This February, you'll find us listening to a spectrum of new music, from sea shanties to J-Pop! Check out our latest music picks and listen to the full playlist below.
The Fisherman's Friends -- Pass Around the Grog
I’ve been having a good time listening to sea shanties, ever since the Wellerman craze took hold of TikTok and other social media over the past couple of weeks – and there are some good ones! I think what makes them so attractive is their authenticity: listen to the laughter at the beginning of this, and don’t think of it as an invitation to overindulge – just to let loose a bit!
Musicians of the Old Post Road -- Vivaldi: Flute Concerto in D Major, Op. 10 No. 3, RV428, "Il gardellino"
One of my New Year's Resolutions was to straighten out the CDs in my car -- remove them from the 6-CD player, clean and return them to their jewel boxes, etc. Happy to say that not only did I do that (checking off one thing on my list), I've started listening to one those car collection CDs over and over again. "Earthly Baroque" is a collection of pieces that remind us of earthly pleasures, including Vivaldi's ode to a bird, "Il Gardellino" (sometimes noted as "Il cardellino"). Local treasures The Musicians of the Old Post Road released the CD in 2017. I love being reminded how lucky we are to have such spectacular players in our community.
The Beths -- Future Me Hates Me
When the Spotify Wrapped playlists came out in December, my friends from college all sent each other the links to our most played songs of 2020, and we found that a few of us have very similar tastes – eerily so. Two of the eerily-similar-to-mine playlists had a bunch of tracks from this album from The Beths, and I can’t stop listening to them now.
The Kanneh-Masons -- Bob Marley: Redemption Song
I've been meaning to dig in to the Kanneh-Mason family's latest release (from NOVEMBER already!) and now I wish I had given it to all my friends with young children at the holidays -- it's a "Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra" or "Peter and the Wolf" for the 21st century. It's hard to choose a favorite movement from among Saint-Saens's Carnival of the Animals (interspersed with clever poems and narration), but the last track off the album is the one that's been rattling around in my brain this week. It's a sweet and simple arrangement of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song," and it's worth listening to on repeat for a while... or slow dancing in the living room.
Hikaru Utada, Jevon -- Too Proud
Utada is an artist I've loved since I was 13 and heard her sing the theme song to my favorite video game. Even now, a decade-ish later, she keeps putting out bops - this one's a few years old, but I think you'll agree it's an earworm.
Dr. Saxlove -- 'Round Midnight
Every Sunday night from September to February, my apartment is filled with the sounds of football as we all cook for the week ahead. Well, here we are in February after the Super Bowl, so my sports sanctuary is no more. But that’s when I make the switch to listening to jazz while cooking for hours. I’ve been listening to a lot of slower things, and this particularly soggy take on Monk’s "‘Round Midnight" has been a delicious staple.
Minnesota Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä -- Mahler: Symphony No. 10 in F-Sharp Major, "Unfinished," III. Purgatorio: Allegretto moderato
This short movement has a light, maybe even carefree quality at times. But, as with so much of Mahler’s music, there’s layer upon layer of meaning and symbolism. It’s the pivot point of an epic symphony, the last work Gustav Mahler wrote (and didn’t even complete). So much of the weird, twisted reality of Mahler’s music – including this little movement – seems to resonate for me these days, and this recording was just released by the Minnesota Orchestra.
Vienna Teng -- Goodnight New York
I've been really into Vienna Teng's music lately, which is all beautiful, striking exactly the right balance between mellow and energetic. This song has a great slow build, and also makes me feel really wistful, like I need to get out of the city for awhile and live in the forest or something. Highly recommend.
Listen to the full playlist: