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10 Introspective Albums to Listen to While You Light Your Pumpkin Spice Candles

October 17, 2020

Isn’t it funny how we can go from blasting Cardi B and The Chainsmokers (JK on the latter) on Labor Day weekend to suddenly going solemn three weeks later? Yeah, Invasion of Privacy isn’t exactly up there with albums that feel like fall.

But anyway, when the leaves are turning and the sun’s no longer burning, music just feels different. While pool parties and backyard BBQs full of bass are surely a good time, nothing compares to cozying up with hot coffee in sweats to the sounds of moody music and the scents of pumpkin spice.

If you’re on the hunt for songs that will elicit your emotions during this time of year, keep reading for 10 introspective albums that feel like fall.

a couple walks through leaves in the woods or forest
(via Unsplash)

1. Strange Tales – Lord Huron

Strange Tales is here for all your dreamy folk desires. On the 14-song album, dark topics, including death, are intertwined with breathtaking melodies, making this melancholy collection slightly easier to digest.

2. Thank You for Today – Death Cab for Cutie

Everything about Death Cab epitomizes fall vibes, but since Plans’ iconic 2005 release, none of the band’s albums spoke to the magic of the season until 2018’s Thank You for Today. It most closely resembles the aforementioned—after all, there’s even a song called Autumn Love. Need we say more?

3. Strange Pleasures – Still Corners

If you’re going for a dreamy, ethereal vibe, this album will speak to you. Light and luminous, it’s the perfect background music for your next pumpkin carving picnic or fall-themed dinner party.

4. Nocturne – Wild Nothing

This is without question one of the best indie albums of all time. Each song is filled with beautiful, serene melodies without tearing us apart. It’s hopeful, light and timeless—and while we most classify it with fall, it’s truly suitable year-round.

5. Goddess (Deluxe) – Banks

We’re not quite sure what happened to Banks after releasing her insanely promising debut—but either way, Goddess disrupted what we considered pop norms. Her music began to define the new “alternative,” and the melodies from this album are dark as a crisp fall night.

6. Bon Iver – Bon Iver

If you want to transport your mind to an enchanted forest in the middle of nowhere, one listen to anything on this 10-track album will do just the trick. The cohesive selection of songs flow effortlessly, taking you on a spiritual journey from start to finish. And once you’re done, you can step back a few years and listen to 2008’s For Emma, Forever Ago, which, thankfully sounds every bit the same as the aforementioned.

7. Cruel Intentions Original Soundtrack – Various Artists

Much like the provocative, dark ’90s film, its alluring soundtrack still holds up today, and each track evokes curiosity and mystique. To this day, not a film or accompanying soundtrack has done what Cruel Intentions has. Both beautiful and melancholy, every song from start to finish will make you feel something.

8. Fumbling Towards Ecstasy – Sarah McLachlan

If you’re a child of the ’90s you know the massive impact Sarah McLachlan had on music. The Lilith Fair cofounder was a pioneer of making thoughtful albums that, yes, feel like fall. Her 1997 album Surfacing garnered huge mainstream success, but 1993’s lesser known Fumbling Towards Ecstasy resonates with us in a deeper way.

9. Shore – Fleet Foxes

Don’t let the title of Fleet Foxes’ new album fool you—there are no beachy vibes to found on this 15-song selection of folk-rock melodies. But that doesn’t mean they’re not uplifting. If you’re looking for a serene album with a light tone, this is your best bet.

10. Badlands (Deluxe) – Halsey

Halsey has always maintained her disposition as an angsty, brooding artist. But just on the brink of mainstream fame, she released Badlands, a raw, organic look into past relationships and mental health struggles. With no collaborations or buzzy production credits, this melancholic selection of thought-provoking tracks is not only the singer at her finest, but the closest thing to fall-sounding pop out there.

 

Now that you have plenty of albums that feel like fall, mix things up with THIS playlist of best songs from artists at Coachella 2017!

Music Featured

Skyelyfe’s Quarantine Soundtrack, Featuring All New Songs Since Lockdown

July 7, 2020

Since lockdown, there’s clearly been much more spare time to dig through new music press releases and Spotify playlists. So, naturally, I’ve been adding and subtracting to my “April 2020” ever since.

As of today, I decided to officially change the name to “Quarantine Turn-Up” and post this overdue list of songs. This has literally been the soundtrack to everything I’ve done in the last four months.

If this song is on the list, that means it made it through all the ups and downs leading to this publish date. I will continue to update the list as the months of quarantine continue, so feel free to continue checking back for new tunes.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CB-hqDGoY25/

For now, here are almost 30 brand new songs that make up the soundtrack to my quarantine experience. From The Magician and Aluna, to Kaskade and even some Migos and Tyga, scroll below for your listening pleasure.

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3fBzMt2QAo9PjVgLErqJWq?si=mo1o3qyvQgic-zqSlsvp6A

 

Music

How to Make the Most Out of COUCHella

April 11, 2020

What was supposed to be weekend one of America’s biggest music festival has been derailed by a pandemic, of all things—leaving Coachella ticket holders trading music, dancing and dosing for a weekend on their couch.

While absolutely nothing matches the experience of dancing to Diplo (just throwing a name out there) under clear desert skies with 100,000 of your closest friends, you don’t have to sidestep the aggressively anticipated weekend altogether.

Keep reading for how to make the most out of COUCHella.

1. Blast a Playlist of Intended 2020 Coachella Performers (or Bust Out a Playlist From Your Fave Coachella of Years Past)

If you were hyped for this year’s fest, chances are you’ve had a playlist going for months. Don’t let that go to waste! Turn up those tunes—or, if it tugs at your heartstrings to play songs from the Coachella that never was, take a time warp to a favorite festival year by throwing on a different playlist. You can also replay specific sets or years on YouTube if you really want to relive magical years past.

2. Support Small Businesses and Order Delivery From an Intended Coachella 2020 Vendor

There are two types of people who go to Coachella: people who eat there and people who don’t. That said, we’re in unique times, and as you galavant around your living space, you’re bound to get hungry. You were likely going to order food anyway, so keep it thematic and order (if you can) from a vendor who was supposed to be at Coachella. Not only are you adding to the “feels like I’m there” vibe, but you’re supporting a small business. If you live in L.A., there are tons of options. For some inspo, click HERE.

