Music, Musings

Author: kozj_6ta8tp

March 2020 — “gnc”

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A mix for some inside listening. A lot of the songs here come from Martha, Motive, and Passport Radio on NTS this month. The cover features Bosch’s “Un ángel conduce a un alma por las regiones infernales” (you can see it in full here).


1) “Like I Loved You” — Caribou — Suddenly
2) “Yeehaw” — Dinamarca — Fantasilandia
3) “Zorra” — Bad Gyal — Zorra
4) “The Real” — God Colony, FLOHIO — The Real
5) “Comic Sans (feat. Jack Harlow)” — AUDREY NUNA — Comic Sans (feat. Jack Harlow)
6) “Anger” — Shaybo — Anger
7) “Fair Chance (feat. Ty Dolla $ign, Lil B)” — Thundercat — Fair Chance
9) “BX19” — M1llionz — BX19
10) “God’s Work (feat. iLL BLU)” — IAMDDB — God’s Work (feat. iLL BLU)
11) “La vita nuova (feat. Caroline Polachek)” — Christine and the Queens — La vita nuova
13) “That Way – Bonus Track” — Lil Uzi Vert — Eternal Atake
15) “The Difference (feat. Toro y Moi)” — The Difference
16) “Birdseye View” — Sam Wise — Sorry You Were Saying (SYWS)
17) “Gospel For A New Century” — Yves Tumor — Gospel For A New Century
18) “<3” — Bad Bunny — YHLQMDLG

February 2020 — “Both”

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1) “everything i wanted” — Billie Eilish — everything i wanted
2) “Summertime” — Vince Staples — Summertime ‘06
3) “No Idea” — Don Toliver — No Idea
4) “Both” — Headie One — Music x Road
5) “Gangway” — Lil Herb/G Herbo — Gangway
6) “Juro Que” — ROSALÍA — Juro Que
7) “Instant Destiny” — Tame Impala — The Slow Rush
8) “London” — Young Ess — Stay Down Till You Come Up
9) “Big Conspiracy (feat. iceè tgm)” — J Hus — Big Conspiracy
10) “Ignorantes” — Bad Bunny, Sech — Ignorantes
11) “W (feat. Gunna)” — Koffee — W (feat. Gunna)
12) “Try Me” — Tems — Try Me
13) “Really don’t like u (feat. Kylie Minogue)” — Tove Lo — Sunshine Kitty
14) “Say So” — Doja Cat — Hot Pink

January 2020 — “try again”

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A little late, but here we are. These are songs that came out in January 2020 or in (mostly late) 2019, inspired by listening to The Neon Skyline a bunch of times.


1) “Fire” — Waxahatchee — Fire
2) “Lost In Yesterday” — Tame Impala — Lost In Yesterday
3) “the view” — Oso Oso — basking in the glow
4) “Crime” — (Sandy) Alex G — House of Sugar
5) “Rosemary with a Bible and a Gun” — Drive-by Truckers — The Unraveling
6) “I Go Out at Night” — Ratboys — I Go Out at Night
7) “Home to You” — Cate le Bon — Reward
8) “It Just Doesn’t Happen” — Destroyer — Have We Met
9) “Try Again” — Andy Shauf — The Neon Skyline
10) “Margaritas at the Mall” — Purple Mountains — Purple Mountains
11) “You Did It Yourself” — Arhur Russell — Iowa Dream
12) “Forgotten Eyes” — Big Thief — Two Hands
13) “circle the drain” — Soccer Mommy — circle the drain

December 2019 — Decade(nds)

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After much time spent on the “best” of 2019, here is the last of 2019. I drew on end of year lists that looked at music with a different perspective than my own, like The Quietus and  FACT.

This mix is meant to be listened to while mixing cocktails before the first dawn of a new decade. If you’re a decade pedant, that means you can go ahead and cue this up for January 1st, 2021, but who are we kidding, you’ll be asleep.


