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Tone & Style’s Playlist Volume II: LoVe
14 songs to warm your heart and rev your engine.
By Sarahbeth Purcell
Native Nashvillian and writer Sarahbeth Purcell is back for a second round of soundtrack suggestions with both new (and classic) ear candy. This time, our second official mixtape/playlist goes out to all the romantics. Whether you will be celebrating Valentine’s Day with a significant other or “Galentine’s” Day with some girlfriends, you’ll want these songs stuck in your head and in your ears, often. Netflix and Chill? Nah. Tone and Style’s LoVe Playlist and Chill. Trust.
1. Use Somebody – Laura Jansen Starting us off is this unassuming, lovely cover of Use Somebody, originally penned by Nashville-based band Kings of Leon. Singer/songwriter Laura Jansen’s version is off her 2009 album Bells.
2. Tonight – David Bowie (featuring Tina Turner) Since he started his very first band in 1962 at fifteen, David Bowie’s music career, which lasted an unparalleled fifty-four years, has always crossed genres and subject matter, started important conversations, defined moments in current culture and art, and is still many of today’s most treasured musicians’ most vital influence. Tonight was originally written by Iggy Pop and Bowie for Pop’s 1977 album, Lust For Life. When Bowie decided to cover it in 1984 for an album of the same title, he turned the tune into a more earnest number with a little help from the unforgettable Tina Turner. The result? An unlikely reggae tinged upbeat song that is a little sentimental, a little precious, and practically perfect background music for pouring those first drinks and getting a little more comfortable for the evening ahead.
Ex-frontman of cult classic alt-rock, electric folk 90’s band Grant Lee Buffalo, singer/songwriter Grant Lee Phillips, originally based in Los Angeles, joined the mass exodus to Nashville in 2013. He’s in good company, especially as an immensely talented songwriter who could easily go on stage with just his acoustic guitar and voice, and play any of his songs beautifully. Phillips has released six solo albums, with his latest being 2016’sThe Narrows. You’re A Pony is a dreamy single from his first solo album, Ladies Love Oracle, released in 1999.
Off 2012’s EP, I., Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby has a history as irresistibly mysterious as the band itself. This writer discovered this little jewel of a song in late March of 2016, whilst listening to another song on YouTube. And apparently, YouTube’s song suggestion format is one of the reasons Cigarettes After Sex was catapulted into “overnight success” status in 2016 (if by “overnight” being around in some incarnation for eight years counts.) Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby currently has over 41 million (yes, million) views on YouTube. Cigarettes After Sex is one of this writer’s top bands to watch. Meantime, add this one to a mandatory bedroom soundtrack that requires only pressing play and allowing the atmosphere this song creates around you to help determine where the night takes you from here…
Formed in 1980 in Basildon, Essex, the Godfathers of electronic music, Depeche Mode, have dozens of songs that would be perfect for a night in with a beloved. But In Your Room, a single from the English band’s 1993 classic album, Songs Of Faith And Devotion, is a bang on choice for an all encompassing, intense aural experience.
6. This Is Hardcore – Pulp This Is Hardcore, off their sixth album from 1998, with the same title, is one of the band Pulp’s finest music moments. Originally formed way back in 1978, and then eventually lumped in with many of the Brit-Pop / Cool Britannia bands of the 90’s, Pulp first stood out from the rest with their 1995 ode to the working class, Common People, off of their album Different Class.
7. Machine Gun – Slowdive As one of the original shoegaze bands of the 90’s, Reading, Berkshire’s Slowdive certainly carved out a specific niche in music and influenced many of today’s most promising musicians with their heady, ambient, multilayered tsunami of electro-rock sounds. Formed in 1989, this English band of five(ish) members, (with the drummer spot historically changing quite often), collaborated with ambient/electronic/rock/pop god Brian Eno on a few songs from the album Souvlaki, where this gorgeous tune, Machine Gun also appears.
8. Everybody Here Wants You – Jeff Buckley Jeff Buckley’s debut album, Grace, is one of that decade’s finest pieces of music perfection, and perhaps most widely known by the general public for Buckley’s version of Leonard Cohen’s most covered tune, Hallelujah. His take on Cohen’s
famously dark dirge has become its own standard, covered by all sorts of artists, including Justin Timberlake. Of course, everything Jeff Buckley added his angelic voice to sounded sweet and thick like honey. Turn down those lights and get some candles going while you put this one on. You’ll be swaying along in no time.
9. You Do Something To Me – Paul Weller Known as the Godfather of Britpop, Paul Weller’s last album, Saturns Pattern was released in 2015. But this retro, soulful tune on our playlist is our absolute favorite, off Weller’s 1995 solo album, Stanley Road which went on to become his bestselling album ever. Time for some slow dancing in that candlelit room.
Born Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, this Canadian singer, songwriter, actor, and record producer first released songs anonymously in 2010 on YouTube under the name “The Weeknd”. After touring, dropping mixtapes, and then a compilation of those songs called Trilogy, The Weeknd released his first studio album, Kiss Land in 2013. This song, As You Are, from The Weeknd’s second album, 2015’s Beauty Behind The Madness is one of this writer’s favorites from this artist. The tempo, lyrics, and slow but hypnotic music get under your skin and stay right there, exactly where it should be.
Formed in 2011, Electric Guest is a Los Angeles based band comprised of Asa Taccone and Matthew Compton, with two brothers, Todd and Tory Dahlhoff, taking on bass and keyboards/guitar when the band tours. On April 24, 2012, the band released their debut album, Mondo, and almost immediately were met with accolades as well as enjoying a massively successful tour with almost all shows selling out. Although this choice, Dear To Me, was a single released in late 2016, according to the band’s Twitter account, this might actually be the first taste of a new album to come in 2017. We do hope so. It’s nearly impossible not to hum along to this sweet little number while you enjoy some sweets with your Sweet.
MGMT, (formerly known as The Management), is up next on your evening soundtrack with a swirling, dizzy psychedelic electronic dreamscape of a song, Electric Feel. Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser founded the band in 2002 while attending Wesleyan University. Their first release, Oracular Spectacular, which this song is featured, was a near instant hit in 2007 with nominations for all manner of awards, including Grammys and widespread critical praise.
Formed in 2005 in Wandsworth, London, this English electronic pop band began with a lineup including Oliver Sim, Romy Madley Croft, Baria Qureshi and Jamie Smith. The group released their debut album, an immediate critical and commercially success named xx, in August 2009. After enjoying accolades and all sorts of music awards for their first effort, the band released their second album, Coexist in September of 2012. The xx, (now minus Baria Qureshi) released their much anticipated third studio album, I See You, only a few weeks ago in January of 2017. Say Something Loving, our current favorite off the new album and pick for our LoVe playlist, is a perfect representation of The xx. Novel, unique, catchy, sweet and inspiring. Just like spending an evening celebrating love should be.
Chris Isaak’s single, Can’t Do A Thing To Stop Me from his 1993 album San Francisco Days is, in our opinion, pitch perfect for the mood we’re making. The crooning followed by that unmistakable falsetto, reminds us all at once of a little bit of surf rock, some classic rock n roll, a touch of rockabilly and, most importantly, a wickedly alluring song with a sexy siren of a voice inviting us to get lost in the feeling. (Let’s try, as we slowly wrap this experience up, shall we?)
*Make sure to add the songs from the artists below to your music library by purchasing them from the retailer of your choice. The few brick and mortar stores left,(especially your local independent ones out there) will have many of these on LP or CD. If you want to (like most of us these days) purchase just the one song and preview more from the same artist, hit up online retailer such as these: iTunes, Spotify, eMusic, Bandcamp, Amazonmp3 *