Local Coffeeshop Soundtrack: Sir Walter Coffee

I’ve recently started making playlists inspired by all the coffee shops I go to in Raleigh, NC. This one is dedicated to Sir Walter Coffee. Sir Walter Coffee is a coffee shop located in Downtown Raleigh that serves coffee, tea and cocktails offered with or without alcohol. I’m used to going there mostly in the late afternoon and at night. Before one of my friends asked me to hang out there and do homework one night, I had never heard of a coffee shop that closes at 12 a.m. It only applies to Fridays and Saturdays, but still. I usually go there with a friend on Friday nights to catch up on everything we’ve been up to during the week, and the oat latte we order at 5 p.m. turns into a glass of wine around 8:30 p.m.

The music that plays at Sir Walter Coffee is often…random. Not in a bad way, but in a way that makes you ask, “Wait, they’re playing rock ‘n roll now?” after they’ve played Soundcloud electronica music for an hour. It’s at best funny, at worst a little confusing, but if I genuinely didn’t like the music that plays there, I wouldn’t be making this playlist. I’ve decided to compile my own version of their late-night playlist, featuring neo-soul, chill electronica and French indietronica. Here are five songs that illustrate their electronic playlist (when they decide they’re in the mood for this genre) most accurately. You can listen to the full Sir Walter Coffee playlist I made here.

Fatal Fantasies” by Gold Fir

The mysterious duo from London released their EP “Prelude” in 2019 and “Fatal Fantasies” is the first song on it. Its afrobeats percussions and dark neo-soul vibes make the erotic lyrics come to life flawlessly. This song has me completely hooked and I’ve been listening to it on repeat, to the point where I think it’s going to make it to my Spotify 2021 Wrapped. I just know it.

PATTERNS” by NASAYA Feat. Sara Diamond

NASAYA is a young French producer from the Reunion Island and he takes inspiration from a vast spectrum of genres. “PATTERNS” is a rhythmic yet heartbreaking electronic collaboration with vocalist Sara Diamond. I still can’t tell if this song is more on the sad side or the chill side of things, but it reflects perfectly the kind of electronic music that plays in the late afternoon/early evening at Sir Walter. The drop is slow enough to fit the mood of the song, but dynamic enough to release perfectly all the tension built up in the first minute of the song.

quand j’entends les gens” by Mélodie Lauret

I discovered Mélodie Lauret a while back at a live session of one of my favorite French podcasts, “À Bientôt de te Revoir” (a French neologism made up by the host’s grandma which means “see you soon”). Mélodie played this song live with just her synthesizer and her computer, and she was so good that I looked her up on Spotify the very same night. I would describe her style as typical French indietronica: addictive beat, mellow voice and obscure yet poetic lyrics. All you’d ever want to hear when you’re drinking wine at a coffee shop at 8 p.m.

“One Evening” by Blank & Jones Feat. Zoe Durrant

Another electronic beat, another collaboration with a female singer, another song with romantic lyrics. I know, not really surprising. The difference between Blank & Jones and the rest of the artists mentioned above is that 1) they’re German producers 2) their style is more Ambient and Lounge. Every single one of their songs has a powerful relaxing effect. This song in particular is about the first encounter between the narrator and a stranger one night, and I love the mysterious story hidden in the lyrics.

Toi Et Moi” by Paradis

Paradis is a French music duo consisting of Simon Mény and Pierre Rousseau. Their album “Recto Verso” was released in 2016, but its sounds and lyrics are so cohesive with the current French indietronica scene that I can’t help but think that they’re literal visionaries. You guessed it, the lyrics are poetic, the melodic beat is on point and the overall vibe is sensual and romantic. As it should be.