Exploring New Music

The playlist that I play for my students during class.

Lately, I’ve noticed some of my friends and students’ online activity – like my best pal Matt’s YouTube channel, TheBoyWhoHad7 – and I’ve felt a little withdrawn from the world. I used to regularly share my music with everybody. I used to have a lot to post (at least, on social media). But my Facebook page now has rolling tumbleweeds, my blog’s last post was in 2016, and my last music release was in 2013. I’ve actually been plenty busy with a lot of things, but I think what’s mostly kept me offline has been my teaching gig: I have a face-to-face audience forced to listen to me all the time. And I guess that means that social media, blogs, and music releases have a lot to do with finding an audience. But I want to put things out there again, if only for the random person in some other country that somehow stumbles onto this page. And since I usually wrote about music, I thought I’d come back with some thoughts on new releases.

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Spotify has a lot of great playlists for anyone listening for new music.

I like keeping up with new music. I used to do it as an investigation of the Coachella line-ups (I attended the festival for nine years, before life, work, and love intensified) and I made a couple of year’s-end lists for this blog. Now-a-days, I like to keep my students up to date with new releases, and I accomplish this in two ways: Throughout their classes, I’ll put on a playlist I made of 100 rotating new tracks; and every Friday, for one of the sessions, I’ll put on a playlist of tracks for albums releasing on that given Friday. For the former thing, I mostly make the playlist by regularly listening to Spotify’s “New Indie Mix,” “Fresh Finds: Six Strings,” “Fresh Finds: Cyclone,” and “Fresh Finds: Fire Emoji” playlists and picking out my favorite songs. I’ve come across some great tracks, artists, and albums this way.

Jake’s Playlist

  1. “Magic” – Creamer
  2. “Nostalgia” – MYTHS
  3. “Two Step” – Ginger Root
  4. “Wolfcat” – Still Woozy
  5. “Credo” – August Rosenbaum
  6. “Poor You” – Dustin Lovelis
  7. “Keep Kool” – Winona Forever
  8. “Big Red Button” – Scotch Mist
  9. “I Am You” – Secret Meadow
  10. “Hanging with the Moon” – Snapped Ankles
  11. “Echoes On” – Cones
  12. “After Slice” – Ivory Waves
  13. “Feeling” – Grad Party
  14. “2 Cool 2 Care” – Anna Burch
  15. “Different Light” – Guilty Johnny
  16. “Garden” – Norbert Lukacs, Nina K
  17. “Sum” – Loney Dear
  18. “Don’t Go” – Diego Garcia
  19. “The Very, Very $hy Pearl (The Pulse)” – Marcioz
  20. “Infinity On My Mind” – Kristian Torgalsen

In the process of hearing new music and putting playlists together for my students, I also wanted to embark on another adventure within that world: making a decent playlist for my brother-in-law, Jake, who often says, “Nobody makes good music anymore.” The above playlist was the end result of that endeavor. I made it last year, and the rule was that it could only consist of tracks released in 2017. In the end, he gave it a thumbs up, which made me happy; Jake’s music taste never steers anyone wrong. I especially enjoy Winona Forever’s track, “Keep Kool,” and all the tracks I’ve heard so far from Still Woozy. These artists are still pretty fresh (Still Woozy only has four tracks on Spotify, all of them from 2017), so I’m excited to hear what they release in the future. On a side note: Jake noted that a few tracks sounded a bit “disco,” and I’ve since found other new artists bringing back that sound – particularly, a great act called L’Impératrice (check out their track called “Matahari” – and that might be worth writing about one day.