It’s Valentine’s Day! I feel so full of love every time I think about the people who listen to my show every week, so I decided to make a V-Day playlist just for y’all! Filled with classics, newbies and lots of romantic goodness, it’s all the lovey-dovey songs that I’m obsessed with. The full playlist is about almost two hours long, but here are of few of my choice favorites:
1. I Love You So – The Chantels
The Chantels are most known for their hit single, “Maybe,” but “I Love You So” has to be the most romantic song they’ve released. It just makes ya feel good.
2. Sweet Thang – Shuggie Otis
I’ve been super into Shuggie Otis recently. His work on the steel guitar is impeccable and I love how he mixes funk and the blues. “Sweet Thang” is a great ballad perfect to listen to any day of the week, but especially on Valentine’s.
3. I THINK – Tyler, the Creator
“IGOR” has to be one of the most prolific albums released over the past couple years. I love the way Tyler has softened and really refined his work. “I THINK” shows off the hopeless romantic he really is.
4. Still Together – Mac DeMarco
I remember listening to this song over and over again in 9th grade when I first heard it. Five years later, and it’s still one of my favorites.
5. Nancy (With The Laughing Face) – Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra is one of the original masters of the romantic ballad, but this song really makes me misty-eyed. Written about his wife, it’s so beautiful and heartfelt.
6. Prototype – Outkast
The lyrics say it all: “I hope that you’re the one/ If not, you are the prototype/ We’ll tiptoe to the sun/ And do thangs I know you like.”
7. Hey, Hey, What Can I Do – Led Zeppelin
“Hey, Hey, What Can I Do” was originally released on the B-side of the “Immigrant Song” single in 1970. It’s a soft, acoustic track, displaying a side that the iconic heavy rock band rarely showed.
8. Girl – The Internet (feat. KAYTRANDA)
Syd’s vocals on this song are fantastic, especially since they’re mixed with the rest of The Internet’s funky instrumental talent.
9. Not Fade Away / Goin’ down the Road Feeling Bad – The Grateful Dead
Is your love bigger than a Cadillac? As per usual, the Dead show their mastery of feel-good, eclectic rock in this live version of “Not Fade Away.”
10. Paris, Tokyo – Lupe Fiasco
Last but not least, “Paris, Tokyo” is a sweet song about love that crosses borders and travels around the world. It’ll always be one of my favorites!
Make sure to check out the full playlist below for more tender jams!
Did someone say they wanted some fresh-pressed juice? I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Nashville-based rock group, Fresh Squeeze, whose mission is to give rock a “breath of fresh air.” Made up of Leo Faillace (bass), Max Marotta (drums), and Victor Arruda (guitar), the trio and I sat down to talk about musical inspirations, upcoming albums, and record collections!
How did Fresh Squeeze get started?
Victor: It started out in college when we all went to App State. I was in music doing the recording program. Max came in and started doing the marketing program, and then Leo was always hanging around the studio. It’s funny because everybody would be like “Dude, there’s this guy that looks just like you.”
Leo: We were both like, “Who the f*** is this guy?” And then, sure enough, I finally met him. And we’re both Brazilian too.
Victor: So, we met in college and became friends. We started jamming and playing a couple shows here and there. Eventually it just evolved into the band when we started writing music.
Leo: Technically, they had another group. I was just friends with them for a couple of years because they had a group called The Daze.
Max: I’ve known Victor for a while. We were friends with Leo when we were with The Daze because our bands would play shows together. I remember I didn’t like him at first and I thought, “This guy’s an a**hole.” But one time we played a show together at Deep South when it was still open and it was really cool. Then Leo started coming around the house when we first moved to Boone and we just became really good friends, watched anime together, and, you know, played lots of music. It wasn’t until The Daze fell apart and Leo stuck around until we said, “F*** it. Let’s just make a band.” We officially started at the beginning of 2020 and it’s really grown in just a year. We were actually called “Tres Leches” at first and we would play little frat parties. We kept saying to ourselves, “This is hitting hard. Like we could definitely do something.”