1) “Requiem for CS70 and Strings” — Floating Points — Crush
2) “Confessions” — Sudan Archives — Athena
3) “13th Century Metal” — Brittany Howard — Jaime
4) “Teenage Birdsong” — Four Tet — Dreamer
5) “Venom” — Palmistry — Afterlife
6) “10%” — KAYTRANADA, Kali Uchis — BUBBA
7) “You and I” — Caribou — You and I
8) “February 2017 (feat. Clairo and Yeaji)” — Charli XCX — Charli
9) “A Mí Me Juzgan Por Ser Mujer” — Pelada — Movimiento Para Cambio
10) “Solita” — Kali Uchis — Solita
11) “Cig Angel” — Galcher Lustwerk — Information
12) “Walking Alone (SBTRKT cover) (feat. J Rick & Jessie Ware)” — Octavian — Endorphins
13) “What U Wanna Do?” — Erika de Casier — Essentials
14) “I Want You Around” — Snow Aalegra — – Ugh, those feels again
15) “Ecstatic Beat” — Octo Octa — Resonant Body
16) “Old Tape” — Burial — HyperSwim

Ten of 2019’s Best Albums

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Year-end lists are a particular thing trying to be universal. That’s where the pleasure, and frustration, lies: discovering you agree with strangers on the internet (and trying not to be smug about it), or being miffed that strangers on the internet are wrong. At best, scrolling down a list of the year’s best “____” is like thumbing through the pages of a well thought out CD binder, streaming playlist, record crate — pick your medium.

Still, choosing the “best” of anything poses a problem: it’s dumb. If a list is universally recognized as right, it’s boring. If a list is too individual and idiosyncratic, it shuts out the reader altogether. That tension powers a perpetual motion machine for barroom debate, a full employment bill for music critics.

This kind of argument is like a game: it works when everyone playing agrees on the rules. When these arguments turn sour, it often comes down to a list pitching itself as definitive and objective. We stumble into a hallway with a floor made out of papier-mâché, plenty of places to put your foot through. Does “best” mean “most important,” “most successful,” or “my favorite”? When a critic is making the judgement, there are new wrinkles: what should be declared “best” wars with what a writer imagines will be. This is why, when a publication puts out a list, I always find myself looking for lists made by individual contributors. In the publication-wide list you find consensus, the album that was “good enough” for enough people to be the “best” overall. But rarely is that choice what most held as their favorite. It is album of the year by ranked choice voting. It tells us something about the year’s music, but it’s bloodless. Instead, it’s in those individual lists where I find real gems that would otherwise pass me by.

In that spirit, I’ve produced a list that is the obvious product of one person. I’ll lay out my criteria: It is ten spots long; I had to actually listen to the album in question a lot, without this list in mind; and, I had to think the album was good enough that I’d try to get someone else to listen to it, all of it, more than once.

That leaves off plenty of great stuff. Ten isn’t that many albums. Lots of things I liked didn’t catch me at the right moment when they came out and I’m only now picking them back up again — both of Big Thief’s albums, Jaime by Brittany Howard, and Billie Eilish’s debut all fill that space. Others, I listened to a lot, but I’m not going to push them on anyone else (I won’t tell anyone they should listen to Tove Lo’s algo-robo-scando-pop unless they already want to do that; Polo G is great, but you need to want to hear someone sing-rap over a music box to get all the way there). Finally, there were things I loved this year that came out last year (Bad Bunny) or that weren’t full albums (Rosalía).

With all that said, here are ten of the best albums of the year:

10) GoldLink — Diaspora

This album reminds me of a what a thoughtful version of Drake’s More Life, one made by someone who wrote his own raps and cared about the sounds he was touring through, might sound like.

9) Burna Boy — African Giant

I’d hear a lot of these songs before the album came out, but they found an undeniably worthy vehicle here. It deserves a listen if only to stop halfway through and Google the colonial past of Unilever.

8) (Sandy) Alex G — House of Sugar

This is a tighter record than Alex G’s last, sometimes for the worse, but often for the better. I don’t know if there’s a better recommendation than Frank Ocean’s delighted response on an episode from blonded RADIO when he heard they were playing something from it.

7) Denzel Curry — ZUU

This album delivers all the good parts of listening to a bloated, 80-minute, skit-filled major label rap record from 2003, in under 30 minutes. It’s always going to be weird to listen to someone remember XXXTentacion fondly, but after seeing Denzel Curry on The Cave, I’m glad I gave this record a real chance.

