KICKING OFF THE SECOND WEEK OF MEG’S MUSIC RECS, I’D LIKE TO INTRODUCE YOU TO AN ECLECTIC (YET GENERALLY QUITE CHILLED) RANGE OF MUSIC I’VE BEEN FINDING PARTICULARLY *RIGHT* THIS WEEK. SOME IS A LITTLE PESSIMISTIC, OR AT LEAST RUMINATIVE IN TONE; SOME IS BEAUTIFULLY UPBEAT, ENOUGH TO CREATE THAT SENSE OF SIMPLE, PERFECT CONTENTMENT That has only ever been achieved by cats basking in the sun.
Noname is fast becoming one of my favourite new rappers, not least due to her collaborations with two incredibly talented rappers (Chance the Rapper and Mick Jenkins) but because of her gorgeously eloquent lyrics, coupled with her soft, almost unsettlingly gentle voice.
Listening to Noname is like having a small, unassuming epiphany. She creeps into your ears with a dreamy mess of light piano and (bizarrely) doo-wop vocalisation in Sunny Duets (feat. The Mind), in what can only be described as the sonic equivalent of drizzling syrup over pancakes in the quiet of an early morning. Noname is an expert in creating a sense of slow, suspended bliss for her listeners to lie back and float in, an atmosphere that pervades a large portion of her debut mixtape Telefone. I highly recommend listening to this EP, along with any collaborations featuring Noname and indeed anything featuring the collective of fellow chicagoan artists that have worked with Noname- she appears to have a sixth sense for sniffing out undiscovered or unrecognised talent, as is expertly demonstrated within Telefone.
NEXT UP: D.R.A.M- CASH MACHINE
This song (and apparently D.R.A.M himself) is entirely composed of pure, liquid euphoria. Simply put, despite it’s horrifically capitalist message, this song makes me incredibly happy. The lively piano makes this song, alongside at times hilariously comical and unapologetically honest lyrics (see: ‘how i feel about you is… luuukewarm’).
for more D.R.A.M, check out his latest album release– I also recommend his feature on Chance the Rapper’s Colouring book (D.R.A.M. Sings Special), or his 2015 EP Gahdamn! for a slightly more serious tone, if anything D.R.A.M does can ever really be considered serious.
NEXT UP: BAHAMAS- ALL THE TIME
Once again, Bahamas provide a near perfect blend of plinking acoustic guitar, a slow and lazy drum beat and wailing electric guitar notes, overlayed by the meandering vocals of Afie Jurvanen. This song oozes relaxation from every note- it doesn’t just ask you to come back to bed, it begs you to snuggle down and spend the entire weekend (or maybe the rest of the foreseeable future?) living within a blanket nest of contentment and languidity.
for more Bahamas, check out his 2014 release Bahamas is Afie.
NEXT UP: VULFPECK- BACK POCKET
Back Pocket has a fantastically innocent ambience to it, somewhat influenced by its childlike lyricism and soft tonal vocals- More so however, I would say this childlike atmosphere is created by the generally experimental and adventurously “bouncy” nature of the song, created by the flow of jazzy notes, percussive sprinklings and the light and cheerful melody. This song is incredibly evocative of the simple happy pleasure experienced by young children, with no rhyme, or reason, or rules- And I rather like it.
next up: benjamin francis leftwich- atlas hands
I must have listened to this song at least 4 times a day for the past week.There’s something so captivating about the intertwining of Leftwich’s deeply wistful lyricism and his melodic acoustic guitar; There’s
something piercingly and painfully nostalgic within Leftwich’s lyrics throughout the song. Of course this is in some way a personal response, but in my eyes Atlas Hands holds one of the defining traits of brilliant song writing; it creates happiness and sadness in equal measures.
for more Benjamin Francis Leftwich, check out his 2016 release After the Rain.
next up: José González- cycling trivialities
Finally we end on yet another melodic (and somewhat depressive) folk-esque self reflection; in this case, it’s the work of the ever astounding José González, who continues to produce heartfelt works of acoustic wonder capable of shearing the human soul in two. That may be a little hyperbolic, but the sentiment is true; González outlines the “cycling trivialities” (or ridiculously unnecessary trials and tribulations) of modern day life with a heavy dose of pessimistic futility, yet sheltered within the pure simplicity of his acoustic backing as they are, the listener is left at loss- Is this saddening? Or beautiful? Or both?
(for more José González, check out his latest album, Vestiges and Claws.)
THAT’S IT FOR THIS WEEK! i hope you picked up some more artists, and perhaps you’ll turn up next week for another dose. IF YOU’D LIKE A MORE EXPANSIVE SELECTION OF RECOMMENDATIONS, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CHECK OUT MY SPOTIFY PLAYLISTS.