October

Like my July playlist, this one is pretty mellow. It looks like a long playlist, but that’s a trick. This is really a 4-song playlist with a bonus track. You’ll see.

1. “Pretty Pimpin'” by Kurt Vile

Kurt Vile has a new album coming out on the 12th. I like the first couple of singles that have been released, but I thought it was a good opportunity to go back to what is most likely his best song.

2. “Here It Comes (The Road) Let’s Go” by Spiritualized

I’m really enjoying the new Spiritualized album from last month. Fantastic to see J. Spaceman back at it.

3. “Spoil with the Rest” by “Ryley Walker”

I started seeing an article with this guy where the interviewer made him listen to “Songs of Love and Hate” by Leonard Cohen because he had never listened to Leonard Cohen before. He was not a fan. I described this album to friends as “Beck fronting a Tortoise album” (He doesn’t have much of Beck’s slacker country drawl on this particular song so much as some others from the album), but it’s a mellow, pleasant and sometimes gorgeous album.

4. “Voix sereines” by Alcest

I tend to think of vocals in songs as lending a human element that’s sometimes missing in instrumental music. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy a lot of instrumental music (see: the next song) but I often feel that something human is missing. On the other hand, once I’ve heard a song enough times to learn the lyrics, I’m often singing along in my head at the expense of the instruments and appreciation on a musical level. This is where shoegaze (and for that matter, metal, where Alcest actually started, if you can believe it from this song) comes in. Having that human element but not allowing me to learn the lyrics and thus sing along forces me to really listen. The added layer of the vocals being in French doubles that effect.

5. “Don’t Bother They’re Here” by Stars of the Lid

I’m calling this a bonus ambient track. Stars of the Lid are a fantastic ambient band, and I hope you add “The Tired Sounds of Stars of the Lid” and “And Their Refinement of the Decline” to your libraries if you don’t already have them, but at the same time I expect you to skip this track after you’ve heard it once or twice. I’ve wanted to include a track of theirs for a while, but it needed to fit, and since this playlist is practically a sedative, what better way to end it, right?