Struggle Making Playlists? Have Some Playlist Prompts

Ever since I downloaded Spotify in eighth grade, (which was seven years ago now) I have loved making playlists. I always come up with new ideas or rework old ones or make ones that I never finish or don’t rest until I find the perfect mix I’m looking for. I’ve even spent the last year or so sharing playlists with y’all here on the WKNC blog; making playlists is a huge creative outlet for me.

But I know that my music taste isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and I encourage everyone to find their own unique tastes (which you can do with the help of my “How to Find New Music” blog). If you want to organize your music but you feel like you never know how to, I’m here to help. The following are some prompts/ideas for you to organize your music. By no means is this foolproof, but these are some ideas that have inspired me in the past.


  • Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter: they all have distinct moods and sounds. Find songs that fit the aura of each season. I’m working on a continuous Fall playlist for the blog, and it’s been so fun listening to a bunch of music and deciding what is and isn’t fit for Fall’s aura.
  • EXAMPLE: “it’s fall y’all”


  • This is how most people I know organize their music. They’ll create a new playlist for each month or quarter (every 3 months) and add songs they discover or really like throughout this period of time and add as they go. It takes some adjusting, and this is not my personal favorite way  to organize music, but it works for a lot of my friends. 
  • EXAMPLE: “this used to be a current playlist”


  • This one is a fun challenge, and the best part is that you don’t even have to find new music to do it. Choose a number: 25, 50, 100, or more. Then, without repeating any artists/bands, choose songs that encapsulate your entire music taste. It’s hard, but so much fun. I’ve done it before with 100, (but I’m currently workshopping it because my music taste has expanded a lot since I first made it), and it took me a whole afternoon to decide what songs to choose.
  • EXAMPLE: “my taste in 100 songs”


  • If there is a story you love in any medium, make a playlist or ten about it. It’s so entertaining to make soundtracks for books/movies/shows you love, and this let’s you live in that fictional universe just a little while longer.
  • EXAMPLE: “Unhoneymooners”


  • This one is pretty self explanatory, just choose songs that make you feel things, and sort them into those emotions. Mitski and Conor Oberst make you sad? Put it in a playlist. Liz Phair makes music that fires you up? Angry playlist incoming. Bad Suns and Lily Allen make you feel like you’re floating? Time for a happy playlist.
  • EXAMPLE: “time to despair”


  • Love an artist or band but you just want to shuffle the parts of their discography that you like? “Best of” playlists are great for that, and super simple to make. No creativity required, just you, thirty minutes, and listening to your favorite songs by your bands determining what makes it into the list.
  • EXAMPLE: “riki loley”


  • Only like ten pop-punk songs? Add them all to a playlist, so if you’re in the mood, you don’t have to go to the trouble of queueing them every time. 
  • EXAMPLE:  “Cowboy Era”


  • Sometimes it’s good to have everything in one place. So as you come across albums you love, add them into this playlist so you have one giant thing to shuffle. Organized chaos.

Hopefully this gave you some inspiration for playlists you can make that won’t result in you using the same 15 songs every time you make a playlist (trust me, I’ve been there).

Until next time,



It’s Fall Y’all (September Edition)

September 22 marks the beginning of Fall, and a hallmark of the Autumn season every year for me is the music. I decided, in order to celebrate, that I would create a 15 song playlist for you all that is fall-oriented. Think: folk, bluegrass, melancholia, Elliott Smith, Mazzy Star, Dom Flemons and more. Not only that, but I will be adding to it in October and November as well, so expect 30 more songs where this came from. Happy Fall.

Without further ado, here is the first installment of “It’s Fall Y’all”: 

  • “Rose Parade” — Elliott Smith
  • “All Waters” — Perfume Genius
  • “Well-dressed” — Hop Along
  • “I’m A Dream Fighting Out Of A Man” — Luke De-Sciscio
  • “Oh Sarah”— Sturgill Simpson
  • “Someone Else’s Trees” — Fenne Lily
  • “Lonesome Old River Blues” — Dom Flemons
  • “Five String Serenade” — Mazzy Star
  • “Postman” — SLONK
  • “Apple Tree” — Marika Hackman
  • “Prove It” — Lala Lala
  • “Chesapeake” — Better Oblivion Community Center
  • “El Invento” — José González
  • “Strange Things Will Happen” — The Radio Dept.
  • “Irene” — Twin Peaks

If you love this season like I do, I encourage you to be your most unapologetic self and listen to this while walking around with your warm beverage of choice from your favorite coffee shop, observing the leaves change colors. 

