Nick Johnston – A Cure Promised

Like many of the artists I discover, I found Nick Johnston through the Spotify related artists radio. I was introduced to his work Remarkably Human and instantly fell in love. I think he achieves the perfect blend between technique and emotion. This is the opening track of his latest album Wide Eyes in the Dark, which was released in April of this year.

Steve Miller Band – Rock’n Me – Alternate Version 1

There’s a certain intersection in the timeline of music. A point where the money generated and the advancements in technology allowed more music to be recorded than ever before. It seems to really be around the 50’s and 60’s that bands started to store alternate takes and versions of their songs. Trickling them out over time from the vault, just a last week Steve Miller Band treated us with this version of “Rock’n Me”.

Chris Stapleton – The Ballad of the Lonesome Cowboy

I’ve been listening to more country, folk, and indie music since my girlfriend likes that style of music the most. I heard of Chris Stapleton through her and lumped him in the pool of all the other modern country musicians. Over the summer last year we went to see him live and he earned a spot in my eyes as a solid musician. He sang really well and the musicians he worked with are top notch and play very tastefully. Plus this is in Toystory!

The Electric Peanut Butter Company – Christophe Waltz

There are a lot of amazing band names out there, such as “The History of Apple Pie”, “Catwings Batwings” or “Joe Lean and the JIng Jang Jong”. While this can be great for gathering attention the real point of a band is for them to sound good! Well no need to worry, this band delivers. The absolutely love the tone of the keyboard and guitar so much! The style is unique and catchy. It could work really well as the intro theme song for a television show maybe?

Easy Giant – House of the Wizard

It almost sounds like music is making turns back to sounds of the 80’s. This song has a heavy use of synth and electronic instruments. There are a few vocal tracks layered over each other and some type of reverb or echo effect makes them sound far away. At times it may sound like too much is happening and could maybe use some better mixing, but overall I enjoy this track.

Beck – The Golden Age

Boy can this song really give me a tired or lethargic feeling. I enjoy the simple guitar work as its done pretty cleanly and there are subtle changes in his strumming. The slide guitar and other instruments layered in add some really nice effects to the simple progression. The track was released on the album, Sea Change, which is said to be one of the best albums of the 2000’s so far.

Amy Winehouse – Some Unholy War

I never knew too much of Amy Winehouse’s work. I had only heard her most popular works on the radio and her name usually only got mentioned in the media about some controversy. Her album Back to Black has come up time and time again and I finally spent some time to listen to it. The track “Some Unholy War” really caught my ear. It has such a classic sound, it would be great track to sample.

Cat Power – The Greatest

Several of the songs this week came from a recent list I came across. The list compiled the greatest albums to have been released in the 2000’s so far. There were a lot of artists that I never heard of on there. I took notes and began my quest. This track by the Atlanta native feels laid back rainy day. Her project which goes by the same name, The Greatest, is an album I recommend listening to.

Cory Wong & Dave Koz – The Optimist

Cory Wong is the guitarist for the band Vulfpeck. I haven’t had them on this playlist yet but I have put on a different member from the group, Theo Katzman. The whole collective of musicians that work with and around Vulfpeck are just amazing. Their technical prowess mixed with their tastefulness creates masterfully crafted works that are catchy and moving. This track is no different.

Talib Kweli – Get By (Explicit Content)

I remember hearing this song on MTV back in the mid 2000’s when the country still dealing with the effects of 9/11. Produced by Kanye West this song was extremely powerful in that it really connected with people. Talib Kweli has always been a political activist and has never shied away from putting powerful statements in his music.

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