19 February 2019
While he was in college in New York, Amain Berhane split his time between three things: class, work and music. Rarely did the three intersect. In the daylight Berhane would go to class and work one of his many part time jobs. At night, he would transform into Berhana (a slight spelling alteration of his last name to make it read how it actually sounded), writing sultry R&B…
6 February 2019
This week we’re celebrating the fact that we’ve left January in the rearview mirror with the groovy, summer-roller disco jam “Chances”, and hoping it will inspire mother nature to bring the heat back to Canada…
22 January 2019
I’ve wanted to fit James Blake into this playlist for a while now. But when I thought about how people might be listening to this playlist (in the car, at work, chilling at home, etc), much of Blake’s catalogue didn’t seem appropriate. It’s not that his subject matter or style didn’t fit the playlist (his obsession with heartbreak actually made him perfect for it), but it’s how he composes his tracks…
16 January 2019
We’re starting off 2019 with something a little different for this list: a little bit of twang. “People Change” by North Carolina natives Mipso has been floating in my head for weeks. It’s a gentle track, and, as Mipso told Genius, an attempt to articulate loss…
12 December 2018
The holidays can be a time for wonder, joy, rebirth and all that wonderful shit. But they can also seem dark, depressing, and a reminder of everything we feel we’re missing. For Sarah McLachlan, it’s both, as she sings of her lost love, and their imaginary Christmas day together…
4 December 2018
There are few corners of the music industry Dev Hynes hasn’t touched. In the early 2000s he played as part of the dance/punk/hardcore band Test Icicles. As Lightspeed Champion, he released two indie folk records…
28 November 2018
We spend a lot of time on this playlist analyzing songs about a certain kind of love. Relationships, heartbreak, marriage — these topics have all produced incredible songs. But today, we’re reframing our our perspective on what catching feelings really can mean, thanks to Amber Mark and her track: “Monsoon”…
20 November 2018
In the music video for “Slow Dancing in the Dark”, Joji (born George Miller) stumbles around as a half-human, half-goat creature shot in the back by cupid’s arrow, until his legs become too weak, and he face plants on a group of white tiles, waiting to bleed out. Since its release in September, the video as amassed 30 million views…
23 October 2018
We first saw lemin (pronounced “lemon”) perform at a showcase this past summer, where she was one of about a dozen artists, each with 10 minutes to show their stuff. Most artists came out with big outfits, high energy, dance moves, and hype men to get the crowd’s energy up. Lemin was different…
16 October 2018
Three years ago Ella Mai was a university student with a passion for singing. She was studying at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute London. She had auditioned for X Factor but it hadn’t really gone anywhere. There were blips of opportunity, yet nothing substantial…
1 October 2018
For a long time, Teyana Taylor was hovering around the spotlight, but never really took centre stage. She helped choreograph Beyonce’s “Ring the Alarm” music video, has appeared in Tyler Perry movies, dropped guest vocals on Kanye West’s Dark Fantasy album and starred in his “Fade” music video.
25 September 2018
Kid Cudi’s career has been largely characterized by depression, addiction and death. From his 2009 hit, “Soundtrack 2 My Life”, to his open letter discussing suicidal urges in 2016, Cudi has always been open about his sadness, which exudes through many of his albums…
26 June 2018
On “Something New”, the worlds of Inglewood, California and Cambridge, UK come together in the form of SiR and Etta Bond, uniting for the chorus: “If everything falls apart, I still have you / If I can’t find my way back home, we’ll make something new…”
18 June 2018
In the mid 1990s producer Chucky Thompson (of Bad Boy Entertainment’s “Hitmen” team), was fooling around on a piano in the studio, playing a sequence he’d made up when he was sixteen. A young Faith Evans came charging through the door, telling him she needed to record to that. He laughed, and told her, sure, write something to it…
10 June 2018
James Arthur’s career has been one of very public highs and lows. Arthur first gained international attention for winning The X Factor in 2012, but he didn’t have his eyes set on the show until his mom forced him to audition. He had spent the past decade gigging around the UK, trying to break through as a musician with no luck, and found himself too broke to pay his electricity bill…
29 May 2018
One of the toughest things to do as an artist is follow up a hit song or album. How do you keep your name top of mind? For most artists, that means releasing a steady stream of new music, jumping at any to guest features, and pushing for consistent media coverage. For Adele, it’s meant taking a step back from everything.
15 May 2018
In fall 2014 the popular Texas-based blog Gorilla vs Bear posted a track from an artists named Leon Bridges. The writer admitted he didn’t know much about Bridges, but had been blown away by his “brilliant throwback soul jams” and wanted to give a kid from Fort Worth some shine.
7 May 2018
There’s an old notion that good musicians graduate from schools like Berklee College and the Juilliard, but great ones never make it through. The really special ones often drop out for a major record deal, tour, or other opportunity to pursue their dream of stardom. Gallant proves that there are exceptions to every rule.