3. Throw on a ~Festival~ Ensemble and Take Pics for the Gram (Trust Us, No One’s Judging at This Point)

Three weeks deep of quarantine and anything goes at this point. We’ve seen people dance alone in their living room, we’ve seen people get dolled up as if they’re going to prom—how’s a cute shot of you and your S.O. or roommate appearing Coachella-bound gonna hurt anyone? You probably have a ton of prepped looks ready to go. Put one (or two, or three) to use, flash a peace sign and call it a day. Have a palm tree on your street or a backyard? Added bonus! And be sure to hashtag #couchella or #coachellafromhome so you can attract all those fellow DIY Coachella-ers like yourself!

4. Organize a Zoom Extravaganza With Your Intended Coachella 2020 Crew

While not quite the same as exchanging sweat in 110-degree weather, hangin’ with your presumed festival squad via video chat isn’t totally pointless. Especially if you guys all follow the whole dressing up thing, you can all debut your looks while sipping cocktails, with your favorite Coachella artists playing (via Spotify or played back performances from the past).

5. Bust Out Some Cocktails (or Whatever Else You Have Up Your Sleeve—We Kid, of Course)

Everyone’s already drinking amid quarantine anyway, so it’s not like this COUCHella celebration should spike your intake, but you can still make it especially fun! This is your chance to make drinks you probably wouldn’t opt for otherwise. We suggest wine or champagne popsicles (we like THIS recipe, but obviously you can alter to make it your own), or you can spice up your traditional White Claw with one of THESE specialty WC cocktails—or, you can simply just drink White Claw. Think: REVOLVE party vibes. Heck, did someone say Piña Colada?

6. Make a Drinking Game Out of the Coachella Documentary

If you’re reading this post, chances are you’ve already seen the just-released Coachella documentary (or maybe you haven’t, but now’s the perfect opp). To make it even more entertaining, perhaps make a drinking game out of it (every time they reference this artist, or every time this person shows up on the screen). This is really up to you, but make the most of that viewing. Once you’re done watching, head over HERE tonight (April 11) for a Q + A with the director and producer of the doc at 7 p.m. PST.

7. Create Something Sentimental

A little late to the game, but we recently discovered the Canva app (thanks, quarantine!), and it is a game changer. It gives you rearrangeable templates to design anything, so with a little extra time on your hands, why not use it to put together a sentimental graphic for your Coachella besties? Perhaps a collage of greatest moments? Or even a group shot of you guys superimposed into a fake April 2020 Coachella? And then there’s always the option to make your crew friendship bracelets that you can throw into a quarantine care package next week!

Music

Celebrate Spring Solo With the Help of 22 New Uplifting Tunes

March 19, 2020

Spring—a season typically synonymous with freshly cut grass, florals, spring break and Coachella—is off to a very uncharacteristic start.

As today marks the first day of this part of the year, Angelenos aren’t out basking in the sunshine (well, that’s also because it’s raining—which excites me), but rather quarantining themselves due to the rapidly growing Coronavirus.

As many people scramble to stay employed, keep their business afloat, or even to keep their shelves stocked with what used to be simple household items, it doesn’t exactly put the brightest aura around the season.

That said, music never hurt anyone—and whether you’re working remotely, taking care of your kids or using this time as an opportunity to perfect your cooking, we can all use some fresh background music to liven our spirits.

Scroll down for 22 new, uplifting tunes to help you celebrate the first day of spring, solo. From Niall Horan and Cash Cash to Wild Nothing and 3LAU, you’re sure to find a fresh sound you love!

Music

Skyelyfe’s Top 20 Honorable Mention Songs of the 2010s

December 25, 2019

(via YouTube)

Last week, I brought you my list of what I consider the 20 best songs of the 2010s (ranked), because I wanted to specifically recognize my absolute favorite tunes of the time. But you can’t sum up an entire decade of music with just a couple dozen tracks.

That’s why, in a separate post, I’m bringing you my top 20 honorable mentions (unranked), to give some additional ditties the love they deserve.

From Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber, to Lady Gaga, Bon Iver and more, scroll through the playlist below for skyelyfe’s top 20 honorable mention songs of the 2010s (and don’t forget to follow the link above for my ranking of the absolute best)!

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Music Featured

Skyelyfe’s 20 Best Songs of the 2010s, Ranked

December 11, 2019

(via Unsplash)

When it comes to selecting a personal “best” song, there’s so much more that goes into it than how far it charted on the Billboard Top 40. In fact, that doesn’t play a role to me at all.

What matters is how I felt about the song during its prime, if I feel the same way about the song now, if it had a legitimate “moment” in my life and if it brought some kind of unique sound or formula to the table. With each of these factors in mind, I’ve spent literally all of 2019 jotting down all my most monumental songs of the decade in a notebook as I thought of them.

With 10 years to account for, obviously a slew of songs came to mind. And while I’d have to say music basically died after 2014, the earlier years of the decade brought some of the most iconic songs of all time. Keep reading for skyelyfe’s 20 best songs of the 2010s, ranked. *Note: I left out all remixes even though some were absolutely amazing.

20. ‘Wide Awake’ – Katy Perry (2012)

While probably the last single you think of when you look back on Katy Perry’s iconic Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection album, “Wide Awake” was not only a powerful ballad from the characteristically gimmicky singer, but also one that came out during a trying time in my personal life when I felt like the world was crashing down on me and I was trying to recover from a rough patch. I found the song to be therapeutic in many ways, and I highly respect that this is a detour from much of the singer’s other work.

19. ‘Ice Tray’ – Quality Control, Quavo, Lil Yachty (2017)

This is simply the quintessential song you want to hear on a night out. I can’t tell you how many times I danced to this after-hours. The dark, pulsating track even managed to make Joe Budden relevant again for a hot sec. Had the song come out earlier in the decade, it would have made an even bigger impact, but it definitely holds a special place as one of the best of the latter years.

(via YouTube)

18. ‘I Met You’ – Anna Lunoe + Flume (2012)

2012 was such a year for electronic music. The genre expanded in so many ways, and I was absolutely obsessed with this track. I remember playing this and No. 17 interchangeably nonstop all throughout my work days that year. I very much miss this musical moment.

