Playlist 24: Top 5 New Recommendations

Every now and again, I post something on social media asking for music recommendations. I like to revamp my collection as often as possible and am always interested in what other people are listening to. My post at the end of September resulted in a whole bunch of recommendations (so exciting!), so I’m delving into some of them for this week’s playlist.

My one rule: The artist has to be one that I’ve never heard of before. I’ll check out what they do, offer a review, and share it all with you!

℗ 2010 Propeller Recordings Under Exclusive License To Nettwerk Productions

“A Bar In Amsterdam”

This tune is so funky. The first ten seconds were kind of off-putting to me as it sort of sounded like a creepy, twisted carnival, but I gave it a few more seconds and am glad I did. Think of it as a cross between the Squirrel Nut Zippers and April Smith and the Great Picture Show with a little folk twist.

I looked up Katzenjammer to find out where they’re from (answer: Norway). The first thing that came up was a dictionary definition of the word: “confusion; uproar.” That gave me a little chuckle, because confusion was definitely one of my initial reactions, like “What am I even listening to right now?”

I could tell the singers had European accents, so it was no surprise to me that they’re from another continent, but for some reason, this tune also triggered my wanderlust. It feels a little foreign and makes me intrigued to want to explore the faraway land where this music is made. The fact that this is an all-female group is a mega bonus. What a weird, intriguing song!

℗ 2015 Twisted Elegance

“Marilyn Monroe”

Moment of truth: Sevdaliza’s music makes me very uneasy. This is the third song of hers I sampled, and it was the most enjoyable for me of them all (take that with a grain of salt). All in all, I’m left feeling really uncomfortable.

There’s something incredibly eerie about what I’ve heard so far, and seen for that matter. I also find her videos to be very odd and combined with the eerie music, I have to say I’m not the biggest fan. I tried to listen a little deeper, and underneath it all, I do hear little hints of similarity to Lianne LaHavas, which is a silver lining for me.

Now you may be wondering, why would you pick an artist you don’t really like for your “Top Picks” playlist? It may seem a little odd, but I really wanted to try to push myself out of my comfort zone. For me, expanding my musical horizons is half of the fun. In doing so, I exposed myself to something that I likely wouldn’t have discovered on my own.

So no, I didn’t love this particular artist, but that’s OK. I got something out of it, and it also gave me the chance to share it with you! Overall I’m having a hard time getting on board with Sevdaliza, but maybe you’ll feel differently.

℗ 2015 Highway 20 Records

Lucinda Williams

This was NOT what I expected it to be, both the song and the artist. I had a random, preconceived idea about Lucinda Williams just from reading her name. Turns out, I was so wrong.

Before the song even started in this video I knew I was hooked, simply because of how she fluffs her hair before she starts singing and the folksy vibe that the video editing gives off. When the intro started, it was official. The guitars were immediately soothing to me, and her voice just added another incredible layer to that.

She reminds me of Stevie Nicks, who I love (shout out to all my fellow altos), and has had a pretty extensive career from what I’ve found! This song happens to be pretty modern, but kudos to her for sticking around for almost 40 years and still making gritty, soulful, poignant music. I love this recommendation and can’t wait to look through some of her musical archives.

℗ 2011 Interscope Records

“Broken Down”
Kevin Hammond

Full disclosure: I’m quite the sucker for a nice, mellow, acoustic guitar melody sung by a handsome young guy. If he sings in falsetto? Bonus points.

Songs like this make me think back to my high school days where artists like Teddy Geiger and Gavin DeGraw were making it big, and so many artists were fitting into that genre. Gentle heartfelt deliveries of a nice, simple lyric; some may call it corny, but for me, it never gets old. This totally fits the bill!

It seems like Kevin Hammond hasn’t really had his “big break” yet, but does a lot of covers which are pretty cool (check out his version of 4 Non-Blondes’s “What’s Up”). Totally cool sound coming from a guy, and he does it in the same key. Bravo, Kevin. Bravo.

℗ 2017 Matador

“Continental Breakfast”
Courtney Barnett + Kurt Vile

I’m killing two birds with one stone with this pick! One of my friends left me an extensive list of artists to look into, and this song has two of them in one! Right away, this song and the Courtney Barnett + Kurt Vile sound made me think of the movie Juno. I came to find that they weren’t featured on the soundtrack, though I probably would’ve bet on this being on there.

Folky, indie, cheeky, lazy (in a good way) and somewhat ironic; it’s the type of music that makes me squint, tilt my head to the side and smirk after hearing some of the lyrics. There’s no muss or fuss about it, and seemingly no great concern with fitting to a particular box or easily defined genre, which I dig. They’re doing their own thing, and it’s very apparent in all aspects of their music. They’ve both got some solo music too, which upon first glance seems strangely interesting. This is a nice one to finish off with and sets an easy breezy tone for the rest of the day.

What music have you been listening to lately?
Share your recommendations and comments at the bottom of the page.

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