Last updated on October 1, 2021
1. “Jimmy’s Groove” – Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio. Everything the Trio does is good. This is a funky, groovy slice of major-key funk that just goes and goes. If you want some high-quality sunshine poured into your life, hit this one up. Highly recommended.
2. “Aros I Fi Yna” – N’famady Kouyaté. Another groove-heavy afro-pop cut from Kouyaté that draws in a huge variety of sounds into an eclectic, invigorating mix. Just an incredibly exciting artist here. Highly recommended.
3. “Happy Village” – Bakithi Kumalo. Spans the gap between afro-pop, jazz, and traditional forms of African music easily, creating a unique, brilliant piece.
4. “Autumn In New York (AKA Spring in Chicago)” – Makaya McCraven. Smooth, earthy jazz to ease the troubled mind. It’s hard to make peaceful music, but McCraven makes it sound easy.
5. “Quiescence” – Mas Aya. Starts off plucky and quirky (flutes galore!) before settling into a detailed yet meditative groove that questions the usefulness of terms like analog and electronic music.
6. “The See” – Joshua Crumbly. I have been on the Joshua Crumbly train for a while now, and this pensive, evocative track keeps me firmly on it. Ambient, jazz, lo-fi, and slow-core all merge in a tune that exudes more sadness than a lot of breakup songs without being as on-the-nose about it.
7. “Linden” – Zen Dub. A quiet yet inspired bit of electronica that evokes moods similar to those of Teen Daze. Good for working to or vibing to.
8. “The Last Ones Shall Be First” – Wilder Adkins. Adkins usually offers brilliant acoustic folk, but this time he’s got a slim, svelte, down-tempo electro-indie-pop tune that lands excellently. Fans of Zach Winter and Kye Alfred Hillig will be thrilled.
9. “Give It Hell” – Yumi Zouma. Sometimes refining what you do best into a perfect point is the exact right thing to do: YZ offers more soft-rock-meets-synth-pop bliss here. The melody, arrangement, and vibes are all on-point. (This is a hilariously aggressive title for such a soft song.)
10. “Koko” – E.VAX. Evan Mast knows how to meld disparate pieces of sound into smooth, fully-realized wholes. This song takes unusual samples, morphed vocals, thick bass, and simple percussion into a beautiful, easy-going mix.