17. ‘All My Life’ – Gigamesh f./ Jana Nyberg (2012)

Much like the aforementioned track, this was on my Spotify rotation nonstop in 2012—so much so that the app listed it as my most listened to song of that year (not shocking!). Still when I hear it to this day, I don’t like it any less.

(via YouTube)

16. ‘The North’ – Summer Heart (2011)

Summer Heart seemingly came out of nowhere, and this song is hands down one of the most beautifully melodic tracks I’ve ever heard. Not to be fooled by the artist’s name, this song had every bit of a solemn fall vibe, accompanying the season swimmingly that year.

15. ‘Dreaming’ – The Knocks (2014)

The Knocks stole my heart in 2014, and I’ve seen them live countless times since. Their infectious energy lights up a stage, and I truly can’t think of a livelier duo. “Dreaming” is every bit the upbeat track that got me on my feet in 2014 (even when the year got me down).

(via YouTube)

14. ‘Nocturne’ – Wild Nothing (2012)

Seriously bless Wild Nothing. They were my most listened to act of 2012 on Spotify, and have truly never let me down since. They encapsulate everything I could possibly want in a band, with their light, dreamy alt. rock melodies. I can seriously listen to “Nocturne” (and its album of the same name) forever. Just thinking about it makes me happy.

13. ‘Silhouettes’ – Avicii (2012)

Avicii’s tragic death last year was by far one of the most impactful and saddening. Not only a legendary trendsetter in electronic music, the Swedish DJ didn’t seem to have a bad bone in his body (at least from what we know). On top of it all, he created some forever memorable tracks, including what I consider his most underrated, “Silhouettes.” This song takes me back to his then-signature sound when he first hit the scene with “Levels” in 2011. RIP, Avicii.

(via YouTube)

12. ‘Operate’ – ASTR (2013)

Short-lived electronic R&B duo ASTR was an act I found from my old-school favorite indie music blog BitCandy, and I instantly fell in love with them. They disbanded after 2015, but in their time together, Zoe Silverman and Adam Pallin released two insanely outstanding EPs that will forever hold a place in my heart. “Operate” was the first single they released, and therefore the most legendary. I got my entire group of friends hooked, and therefore they definitely made a large dent in my musical memories of the decade.

11. ‘L.A. Lights’ – Grum (2010)

There’s no song like this one (or like the album Heartbeats) on this list. In a shocking move, Grum (aka Graeme Shepherd) went from a retro synth sound to joining the Anjunabeats label going full-force trance. Prior to his musical transition, he released “L.A. Lights,” a beautiful melody that felt ever so fitting to my many late nights under the… L.A. lights.

10. ‘I Get the Bag’ – Gucci Mane f./ Migos (2017)

Out of what was one of the most atrocious years in hip-hop (hip-pop?) came “I Get the Bag,” the Metro Boomin-produced track that made me give Migos a fair chance (I wasn’t big on “Bad and Boujee”). As a longtime fan of Gucci, he absolutely delivers here, on what was one of the best rap songs of the latter part of the decade.

9. ‘Your Love Is My Drug’ – Ke$ha (2010)

And this is where we cue the tears! 2010 was such a magical year for music, and Ke$ha (with then-dollar sign) was a huge proponent of that. Her album Animal came out on the very first day of the decade, setting the precedent for what was probably the best year of my life. This song, album, era brings back so many memories. I know the singer’s in a much healthier, better place now, following her horrifying experience with Dr. Luke, but there’s no denying her songs from the early 2010s will never compare to anything present.

(via YouTube)

8. ‘In the Morning’ – ZHU + Kaskade (2016)

This was my No. 1 song of 2016, and there’s no doubt in my mind why. I only knew like one song by ZHU at this point, but the collab with Kaskade was perfectly executed into melodic bliss, setting the tone for not just my Coachella vibe that year, but for the year as a whole.

7. ‘Slow Love’ – MØ (2014)

I found MØ on the brink of her No Mythologies to Follow album release, and it was a game changer. The unique style of songs is solid from head to toe, and Slow Love sounds like nothing else I’ve heard from her (or any other artist for that matter). According to Spotify, it was my most listened to song of 2014, and according to my blog, the song and the album were both my No. 1 picks of that year.

6. ‘Skin’ – Rihanna (2010)

Name a sexier song of this decade—I’ll wait. Rihanna took her provocative nature to new heights with this dark, alluring melody and bold lyrics to match. While definitely one of her most underrated songs of all-time, it’s hands down one of the best (especially if you were around to improvise an accompanying music video with my group of friends).

5. ‘Loyal’ – Chris Brown f./ Lil Wayne + Tyga (2013)

This classic came out at the very end of 2013, but definitely made its mark the following year. Between the video and Nic Nac beats’ music production, this trio of artists nailed it on what became the party anthem of 2014, in an otherwise lackluster year of hip-hop.

(via YouTube)

4. ‘What’s My Name?’ – Rihanna f./ Drake (2010)

Whenever these 2010 songs come up, I get super nostalgic. I literally remember exactly where I was and how I felt at the peak of these tracks. Rihanna’s Loud album was a surefire favorite of that year, and this was without question the best song that came from it. Major fall/winter vibes I will absolutely never forget.

3. ‘Super Bass’ – Nicki Minaj (2011)

Ah, simpler times. “Super Bass” epitomizes the old-school, inspiring, happy-go-lucky vibe Nicki Minaj’s music brought the world when she first stepped on the scene. Her Pink Friday album felt so pure, and to this day, no “love song” in the hip-hop genre has topped “Super Bass.” Every bit upbeat and sweet, even in my crazy year known as 2011, this song helped keep me sane.

(via YouTube)

2. ‘Ayo’ – Chris Brown f./ Tyga (2015)

This song needs no introduction. If you’ve ever been in an Uber with me, at a house party or in my living room, then you’re no stranger to this Nic Nac beats-produced track. As my most-played song of the whole decade, it absolutely deserves this No. 2 ranking.

1. ‘Teenage Dream’ – Katy Perry (2010)

And now, for the ultimate tearjerker… talk about the good ol’ days! “Teenage Dream” epitomizes carefree bliss and everything light that pop represented early in the decade. It’s easy to forget Katy Perry released one of the best pop albums of all-time, and I think I speak for everyone reading this that no pop song (or Katy Perry song, for that matter) will ever compare to this one.