As always, I’ve put this list into a Spotify playlist just for you guys.

Until next time,


Concert Preview

MerleFest 2021 – Our Most Anticipated Ask

Merlefest is back after a year off (there was some kind of virus last year?) and it’s a packed four day weekend with plenty of local bluegrass and big country names. Sturgill Simpson opens the festival this Thursday night, but WKNC coverage begins Friday afternoon – here’s what we’re most excited for (listed in bullet form, not numerical, because we refuse to rank):

  • Amythyst Kiah: Wary + Strange, Kiah’s third album, came out earlier this year and we’re more than ready to hear it live. We’re most excited to hear the new electrified version of her song Black Myself, previously released in 2019 with her group Our Native Daughters (composed of Kiah, Rhiannon Giddens, Leyla McCalla and Allison Russell) and getting to feel her voice vibrate through our bodies. Friday at 7:50pm.
  • Leann Rimes. Perhaps after hearing Blue live, we can die fulfilled and content. A revisit of the critically acclaimed 2000 film, Coyote Ugly, was necessary to prepare for our visit with Ms. Rimes. Fun fact: we all know that Leann’s first album, Blue, dropped when she was only 13 years old, which is crazy enough. Even crazier, she had recorded Blue as an 11 year old, re-recorded it two years later for the album, but the tracks got switched and the earlier version was accidentally released. She was eleven years old, singing like that – she won a Grammy for the album at age 14. We’ll see her Friday at 6:45pm.
  • Tedeschi Trucks: Although great through headphones or in the car, the full power of this group is only unleashed in their live performances. In lieu of a formal discussion, I’d like to direct you to this cool graphic showing their shifting band over the past 11 years. We’ll see them Friday at 8:30pm.
  • Sarah Shook and the Disarmers: Although well known around the triangle music scene, this is the group’s first Merlefest. In our interview with the group, they teased that they’ll be playing some tracks off of their upcoming album, Nightroamer, at the festival. We’ll be seeing them Saturday at 5pm.

Mavis Staples: Mavis Staples. In the flesh. You may have seen the gospel legend in Questlove’s documentary Summer of Soul about the Harlem Cultural Festival that took place in the summer of 1969. Fifty two years later, at 82 years old, Mavis Staples has only become more of a commanding presence, both musically and as an icon. We’ll be seeing her Sunday at 2:25pm.

Band/Artist Profile

Unmasked: How Locked Club is Redefining Techno and the Club Experience

This past week I was browsing YouTube like I usually do, watching cooking videos that make me hungry and then distracting myself with old Boiler Room sets. However, in the sidebar of one of these sets was a thumbnail that caught my attention, a pair of DJs under the alias “Locked Club” wearing chainmail coifs and ski masks with shirtless men dancing behind them. Little did I know that this video would put me on a deep dive into the emerging underground Russian techno scene that is shaping up to be one of the most interesting and unique in the world. 

Locked Club’s set from STVOL.TV on YouTube

What immediately struck me when watching this set was the overall sound and track selection. Locked Club are not constrained by the conventions of genre, playing everything from hard-hitting electro and punk-inspired techno to their own take on traditional Russian folk music off of their new EP “Sadism”. All the vocals are sampled from viral Russian social media videos and other Russian memes, unfortunately none of which I understand. This unconventionality brings a breath of fresh air and energy into the set, all of which is hilariously put on display in the last 10 minutes of the video with a mosh pit and essentially the destruction of the set. 

The next noticeable feature of this set is Locked Club’s appearance. Everyone including the main duo are dawning ski masks and chainmail, bulky jewelry, and a plethora of tattoos, most notably of their black ski mask logo. Doing some digging on their Instagram, I found many posts with people sharing the same tattoo. Two weekends ago they played a sold out show in Moscow’s Mutabor club, some highlights including a religious opening ceremony, more mosh pits, and someone getting a live tattoo of that same ski mask logo.

