LAURYN HILL (FEAT. MARY J BLIGE) — “I Used To Love Him” — as described by anthony milki
This has been Lauryn Hill’s most prolific year in a long, long time, and now rumor has it her follow-up to Miseducation is close to surfacing. In celebration, throwback to this funky track with an incredible bass-line, Raekwon sample, and some help from MJB on the hook.
ERYKAH BADU — “Hotline Bling (BUT U CAINT USE MY PHONE MIX)” — as described by alejandra salazar
It’s all about the bridge here–that moment when Erykah stops mid-song to ask you, in a polite, saccharine answering machine tone, to pretty please press any number one through nine as a reason for your call to the Erykah Badu hotline, thank you and have a nice day. Don’t expect a call back, though. She doesn’t really check voicemail.
SANTIGOLD — “Shove It” — as described by sasha perigo
I can’t think of anyone better to review for this playlist than Santigold. “Shove It” is a gem off her first album. In addition to being ridiculously catchy, the song is a political commentary. The refrain “We think you’re a joke/ Shove your hope where it don’t shine” is directed at the Bush administration and their false promises.
ST. VINCENT — “Digital Witness” — as described by benina stern
The only saint that I’ll ever believe in is St. Vincent.
NATALIA KILLS — “Problem” — as described by elisabeth dee
Paint on your sharpest winged eyeliner, lace up your Doc Martens, and stride down the street like you’re out for blood. This gurl is an unapologetic problem.
MIKEY J, AMPLIFY DOT, BABY BLUE, LIONESS, ROXXXAN, MZ BRATT, LADY LESHURR — “Rock the Mic” — as described by tay
It’s a shame that mainstream hip hop is dominated by men with their overwhelming misogyny and their unwillingness to credit women for all their badassery. Mildly understandable that men would not want women trying to spit with them when you check out these grime queens, because essentially no one really stands a chance next to them. They all go hard, like shut you down hard, and all that just reinforces the incredible power of boss ass women who can lyrically dominate. You’re welcome for providing you with two months of wcw posts.
BRITNEY SPEARS — “Email My Heart” — as described by big britt
How could I have missed this 1999 gem?? Britney was always so ahead of her times–the midriff, the shaved head (so androgynous hip nowadays), the reality show, THE EMAIL. I am NOT exaggerating when I say that this song defines a significant portion of my adolescent romances (significant portion here meaning 2). Also, can we acknowledge how actually good her vocals sound in this track? LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE–SHE’S OFFLINE.
FLORENCE + THE MACHINE — “Delilah” –as described by lila thulin
This song is champagne: a frothy song buoyed up by Florence’s powerhouse voice and upbeat drums (think the younger, less try-hard sibling of “Dog Days Are Over”). When she sings about “dancing with Delilah,” it’s really, really difficult to refrain from shimmying your shoulders at least a little bit.
FIONA APPLE — “Extraordinary Machine” — as described by katie nesser
An atypical diva anthem for your health. It sounds playful, but Miss Fiona is living her truth, feeling her fantasy, ignoring her haters, et cetera.
JULIA NUNES — “Fondly Enough” — as described by analyssa lopez
Julia Nunes, who got her start as a one-woman music maker on YouTube, recently released a new album Some Feelings.This song–according to Julia, the “the most gut-wrenching song” she’s ever written –is the last track on an album full of beautifully produced songs and feels much like a return to the days of indie YouTube music-making: just Julia, a ukelele, and well, some feelings.
OVERCOATS — “The Fog” — as described by lawrence neil
Here’s some brooding electrofolk and a week’s worth of handclaps by relative unknowns Hana Elion and J.J. Mitchell — collectively Overcoats — out of Wesleyan University. They’ve got fucking soul. Hana and J.J. bounced to Ireland to record an album or an EP or something this summer, and toured around the UK in September. Guaranteed this will get stuck in your head so play at your own risk.
CAROLE KING — “So Far Away” — as described by carlos valladares
The universal anthem for love-induced loneliness. Carole King’s 1971 soft-pop masterpiece about separation from your loved one (whether physical, mental, or emotional) rings with so much unbridled power that it’s honestly scary. She sings with the conviction of a war-torn soldier who’s refuses to surrender in the tumultuous battle of love, voice cracking but never broken under the strain of her own emotions. It’s a song for the lost people in your life; for me, my unrequited love on the other side of campus; for others, the one that got away.
PATTI SMITH – “Because the Night” – as described by bojan srb
Patti is queen. No, Patti is overlord.