(via YouTube)

Listen to the entire playlist below (and come back next week for my top 20 honorable mentions of the decade):

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Music

Embrace Magical Fall Months with Blissful New Music by Astrid S, Tove Lo and 15 More Artists

October 16, 2019

cozy socks embrace fall weather with pumpkins and coffee

(via Unsplash / Alex Geerts)

Whether you unabashedly gulp down PSLs like they’re water, you live for Halloween, or cooler temps are totally your thing, there’s no denying fall has something for everyone.

Even if we disagree on the best part of this cozy season, I think we can all say it isn’t complete without just the right music to set the tone.

Luckily, there’s no shortage of fresh new tunes just waiting to be on your fall playlist rotation. While summer 2019 brought on some dance party anthems, we’re switching gears with some mellow music that’ll help you ease effortlessly into the slower-paced weeks ahead.

Embrace magical fall months with blissful new music by 17 artists, including Astrid S, Tove Lo, Lane 8, Adventure Club and The Knocks!

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Music

Live Up the Rest of the Season With the Only Summer 2019 Playlist That Matters

August 21, 2019

(via Unsplash)

Whoever says summer’s already over is probably just too eager for fall.

Usually I’m that person, but seeing how most of my friends are just now leaving for their extravagant seasonal getaways, it definitely still feels like summer.

That’s probably why I don’t feel like it’s too late to post the ultimate summer playlist, full of the best releases in the last three months.

Let it be known that I spent the entire season—leading up to literally today—going through every press release I received, rummaging through all my Spotify new music playlists and Shazaming every new song on that struck a chord (pun intended) with me on Sirius radio.

After months of adding new songs and deleting others, I came to my finalized 37-song, ultimate summer 2019 playlist. This includes everyone from PNAU, Kelsey Lu, E-40 and Flux Pavilion (earlier in the summer), to PVRIS, Phantoms and Shallou (later in the summer).

Give it a go below:

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Music

May Flowers—and Music! 21 New Tracks by Olivia O’Brien, A-Trak, Goldroom and More

May 1, 2019

It’s officially May—which means Coachella is a thing of the past, people are slowly slipping into their swimsuits and your workout classes are filling up faster than ever.

While not quite yet summer, May marks the peak of Spring, when people are showing a little more skin and embracing the time change. That said, everyone needs just the right playlist to help them get into the spirit, and we’ve got just that.

A nice departure from the more somber songs of months past, May’s playlist is an upbeat transition into sunnier seasons. Kicking things off is “Just a Boy,” the breakout track from Olivia O’Brien‘s debut album, Was It Even Real?. She describes the bop to Paper as “one of the most fun and empowering songs I have ever made,” and that makes perfect sense, seeing as it’s a big F-U to guys who have screwed her over, but the melody just makes us want to dance. Summer anthem, anyone? We’ve spotted it!

Following are some upbeat electronic tracks by A-Trak, Goldroom, Eden xo, Lipless, LUXXURY and more. If these don’t scream springtime frolics, then I just don’t know what does.

Scroll through the playlist below of 21 new songs you need to listen to this month!

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Music Featured

8 Surefire Signs You’re Too Old for Coachella

April 10, 2019

Age is totally just a number, but not when it comes to Coachella.

How old is too old to attend, you ask? We’ve rounded up eight undeniable signs it’s time to retire your flower crowns or Kanye shutter shades and move on to something else. Find out if you’ve hit your Coachella expiration below!

(Coachella via Instagram)

1. #Strollerchella is an Actual Thing for You

Okay, nothing against moms who love music at all, but if you can’t find someone to watch the kids, just don’t go. Bringing a stroller to the festival completely kills the vibe, and everyone around you will think so, too. Coachella will always be there, and you’ll definitely want to save it for a time when you can let loose and be care-free.

2. You Contemplate Streaming the Festival From Home Instead

Trust, we’re not even close to judging anyone for this because we’ve contemplated doing the same. Honestly though, if staying home is on your mind, it’s a surefire sign to stay back. We believe nothing beats immersing yourself in music for three days straight, and if you’re even slightly not onboard, this definitely isn’t the trip for you.

(Coachella via Instagram)

3. You Complain About the Festival on Social Media

There’s nothing worse than someone who attends the festival only to complain about it before, during and after. Do everyone else a favor and complain from the far away sidelines (aka not at the festival) if this is you. That’s the best solution for all parties involved.

4. The Hangover Just Isn’t Worth It Anymore

Once you’ve hit the point where the hangover isn’t worth it, it’s probably time to quit. Although everyone is clearly exhausted by the end of the festival, you should still leave with the satisfaction of a weekend well-spent, however blurry it may be.

(Coachella via Instagram)

5. You Don’t Know 80% of the Acts on the Lineup

It’s insanely difficult to keep up with all the new and trendy music coming out these days, but if you find yourself saying “who?” to more than 80% of the lineup, yikes. There’s no point in attending a festival where you don’t know most of the acts. It’s first and foremost always about the music, anyone who says otherwise is truly misinformed.

6. You Don’t Plan to Show Up Until 7 p.m.

If the all-day marathon does not sound appealing anymore, time to call it quits. It’s not really Coachella unless you’re five glasses of rosé in by 12 p.m., amirite? The older crowd always make themselves known by being the last in and first out. No shade, but we don’t really see the point then.

7. You Question Every Coachella-Centric Outfit You See at Stores

Part of the magic of Coachella is embracing the ridiculous festival wear. Question the sometimes-obscure fashion choices and you’ll know you’re getting too old. Appreciate those over-cropped tops, man-capes and unicorn costumes or you’ll just walk away with a headache.

(Coachella via Instagram)

8. You Leave Sunday Night Instead of Monday Morning

Sunday night leavers are the worst kind of Coachella-goers in our opinion. Although, on the other hand, we have no complaints because that means more room for the rest of us.

Music

No April Fools Here! Just New Music by Felix Cartal, Alesso, Bonnie McKee and 25 More Artists

April 1, 2019

Not sure if you’ve noticed, but it seems like there are way more April Fools’ Day pranks and jokes circulating the web today than any year prior—and some of them, while silly, are especially amusing to Angelenos.

