I'm one of those people who makes a new playlist every three or four months, listens to it all on repeat without fail, then I make a new one and the cycle repeats. Even though I don't listen to every genre, I like to have a mix of blues, rock, hip hop, and R&B songs to groove to all hours of the day. I think the upcoming fall season calls for tunes with a nice, relaxing groove, so I'd like to talk about the eleven songs I've discovered over the past few months that I have fallen in love with.
Self Control by Frank Ocean
A couple of weeks ago, I did a full album review of Frank Ocean’s Blonde. Self Control was my favorite song on the album as soon as I heard it and has now become one of my favorite songs of all time. This bittersweet, nostalgic song is complete with notes and melodies that are perfect for fall. Its electric guitar rifts, bare vocals, and crescendo melt my heart every time.
Too Deep by DVSN
I just recently discovered this song based on an iTunes recommendation and immediately fell in love. This electro R&B song has a perfect mix of mellow gospel-- like choruses, a strong lead vocal who hits brilliant falsettos, and a baseline that immediately fills me with the urge to move. The strong yet supple blend of sounds in this song creates the perfect romantic, new age vibe that has been created by other R&B artists like Partynextdoor. Upon the first two bars of the song, I knew I loved it.
The Sun is Shining Down by JJ Grey and Mofro
If you’re looking for a heart wrenching bluesy rock sound, this is it. JJ Grey’s raspy and powerful vocals soar immediately. His voice paired with the nostalgic guitar riffs accompanying him are transformative. If you were to be walking down an empty country road at sunset with your broken heart in your hand, this song would be playing in the background. Despite the wrenching lyrics, the song is so beautifully arranged it made me peek into my soul and ask myself what’s in there.
Bad Blood by NAO
Another R&B song, Bad Blood feels like a spacey, electric time trip. NAO’s voice is adorned by a beautiful acidity that is unlike anything I’ve heard before. As soon as she introduces her incredible vocal range, the base drops into a slow rhythmic swing that is simply irresistible. Her style is a mix of electricity and soul, and everyone should give this song a listen.
Gimme All Your Love by Alabama Shakes
This bold and bluesy track is perfectly created by the lead singer’s smokey vocals. I’m a big fan of blues rock, and this song is the perfect combination of the two. A couple of powerful lines are always followed by the booming chorus, which captivates every listener. This song is perfect for any downtime, late night, or stormy day playlist.
No Hook by OJ da Juiceman
This song was introduced to on the first episode of Donald’s Glover’s standout new comedy, Atlanta. Its hard hitting beat and lyrics are certain to get any party going, as well as make you run ten times faster on the treadmill. Though I don’t normally listen to this artist, No Hook always gets my heart thumping and ready to go.
Friends by Francis and the Lights ft. Kanye West and Bon Iver
I’ve just recently discovered Francis and the Lights after they were featured on the introduction of Chance the Rapper’s song Summer Friends. Francis has a sound that is uniquely electronic, hip hop, pop, and R&B at the same time. It could be adored by music lovers of all genres, and Francis’ voice is simply irresistible. Kanye and Bon Iver being featured on a song with a newer artist is iconic, and shouldn't be taken for granted
Down By the Water by The Drums
This song will always be an oldie but goodie. It’s soft and romantic call is matched perfectly with the super slow drum, tambourine, and tuba to bring it together. The chorus is that of every high school girl’s romantic dreams and brings back all of one's innocent memories. This song is perfect for late nights under the stars, sunrises, and sunsets with the one you love.
Baby Blue by King Krule
I’ll admit, King Krule’s voice took me completely off guard. His husky baritone manages to make an incredibly sweet lullaby. The mellow bareness of this song is like a walk through the entrance of purgatory- transient and calm. His abstract, nostalgic lyrics are meditative and echo back into the deepest layers of the song. This track is certainly for slow, contemplative spaces and open minds.
Juke Jam by Chance the Rapper ft. Towkio and Justin Bieber
Everyone remembers their elementary and middle school weekends at the skating rink, having your eyes on their first or second crush as they roll around the rink. Towkio provides simple and golden chorus in between verses. Even Justin Bieber makes an appearance, demonstrating his mature R&B vocal talent. This song always takes me back to my middle school memories, and proves a perfect vibe for a chill night or kick back.
Ultralight Beam by Kanye West
The first time I heard this track, it took my breath away. The slow intro is interrupted by a flawless gospel chorus and verse. This intersection of hip hop and gospel goes right into the heart of every black household. Chance the Rapper’s iconic verse on this song contains some of my favorite hip-hop lyrics of all time. This song is bold and dynamic, and takes rap and gospel and puts them together to compliment one another.
Hopefully everyone take some time out to check out these songs, whether you've heard of them or not. They are all uniquely genius and there is a song here you're bound to fall in love with just like I did. I'm never afraid to try new music, and these are all good options to match anyone's fall mood.