How did you guys get into music? Where does that passion come from?
Max: I was in the car coming home from hockey practice in seventh or eighth grade and I heard Cream’s “White Room” and it was like a lightning bolt hit me. And I was like “Yeah, this is what I want to do.” I wasn’t really very specific on what I wanted to do, but I had a guitar at home so I just started playing and taking lessons at this place called the Clayton Music Academy. That’s where I met Victor. From there we just started playing a lot and we would jam, but there was never a drummer, so I said, “I’ll play drums.” Ten years later, we’ve toured and had lots of practice and here we are.
Victor: My story is a little weird. I started young playing piano. I was in band playing clarinet. I was just like, “What is music? What do I like? I don’t even know. 50 Cent? Heck yeah.” It wasn’t until I was in middle school I got into Green Day and I was like, “Wow, there’s this instrument called the guitar and it makes you look really cool.” Much better than clarinet, you know? I got a guitar for my birthday and I started listening to Red Hot Chili Peppers. And then I was just like “Wow, this is real guitar now.” And then, you know, from there it spiraled into Led Zeppelin, and I started going back to all the good s*** and just obsessing over guitar. I’m constantly learning Van Halen, Slash, Led Zeppelin, all that stuff. Then I was like, “I hate everything but guitar now and that’s all I want do with my life.”
Leo: For me, it was playing violin in fourth grade. It was purely out of the fact that my parents told me I had to learn an instrument, and I didn’t like it that much. I would try to learn these folk songs, but I couldn’t get sheet music because I didn’t have money because, I was like, in fourth grade. One day my dad got my mom The Beatles “Love” CD and I took it into my room and just started listening to it constantly. I would just be singing and my sister would be there too. We would try to figure out the harmony. We didn’t even know what harmonies were. We were just like, “I’m just gonna sing this high part and you’re gonna sing the low part.” Then that developed into me saying, “I just need to get a guitar now.” So, I got a classical guitar and I learned all the Beatles songs on that.
Who do you find yourselves listening to the most? What kind of artists inspire you?
All: Jimi Hendrix!
Max: Jimi Hendrix. Huge one. You know, Zeppelin, the major guys from like the late ‘60s early ‘70s. But lately I’ve been really into the hip-hop broken beat stuff like Knowledge, J Dilla, lots of Thundercat too. Really just a lot of the modern, jazz-funk stuff.
Victor: We listen to a lot of Hendrix and we collect a lot of vinyl. Our music tastes are scattered from Miles Davis jazz to Mahavishnu. We just search for new sounds, new albums that we like. We’re not really molded to one style. You know? It’s all over the place and we love everything. Even Mozart.
Favorites from your vinyl collection?
What’s your music-making process like?
Max: It’s very equal. Usually, one of us will have an idea and then we all do our thing with it. It’s always different because sometimes we might be jamming all together and play something that’s sick. Other times, Leo and Victor will have an idea together and I’ll come in and tweak some of the arrangements and stuff.
Victor: We like to put songs together right there on the spot. Even if it’s like Leo’s idea or Max’s idea, we want it to be all of us coming together and making something cool. We can all make music on our own, but it’s like, it’s whatever you know. But this really put everyone’s brains together and we come out with something really creative.
Leo: The thing that’s special about how we write is that we never decide we’re gonna write something. It just happens, it’s never planned. It’s spontaneous. It’s comes out of whatever’s in our head at the time. We’re not thinking about it, we’re just doing it.
Victor: Now, sometimes we’ll be straight up jammin’. Those are the best ones when we just start playing and then we’ll hear an idea. One of us will grab an iPhone and turn on voice memos to record it. Voice memos saves our a*****. It really lets us go back and be like, “Oh that sounds cool, let’s go with that.”
Max: There’s a lot of methods, but it’s usually jamming, you know, improvising together. We’ll formulate an idea and grow it like a plant. It’s very harmonious process. It’s really fun. I mean, we just wrote one yesterday and it’s the most complex song we ever written. We’re lucky that it’s really easy. This has been the easiest group to write with that I’ve ever been a part of. We just click.
