I am a devoted Spotify user. Don't even talk to me about Tidal, Apple Music, or Pandora. iTunes? WTF is that? Get your life together (unless you're listening to Beyonce. Any music player will do).
This fidelity and commitment to my streaming service plays itself out in....you guessed it: playlists.
The latest is 90-minute roundup of 26 tunes that I played on repeat for the entirety of October...and it's a pretty perfect representation of my taste in music. Because yes, yes you can have Tate Kobang and Shovels & Rope on the same playlist.
So press play and let tell you 'bout some of my favorites....
You're Mine - Phantogram
I put two Phantogram songs back-to-back on this playlist because their new album Three is just that damn good. It's intense, pulsating, and probably hella great live. I've loved watching Phantogram's evolution - from the haunting days of "When I'm Small," to the hip hop sexiness that is Big Grams - I can listen to anything from this duo. Plus, lesbihonest, I've got a big ol' crush on Sarah Barthel.
Don't Touch My Hair - Solange
I know I'm not alone in my obsession with Solange's A Seat at the Table. The younger Knowles is no Beyonce, and I love her even more for not trying to be...B. Her avant-garde style, her #IDGAF pursuit of creative expression, her embodiment of self-love -- it all comes through in this album, and in particular, this song. I'm also loving "Don't Touch My Hair" because it introduced me to Sampha, a London producer, keyboardist, and singer whose ethereal tunes I'm kicking myself for not finding sooner.
May I Have This Dance - Francis and the Lights
I'm not a huge fan of the rest of Farewell, Starlite! but, man am I diggin' this track. Francis sounds like a modern-day vocal love child of Michael Bolton and Phil Collins and I mean that in the BEST way. It's synthy and fadey and groovy and playing on repeat.
Ridin Round - Kali Uchis
I recently discovered this 23-year-old Colombian badass and I'm so glad she released a new (and improved) version of Ridin Round. This song is part reggae, part hip hop, part bachata, and it makes me want to rent a cheap convertible, put the top down, turn the volume up, and pop bubblegum till I can't pop no more. Parental advisory on this one, FYI.
Aaja - Swet Shop Boys
I discovered this hip hop duo on NPR's All Things Considered...because I went to a liberal arts university and, ya know, that's how we do. I'm all about a good trap music song (panda, panda, panda....), but every once in a while, I wanna meet a rapper who can teach me about something other than, say, how to whip up a fresh batch of crack on my stovetop. In come Heems and Riz MC with this intellectual layer cake of an album. "Aaja" is fun and sweet and dirty and quirky and one of my favorite songs of the fall.
I See a Victory - Kim Burrell and Pharrell Williams
I dare you to listen to this song off the upcoming Hidden Figures soundtrack without clapping and swaying. I mean, a gospel-esque feminist power ballad set to Pharrell's dancey beats?! Yes, Lord. I've been listening to it daily, ready for Hillary to break America's biggest damn glass ceiling so its lyrics can really ring true.
Cash Machine - D.R.A.M.
What do I love more than soul music? Hip hop artists that sample soul music. This song, with its sampling of "Hallelujah I Love Her So," takes me back to Kanye before he was Pablo (or KimYe, or Yeezus, or ya know, knee-deep in debt...). Oh, Ray, your piano notes just sound SO good laid under rhymes about ca$h money! I have mixed emotions about Big Baby D.R.A.M (the shout-out to MetroPCS in "Broccoli" makes me giggle every time I pass their store a block from my house, HOW did he get Erykah Badu to collaborate on a TERRIBLE but hilarious song about WiFi?!, why is singing off-key like, a thing, now?)...but this track brings me three minutes of absolute joy.