Heavy Rotation: August 2017

It’s time for August’s Spotify playlist, featuring a selection of my most-played songs from the past month. Feel free to share what you’ve been listening to lately in the comments!

Features this month:

Slow Leaves

It’s been awhile since I made a music discovery reminiscent of bin-diving in an unfamiliar record shop. Slow Leaves is simultaneously nostalgic and fresh, feeling like something my dad would have loved when he was younger (or now, I should probably share this with him and get feedback…).

Slow Leaves is JUNO Master Class songwriter Grant Davidson, a name you should try to remember. Don’t sleep on this record. Davidson writes beautiful lyrics with light and airy melodies; songs that people can tuck away in their memory and cherish for their whole lives. He writes soundtracks to daily life that anyone can relate to. It’s just gorgeous. I can’t believe his most played song on Spotify only has 16,800-ish plays. Alright, I better stop now before I get too gushy.

Just listen to Enough About Me, okay?

Yumi Zouma

I’m willing to forgive New Zealand’s Yumi Zouma for their tribute to Oasis earlier this year. Don’t get me wrong, Oasis is fine. I’m just more a Blur fan… and recently, more into the less obnoxious Gallagher brother and his effort to bridge the false divides between the Oasis and Blur camps to guest on a new Gorillaz track—”We Got The Power”—which I featured on May’s Heavy Rotation playlist.

But this is all beside the point. The first single from their forthcoming Sophomore effort has me on the edge of my seat, submitting my pre-order for the limited edition record just hours after my first listen. The new album, Willowbank, comes out October 6th, followed by a US Tour.

I was tipped off to this band by one of my favorite reviewers at NPR, Lars Gotrich. He’s seriously under-rated, and should be respected for many things, among them that he has a regular column on the All Songs Considered website called Viking’s Choice. On August 1, Lars suggested Yumi Zouma:

“Wrapped up in a distant disco glare, Yumi Zouma sketches a hometown on holiday, perhaps bored from the smallness of its place, but holding onto its treasures for dear life.”

-Lars Gotrich, NPR, August 1, 2017

Brand New

I can’t believe how many of my favorite bands from my teenage years have put out new albums this year. I’m even more blown away that many of these albums are some of the strongest efforts from these bands.

Science Fiction is one of the most anticipated records of 2017, the follow up to 2009’s Daisy, which is cleverly referenced on a few tracks of this new record.

Since the release on August 19th, I think the only days I didn’t listen to this record were the day I got married and the night before… and I just didn’t think the mood was appropriate for wedding revelry, so I set it aside for a few days. (Don’t even think that I set aside Joy Division, though… but that’s a story for another time.)

Needless to say, Jesse Lacey et al have done it again, and long-time Brand New fans like me are basking in the dim, angsty glow of new songs to play on repeat forever and ever amen.

A few more songs to highlight on this month’s playlist:

  • A track from the new Unkle record
  • A new track from Rainer Maria‘s first release since 2006, “Forest Mattress”
  • An acoustic version of my favorite track from Jackson Phillips solo project Day Wave

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