Victor: As long as we’re having fun, having a good time, that’s all that matters.
Leo: We’ll get into some little arguments, but they’re pretty much irrelevant. It’s always the little things and they never last more than five minutes.
Max: We have a system. Since there’s three, if it’s two against one, we’ll just use the winning idea, which actually works really nicely. Because four people, you got two and two. There’s too much division. There’s something magical about just the trio.
Where would you like to see the band go in the future?
Victor: We definitely want to tour the U.S. and I feel like that’s our nearest goal to achieve short-term. We’re releasing music and putting out our album. We’re doing a couple live bids too and we just did one with a studio here, which is really cool. But short-term goal is just to try to tour the U.S. as soon as possible.
Max: But ultimately, we’re going to be one of the best rock bands in the world. That’s no bull****. We’ve dedicated our lives to it for a long time and that’s definitely what we’re trying to do. Every band wants to be that. We want to revitalize the rock genre because I feel like it’s very kind of like neutral black-and-white, very dark.
Victor: It’s become this weird thing nowadays, especially here in Nashville. Like what the f*** happened to rock n’ roll? Rock has been boxed nowadays, and we just want to break that box.
Leo: You listen to music from the ‘60s and ‘70s and it’s so much more creative. It goes different places. We want to break that box, but not be a nostalgia act.
Max: We’re not trying to be what was, like Greta Van Fleet, or like a lot of other bands who are trying to be “vintage.” We love that stuff, but we’re trying to really reinvent it. We want give rock a breath of fresh air. We love every type of music. All these great rock bands that we love, they loved every type of music, so they tried to incorporate it. That’s kind of what we try to do. Music is so vast nowadays, there’s so many sub-genres, so we really try and pull from everything and just make it one thing. But ultimately, it’ll always be rock and how that’s we feel the spirit and essence of it.
Any new music on the way?
Victor: Yeah, we got some juicy stuff coming.
Max: The album comes out February 14. We did a live session at this place called Castle Recording Studios in Nashville and we filmed seven choice songs from the album. We’re working on just putting out really nice content videos. We set up microphones here in our living room and we do these weekly jam things where we’ll improvise and we post it on our social media.
Leo: We have basically most of the next album written and planned out. We’re just finalizing those and we’re going to record them probably in the next couple months.
Max: And then hopefully a tour in late May. We’re planning like maybe a week or two long tour and around Athens, Nashville, North Carolina, kind of just in the South East.
Victor: Our main thing is really just getting this album out there. We’re in the middle of mixing up this Castle [Recording Studio] live session so that’ll kind of coincide with the album release. We’re thriving over here. We’re also able to, you know, not spend a bunch of money on these things just because we have connections in these recording studios.
Leo: They believe in the music too. They want people to see it so they’re just trying to give us what they can.
Victor: And everybody needs help now, you know, even Castle Recording Studio. We’re helping them by giving them our services and our money while they’re helping us. So, there’s just this symbiotic growth of beauty and jam goodness.
Max: Jammy goodness always.
It’s hard to capture how awesome this trio’s spirits are with words, so that’s why you should check out the full interview coming shortly to our WKNC podcast, “Off the Record,” which can be found here! Tune in to hear us talk more about spirit animals, our shared Brazilian heritage, and terrible band names.
If you want to check out Fresh Squeeze for yourself, you can follow them on Instagram and listen to them on Spotify, Apple Music, and Youtube. As they said, their new album, “Not From Concentrate,” comes out on February 14, so make sure to give it a listen!
Instagram can be a truly soul-sucking place, but there is one reason why I’m still on it: the artists. There are so many incredible illustrators, designers, and painters that constantly give me inspiration. Here’s a list of some of my absolute favorites to hopefully inspire you too!
Kid Kura does these amazing psychedelic illustrations that I can never get enough of. Most of their work is digital, but they also do a lot of zines too! The artwork shown above was from their campaign for Vice’s astrology signs instagram higlight.