Cover for the "Sadism" single. A large group of half-naked men with tattoos in ski masks piling on top of each other
Cover for “Sadism” single

Locked Club is creating more than just music, they are creating a lifestyle, one that is nearly impossible to compare to in Western techno and club culture. Rather than writing it off as Russian cultural craziness, I think Locked Club is a glimpse into the potential future of techno and the clubbing experience. The days of 128-133bpm sets that have you shuffling your feet back and forth all night are seemingly dwindling as people, including myself, do not find it that interesting. The younger generation of club goers are searching for something truly unique and energizing that you can indulge in all night. While impossible to predict, Locked Club is in the right direction, and I am excited to see where the next couple of years brings them. 

If you enjoy the sound of Locked Club, I highly recommend you check out their new EP “Sadism” and their complete discography on their Bandcamp, as well as other artists on the Private Persons label.

Stay dancin’,


Festival Coverage

A Little Bit of Everything: A Comprehensive Hopscotch Playlist

This past weekend, I spent my afternoons and evenings bouncing around between the many different acts that performed at Hopscotch. Artists across genres put on shows which made for an interesting mix of performances. Listed below are some of my favorite tracks from every artist that took the stage this Fall.

  1. Hit Me Where It Hurts” by Caroline Polachek
  2. So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings (A.G. Cook Remix)” by Caroline Polachek
  3. Year Of The Spider” by Shannon & The Clams
  4. Where To Now” by Hippo Campus
  5. Humano – El Buho Remix” by Lido Pimienta
  6. Tiempo Ahora” by Lido Pimienta
  7. Fate Is…” by Wednesday
  8. Toothache” by Wednesday
  9. Gatekeeper” by Libby Rodenbough
  10. Probably No One” by Patios Counselors
  11. Let Beauty Be” by Patios Counselors
  12. Black Gold” by Flying Lotus
  13. Between Memories” by Flying Lotus
  14. Nellie” by Dr. Dog
  15. Frank’s Tune” by Makaya McCraven
  16. Won’t Be Long” by The Dead Tongues
  17. 2 Again” by Body Meat
  18. I Don’t Like You or Your Band” by Kate Rhudy
  19. Big Shot!” by Sonny Miles
  20. Falcor” by Sluice
  21. The Purple Bottle” by Animal Collective
  22. White Trash Heroes” by Archers Of Loaf
  23. Pais Nublado” by Helado Negro
  24. Berlin Got Blurry” by Parquet Courts
  25. In Our Talons” by Bowerbirds
  26. What Is Going On?” by Hannah Jadagu
  27. Gliding Through” by Garcia Peoples
  28. Fille de personne III” by Hubert Lenoir
  29. Don’t You Think I’m Funny Anymore?” by Dougie Poole
  30. Raleighwood Hills” by Lesthegenius
  31. Quarry Ate the Mountain” by Magic Tuber Stringband

Click HERE to check out my playlist on Spotify.

Weekly Charts

Electronic Charts 9/15

1PÁULA POVOA JERGEPrimavera [EP]Moshi Moshi
2FJAAKSYS03 [EP]Self-Released
3NEGATIVE GEMINI“Utopia” [Single]1005
4ROISIN MURPHYRóisín MachineSkint/BMG
6AVALANCHES, THEWe Will Always Love YouAstralwerks
7ULTRAFLEXVisions of UltraflexStreet Pulse
8WESTCOAST GODDESSU Up? [EP]Infinite Pleasure
996 BACK9696 DreamLocal Action
Weekly Charts

Daytime Charts 9/14

1CHILDREN COLLIDETime ItselfSpinning Top
2DEAFHEAVENInfinite GraniteSargent House
5ATLANTIC CANYONSSee The Hue [EP]Self-Released
8JIMMY EDGARCheetah BendInnovative Leisure
9GINGER ROOTCity Slicker [EP]Acrophase
10KANASHIIKanashii [EP]Cardigan
11MAMALARKY“Meadow” [Single]Fire Talk
13TOBIElements Vol. 1Same Plate/RCA
14TOMBSTONES IN THEIR EYESLooking For A LightKitten Robot/Somewhere Cold
15MARKEE STEELEVet & A Rook [EP]Thee Marquee
16NATIVESON 91Come Back DownInner Tribe
17BLACK MARBLE“Somewhere” [Single]Sacred Bones
18DAWN RICHARDSecond LineMerge
19EVIDENCEUnlearning Vol. 1Rhymesayers
20GIRLPUPPYSwan [EP]Royal Mountain
21ARLO PARKSCollapsed In SunbeamsTransgressive/PIAS
22MEDIA JEWELERThe Sublime Sculpture Of Being AliveFire Talk
24TROPICAL FUCK STORMDeep StatesJoyful Noise
25PLANET GIZADon’t Throw Rocks At The Moon [EP]Self-Released
27PONYTV BabyTake This To Heart
28BREEZEOnly UpHand Drawn Dracula
29ZELMA STONEThe Best [EP]Self-Released
30PIROSHKALove Drips And GathersBella Union/PIAS