6) Tyler, the Creator — IGOR

What would Kanye sound like if he were, well, a completely different person. But what if that person overcame juvenile bullshit to make interesting, thoughtful music? Maybe a Travis Scott with ideas?  This record is as good as Flower Boy, maybe better, which is high praise.


Happy to report that Twigs second album is exactly/nothing like what I was expecting.

4) Oso Oso — Basking in the Glow

This choice represents something about my music-listening past. It’s the kind of record I would have loved when I was thirteen but that makes me glad I’m thirty.

3) Nilüfer Yanya — Miss Universe

For the first four to five months of the year, this would have been my choice for #1. Maybe the overall conceptual arc doesn’t hang together, but it makes me very glad she’s already swinging this big.

2) Clairo — Immunity

This one is #2 because I can’t help but value pretense/ego/mess over tight, controlled excellence. Immunity is my personal favorite of the year, a wonderful gem of a record.

1) Lana Del Rey — Norman Fucking Rockwell!

Let’s get it out of the way: Lana Del Rey is not Joni Mitchell. She is somewhere in the lineage of Fiona Apple, which should be enough. This is decidedly not a perfect album, if there is such a thing, but it is a messy, intriguing document of an evolving musical persona as captivating as it is confusing. The title track is like listening to one of the voiceless women Father John Misty sings about (which, it turns out, is more interesting than listening to FJM himself). It’s a great album that works as an album, despite featuring both a nine-minute song that puns “beach” and “bitch” and a Sublime cover. It’s impressive. Lana Del Rey is not “America’s greatest songwriter,” but she is very good, and so is this album. Honestly, it might be better than Red. Who knows, I’m not a professional.

November 2019 pt. 2 — “Turkey Tunez”

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And…here’s part 2, which saw us through some solid turkey and better biscuits. These are, again, mostly songs released in the last few months. h/t to Naomi Zeichner’s show on NTS, which continues to be great. I’m still working on how to include the corrido stuff I’ve heard her play in a mix…

For now, here are these tuba-free tracks.


1) “Reticent” — M.T. Hadley — Reticent
2) “Disco Shit” — 03 Greedo, Kenny Beats — Netflix & Deal
3) “In My Room” — Frank Ocean — In My Room
4) “Frío” — Omar Apollo — Frío
5) “Simmer (feat. Burna Boy)” — Mahlia — Simmer (feat. Burna Boy)
6) “drip bounce_7_24_18” — Toro y Moi — Soul Trash
7) “Corny” — Rema — Rema
8) “D & G (feat. Summer Walker)” — DaVido — A Good Time
9) “Be Honest (feat. Ms. Banks) (Cadenza & AoD Remix)” — Jorja Smith — Be Honest (feat. Ms. Banks) (Cadenza & AoD Remix)
10) “Blessed (with Tyga)” — Shenseea — Blessed (with Tyga)
11) “It Might Be Time” — Tame Impala — It Might Be Time
12) “Wet” — Bibi Bourelly — Wet
13) “A Palé — ROSALÍA — A Palé
14) “Gretel” — Alex G — House of Sugar
15) “John Redcorn” — SiR — Chasing Summer
16) “Come Thru (with Usher)” — Summer Walker — Over It

November 2019 pt. 1 — “Circa ’19 Raps”

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Part one of two, other to come later. This one is (almost) 19 rap songs from 2019.


1) “Chandelier (feat. Curren$y)” — Shoreline Mafia — Party Pack. Vol 2
2) “Song 32” — Noname — Song 32
3) “Must Be” — J Hus — Must Be
4) “Maria” — 03 Greedo, Kenny Beats — Netflix & Deal
5) “Vossi Bop” — Stormzy — Vossi Bop
6) “Hot Girl Summer (feat. Nicki Minaj & Ty Dolla $ign)” — Megan Thee Stallion — Hot Girl Summer…
7) “INTRO” — DaBaby — KIRK
8) “Bad Bad Bad (feat. Lil Baby)” — Young Thug — So Much Fun
9) “SPEEDBOAT” — Denzel Curry — ZUU
10) “Whoopi” — Rapsody — Eve
11) “I THINK” — Tyler, The Creator — IGOR
12) “Speed It Up” — Gunna — Drip or Drown 2
13) “So What? – Episode 01” — Vince Staples — So What (Episode 01)
14) “Crime Pays” — Freddie Gibbs, Madlib — Bandana
15) “Cokewhite (feat. Pusha T)” — GoldLink — Diaspora
16) “Proud Of U (feat. Young Thug)” — EARTHGANG — Mirrorland
17) “DHL” — Frank Ocean — DHL
18) “EL TORO COMBO MEAL (feat. Mavi)” — Earl Sweatshirt — FEET OF CLAY

October 2019 — “Samples, etc.”