@Flesh.png is an anonymous artist that I’ve been following for a while. Though their work is mostly done on Procreate, I love the texture and collage-like quality they add. It’s been awesome to see them grow as an artist over the past few years!
Ines J., the artist behind @a.creature, has created an entire cult following with her woozy and surreal illustrations. Her style is so unique, yet her skills are obviously very diverse. She is probably one of my biggest artistic inspirations. The way that she manages to breathe life into even the simplest doodles is amazing.
You can’t help but feel relaxed when viewing María Medem’s work. Using muted yet vibrant colors and images of nature, her illustrations seem to speak directly to your soul. Based in Spain, María specializes in “silent comics” and has published several books.
Who knew that Sculpey could be so breathtaking? Luna Fae, the sculptor who runs @birdofclaydesigns, uses oven-bake clay to make incredibly intricate jewelry, knick-knacks, and other oddities. Her attention to detail is astounding, especially when it comes to all those little mushrooms!
You could spend hours going through Alison Zai’s drawings and never get bored. Her hand-drawn comics are humorous and honest, perfectly depicting the pitfalls of human nature and relationships. Though they look simple, her style and way with words is incredibly endearing.
I would be a fool if I didn’t mention Josh Mecouch, more commonly referred to as just “pants.” His simple cartoons are both creepy and hilarious. He somehow manages to create these charming little drawings with simple, messy lines and one main character, a silly balding fella with a mustache and glasses.
A lot of people think of Pond as Tame Impala’s cousin, which is an easy assumption to make considering Jay Watson is a core member of both touring bands. However, Pond has a lot more to offer than what meets the eye.
Based in Perth, Australia, Pond is a psychedelic garage-rock band made up of Jamie Terry, Shiny Joe Ryan, Jay Watson, Nick Allbrook, and James Ireland. Pond actually began as a collaborative project that existed in order for Allbrook and Watson to make music with as many guest artists as they pleased. Though they’ve traded members with Tame Impala several times, they’ve managed to release eight albums since 2008.
You’ve probably heard Pond’s “Paint Me Silver,” but the rest of their discography, especially their early work, is a treasure trove of grooviness. Their first album, “Psychedelic Mango,” is psychedelic indeed. It echoes the strangeness of 60s underground psychedelia bands like Ultimate Spinach and 13th Floor Elevators. Pond’s 2012 release, “Beard, Wives, Denim,” adds a bit more grunge, especially with songs like “Moth Wings” and “Sorry I Was Under the Sky.” Things for Pond only got better from there. Their popularity skyrocketed as Tame Impala’s success grew. Their fourth studio album, “Man It Feels Like Space Again,” added a playful, poppier element to the psychedelia they already mastered. “The Weather” followed the same trend, but also produced their hit song “Paint Me Silver.”
Personally, I’m a much bigger fan of Pond’s early work. Either way, I appreciate the growth they’ve experienced as a band. They’ve made huge strides after coming from being viewed as Tame Impala’s spin-off to having their own unique identity.
Psychedelic Mango – 2009
Corridors of Blissterday – 2009
Frond – 2019
Beard, Wives, Denim – 2012
Hobo Rocket – 2013
Man It Feels Like Space Again – 2015
The Weather – 2017
Tasmania – 2019
Moth Wings – Beard, Wives, Denim
Medicine Hat – Man It Feels Like Space Again
Don’t Look At the Sun or You’ll Go Blind (Live) – Psychedelic Mango
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and you know what that means! It’s time to buy a box of chocolates, get comfy in bed, and shamelessly watch romantic comedies until your stomach hurts. Whether you’re doing it alone, with a special someone, or with a whole group of friends, here’s ten of my all-time favorite rom-com’s to get you through V-Day!
1. Bridget Jones’s Diary
Number one on the list is always and forever going to be “Bridget Jones’s Diary.” This movie never fails to make me laugh, especially since Bridget and I share so many of the same qualities. Loosely based off of “Pride and Prejudice,” “Bridget Jones’s Diary” follows a clumsy “spinster” as she stumbles through boyfriends. It’s also a great Christmas movie too!