1 May 2018
In 1926 famed inventor Nikola Tesla predicted a connected world, where you could reach your friend in another country as easily as you could talk to your neighbour, through “instruments that will fit in a vest pocket.” Tesla’s vision has been realized through smartphones, personal computing and ubiquitous internet. The impact of these innovations is undoubtedly massive, and music serves as an interesting way to examine them.
30 April 2018
“Fly, funkadelic, intergalactic-hip-hop-meets-sexy-orgasmic crazy, dope shit”.
That’s how Miguel once labeled his music, and honestly, there’s probably no better description for our track this week. “Coffee” (originally called “Coffee (Fucking)” was the lead single of the R&B singer’s 2015 album, Wildheart.
16 April 2018
This week we’re only about one thing, and that thing is: Lauryn Hill.
“Doo-Wop (That Thing)” was the lead single off Hill’s debut solo album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. One of the most critically acclaimed albums of 1998, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill was a breakthrough album for female singers and emcees, because Hill showed them they didn’t have to choose one…
9 April 2018
This week’s track is inspired by the newest playlist on the site: Music to Vibe To! Our latest curator — Noka Agudah — featured this Calvin Harris joint as her first track on the site and we just had to steal it! And you can probably guess why…
2 April 2018
In 2016, Jessie Reyez landed at a songwriting camp in Sweden with tears in her eyes. She was in the middle of a brutal breakup, and being thousands of miles away from home wasn’t helping. She was completely distraught. Slowly, her writing partners helped her channel her angst into a song called “Figures”, built around a desperate chorus:…
26 March 2018
In Canada right now we’re experiencing what we call our “Third Winter”. This comes after two separate weeks in February and March (respectively called “Fool’s Spring” and “Spring of Deception”) where the temperatures usually rise to the double digits, before plunging below zero again. I’m crossing my fingers we won’t see snow again, but there’s no end in sight for our winter coats, hats and gloves.
20 March 2018
With her debut album, Born To Die, Lana Del Rey became the woman of a thousand think pieces. Her apparent love for sex, booze and drugs offended critics across the spectrum. She garnered hate from people who didn’t think her overt display of these themes had a place in mainstream pop, as well as those who didn’t think she was pushing them far enough,..
13 March 2018
Popcaan has an unmistakable voice: It’s piercing, high pitched, yet almost calming, dripping out of him like a syrup. It’s helped him stand out among competition and become one of Jamaica’s dancehall kings, especially since his friend and mentor Vybz Kartel went behind bars. For a while, people also thought his voice would limit him, but it’s actually helped him be one of the few dancehall artists to cross over and find success in the Western mainstream, recently collaborating with artists like Drake, the Gorillaz and Jamie XX…
6 March 2018
TV show “Atlanta” is back one air for its second season, and with it, Donald Glover is on the front page of every culture and entertainment publication (at least in North America). This has me digging through the discography of Glover’s musical persona, Childish Gambino, and brings us to this week’s track: “III. Telegraph Ave (“Oakland” by Lloyd)” off his 2013 album Because The Internet.
27 February 2018
Janelle Monáe is back. Last week the singer turned android turned actress teased her upcoming album, Dirty Computer, with two new songs, including our track of the week: “Make Me Feel.” It’s a sugary pop-Rnb blend clearly influenced by her mentor Prince. It’s a fun, sassy and danceable exploration of love and sex…
21 February 2018
Televised singing competitions like American Idol are supposed to give artists the rare opportunity to go form zero to superstar in a matter of weeks. They promise to find the diamonds in the rough, and offer them record deals, fame and fortune. And sometimes they do — household names like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood launched their careers from reality shows like this…
13 February 2018
If you looked up “groovy” in the dictionary you’d probably find a picture of Anderson .Paak. His ability to blend hip hop, soul, jazz and R&B is almost unmatched today. When you put on an Anderson .Paak song, there’s no doubting who it is. Our track this week is Paak’s “Without You” featuring Rapsody…
7 February 2018
I remember first seeing SZA in TDE’s 2013 BET cypher. She didn’t even step to the front to say anything, but still, she was impossible to miss. The only girl in the crew, chilling in the back with big hair and white shorts, she anonymously seemed to anchor them. At different points in the cypher, each of TDE’s rappers (all stars in their own right) pose with her, as if you say, “Remember her.”
30 January 2018
As we’ve seen with her recent Vulture interview, Erykah Badu is not afraid of a little controversy. Our track this week comes from the Godmother of Soul herself.
“Window Seat” is the lead single from her 2010 album, New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh). It is the perfect slow jam for a Sunday morning, with a twinkling harp and a rhythm that will instantly get you moving. In the song, Badu struggles with her simultaneous desire to get away and relax alone but have someone missing and waiting for her back home.