But as much as I’d like to say I came up with the time to get all sorts of creative for April 1, all I got down to was coming up with a list of 28 new tracks—many of which are the perfect kickoff to festival season (no kidding!).

With the sun shining brightly and spring break in clear view, it’s time to put away the solemn melodies and bust out the songs that make us want to dance.

Felix Cartal teamed up with Lights for the upbeat track “Love Me” in Feb., but it (shockingly) hasn’t picked up much traction yet, so I’m including it in this list of new songs. I’m also loving Alesso’s “TIME,” Armin Van Buuren and Bonnie McKee‘s “Lonely for You,” Vicetone‘s “Feel Like,” Audien‘s “Favorite Song,” featuring Echosmith, and lots more!

Keep scrolling for all the tunes you need to get you through Coachella prep and beyond!

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Music

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with 28 New Songs You’re Going to Love

February 8, 2019

Aside from the fact that I had to drive an hour in a torrential downpour this morning, I’ve gotta say, my Valentine’s Day gift is rain in L.A. It’s pretty relaxing and I simply just love a drizzly (and windy!) day.

In addition to my new brakes, the other thing that helped me make it through my stormy little ride is new music! Bag Raiders teamed up with The Kite String Tangle to bring you the infectiously catchy “Lightning,” which is the debut single off their album Horizons, coming out later this year.

While the vibe outside may keep you indoors this holiday, the playlist below will have you feeling otherwise, with additional dance-worthy tracks by Cassian, R3HAB, Icona Pop, Peking Duk, Alison Wonderland and a handful of other upbeat artists.

Whether you’re celebrating V-Day with a significant other or only with Ben & Jerry’s, at least you’ve got a slew of new songs to keep you occupied tonight, and all through the three-day weekend!

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Music

Beat the Winter Blues With 24 New Tunes by Kim Petras, Le Youth and More

January 4, 2019

The Christmas lights have come down, the new year’s resolutions have likely already been broken. We’re now in the thick of winter, folks—with nothing groundbreaking on the immediate horizon (unless, of course, you’re nominated for a Grammy).

Grammy or not, we luckily all have music to turn to—and while this exact time isn’t exactly known for bringing us the bangers, I’ve managed to dig up some songs worth listening to while we wait for things to pick up again.

Scroll through the playlist below for 24 new tracks by Cheat Codes, Kim Petras, Le Youth, Years & Years, Touch Sensitive, NERO, Tycho and more:

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Music

Skyelyfe’s Definitive Ranking of the 18 Best Songs of 2018

December 30, 2018

When it comes to music, 2018 was an interesting year… to say the least.

You had the bad (the emergence of SoundCloud “rappers”); the surprising (Pusha T had a resurgence seemingly out of nowhere—and in a major way); the consistent (Cardi B just kept the hits comin’!); the classics (Death Cab for Cutie reverted back to their Plans-era sound with the release of Thank You for Today).

And while this was the first year in a very long time that there wasn’t a song I was consistently obsessed with, I will say there were still indeed some gems.

Keep reading for skyelyfe’s definitive ranking of the 18 best songs of 2018 (and scroll to the very bottom for the full playlist):

18. ‘Northern Lights’ by Death Cab for Cutie

I had to give this song a few listens before accepting this was actually from 2018, and not 2005—but this is meant in the best way possible. DCFC’s entire Thank You for Today was a much-appreciated time warp back to their Plans and Transatlanticism-era days—ones they’ve diverted from slightly in recent years. “Northern Lights” is the perfect uplifting melody, with the story-filled lyrics the band has maintained consistently. But seriously, this entire album is so good. It’s a reminder that “real” music still exists in this day and age.

17. ‘Back to Life’ by Hailee Steinfeld

Hailee Steinfeld has certainly had some catchy hits, but this gem from the Bumblebee soundtrack is without question her best. It’s uplifting, easy on the ears and really showcases her vocal talent. It’s truly an instant dose of happiness.

16. ‘Tease’ by Ralph

Canadian indie pop artist Ralph’s music is a wonderful reprieve from everything going in the world. Not only does her sound take you back to another era, but her lyrics are light, and her melodies are easy on the ears. And I guess it’s an added bonus that she’s adorable and sounds even better live. I had the pleasure of seeing her perform at The Moroccan Lounge during a rainy night in DTLA a few months ago, and it was a wonderful experience.

15. ‘OTW’ by Khalid, 6LACK, Ty Dolla $ign

Following the release of last year’s “Location,” I didn’t know if I could ever grow to like Khalid, as that song made a terrible first impression on me. “OTW” was the second song I’d heard by him (and the first by 6LACK), making me willing to give Khalid another chance. The dark, melodic jam produced by Nineteen85 (and with some additional vocals by Ty Dolla $ign) gives off those sexy ’90s R&B vibes in a way I haven’t heard in a long time.

14. ‘Science’ by Allie X

Allie X was definitely my artist of the year. The Canadian synthpop princess consistently churned out bop after bop, and that was pretty evident when it came down to the tough decision of picking just one song for my Top 18—it was between “Science,” “Focus” and “Girl of the Year.” While I only chose one track to be on this list, Super Sunset deserves its fair recognition as one of the best albums of the year.

13. ‘God is a woman’ by Ariana Grande

When I first saw the title to this song, I thought it was going to be a feminist ballad—and while it was certainly written in a way to empower women, it’s much more sexy before it is girl power. While most fans and critics hail “thank u, next” as Ariana’s song of the year, I have to say “God is a woman” never gets old, and when holiday season passes, I have a feeling the Christmas jingle-esque novelty of “thank u, next” will eventually fade as well.

12. ‘Walk It Talk It’ by Migos f./ Drake

Following their 2017 breakout year, Migos continued to churn out the hits in 2018. While “Walk It Talk It” is no “Motorsport” or “I Get the Bag,” it was a radio hit that I couldn’t quit, and even Drake’s verse impressed me.

11. ‘Young and Reckless’ by Charlotte Lawrence

One listen to Charlotte Lawrence’s well-developed vocals, mature lyrics (“Let’s just get undressin’,
get arrested, it’s fine”) and impressive production, you wouldn’t believe (just as I didn’t) that she’s only 18. The daughter of actress Christa Miller and behind-the-scenes Hollywood extraordinaire Bill Lawrence, the beautiful budding indie pop singer proves she has all the talent in the world to make it—established parents or not.