2. The Photograph
LaKeith Stanfield and Issa Rae are fantastic in “The Photograph.” After Mae finds a photograph from her estranged mother’s life following her death, she falls for a journalist, Michael, who is investigating it. It’s deeply heartfelt and is a must-watch for Valentine’s Day.
3. 10 Things I Hate About You
This movie is a cinematic masterpiece and an absolute classic. Similar to “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” the plot roughly follows Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew.” Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) pays borderline-criminal Patrick (Heath Ledger) to date abrasive, terrifying Kat Stratford so he can go out with her sister, Bianca. This movie is filled with lots of drama, bad jokes, and the best Y2K wardrobe.
4. Always Be My Maybe
“Always Be My Maybe” is one of those delicious Netflix Originals that you just can’t stay away from. Ali Wong plays Sasha Tran, a successful restaurant owner who moves back to San Francisco and reconnects with her childhood best friend, Marcus Kim (Randall Park). Even though she’s engaged, her feelings for Marcus still linger.
5. The Big Sick
Based on actual events, comedian Kumail Nanjiani tells the story of how he met his wife, Emily, and how their relationship was upended by Kumail’s parents and a mysterious illness that puts Emily in a coma. Though the plotline sounds a bit on the serious side, it’s ridiculously funny and definitely worth a watch.
6. The Princess Bride
“The Princess Bride” was one of my favorites growing up. Just like the kid from the beginning, it was my go-to sick day movie. This epic follows Buttercup and Westley on their journey to be together amidst evil kings, pirates, giants, and Rats of Unusual Sizes.
7. How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days
This movie is guaranteed to give you some laughs. Andie Anderson (Kate Hudson) is a writer for a women’s beauty magazine, unfulfilled with her shallow work. In order to get a promotion, she comes up with an article about “what not to do when dating.” To have content to write about, she starts “dating” Benjamin Barry and intentionally acts completely insane.
8. Love, Simon
“Love, Simon” is more of a tearjerker than a comedy, but it’s so good I just had to include it. Sure, it might be a little cheesy, but you can’t help being touched by Simon’s story. As he’s trying to find the anonymous online boy he’s crushin’ on, Simon finds himself being blackmailed by someone at school who threatens to out him.
Last but not least, I present to you the best movie ever made, the first “Twilight.” It’s so bad that it’s objectively good. While it’s meant to be a drama, you know that if you’ve seen “Twilight” it leans much more towards comedy. Always worth re-watching if you’re feeling lonely or sad on Valentine’s Day.
Though I’m an Apple Music user (my dad has a family plan, don’t just me), I still turn to Spotify for discovering new music. Not only are their curated playlists fantastic, but there’s also a strong contingency of users who make their own amazing public playlists. This is how I find music to play on WKNC! Here’s a list of my favorites:
1. Discover Weekly – Spotify
Discover Weekly is one of the best resources Spotify has to offer. Everyone’s is different based on the music they’ve been liking and listening to, so it’s a great way to find new music that sounds similar to the stuff you’ve been into. The only downside is that it’s hard to diversify your taste if you solely rely on Discover Weekly.
If you’re looking to time travel a bit I would highly recommend this curated playlist from Spotify. This is a great playlist for anyone into early psychedelia. It includes classic psychedelic tracks from some of the best, such as The Who, Cream, and The Doors.
If you’re looking for more of a surfy vibe, this playlist made by a Spotify user is the place to go. It’s heavy with songs from modern surf bands such as The Growlers, Allah-Las, and Babe Rainbow. Older groups are featured too, like Buffalo Springfield and The Yardbirds.
This is another great playlist if you’re searching for a vintage sound. At a whopping 89 hours and 19 minutes long, you will never run out of fresh music with this playlist. It has pretty much every artist you can think of from the 60s and 70s, including hits and deep cuts.
I was first drawn to this playlist by its cover, which has a picture of Khruangbin on it, but what I found inside what so much more. This playlist has tons of underground artists as well as popular ones, like Tame Impala, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, and Orions Belte.
