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Welcome to the Under the Radar Weekly Playlist

Current Rotation #1 Featuring: Com Truise, Operators, Charly Bliss, The National, Big Thief, Aldous Harding, Mac DeMarco, Kevin Morby, Cate Le Bon, FONTAINES D.C., and more!

May 18, 2019 Under the Radar’s Weekly Playlist Bookmark and Share

Hi everyone and welcome to the relaunch of the Under the Radar Weekly Playlist. This is the first one I have curated for Under the Radar and I’m excited to be the mix tour guide going forward – sometimes in the dark. This one highlights records that have been released in the past month or so and there have been some dandies, including a few released just yesterday.

These playlists will not always just include new releases; playlists based on new releases in a given week could potentially be pretty short. So, the field will be opened up to a variety of themes (and get at me if you have any ideas). Some will focus on a genre or an era in music history. Some will be inspired by a single song or artist, some by an event, a film, a concert…a mood. There are all kinds of directions this can and will go and I will be at the helm on this continuous journey. I hope you get on board!

I’ve been a mixtape head since my early adolescent days in New York City when local hip hop, r&b, and reggae DJs would push cassettes out of cheap briefcases on the corners of busy neighborhoods. I fell in love with the atmospheres conjured by cleverly mixed compilations and it was also a really entertaining way to learn of new tracks that had just dropped. Creating my own versions quickly became a hobby, and then an obsession.

Being socially awkward and romantically clueless, I turned to the words and moods of musicians, leveraged by melody and rhythm, as a means to express the things I had a hard time communicating cleanly. I recognize that I’m not offering anything novel here about the power of music and its mixes. It’s why we gravitate to song: some courageous artist crystalizes into a precious gem what stirs inside us all, and needs to find a way out. Blockages of confusion, desperation, and heartache, and conversely build-ups of passion, sexuality, and adoration are all allowed release through song. I’m just reiterating what all music lovers know too well as a platform of context. Though I’ve gotten better at speaking my own mind and communicating scrambled thoughts to get across all that bubbles inside, I still turn to the mix as a way of giving shape and voice to the most electric parts of my being at a given time.

Enough of that. Let’s get into these tracks that speak for themselves. Many Under the Radar readers will already be familiar with the artists that have populated this playlist titled Current Rotation #1, so rather than introduce each new song, I’ll briefly describe the sectional progression. The key to a good mix, in my opinion, is the flow and connectivity of its songs. That’s also the hardest thing to achieve.

I kicked it off with a synth-driven intro led by a slow builder from the new Com Truise record, followed by more upbeat fresh releases from the collar-grabbing returns of Operators and Charly Bliss. A track from The National’s most collaborative record to date offers a pivot into the sauntering, stripped down heart of the playlist featuring a mixture of lyrical transparency and witticism from the likes of Big Thief, Aldous Harding, Mac DeMarco, Kevin Morby, and Cate Le Bon. Another pivot from the mysterious and timelessly groovy Turks Altin Gün gives way to a post-punk punch combo from refreshingly welcome newcomers FONTAINES D.C. and new releases from beloved brooders Protomartyr and Interpol. This should get your heart rate up before the cinematic closure from the imaginations of Weyes Blood, all-time great film composer Thomas Newman, an epic shoegazing team up between Penelope Trappes & Mogwai, and finally a 19 plus minute track from Unknown Mortal Orchestra that serves as a mix in its own right.

I hope you all enjoy listening. May these songs keep you company as they have done me – Charles Steinberg


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Jorge Garradas
May 22nd 2019