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Many of these songs are sampled somewhere else, others I just enjoyed on their own but couldn’t find a place for them previously. Hope you enjoy this decidedly not-spooky (though jazzier than usual) mix.


1) “All Alone” — Mal Waldron — All Alone
2) “Off Minor – Bonus Track” — Thelonious Monk — Monk’s Music
3) “A Tu Vera” — Lola Flores — La Inimitable
4) “I Miss You” — Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes — I Miss You
5) “The Sun Ain’t Gonna to Shine Anymore” — The Walker Brothers — Portrait
6) “Stubborn Kind of Fellow” — Marvin Gaye — That Stubborn Kind Of Fellow
7) “Spontaneous (feat. Little Dragon)” — Flying Lotus — Flamagra
8) “Lifetime” — Yves Tumor — Safe In The Hands of Love
9) “SugarHouse – Live” — (Sandy) Alex G — House of Sugar
10) “Catavento” — Milton Nascimento — Travessia
11) “Free Soul” — John Klemmer — Blowin’ Gold
12) “Street Fighter Mas” — Kamasi Washington — Heaven and Earth
13) “Brother’s Keeper (feat. Pusha T)” — Anderson .Paak — Oxnard
14) “Straight Shot (feat. Cavalier, Bilal Salaam, Eldar Djangoirov & James Acaster)” — Quelle Chris — Guns

September 2019 — “vibe(zzz)”

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September 2019 vibe(zzz) cover

It’s Spring, though that’s not always obvious. Here is a mix that should work if you’re alone on a beach after Labor Day, or on a roof in the afternoon. Some inspiration from the NTS shows I listen to most months (especially Naomi Zeichner’s show, that’s the source for “Swaggu” below).


1) “Dark & Handsome (feat. Toro y Moi)” — Blood Orange — Angel’s Pulse
2) “holy terrain (feat. Future)” — FKA twigs — holy terrain
3) “Phone Numbers” — Dominic Fike, Kenny Beats — Phone Numbers
4) “Yo x Ti, Tu x Mi” — ROSALÍA, Ozuna — Yo x Ti, Tu x Mi
5) “Mistaken” — Tove Lo — Sunshine Kitty
6) “Better Days” — Odunsi (The Engine) — Better Days / Wetin Day
8) “Be Honest (feat. Burna Boy)” — Jorja Smith — Be Honest (feat. Burna Boy)
9) “Anybody” — Burna Boy — African Giant
10) “Jealous” — Fireboy DML — Jealous
11) “Swaggu” — Yusufkanbai — Swaggu
12) “Bad Behaviour” — Mabel — High Expectations
13) “Gone” — Charli XCX, Christine and the Queens — Charli
14) “Stay High” — Brittany Howard — Jaime
15) “Free The Frail (feat. Helena Deland)” — JPEGMAFIA — All My Heroes Are Cornballs

August 2019 — “(1999) and Everything After”

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1) “Everything Hits At Once” — Spoon — Girls Can Tell
2) “Naeem” — Bon Iver — i,i
3) “Drunk II” — Mannequin Pussy — Patience
4) “basking in the glow” — Oso Oso — basking in the glow
5) “Stay Useless” — Cloud Nothings — Attack on Memory
6) “This Life” — Vampire Weekend — Father of the Bride
7) “Valleys (My Love)” — Whitney — Forever Turned Around
8) “A 1000 Times” — Hamilton Leithauser & Rostam — I Had a Dream That You Were Mine
9) “Borderline” — Tame Impala — Borderline – Single
10) “Summer Girl” — HAIM — Summer Girl – Single
11) “Someday” — The Strokes — Is This It?
12) “Sofia” — Clairo — Immunity
13) “The greatest” — Lana Del Rey — Norman Fucking Rockwell