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Spotify Playlist of the Week

Michael Quick

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“Songs to Stuff Your Face To”
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I don’t know about everyone else, but family gatherings are always incredibly awkward for me. The two sides of my family are vastly different and heated arguments erupt pretty much without fail. What makes it a little bit better is when I’m allowed to control the soundtrack for the evening’s “creative discussions,” giving those not involved something else for their ears to focus on (hopefully something a little less uncomfortable). So I thought I’d share a Thanksgiving themed playlist: a collection of slightly up-tempo, but still somewhat quiet pieces that you can play in the background of the festivities.

Regina Spektor (AP photo)

Regina Spektor
(AP photo)

I’m pretty sure that I’ve included “Eet” by Regina Spektor in a previous playlist, but I thought the homophonic pun earned its inclusion in this one as well. Spektor is a brilliant musician as well as songwriter. Her melodies, coupled with her sweet soprano voice, create a perfect pairing, much like turkey and stuffing (no more food references, I promise). Refusing to accommodate popular music standards, Spektor molds each of her pieces into unique compositions that always border on being pop, but never quite get there. They often include classical instrumentation, to accompany her (notably individual) piano stylings, but also come along with many electronic elements (most popularly drums) to create a colorful juxtaposition of old and new.

Now, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats is a group that I cannot say enough good things about. They have exploded in recent months after the launch of their single, “S.O.B.,” this past summer. Their music sounds old, likening itself back to when good, old-fashioned, southern soul music was at its peak. Pair Rateliff’s soul-filled vocals with a solid horn section, and some almost excessively twangy electric guitar, and you’ve got yourself something, I think, is reminiscent of the music in The Blues Brothers. “Howling at Nothing” is no exception. It begins with a guitar count off absolutely drenched in spring reverb, another quality frequently found in mid-century Americana music. When the rest of the band joins in, the song simply grooves in the most satisfying way. It is definitely a very simple piece, but it’s gorgeous and sounds like nothing else released this year.

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The Student News Source of the University of New Haven
Spotify Playlist of the Week