Pour yourself a cold drink, put your feet up, and relax -- this month's Instant Replay is full of tunes to make the dog days of summer cool again.
This series highlights our favorite music of the moment – discoveries we’ve made when we’re at home cooking or cleaning, at the office, or out and about. Classical or otherwise, old, new, or just really cool, these are the tracks we’ve had on repeat this month. Find a cumulative playlist at the end of this post. Happy listening!
Max Raabe -- Du bist viel zu schön für einen Mann allein
I don’t know what he’s saying. I don’t know why this CD got sent to our station. All I know is that I listened to it because of the album art, and this has been one of my favorite summertime hammock jams ever since. It’s delightful.
Billy Bragg, Wilco -- Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key
Been listening to a lot of singer-songwriter strummed guitar stuff this summer, and one song I keep returning to is this Billy Bragg & Wilco setting of an old Woodie Guthrie tune. It’s got that quiet summer evening haze to it (I imagine wide, open roads and twilight lightning bugs), and also amusingly spends hardly any time in a minor key.
Derina Harvey Band -- The Last Sasketchewan Pirate
Every now and then - and by that I mean, about weekly - I get deeply into celtic rock-style shanties. A friend sent me this one with a promise that I would love the Canadian frontwoman's powerful, growling vocals, and they were right on the money. It's an upbeat jam that'll get you stomping your feet in no time!
Mitski -- Geyser
This year I seriously started listening to Mitski, and immediaty wondered why I had waited so long. She writes songs about being the kind of girl who tries hard -- to get people to like her, or to learn to like herself, mainly. There's nothing effortless about her musical persona, and I really like that about her. Her album "Be the Cowboy" is a magnificent example of this, and "Geyser" is the introspective kind of banger that sets the tone for all the songs that come after it.
Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien -- The Banks of Barrow
Every now and then I feel a need to go back to my Scottish roots and listen to a contemplative tune from the Celtic tradition. And there’s something about the lonely sound of the flute that is so comforting when the rest of the world seems not quite right.
Allen Stone, ft. Jamie Lidell -- Taste of You
Like the song says, "I’m not thinking ‘bout tomorrow," I’m just thinking about dropping everything and dancing for a while because this track is just... sunshine. We can all use a little more dancing in our lives, right? Hopefully this gives you a chance to tap your toes and nod your head for a minute!
Red Hearse -- Honey
I am a big fan of any project by Jack Antonoff ever since he released the album "Gone Now," with his band, Bleachers, in 2017. Needless to say, I was excited when he announced his new project with producer Sounwave and singer/songwriter Sam Dew, under the name Red Hearse. Red Hearse's album debut is coming up later this summer, but in the meantime they've left us with three singles, including "Honey," an R&B style, synth-pop song that is as bizarre as it is catchy, and has that unnamed quality that makes it perfect for a windows-rolled-down kind of summer.
John O'Conor -- Field: Nocturne No. 1 in E Flat Major
This track is not available on Spotify.
This summer my family and I went on an incredible vacation to England and Ireland. While in Dublin, I visited the John Field statue – fittingly just around the corner from John Field Road. He’s mostly known for his piano nocturnes, which famously inspired Chopin’s beloved set. Here’s my favorite one, with Irish pianist John O’Conor.
Jacob Collier (ft. JoJ0) -- It Don't Matter
One of my favorite arrangers, composers, and humans, hands down. There's something about the way that he writes that gives his pieces a distinct old soul vibe, while managing to retain an incredibly youthful energy and spirit. With this song, he pulls you in with a funky bass line, a groovy melodica solo, and some smoothly layered vocal harmonies. Grab your coffee, sit back, and be prepared to be bopped into the next universe. (And yes, this is the same JoJo who fueled all of our "teen angst" in the mid-2000s).
Richard and Mika Stolzman -- Piazzolla: Fuga y misterio (arr. Clarinet, Marimba, Bandoneón, and Bass)
I am recommending "Palimpsest," the newest recording from Richard and Mika Stolzman. I met the world renowned clarinetist, Richard, at least 25 years ago when he agreed to play a WCRB concert down at Great Woods. We had a lot of time to chat backstage and I found a musical---and humor---kindred spirit. Fast forward to June 2019 and his newest release, the first for Avie Records. He and his marimba-master wife Mika each play a solo Bach favorite they arranged, plus Ravel's lush "Pavane for a Dead Princess," two pieces by Piazzolla and two pieces written just for them. I'm blown away, so I don't know what to tell you to listen to first!
Listen to the cumulative Instant Re-playlist: