This genre is dear to my heart. Perfect for the upbeat summer we’re having lololol. But seriously do feel this adds a much needed level of brightness to these sunny daze. Who can resist The Cars, Big Star, The Feelies, Teenage Fanclub, The Lemonheads? Am I driving a Plymouth with the top down right now? Is my Jean jacket magic?
WHO AM I.
I learned a good number of the earlier bands through the soundtracks of my favorite childhood movies…
I’ll never forget seeing Letters to Cleo emerge from the crowd to sing directly to Cat in 10 Things I Hate About You and that solidifying in me the fact that music is the most personal special connective thing! And plus, they fuckin’ ripped. Outfits, hair, mood.
And thanks to that, I traveled down the rabbit hole to find That Dog…etc and during this playlist I came across even MORE bops I hadn’t met yet. Ain’t life grand.
Our latest Mood mix is here to get us all through the coming week(s)!!!
Mope//Hope is “A playlist for those oscillating #quarantine emotions, with an electro-pop twist.” says curator Jen (@designjenquinn). And it’s definitely encouraged me to set some light goals starting this week to take more deep breaths, stretch, and take at least two quick walks outside. Find us on Instagram @indiedigs and let us know how you’re doing?
On what would have been Record Store Day, 4/18 I posted a video in our Instagram stories featuring some favorite records from my home collection, particularly to spark joy! #mariekondo, And celebrate my top five record shops from all the places I’ve called home. ICYMI, here’s links to those record shops – all of which are open online! + Instagram post and the playlist. See you all on the rescheduled date, June 20th! 🙂
Never Say Never is my favorite album of childhood. It was on constant repeat in my CD player for the entirety of 1998 and 1999.
I remember summer of ’98 being at YMCA summer camp and instead of playing basketball with the other kids in the gym during lunch, I sat alone by the vending machines to eat my turkey sandwich in solitude and listen for probably the fifth time that day.
Brandy made me feel seen. I mean, we both wore braids and we’re both Aquarius! She just seemed like a good friend and I deeply required her insight to help manage “the feelings”. In fact, she inspired many the choreographed song & dance for both the stage and my bedroom mirror. Anyway, all your favorite icons are on the playlist too!
A true product of the 2000s emo / pop-punk scene, I grew up listening to stories about coming to terms in the wake of destruction. It seems as though our generation was built for this. Y2k, and then came everything, and here’s…now…
The evergreen lyrics of Thursday, MeWithoutYou, The Early November, Brand New…and nowadays Drug Church, Prawn, The World is a Beautiful Place…offer deep examination into our interpersonal relationships, wrestling with reality vs expectation, and the possibility of a greater force to be reckoned with. At this point, I need these bands to help remind me what this era can mean for the world, what we have to do to make things right, and how we can support each other through the warnings we have ingested through headphones for the last two decades. And ya know, I had to throw a few light bops on 🍬
This one was tough. It was hard to make. It’s 5 1/2 hours and covers songs from 1985 to today. And that’s because there is just so much. Soul has always melded and shaped to its time, and these days, it’s kinda difficult to delineate the two! – r&b and “neo-soul” that is. Which is cool too, evolution.
“Old school” is anything soulful that harkens back to another time, is smooth, and speaks of “grown folks business”. So, today, as an 80s baby, my old school is 90s R&B (SWV) and Neo-Soul – which is a modern, fluid take on classic soul and tends to lean on the introspection part more often than the romance part (Erykah Badu). Back in the 70s, you could compare the two sounds with, say, The O’jays “Cry Together” (more soul) & The Isley Brothers “Between The Sheets” (more r&b).
What I personally love about Neo-soul is the jazz, hit-hats, atmosphere, sway, time, space, caution. Solange does this so well on last year’s album When I Get Home. Maxwell does it perfectly on Urban Hang Suite, as does Amel Larrieux on Infinite Possibilities, and then of course holdin’ it down for eternity is Ms. J-I-L-L S-C-O-T-T.
While researching this playlist, I was thrilled to see a new release this year from Syleena Johnson, artist and co-host on the #blackgirlmagic that is Sister Circle Live. It’s a show I hold dear to my heart – they are doing amazing things with the platform! She speaks about the state of R&B and Neo-Soul often on air, and they make a constant effort to bring on beloved Neo-soul artists all delivering bona-fide contributions to the genre as it’s both growing new roots and being gentrified into alt – r&b. With all the new voices out here resourcing the classic elements, though, I’m confident we can keep it healthy and well fed, so we can all be fed. We need it! ☺️ Also did ya’ll peep the Roots Picnic line up this year? Sheesh.