It feels right to start this week with a playlist featuring two empowered women who have taken charge when it comes to the creation and distribution of their music (because the world needs more of this).
Robyn hasn’t released a new solo album in eight years because she’s had the luxury of not being beholden to the timeline and pressure of a record label contract. Instead, she’s long been defiant of conventions of what she’s supposed to look or sound like to be a prolific pop artist, releasing music on her own terms and making heartbreak anthems for the dancefloor with the kind of precision that makes me think of ABBA (for multiple reasons).
And because of that creative liberation, we get an album like Honey, with subtle grooves that call back to ‘90s house music and the serious bop “Ever Again.”
Similarly, Kadhja Bonet performed, arranged, produced, and mixed her entire Childqueen album, (that’s literally doing the jobs of multiple people at once) and then released an EP of songs that didn’t fit on the album but still deserved to exist in their own right. Imagine all the tracks that have died in darkened studios because they didn’t belong on a project.
Imagine a world where you wouldn’t hear the dreamy harmonies of “The Watch”, one of the outtakes, and it’s minimal unexpected bassline.
In supporting roles this week are songs chosen mainly for the lingering summer mood they bring since November is still a great time in the Bay Area – it feels like summer but it’s got the golden light of autumn.
There’s Moses Sumney’s “Plastic,” which has the hazy, lazy, strummy guitar of golden hour nostalgia you know you’ll feel for this song and this mood in the future.
Then Washed Out’s latest single, “Don’t Wanna,” is for shades-on-earphones-in while walking down the street and thinking about how much you’ll miss it when it’s too rainy to want to do anything.
And “Take Your Mama” is one of those forever songs that remind you of all the summers that have come before and all the summers to come because it never gets old. And it’s particularly perfect when you’re in the middle of the week and you need to sing something really loud just so you make it.