10. ‘Drop’ by G-Eazy f./ Blac Youngsta & BlocBoy JB

This song has all the components of a potential hit, but where did it go? This was definitely my early July anthem. I expected it to be huge, but it never took off. Either way, it deserves recognition, as it has one of the catchiest beats I’ve heard all year, and G-Eazy actually flows nicely on the track. And while I am totally anti-SoundCloud rappers, BlocBoy JB proved to be my one exception throughout the whole year.

9. ‘Under’ by Transviolet

Much like Allie X, selecting just one Transviolet song to make my Top 18 is no easy feat. With captivating melodies and lyrics that are equal parts heartbreaking and empowering, it’s hard to ignore this L.A.-based indie group’s appeal. “Under” is an expression of resilience and keeping your head high when you feel like you’re sinking.

8. ‘High’ by Sizzy Rocket

Alluring and mysterious, “High” is a diversion from Sizzy Rocket’s more angsty, girl-power productions of years past. Whether you’re in fact getting high or simply just lounging around in the house, this is the perfect track to keep you in a mellow state of mind.

7. ‘Powerglide’ by Rae Sremmurd

“Powerglide” was one of the first new hip-hop singles I heard on the radio in 2018—and it’s certainly one of the most underrated. While I thought for sure this would take over airwaves and set the precedence for a year of blast-worthy bops, I was indeed in for disappointment when the track barely got any love. Either way, this is a surefire jam, and even if it didn’t get as much mainstream love as it deserves, I’m giving it its fair acknowledgment right here.

6. ‘On Your Side’ by Penguin Prison

In a year full of either really crappy music or music that made us think way too much, Penguin Prison brought us this upbeat, carefree tune that evokes 100% good vibes. There are not enough wonderful things to say about this little gem right here.

5. ‘MI Amore’ by FRENSHIP

Much like the song that precedes it, “MI Amore” is all things upbeat and lively. According to what the duo told Billboard, the track is about “when you love something and truly care about it, chase after it with every ounce of your being and don’t let anyone or anything get in the way.” Amen!

4. ‘Without Me’ by Halsey

Raw and well-produced, it would take a heartless person to not feel an ounce of bittersweet emotion upon hearing this song. Not only is the track itself well-done overall, but it completely showcases Halsey as a true artist, in case anyone had their doubts.

3. ‘Let Me Know’ by LeyeT

I was unfamiliar with LeyeT (pronounced “light”) prior to hearing this song, but the indie pop tune has me very intrigued about this artist moving forward. The incredibly soothing melody accompanies lyrics that beg the question so many of us wonder: Are we more than just friends?

2. ‘Yes Indeed’ by Lil Baby & Drake

Because this song came out in the middle of the year, I can’t quite call it my 2018 anthem, but, once it dropped, it was on regular rotation nonstop. The only reason it didn’t make it to the No. 1 spot is because it’s a whopping 2:20 minutes long. So, while I wish there’d been a little more effort, I will never say no to this track.

1. ‘My Life’ by ZHU f./ Tame Impala

This isn’t the first time ZHU’s fallen into the No. 1 slot of my top songs of the year. His collaborations are key, and “My Life” by Tame Impala exemplifies just that. Easy on the ears, mellow on the mind, I could listen to this for hours and never get bored.

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Music

Skyelyfe’s Definitive Ranking of the 18 Worst Songs of 2018

December 28, 2018

Each year I write the exact same thing: Today’s music can’t get any worse…

And then 2018 comes around and SoundCloud “rappers”—aka professional autotuned whiners—emerge on the scene. Luckily, their lasting power doesn’t seem too strong, as in the span of a year, a chunk have either overdosed, gotten locked up, gone to rehab or gotten murdered.

Anyway, not going to waste much more time talking about these artists who bring absolutely nothing to the table… well, except to call them—and a few others—out directly for some not-so-stellar “contributions” to music this year.

Sometimes a bad song has nothing to do with the lyrics, but is more about the melody. Other times, the melody may be super catchy, but the lyrics are just too dumb to ignore. Either way, there were definitely a few handfuls of tracks I’d very much like to leave behind when the ball drops.

Keep reading for skyelyfe’s definitive ranking of the 18 worst songs of 2018 (full playlist at the bottom):

18. ‘Psycho’ by Post Malone

Some of Post Malone’s songs are catchy—others even heartbreaking; this one is just straight-up pointless.

via Republic Records

17. ‘High Hopes’ by Panic! at the Disco

The lyrics to this song are certainly motivational, and the beat is lively, but Brendon Urie sounds like he’s yelling at me, and therefore this song gives me much more of a headache than high hopes.

16. ‘Freaky Friday’ by Chris Brown & Lil Dicky

If you know me at all, you’re aware that Chris Brown rarely makes my “worst of” lists, as I think his music (not his personal life) is almost consistently top-tier. That said, “Freaky Friday” was gimmicky and really, really dumb. Luckily, it fizzled out from radio waves a few months into the year, so it didn’t have much of an impact, but my gosh, what was the point of this?!

via Dirty Burd

15. ‘Africa’ by Weezer

I’m all for Toto’s “Africa,” but if you’re going to cover it, can you please make it sound just a smidge different than the original? Otherwise, what’s the point?

14. ‘Better Now’ by Post Malone

Just a typical played-out Post Malone song that I found myself changing at every chance I got.

13. ‘Beautiful’ by Bazzi and Camila Cabello

Bazzi has some solid tracks under his belt—and while the message of this one is special, I feel like the melody takes me nowhere, therefore causing me to ignore the song’s meaning as a whole.

12. ‘Call Out My Name’ by The Weeknd

It’s not that this is the worst song, but it definitely shouldn’t have been a radio single. Had this just been a track on an album, I wouldn’t have had as much of a problem. I like that we can feel The Weeknd’s pain, but this is absolutely way too slow for top 40 airwaves.

