast. Now go listen.)
In Your Eyes – BadBadNotGood (feat. Charlotte Day Wilson)
You may have never heard of BadBadNotGood, but you have probably heard BadBadNotGood. Yes, you read that right. The four-man group from Toronto recently has collaborated with some extremely well-known artists: Kendrick Lamar, Tyler, the Creator, and Earl Sweatshirt, to name a few. Consisting of keys, bass, drums, and saxophone, BBNG pairs up with Charlotte Day Wilson (another Toronto native) to produce a soulful and mysterious track. Charlotte Day Wilson’s voice is too nice.
Do It Again – Steely Dan
A classic by one of the greatest rock groups to ever do it. Unfortunately, we lost Walter Becker, one of the two members of Steely Dan, early last month. RIP to one of the most creative and individual artists of his time.