It rained a ton here in NY this week and honestly it was kind of awesome. It meant I could “rock” my official rain playlist for several days and get completely immersed in a full on, all consuming moody rain experience. I am a complete rain nerd. The songs in my rain playlist are not necessarily about rain nor do they generally feature the word “rain” in their titles. Mostly they just feel like rain and have had some weird association with rain in my life. I don’t know if that makes sense but best way I can describe it is when I first heard Paul McCartney’s semi-soulful/slightly weird ballad “Arrow Through Me”, the last song on side one of 1979’s”Back To The Egg”as a young one, there was a thunderstorm happening outside. And so from that moment on it officially established itself as a “rain song”. And so as a result of this recent weather, some of the songs within the latest weekly New Wonders Playlist have the potential to end up on the old rain playlist which I swear to all the bands involved is a compliment of the highest order and not a remotely unhappy association. Rain on.
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As a young person I loved Phil Collins. Loved him. And so I did what “every” nerdy teen loser girl does ( um, yeah): I drew pictures of him. Yes, they were my secret love songs to Phil and I showed them to no one. It was just between he and I. I especially loved bearded Phil during his Genesis years and the drawing you see here was my attempt to depict him in the most suave and romantic way possible using both pencil AND pen ( she’s crafty). Please don’t be scared, it’s only a drawing.
Now it’s time to honor THE most wonderful pop songs from over the past week which is to say here is the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST, organized with love for you.
A little alternative 90’s, a little pop-prog, there is something very stadium anthem about “Your Honey” but in the best possible way, as in it’s got a fat tuneful chorus, a chunky guitar foundation and is topped by Rose Yagmur’s f-you absolutely kick ass vocal. And really what more do you need.
Britt aka Brittany Johnson has an unusually delicate and fragile voice, one that sounds like it could go off the rails at any second. In “Trial Period” it floats over an even louder bit of melodic guitar jangle and is best exemplified in the handsomely off kilter bridge near the end. And the first verse mentions giving someone the finger, always a welcome sentiment. The whole thing is reminiscent of wondrous, early 80’s, UK, low-fi post punk trio Marine Girls and is off her exceptional new ep “Kill the Man”. Speaking of which, please have a listen to “Handle It” another super fine track from it below.
Here is beautiful Michael Hutchence from back in the day stocking up. Reason he’s here is because there is a new documentary currently showing at the Tribeca Film Festival called “Mystify” about his life which is pretty special and I wanted to recommend you go check it out when you get the chance.
And so here for you is a small stack of music, a week late due to some technical difficulties here at Picking Up Rocks headquarters (that’d be my house and the culprits would be a large phone company that begins with the letter V). It’s an oddly subtle pop style playlist, both cooly insidious and mighty fine. Please dig in and find your new favorite song. They’ll never tear us apart.
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I always loved Janet Jackson’s key. As a result, I too once endeavored to use a single key as a fashion accessory. I didn’t do the ear but instead hung it from a chain I wore around my neck in an attempt to be as effortlessly cool as Janet. Needless to say, I didn’t look remotely as cool as her. The fact is when Janet was in her all black, square-shouldered, turtlenecked, booted, hatted, militaristic,disciplinary phase in the late 80’s no one looked as cool. In the same way I prefer “Papa Don’t Preach” Madonna and “brunette” Madonna, “dictator/boss” Janet will always be the BEST Janet to me. Anyway, the latest Weekly New Wonders is here ! I was just thinking about Janet because one of the fine new songs therein reminded me of those exquisite Janet ballads from the “boss” era and their accompanying moody nighttime videos. Still so good. But hey, here are some amazing NEW songs, and I do mean amazing, just for you. You can listen on Soundcloud or Spotify below…
Shahrae’s made something sad, sweet and dreamy, marrying quirkiness with a pretty stunning 80’s/90’s R & B groove. “Forget To Forget Me” meanders in the vein of the very best Janet Jackson ballads (“Let’s Wait Awhile”, “Come Back To Me”, “Lonely”), has an exquisitely memorable tune, and is blessed with a vocal full of longing loveliness.
“Birthplace” is such a ridiculously brazen throwback to the old 70’s singer-songwriter AM radio vibe and is so utterly earnest in it’s pursuit of that feeling that if you weren’t told it was a new song you’d have every reason to believe it was born back then. It sounds like a cross between Nilsson (“The Moonbeam Song” specifically), and magnificent cult troubadour Jimmie Spheeris, is about wandering and realizing, is completely tuneful and sweet and as such is completely out of step with today’s pop in the best possible way. It just plain shines.
Going to cut to the chase here: “GWTC” features one of the finer vocal performances you’re gonna hear this year. Elodie Tomlinson’s voice is tough and handsome, world weary in all the right places and the song itself rocks in a completely transcendent fashion from beginning to end. It’s a straight up solo drive on the highway, hair blowing in the wind, life epiphany theme song, a small slab of plush meat and potatoes rock, and it f-ing rules.
This is a weird and cool painting by David Bowie. I love him dearly but for some reason, until last year, I really wasn’t really familiar with his actual physical artwork. I knew he painted but until I saw the actual physical evidence in person at the masterful Bowie exhibition at NY last year, I had little awareness of how much he actually produced. Seeing the overwhelming volume of drawings, paintings, and storyboards on display was one of the coolest, and oddly most endearing things about the whole event and only served to increase the overwhelming love I have for this guy ( for the record, the polaroids and his personal coke spoon were runners up in the coolest Bowie things I saw there). What I’m getting at is that the latest Weekly New Wonders Playlist is a couple of days late. And all of the above is a roundabout way to say it’s never too late to meet any song ( or piece of art). And so, let me introduce you to a bunch of sweet, new pop songs that are just dying to meet you, right on time.
You can listen on Soundcloud or Spotify below !