I cannot tell you how much I love this playlist. Though a lot of it is actually not instrumental, it has a very 50s pop vibe that’s irresistible. This playlist has led me to discover artists like The Ventures, The Lively Ones, and Santana.
This playlist, which is just over 10 hours long, is another fantastic dive into classic rock. It has some of my favorite tracks on it from some of the most notable rock artists, including The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Grateful Dead, and Fleetwood Mac.
New year, new show! This semester, I decided to branch off from Daytime Rock. The Tangerine Hour (which is on Fridays at 11:30am, and you should totally listen to) is my new show dedicated to deep cuts from the 60s and 70s. If you’ve read any of my blogs, you know that I’m a geek for that era, especially the music. I wanted to explore the songs and artists that didn’t quite make it out of the Age of Aquarius, but are fantastic nonetheless. It’s been SO FUN to dig into weird, obscure artists and explore songs that were relatively forgotten by the mainstream, even if they were released by popular artists. Here’s an inside look at some of the tracks I’ve played already and what you can expect to hear in the upcoming weeks!
1. Pretty Big Mouth – Count Five
Count Five was a band that peaked around 1966, as they were only able to release one album, “Psychotic Reaction,” before they broke up. Only one of their songs made it onto the charts. Despite their relative lack of notoriety, “Pretty Big Mouth” is a great song.
2. Paul – The Pyramids
The Pyramids were one of the last successful surf rock bands to emerge in the early 60s. Their one hit, “Penetration,” is heralded as a classic, but the rest of their discography was forgotten. “Paul” is a fantastic instrumental, especially if you’re into that California sunny surf vibe.
3. Eddie’s Rush – Ultimate Spinach
Ultimate Spinach is a weird band. Their psychedelic song, “Mind Flowers,” is usually what people remember them for, but in 1969 they transitioned to performing the blues and garage rock, as such was the trend. “Eddie’s Rush” is another great instrumental from their last album.
4. Psycho Daisies (Single B-Side) – The Yardbirds
The Yardbirds are one of my favorite bands, simply because their history is fascinating. Three of the greatest guitar players of all time, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, and Jimmy Page, passed through the band at some point or another. “Psycho Daisies” is off “Roger the Engineer,” the only album that featured Beck as the sole guitarist.
5. Path Through the Forest – The Factory
The Factory is another band that didn’t quite make it out of the 70s, but “Path Through the Forest” is a superb psychedelic rock ballad.
6. Ease Back – The Meters
The Meters were possibly one of the best funk bands to walk this earth. Their work served as the foundation for the birth of hip-hop in the 80s! “Ease Back” is from their self-titled album, “The Meters,” released in 1969.
7. Soul Sanction – Booker T. & the M.G.’s
Another classic funk band, Booker T. & The M.G.’s showed the world how powerful Southern soul could be. With Booker T. Washington’s cutting organ lines, “Soul Sanction” is absolutely unreal.
8. Let Me Ride – Ginger Baker’s Air Force
Ginger Baker was most known for his role as the drummer in Cream, but god, do I wish he had done more with Ginger Baker’s Air Force. Branching off of the classic rock sound, Baker aimed to combine funk, soul, blues, and African music in his new project. Unfortunately, they only ended up releasing one album, “Do What You Like.”
9. Paranoia – Yesterday’s Children
Another band lost in the explosion of music in the late 60s was Yesterday’s Children. Combining heavy metal, glam rock, and that signature garage sound, they’re a true hidden gem.
Like what you see? Make sure to tune in to the Tangerine Hour every Friday!
BEST TRACKS: “One More Love Song,” “Moonlight on the River” and “For the First Time”
“This Old Dog” has to be my all-time favorite Mac DeMarco album (although “Here Comes the Cowboy” comes in a close second). Out of his entire discography, “This Old Dog” stands out as epitomizing Mac’s personality the most; lovable, gentle, and goofy. Looking to turn your mood around? There exist few better albums to do the trick. It’s both calming and upbeat at the same time, staying true to Mac’s classic, easygoing spirit.
What makes Mac so incredible to me is his ability to combine synth tones and acoustic guitar. It’s a fine line to walk, but he toes it excellently without sounding over-processed or unnatural. “This Old Dog” is no exception; songs like “Dreams From Yesterday” and “Sister” are a perfect balance between soft acoustics and synth. Even “On the Level,” which is almost entirely comprised of synth music, feels organic and mellow.
The biggest difference between “This Old Dog” and Mac’s previous albums is the amount of humor he interjects. His older releases, like “Rock and Roll Night Club,” “Mac Demarco 2,” and “Salad Days,” all seem to have the same distinctive sense of ridiculousness that you just can’t help laughing at. However, “This Old Dog” reveals Mac’s more sensitive side. You could peg him as a hopeless romantic by listening to nearly any one of his albums, but “One More Love Song” and “For the First Time” really hit me right in the heartstrings.
“This Old Dog” will forever be a gem among the indie genre. Whether you haven’t heard it before or it’s been a hot minute, go give it a listen!
Sunshine, good vibes, and relaxation are what The Babe Rainbow delivers. The Australian neo-psychedelic group is one of my personal favorites. They’re one of those rare bands that never seems to have a “dud” song; You can listen straight through every album and enjoy each track.
Drummer/lead singer Angus Dowling and guitarist Jack Crowther originally met when they were in high school in Byron Bay, a place known for it’s organic, back-to-nature culture. Influenced by ’60s surf rock and the counter-culture movement, The Babe Rainbow creates music that feels like walking through a magic garden at sunset. In an interview with Beat Magazine, Crowther speaks to how the band uses the hippie movement to inform their discography:
“I really like the back to the earth movement, putting a really high value on the appreciation of nature, all the resources that we use. There was a real movement around where we live in the ‘70s, people were coming from Sydney and Melbourne up here to live that life. For me, it’s got a lot to do with that, and lots of other things link up with that.”
In their early years, The Babe Rainbow caught the attention of Stu Mackenzie from King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, who offered to produce their debut self-titled album. Mackenzie’s influences are strong in “The Babe Rainbow,” but The Babe’s work following their original 2017 release is their own. Though it’s easy to compare them to other neo-surf bands like The Growlers and King Gizzard, The Babe Rainbow offers a unique, more relaxed version of psych-rock. Their music makes you feel centered and happy, almost like a meditation of sorts. The Babes are truly one-of-a-kind.
Ever at a loss to find new music? Fret no more sweet readers, because this week I’m going to cover some of my favorite rap and hip-hop Spotify playlists. When I first started at WKNC, I actually did an Underground show every Saturday night. It was super fun and I’m absolutely stoked that we’re extending Underground to play all day on Mondays too! These playlists are where I dug around to find new music, back then and now:
“QUARANTINA” was gifted to us in the Spring of 2020, right as COVID was starting to get really bad. The members of Flatbush Zombies, Zombie Juice, Meechy Darko and Erick the Architect, made this playlist filled with uplifting rap and r&b tunes to help out our anxious spirits. It’s a sample platter of different eras and genres of hip-hop from artists like Outkast, D’Angelo, and Mac Miller.
This playlist is one of the best Spotify has to offer. It’s filled with the perfect mixture of underground and notable artists, including Freddie Gibbs, Deem Spencer, and LUCKI. Extremely lo-fi and very lyrical, it’s a great playlist to turn to for some nice ambiance music.
A bit more on the mainstream side of things, this playlist features artists like J. Cole, Joey Bada$$, and Kendrick Lamar. Nevertheless, the songs it does include from those big names are some of my favorites.
WARNING: This playlist is only for people who can handle time traveling back to the 90s.The name says it all, but this Spotify curated playlist is a fantastic collection of some of the biggest hits in West Coast rap. If you’re into songs like “It Was A Good Day” by Ice Cube and “I Got 5 On It” by Luniz, you’re gonna love this one.
You might recognize Raleigh-based rapper Lesthegenius on this playlist. With more of a softer tone, “black creativity” is something really worth sitting down and enjoying. It’s a beautiful collection of thoughtful r&b, soul, and rap.