Top Adds

2WE WERE PROMISED JETPACKSEnjoy The ViewBig Scary Monsters
3GOLD AND YOUTH“The Worse The Better” [Single]Paper Bag
5BAD WAITRESSNo TasteRoyal Mountain
6HALF GRINGA“Sevenwater” [Single]Self-Released
7SINCERE ENGINEERBless My PsycheHopeless
8TURNSTILEGlow OnRoadrunner
10GIANT SKY“Human” [Single]Bloody Sunset
Weekly Charts

Chainsaw Charts 9/14

1ANNIHILUSFollow a Song From the SkyFederal Prisoner
2CHARREDPrayers Of MaledictionEntertainment One
3BLACK WOUNDUnending LabyrinthDry Cough
4MALIGNAMENTHypocrisis AbsolutionPrimitive Reaction
5BONEHUNTERDark Blood Reincarnation SystemHells Headbangers
6LORNA SHOREAnd I Return To Nothingness [EP]Century Media
7CRYPT CRAWLERFuture UsurperBitter Loss
9KROSSFYRERites Of ExterminationHell’s Headbangers
10INGESTEDThe Surreption IIUnique Leader

Chainsaw Adds

1VENUS SYNDROMECannibal SarRockshots
2AZZRIELL“Cycle of Shadows” [Single]Self-Released
3MASTIFFLeave Me The Ashes Of The EarthEntertainment One
4ANDREW WKGod Is PartyingNapalm
Weekly Charts

Underground Charts 9/14

2NATIVESON 91Come Back DownInner Tribe
4PLANET GIZADon’t Throw Rocks At The Moon [EP]Self-Released
6JIMMY EDGARCheetah BendInnovative Leisure
7TOBIElements Vol. 1Same Plate/RCA
8MARKEE STEELEVet & A Rook [EP]Thee Marquee
9EVIDENCEUnlearning Vol. 1Rhymesayers
10GENESIS OWUSUSmiling With No TeethHouse Anxiety/Ourness
Music News and Interviews

Kim Petras is Back

Kim Petras isn’t the first person you think of when you think musical victims of the pandemic but she’s definitely on the list. The singer was scheduled for an event release in 2020 on a major label, but her touring-centric business model put those plans on hold. Well, with the pandemic as over as it’s ever going to be, Petras has seen fit to release her major label debut, a single with the rather on the nose title “Future Starts Now.”

            If you’ve literally any Kim Petras song before, you have an idea of what to expect. She’s a indie pop artist with mainstream ambitions, making her contemporaries with a whole host of women including Rina Sawayama, Jessie Ware, Charli XCX, and Carly Rae Jepsen. It’s a hard market to break into as electropop fans (translated: teenage gay boys on Instagram) are spoiled for choice in the genre.

            What makes Petras stand out is curiously absent on her newest single, which while good, lacks the songwriting chops that made her independent pop. She’s certainly no stranger to dance oriented tracks with little lyrical substance, but her songwriting ability has always been what’s set her apart from her more beat driven contemporaries. Her most popular and best tracks “I Don’t Want It All,” and “Heart to Break,” were driven by her forceful and jaw dropping vocal ability combined with unusually smart lyrics. Her newest single, while danceable and pleasant to listen to, is just another nu-disco house fusion with an eight word chorus. It’s not bad, but it is unambiguously the safe choice.

            I don’t know if Kim Petras has Top 40 potential. She has a lot going for her, but there are some serious marketability roadblocks. She would be the only trans musician in the mainstream at the moment, making notoriously risk-averse record companies nervous about promoting her. Her music is also unapologetically campy and unserious, a far cry from the ‘respectable’ and social issue oriented pop mainstream of Billie Eilish, Lizzo, and Olivia Rodrigo. If Petras does make it through to the top 40 charts, it be from sheer force of personality and talent, things she definitely has, but aren’t on display in “Future Starts Now.” Here’s hoping to a riskeir second single.