11. ‘Chun-Li’ by Nicki Minaj

Where do I even begin? Nicki Minaj gets The Biggest Hater of 2018 award. She threw an epic tantrum when Astroworld went to No. 1 instead of Queen, but it’s because her music and attitude majorly sucked this year. Team Cardi all the way.

via Young Money Entertainment, Cash Money Records and Republic Records

10. ‘Barbie Dreams’ by Nicki Minaj

Sampled from a Notorious B.I.G. song that I was never a big fan of to begin with (no disrespect to Biggie overall), the added dose of Nicki’s angry voice in her contemporary version just makes me like it less.

9. ‘broken’ by lovelytheband

No. Just no.

via lovelytheband / Another Century

8. ‘I Love It’ by Kanye West & Lil Pump

Kanye West has done everything from flaunt a MAGA hat, to senselessly Tweet about who knows what—so it should really come as no surprise that he’d team up with a SoundCloud rapper (and sadly, this wasn’t the only instance) for a shitaeous collab.

via Warner Bros Records / Tha Lights Global & Def Jam Music Group

7. ‘Can’t Dance’ by Meghan Trainor

Can’t dance, can’t create a solid bop… what else?

via Epic Records

6. ‘Make Me Feel’ by Janelle Monáe

No disrespect to Janelle Monáe’s voice, as the singer is clearly talented (and beautiful to boot!), but I just can’t get past the melody of this song. It drives me nuts, and I therefore cannot listen to it.

via Bad Boy Records

5. ‘Finesse’ by Bruno Mars and Cardi B

I’m all for some throwback-era jams, but this just just did not do it for me.

via Atlantic Records

4. ‘Hello’ by 1takejay

If you want to dance to the sound of your alarm clock in the club, look no further than this crafty piece of work, which has a melody set to that generic iPhone ringer sound on your phone. Oh, and as an added bonus, the lyrics are somethin’ else.

3. ‘Girls Like You’ by Maroon 5 f./ Cardi B

I get it, Cardi B is the artist of the moment—and rightfully so. She’s a dope rapper, she’s quite pretty and she’s got remarkable confidence. That said, she doesn’t belong on every track. It makes sense everyone wants to work with her, but this song was just not a fit. It was like when Kanye was suddenly rapping on the updated version of Katy Perry’s “E.T.” It just didn’t make sense, and “Girls Like You” feels far less fitting. Also, I just really don’t like this song, period.

via Interscope Records

2. ‘SAD!’ by XXXTENTACION

It’s mind-boggling how much radio play this song got. It’s not melodic, it’s not catchy, it’s not deeply lyrical, it’s not good.

1. ‘Lucid Dreams’ by Juice WRLD

Where do I even begin with this one? The woe-is-me lyrics, horrible autotune, melody (taken from a Sting song, but tweaked terribly)… Funny enough, Billboard included it on their “Best of 2018” list, but for mild reasons, explaining, “The formula for ‘Lucid Dreams’ isn’t anything new—it pairs hazy production underlined by an acoustic guitar (borrowed from Sting’s ‘Shape of My Heart’) with dark lyrics about coping with a broken heart. What is new, though, is that a SoundCloud rapper found his way to top 40 radio.” Womp.

via Grade A Productions / Interscope Records

Need a quick refresher on these atrocious tracks? Look no further than the handy playlist below:

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Music

38 New Songs to Catch Up on During Thanksgiving Break

November 21, 2018

Whether you’re traveling or simply trying to stay busy/avoid people during the few days you have free for Thanksgiving, it’s the perfect time to catch up on new music.

For the last 2.5 months, I’ve been gathering songs that’ll take me into the rest of 2o18. With a tiny lull in the year, it seems like the perfect time to put these 38 tracks into a playlist.

Allie X is definitely my artist of 2018. I’ve featured her on numerous playlists this year, and “Girl of the Year,” off her new album Super Sunset, is absolutely a standout (along with so many others on her latest compilation of tracks)—but I decided to give this month’s top spot to Hailee Steinfeld, who came through at the very end of the year with her electropop “Back to Life” from the Bumblebee soundtrack, and hands down one of the top 5 pop songs of 2018.

Scroll below for what’s about to become your Thanksgiving 2018 soundtrack (I promise you won’t be disappointed):

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Music

6 New Electropop Albums to Tide You Over If You’re Impatiently Waiting for Robyn’s Honey

October 10, 2018

We knew the wait for Robyn’s brand new album was going to be painful, but it’s borderline agonizing over here.

Honey finally drops Fri., Oct. 26—and luckily, we’ve managed to find solace in a few other hard-hitting electropop albums released this year. If you’re also on the edge of your seat, below are a few recommendations to get you through the wait!

Tove Styrke – Sway

Tove Styrke's "Sway"
Fellow Swedish pop princess Tove Styrke is, dare I say, a mini Robyn. There’s definitely more to her latest feel-good pop album than meets the eye, though. Bubbly and electric on the surface, it takes a slow dive into human connection, vulnerability and some of life’s toughest lessons, all while remaining 100% danceable. She uses the intensity of her emotions to create bold, relatable music. It instantly felt like we were best friends after hearing this album—she just gets it.

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Ralph – A Good Girl

A Good Girl by Ralph

Ralph is a majorly stylish songstress who stole our attention after releasing “Cold to the Touch” last year. After hitting our ears, we instantly knew she was a new favorite go-to when we really want to groove. Naturally, her debut full-length album didn’t disappoint. Filled with heavy synths, ’80s guitar riffs and a flare for disco, it gives a stage to romance, heartbreak and everything in between. We know this strong but smooth debut is going to take her career to new heights.

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Lauv – I met you when I was 18. (the playlist)

I met you when I was 18. (the playlist)

Although “I Like Me Better” is the most well-known track on this album, we recommend giving this whole collection a listen. Tight bass lines, warm synths and amazingly layered vocals wash over you, as songwriter Ari Straprans Leff takes you on his sonic journey in love. We think it’s safe to say this record is a total game changer in the electropop genre.

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Lykke Li – so sad so sexy

so sad so sexy by Lykke Li

Lykke Li is the queen of sad pop and we dare you to tell us otherwise. She reinvented her sound a bit this time around with a few more noticeable hip-hop and electronic influences throughout the album—not to mention, the woman’s insane harmonies on the opening spine-tingler “hard rain.”

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Fickle Friends – You Are Someone Else

You Are Someone Else by Fickle Friends

With their debut full-length album, the UK’s Fickle Friends gives us all the infectious, get-up-and-dance tunes we’ll ever need in life. Bursting with energy, each song sounds like it’s straight off the Pretty in Pink soundtrack. They’ll even be playing the Teragram Ballroom in a few days, but, sadly, it’s sold out… of course.
Fickle Friends – You Are Someone Else

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Pale Waves – My Mind Makes Noises

My Mind Makes Noises by Pale Waves

Okay, we’ve had this one on nonstop repeat since it came out a few weeks ago. We like to think of Pale Waves as a female-fronted The 1975. Glittering guitars, crisp synths and catchy hooks will fill your sonic soundscape on this record in a big way. It’s just asking to be blasted at night on your way down the 405.

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Music

Tove Lo’s ‘Disco Tits’ (Literally) Steal the Show at Private Performance in DTLA

September 24, 2018

While Tove Lo‘s lead single “Disco Tits” from her third studio album Blue Lips has plenty of provocative lyrics to gain any audience’s attention, it was her actual umm, disco tits, that stole the show during an intimate performance on Thursday night.

After regretfully missing the Swedish sensation’s performance at L.A. Pride this year, I was beyond thrilled when Urbanears invited me to check out a short—but very sweet and satisfying—four-song set by the singer (who is the headphone brand’s Listen to Yourself campaign ambassador) at La Cita in DTLA. While the singer went on an hour late, it proved to be worth it, as I not only stood at the closest spot to the stage, but she didn’t slack in captivating an audience.

After assuring the excited crowd of approximately 150 people that she’d “come down and party with all of you” after her performance, she kicked things off with “Cool Girl.” But it wasn’t until two songs later with “Talking Body” that she began to tease the audience with some playful tugging at her midriff top, only to turn her back to the crowd, then turn back around and gave the audience a good glimpse of her aforementioned “disco tits.”

Body parts aside, Urbanears made sure there was something for everyone at the event. The bar’s entrance offered a take-as-you-please candy station, accompanied by a list of specialty cocktails themed around the artist. Once you stepped further into the event, there were two photo booth activations, a glittery display of the newest headphones, and a taco and quesadilla stand for the hungry. Oh, and let’s not forget about the amazing DJ and additional performance by Icona Pop that followed Tove’s.

Music

Kick off the Best Season of the Year With New Music by Wild Nothing, Allie X and 29 More Artists

September 6, 2018

Two things of major importance here: Fall officially starts on Sat., Sept. 22, and every day this week has felt like the season is already in full swing.

This never happens in L.A. I mean, last year it was 90-degrees in mid-December. So, anyway, yeah, I’m super excited. And what better way to welcome the best season of the year than with some amazing music? Lots of chill stuff here for your ears to consume.

Let’s start with Wild Nothing‘s fourth album Indigo, released last week. The 11-track, mellow dream pop playlist somewhat resembles their second album Nocturne, which is pure music to my ears—and perfect for setting the fall mood.

Another album standout is Death Cab for Cutie‘s Thank You for Today, their best full-length release since 2005’s Plans. Though Plans is pretty untoppable, this album is pretty amazing, not to mention there’s a song called “Autumn Love” (come on now!).

For all of this and much more (including new music by Emma Blackery, Allie X, Seven Lions, Troye Sivan, Bassnectar, and A R I Z O N A), scroll through the 32-song playlist below:

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Music

Robyn Releases First Single in 8 Years (Plus 26 Other Songs to Know in August)

August 1, 2018

If the quality of this playlist is any indication of how this month is going to go, then it’s going to be a good one!

Subdued and sultry, most of the songs that make up August’s new music selection don’t really fall into the sound of a typical summer month—but that’s ok, because this is one of my favorite playlists in a long time.

Before I get into everything else, I must acknowledge one very important tidbit of musical information: Robyn just released (as in an hour ago) her first single in eight years! Titled “Missing U,” fans of the Swedish electropop legend will be delighted to know nothing (as far as her sound is concerned) has changed since 2010’s Body Talk Pt. 2.

Now that I’ve got out of the way, the rest of the playlist is comprised of mostly moody melodies that may not kick up your dance party, but will certainly evoke emotion. Sizzy Rocket‘s “High,” Allie X‘s “Focus” and Cannons‘ “Round and Round” are pure beauties, as are Transviolet‘s “Undo” and Eli & Fur‘s “Something Is Real.”

If indeed you need a little pick-me-up, scroll down the list for Dillon Francis‘ “Never Let You Go,” Cosmo’s Midnight‘s “Polarised” and ARIZONA‘s “Freaking Out.”

For the full playlist of 27 fresh tracks, scroll below!

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Music

Get Your July 4th Playlists Poppin’ With G-Eazy’s New Banger (and 15 Other Fresh Tracks)

July 4, 2018

It’s July 4th!

This means BBQs, red, white and blue popsicles—and more “Party in the U.S.A.” spins than your ears can handle.

Not that there’s anything wrong giving love to a Miley Cyrus classic on the day of year that seems most fitting, but given the season, wouldn’t you also like to have those patriotic-themed pool parties surrounded with some new sounds as well?

If you were unprepared in the music department today, rest assured we have you covered. G-Eazy just released what we think should be the song of the summer. It’s called “Drop,” and it will have you dropping to the floor with its infectious beat. Like, we’ve seriously had this on repeat since we first heard it two weeks ago.

But that’s not all! If you’re looking for something a little more mellow, you’ll probably enjoy “Under the Sun” by Roosevelt or “Soweto” by Michael Brun and Shirazee.

Keep scrolling for the full playlist of 16 new songs we’re loving this July!

Music

Have a Magical May with New Music By Rusko, FRENSHIP, Heather Brave and 26 More Artists

May 8, 2018

Spring has sprung (aka it’s starting to get really hot outside), which means you’ll probably be driving around and going out a lot more—which also means you need a whole new set of songs to accompany your adventures!

For the month of May, we found 29 fresh tracks to spice up those sunny days ahead.

We’re especially loving Rusko‘s “High,” off the Dubstep guru’s newly released EP, Has Made Five More Songs. But as usual, we’re delivering a little something for everyone—whether it’s pop by Jake Miller, R&B by Bazzi and Mya (yes, that Mya!) and pretty much everything else.

Listen to the playlist below, and enjoy the rest of the month!

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