The 14th February Playlist by Conrad

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BANKS – CHANGE

There’s something magnetic about the Brits that makes them so damn intriguing and regardless of her American upbringing BANKS is no different. Her alternative pop/R&B sound which feels like a combination of Aaliyah-like vocals, production and arrangement The Weeknd (circa House of Balloons) would be proud of and writing that could make Taylor Swift jealous, has solidified her as the new nocturnal queen. “Cut me to pieces while you watch me disintegrate, cause you like to tell me how you hate all the ways I’m not enough for you” with lyrics like that, change drags you into a tumultuous emotionally abusive relationship. With her incredibly haunting vocals, you just can’t help but feel chills and genuinely connect with the song. Probably one of my best songs off her GODDESS album (which by the way is an absolute gem), change despite its beauty is everything a relationship shouldn’t be, dark and haunting.

 

BRITNEY SPEARS – PIECE OF ME

urbanecoven Piece_of_MeTo be quite honest they’ve been countless times when flat out denied
that I listen to Britney Spears, and no, it’s not my fault. Girls who listen
to rap music are deemed cool but boys who listen to “bubblegum” pop are immediately tagged weird (double standards!!). Britney might not have soaring vocals or the most original lyrics, but you’ve got to hand it to her because beneath the low rise jeans and auto tuned sound lays a different side of the pop princess. Quick recap, 2007 was a tough year for Ms. Spears with the shaving, the umbrella and several visits to the hospital, but it all led to the 2008 album BLACKOUT. With the statement making lead single, she announced her return. Even though piece of me hits you in the face, it is actually Britney’s most vulnerable record behind 2003’s every time. What does this all mean? Well first things first, its Britney b*tch and secondly if Britney could survive ’07 then I can survive anything except that bear from the reverent.

 

 

JAMES BLAKE – RETROGRADE

It’s hard to believe James Blake has been around for a while now (earning a best new artist Grammy nomination in 2014), and I literally just discovered him. This goes on to prove that there’s an endless stream of good music out there and yes it might get drowned out by the mediocre record, this doesn’t dispel the fact that it’s out there. If his album OVERGROWN was Destiny’s Child, then retrograde would be its Beyoncé. “Ignore everybody else we’re alone now…” James’ coos with his dreamy vocals asking his lover to focus on them, “suddenly I’m hit!” announcing his fall for the aforementioned lover (I’ve never said lover this many times in a sentence, it feels weird). Unlike other cliché love songs, there’s a certain depth that comes with retrograde. James has got vocals for days!! And his masterful use of synth which doesn’t consume the song and kickass musical arrangement makes retrograde one of the best relatively unknown songs out there.

 


THE BIRD AND THE BEE – LOS ANGELES

I know what you’re thinking, what an awkward name for a group right? Comprising of vocalist Inara George and producer/songwriter Greg Kurstin (who has worked with Katy and Sia), this LA based group has been cutting records since 2006. Los Angeles off their 2015 album RECREATIONAL LOVE is a campy glam 80’s pop number which has a way of making you hate the fact that youre not from/in the city of angels. Reminiscent of Katy Perry’s California a girl with a mellowed 80’s vibe, Los Angeles is a delightful fun song that pays homage to the home of the Kardashians (aren’t they the most famous folks there?). “Los Angeles Los Angeles don’t let them change you cause they don’t know you like I do” Inara sings about the city in which she was born and raised in such a protective and loving way you can’t help but be envious of the romance they share. Singing about the love for a place could easily come off as corny and bland but with Kurstin’s production and Inara’s confident vocals, Los Angeles comes off as anything but bland or corny. Now excuse me while I go wave my hands in the air like I just don’t care and think of a land with constant fun in the sun, barely there outfits and hot bods.

 

YOUNG THE GIANT – COUGH SYRUP

Opening with the depressing yet intriguing line “Life’s too short to even care at all oh/ I’m losing my mind losing my mind losing control” it’s hard not to be drawn into the twisted minds of California based group Young the Giant fronted by lead vocalist Sameer Gadhia. Most times rock music could get a little bit, for lack of a better phrase, too loud. It’s always a thing of relief to listen to rock music and actually connect with its lyrics as opposed to just chanting them mindlessly. Cough syrup is one of those songs that “happens” to you, where you get to the end and either take it back or stop and think wtf just happened? “I’m waiting for this cough syrup to come down” Sameer sings about depression, quick fixes and finally numbness. Emotions are heightened on this record and considering the fact it was used during a suicide attempt episode on Glee, it addresses scary but relatable feelings. For those who have at one point or the other felt lost, suicidal or emotionally numb, well this is an anthem showing that we are most definitely not alone in our thoughts.

 

Playlist Curated by Conrad Omodiagbe

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