Discover: Jon’s Playlist, October 3-10

By Jon Fuchs, Reviews Editor

I used to hate Spotify. The constant backlash of it from my favorite artists and its limited selection of underground, DIY artists always turned me off from using the service, so the first time I ever did one of these was torturous, with Spotify recommending me one awful acoustic coffee shop track after another. I told myself I would never use it again.

Then my hard drive crashed from having too much music on it.

Now I am an avid Spotify user, using it to get into all sorts of bands and listening to every new record that comes out because I now finally have the access to it. Since I now use it daily, I was confident that my Discover Weekly playlist was going to give me plenty of great tunes, and boy was I right.

1. Alex Cameron – “The Comeback”

This track starts off strong, with calming synths that sounds straight out of a 90s computer game and a melody that sounds like a beachy LCD Soundsystem song. It’s not exactly my cup of tea, but it’s very fun and theatrical, and I’d definitely recommend it to others.

2. Half Waif – “Turn Me Around”

I knew about Half Waif’s work in the past, but never gave it a good chance in the past, so I was excited to listen this song. I thought it was great, with its pleasant, spot-on vocal harmonies and its delicate yet in-your-face beat. Half Waif is someone I’m definitely checking out in the future.

3. Gents – “Bonny”

Gents is a duo from Denmark, which makes a lot of sense from the very beginning of the track because the singer’s accent is really thick. It reminded me a lot of the newest Porches album with the track’s synthetic drumbeats and the very thick synths, with a slick bass line and a familiar vocal delivery following it. The chorus isn’t my favorite thing in the world, since the mixing at that part isn’t the best, but it’s still really fun.

4. Iglooghost – “Gold Coat (feat. Cuushe)”

I remember this track ending up on the last Discover the Lobster, with Cailynn calling it repetitive and dubstep-like, which wasn’t her thing. For me, this is exactly what I needed, as it was the best track on this entire playlist. I absolutely loved the insane atmosphere of the track, it brought me into another world and the sampling and production were genius. I’ve been a fan of Iglooghost’s work in the past, so really there’s no surprise that I loved it as much as I did.

5. Raury – “NEVERALONE”

I’ve given Raury a lot of chances in the past and each time he’s done nothing for me. I think he’s talented, but I’d just rather listen to someone else. “NEVERALONE” is a good example of this, as it sounded pretty good as a track but still felt really bland and easily forgettable.

6. Swan Lingo – “Luv is Tru”

The guitar that introduces this song sound a lot like the twang Mac DeMarco is known for. It suddenly meets the vocals, which are hard to hear but sound really good with the guitar and make for a really nice pair. It’s very calming and makes for a pleasant track.

7. Ana Wise – “Decrease My Waist, Increase My Wage”

I knew about Anna Wise because of her several fantastic contributions on Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly, so I was looking forward to hearing this track. It’s very catchy and poppy, but lacks a certain punch that I heard in her TPAB features. Nevertheless, she’s still someone I’ll check out in the future.

8. Tidus – “Blame Me”

I really, really dug this track. This guy’s voice sounds like a cross between The Weeknd and Pinky from Pinky and the Brain, and, for some strange reason, I’m really into it. The instrumentals are super spacey and the lyrics about his life are really interesting.

9. Mannequin Pussy – “Romantic”

This song starts off with loud, slamming guitars, feeling like a Nothing track. Then suddenly, everything quiets down and introduces the singer with a really pleasant melody, then goes back into insanity with plenty of screaming and loudness for everyone. It’s really beautiful. Listen to this when you’re really angry, it’ll take it all out for you.

10. Machinedrum – “Do It 4 U”

You can only really describe this song in one word: “Banger.” It begins like your average rave-EDM track, with the typical epic synth intro and drum buildup, but surprises you with a drop reminiscent of a cross between TNGHT and anyone on PC Music.

Discover: Carter’s Playlist, Feb 1-7

By Carter Hickman, Contributor

According to Spotify’s Year in Music feature, I listened to 5,273 different songs via Spotify for 59,000 minutes in 2015, and 3,623 different tracks for 41,000 minutes in 2014, which together corresponds to 8,896 different songs in 1,650 hours, or 69 days.

I even have time logged in Spotify dating back to 2012 (check out my Freshman: spring-summer 2012 playlist. It’s not as embarrassing as I expected). From these stats, I can conclude that Spotify knows me very well, so I’d be pretty surprised/disappointed if my Discover Weekly playlists didn’t kick ass every week.

This week in particular stood out. From the first song (Jimi Hendrix’s “May This Be Love”) to the last (Ages and Ages’ “Light Goes Out”), each song caught my attention and reminded me of genres I’ve been listening to a lot lately, but always slightly different.

For instance, I’ve been playing a lot of fun, upbeat indie pop like Oberhofer, Little Comets, and Hippo Campus lately, and so the third song on my playlist was “Tropicoller Lease” by Sun Club. This song is carried by fun, dancy riffs similar to the bands previously noted, but the vocals are what really separates this band from other indie poppers. The vocals in this song are very unique, dramatic, distant and all over the place. I recommend it to everyone, regardless of taste.

Another favorite of mine from this week’s playlist is Diet Cig’s “Harvard”, which I’m pretty sure was derived from my recent Sports, Hinds, and Adult Mom obsessions. Diet Cig’s “Harvard” meshes punk rock (including the lyrics, such as “Fuck your ivy league sweater”) and garage pop, which is characterized by Alex Luciano’s sweet, melodic voice. From this song, I started checking out Diet Cig more in depth, and with every passing song I liked them more and more.

These songs are great, but my favorite song on this playlist goes to another feel-good, upbeat, indie pop tune, “Tickle” by Eyes Lips Eyes. The main riff that carries the intro and chorus is unbelievably catchy, so catchy that it’s been stuck in my head since I heard it for the first time. The lyrics are simple and sweet, and the guitar tone is as well. Overall, this track is just a great feel-good song that can be enjoyed by anyone.

Other notable appearances on the playlist goes to “Now, Now” by St. Vincent, “Making Breakfast” by Twin Peaks, and “The Summer Ends” by American Football.

There were some disappointments in this playlist though. Azizi Gibson’s “Crown Violet” is a terribly basic, uninteresting rap song containing shallow lyrics (I think I’ve been listening to too much A$AP Ferg).

In the opposite end of the genre spectrum, “Cinco De Mayo Shit Show” by Marietta is a showcase of overdone emo; whiny, overly dramatic, and uninventive. These two songs are the only two I would not listen to again.

Spotify has created an incredible recipe for weekly goodness, and for that I applaud them. I even found my favorite band, The Districts, from Discover Weekly. Music streaming sites have come and gone quite frequently within the last decade, but I think that Spotify is different, and is here to stay for quite a long time.

In addition to pleasing their customers, Discover Weekly is helping small artists out a lot. Not just music nerds know about bands with less than 100,000 streams on Spotify anymore.

The general majority can appreciate small bands, which is great support for the DIY scene, and now it’s easier than ever before to maintain a career as a musician, whether it’s local or global. Music streaming has its downs, but it also has its ups.