Beats Music, previously MOG, now Apple Music, played a huge role in getting us switched from posting singles to primarily playlists. Trent Reznor, head of creative at the time, created a video in 2014 introducing Beats Music and its promise to find the best song to come next.
I’m still not sure if Beats ever fulfilled that promise, or if Apple does now, but I’ve been trying to do it for myself ever since. And hopefully sometimes for you too.
So the title. I was listening to some standup on SoundCloud talking about how sexism sounds too close to “sex is mmm,” and how confusing that can be. May not sound that funny, I know, but like a singer that can make cheesy lyrics sound good, so can a comic. Unfortunately I can’t find the bit again. If you have any idea of what I’m talking about, let me know.
And that’s how I come up with these important, but clearly not that thought out titles. Musicians learn from my failues, the package [artist – title, album art] is everything when it comes to introducing your song.
A few days ago I had the bright idea of making this list to hold us over until Frank Ocean dropped his album. That day it did.
The reason I love Frank so much, and why I’m overshadowing all these other artists for him, is because there’s a difference between him and them, for me. All of these singers have at least one good song, but it’s the song, not their singing, that I love. With Frank it’s different. I just love hearing his voice. On anything. Few other singers do that for me.
Not to discredit any of these artists. All of them have that potential, especially Breezy Lovejoy. Now known as Anderson .Paak. It took me two years to come out with another list of favorite male singers. Still got a lot of catching up to do compared to my favorite females.
The first playlists on Silence for the first few years were all best of year. In 2014, it turned into focusing on best of genres. Over the past year, I’ve tried to be more creative about it.
This list is really just remixes of famous songs in a groovy house kind of way. But not titling it so specifically allowed me to broaden the song selection, which made room for more fun things to dance to.
Odesza’s Above the Middle was my first love of theirs and even though it starts off rocky, as I originally pointed out, once the vocals kick in it’s the sound that inspired this list. Especially hearing it live at Outside Lands in 2015. Ever since hearing it first back in 2013, I’ve found a set of songs just as inspiring.
The whole thing reminds me of a dream I had at least 10 years ago. It’s probably the most vivid dream I’ve ever had. I a woke (in the dream) falling from the sky, but I wasn’t frightened of falling. More fascinated by how enormous the sky and ocean were around me. I remember there was a castle in the distance (yes, like the Disney one). It was like I was falling to get there. It’s also the most beautiful dream I can remember.
Up until a few days ago, I knew starRo for his relaxing tunes, California & Seduction. I did like House Party when it came out, but the SoundCloud ad in front ruined it for me – and I annoyed the shit out of starRo about it.
Going through his entire SoundCloud catalogue and explore.fm, I see where he’s taking his sound and I love it, every which way. I don’t see many (hardly any) producers do as well with one sound as starRo has done with a few of his […]
Finding a name and cover art is the biggest pain in the ass putting these playlists together.
Our “Next to You” playlist is all sexy house beats, but naming it with some variation of Sex & House (ex: House Be Sexy) gets old fast. You do want those keywords for discoverability, but the name of a playlist is its second introduction, the artwork is its first. Both are important to catch the listeners eye initially.
I just fell in love with the Flamingosis track, Next to You. It may not have the same vibe as the rest of the list, but the name couldn’t match it more.
The popularity of mashups have been quickly dying off since 2012, mostly due to major label pressures on SoundCloud and other music services. I miss ’em, so I finally decided to put together a list of my most favorite ones.
I split mashups into two categories. The first takes samples from many pop songs all compiled into one. The first few on our playlist are good examples. The other is a vocal track mixed in with an instrumental. It might not have as many moving parts as the other, but I bet it’s just as difficult to make it sound right, if not more. Putting two sounds together and making them sound like one is hard for any producer, let alone one working with sounds people are so familiar with.
Judge for yourself, but it’s important to keep in mind that mashups are for fun and don’t always sound the most polished.
Late Night Jazz was going for new producers’ takes on jazz, but we got some criticism on if they were really jazz songs. I even questioned a few, but all had some form of jazz style in it.
I stretched the style a lot more this time around, so we decided on a word not as narrowly defined. Some beautiful guitar, sax and piano playing on these 20. This kind of music is not getting appreciated enough. Here’s mine.
I grew up listening to Prince mostly because of my pops, living in a suburb South of St. Paul, but didn’t appreciate the Minneapolis music scene until I got out of it and left for college out West.
There I started to appreciate hip-hop and R&B on a much more personal level, getting in much deeper with Prince & Atmosphere. When I studied abroad I got into other Minnesota acts: Solid Gold, GAYNGS and Mel Gibson & the Pants. Finally, in the Bay Area it was Polica, Tickle Torture, thestand4rd, and most recently, Morly. Well, kinda.
I stayed in Minneapolis for a few years after college and covered Theophilus London at The Loft in early 2012. There I heard one of the openers and I fell in love (with her voice). It belonged to Katy Morley, now Morly. I remember tracking Astronautalis and her down to see if they had any music released. She didn’t, but I remember her telling me something was in the works.
Four years later and I run into her music while researching a post on Minneapolis (this one). Her voice is even more touching and her piano playing stands out more.
It’s good to have such talent sprouting from the Twin Cities. Here’s a dozen or so and their songs.