Heavy Rotation: November 2017

Every month this year I’ve been able to discover something through the recommendation of a friend or a “similar artists” search on Spotify. Sometimes I come across several amazing new-to-me artists at the same time, and it takes me back to when I would score big bin-diving at my local record shop. I don’t get to go as often as I used to, but when I do it’s a treat.

If you’re into records (like me) next time you’re in the market to add to your collection of physical music, please consider the following:

Purchase music directly from the artist. If possible, this is the best way to support their craft and (hopefully) enable more music to be made.

If direct buying is not an option (as is the case with a lot of more popular artists or artists that may not tour often and don’t have much in the way of a digital marketplace) place an order through your local record store. Most shops are glad to gain new customers this way. Even if it might seem easier to order directly from a label’s or distributors webpage, sometimes the record stores can get you a slightly better price when they add your request to a pre-existing order they’re making. Sometimes, they may even have the record you’re looking for already in stock, meaning not having to wait for an album to ship to you.

Plus, when you stop in to pick up your album, you might see something else you forgot you were wanting to check out. Algorithms are great, but nothing compares to recommendations from the guy or gal behind the counter as you dig through bins alongside other music fans.

Anyway, as the year winds down, I find myself more drawn to physical media and more focused, undistracted listening. I have several records from this playlist on my Christmas list already…

Features this month:

Charlotte Gainsbourg

I always remember Charlotte Gainsbourg as an actress, most notably for me as Stéphanie in Michel Gondry’s lovely 2006 film, The Science of Sleep. Most people are unaware she’s had a pretty prolific musical career alongside her acting credits, but I’m so glad this month I was re-introduced to her through her new album. I could listen to this woman sing in French forever. Of that I am certain.

It was hard to narrow this month’s selection down to just one track, so I’m sure she’ll be on next month’s playlist as well.


Winter always leads me back to really blissed out, dreamy guitar driven tracks. The five-piece group (with female vocalist!) hail from Easthampton, Massachusetts, pretty close to Amherst. From my research it looks like Hush is their second full-length effort; a follow up to the equally powerful Everywhere Else from 2016.

Grace VanderWaal

If you’re not listening to her sing right now, make sure you play the track while you’re reading this….

Now, brace yourself, that girl singing is 14 YEARS OLD. Somehow that amazingly mature voice belongs to a girl who has just begun high school.

Grace VanderWaal first gained national fame when she won season eleven of America’s Got Talent, accompanying herself on ukulele. Her talent is not only way beyond her years, but her songwriting is gorgeous and fits in with artists I’ve been listening to my whole life. While I normally ignore what’s happening on reality competition shows, this is one artist that makes me think twice before I dismiss an artist for having gained popularity due to a television programme.

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

  • New single from S. Carey from upcoming 2018 release Hundred Acres
  • A new single from Iceland’s Björk.
  • Kate Tucker‘s new single from forthcoming album Practical Sadness 



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