Playlist #2: Put it Down Down, Down Down..

Welcome back! Looks like we didn’t scare you off since last week. Or maybe you’re just perusing this blog for the first time. Either way, glad to have you! Again and very briefly, this is a weekly music blog Dilip and I are writing for fun, so we do hope you enjoy. This edition we have some great tunes by a lot of artists that you may not know of at first glance! Take a look at our reviews and give the tracks a listen, even if you’re a bit nervous to try something new. That’s the fun of it, no?

Check out the full playlist here.

Bad 4 U

Imad Royal/ Single / Spotify

Imad Royal’s definitely putting it down down, down down down down down down.

If there’s one song that I recommend this week, it is most definitely this one. I’ve been playing this on repeat for the past week and it hasn’t yet failed to put a smile on my face. Imad Royal (originally DC chillin’, now based out of LA) deftly blends the simplicity of a scratchy guitar intro with the Meghan Trainor doo-wop style and tertian harmonies with the incredible brass sections now synonymous with Jon Bellion tracks. The hook is catchy, the song gets hype right when it’s needed… I’m convinced that Royal’s going to be a star if he keeps this kind of stuff up. You’ve got to give this one a try. — Anil

You Don’t Get Me High Anymore

Phantogram / Single

Dark + Funky + Trippy = Phantogram.

After the first few seconds of Phantogram’s new single, it’s already apparent that they’ve embraced a darker and funkier sound. The collaborations with former Outkast rapper Big Boi under the pseudonym Big Grams (definitely check those out) have likely exerted a strong influence here. The darker sound is certainly appropriate given the lyrics concerning addiction: “Used to take one / Now it’s takes four / You don’t get me high anymore.” The heavier beat in the verses subsides into a beautiful, floating pre-chorus melody, then finally slams back down on the fittingly addictive hook — masterfully done. Until the album drops in September, I’ll be keeping this song on repeat all summer. — Dilip

Fine Ass Mess — Conro Remix

Mr. Probz, Conro / Single / Spotify

Mr. Probz reminds me a lot of Aloe Blacc in that they both possess soulful voices and croon their way through their tracks. While Blacc has recently achieved his own success through his album Lift Your Spirit, it pains me that both of these artists are really only realizing their fame through EDM remixes of their original songs. Previously known for the Robin Schulz remix of his song “Waves,” of which I highly recommend you listen to the original, Mr. Probz is back in the spotlight once more with a remix by Conro. The beauty of this remix is that it allows the vocals to really shine through the verse and chorus; all the synth and electronic facets are present but not at the expense of Mr. Probz. Though the drop is a bit hard for some listeners, this track is definitely one that is heavy on both production and quality. — Anil

I Wish

Tom Misch / Single / Spotify

DJ, producer, multi-instrumentalist, composer, singer… it’s tough to pin down the talented Tom Misch. All of his songs share a soulful, wistful emotional quality and the new “I Wish” might be his best solo work to date. The lyrics reminisce over a past relationship that went astray and Misch’s heartfelt delivery makes even trite metaphors like “When you go, I’m a sunless sky” sound impassioned. Lyrics aside, the chorus guitar riff is brilliant and makes you want to dance the blues away every time it drops. For more chill vibes, also check out his remix of Lianne La Havas’s “What You Don’t Do.”— Dilip

False Alarm

Matoma, Becky Hill / Single / Spotify

Matoma’s got some traction during Summer Sixteen.

In a world where our biggest pop stars are products of YouTube, Nickelodeon, Disney and X Factor, it should come as no surprise that a star from The Voice makes their way into our heavy rotation (both our blog and what radio stations play 24/7). Becky Hill was a contestant on The Voice U.K. and was subsequently signed by Parlophone records (Coldplay, The Beatles, no big deal) — she’s already come out with a U.K. hit in Gecko (Overdrive), and this looks to be a promising sophomore release. Hill’s delicate voice in the pre-chorus combined with Matoma’s production lends perfectly to a summer staple. — Anil

Twist My Fingaz

YG / Still Brazy / Spotify

Most of YG’s debut album was defined by production from DJ Mustard — you know, the guy behind Rack City, Don’t Tell ’Em and every other song that sounds the same with the garbled “MUZZAD ON DA BEAT HO” in the intro and and dudes shouting “AY! AY! AY!” during the chorus. But after a series of disagreements between YG and DJ Mustard, YG had to find an entirely new production style to build around. Given how damn good “Twist My Fingaz” is, it’s now clear that 90’s California G-Funk was the perfect choice for the Compton rapper. The addictive bassline and catchy hook are gleefully reminiscent of old Snoop Dogg and Dre collabs. The track’s producer, Terrence Martin, used his jazz background to bring alive several songs on Kendrick’s 2015 album To Pimp a Butterfly and he does it again here with the soulful piano riffs interspersed throughout this song. And beyond all of these influences at play with the production, YG surely holds his own through his charismatic delivery and swagger. — Dilip

Other Songs

Stuff we just couldn’t keep off our list.

We wanted to make the playlist a little bit longer, as 6–7 songs seemed just a bit short for a good playlist to play on shuffle. Take a listen and let us know if you like our other selections as well!

We’re on Fire / Airplane Man / Single / YouTube

Wild / Marian Hill / Act One / Spotify

No Slaves / Knox Brown, Anderson Paak / Single / YouTube

Nobody Speak / DJ Shadow, Run the Jewels / Single / YouTube

We hope that you enjoyed the music and commentary! Please send any feedback our way — for example, if you’d prefer us to use Soundcloud, Spotify, YouTube, etc. This is definitely a work in progress, and we’d love to hear from our readers. Lastly, if you have any song suggestions, don’t be shy — we love listening to new tracks! Reach us on Twitter at @dilipsrajan and @anilchitrapu