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Tag: EW Playlists (1-10 of 52)

Manchester Orchestra share a playlist of inspired cover songs

Atlanta’s Manchester Orchestra have followed up their 2014 album, Cope, which combined indie rock melodicism with hard rock heft, in a novel way. Their new LP, Hope, is a track-by-track reimagining of Cope as a much quieter and more subdued affair, replacing crunching guitars and pounding drums with delicate acoustic picking, soft horn and piano arrangements, and the marked influence of both rootsy Americana and intricately assembled chamber pop. It’s a daring concept, but the band’s managed to pull it off, creating an album that not only sheds a different light on Cope but may even be an improvement, at least to some listeners.

In keeping with Hope‘s theme of radical musical reinvention, MO has assembled a playlist of covers songs that offer a far different experience than the originals (plus a Paul Simon demo that shows how much Graceland‘s “Homeless” changed between inception and completion).


Genre-blending German pop duo Milky Chance shares a playlist

“I don’t think we did it consciously,” Milky Chance beat-maker Philip Dausch says of the mix of pop, folk, and house music that’s helped put their “Stolen Dance” on the pop charts in more than a dozen countries. “I think it’s something that we always do instinctually. We are not the persons to kind of have a favorite song or play only one certain genre.”

The German duo, made up of Dausch and songwriter/vocalist/instrumentalist Clemens Rehbein, are flexible musicians—they previously played together in a jazz group—and even more flexible listeners. “We have a good education in music,” says Dausch, “and we always love to play all tunes. We are always interested in a lot of exotic music. We like rap, we like classical, we like jazz, we like pop. We don’t have favorites. We like to put things together.”

Their adventurous listening habits are apparent on their genre-hopping debut LP Sadnecessary, which came out earlier this week. They also come through loud and clear on the exclusive playlist that they created for EW, which includes South African vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, wiggy former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante, and shadowy post-dubstep singer-songwriter James Blake.


Hear the Barr Brothers' eclectic playlist for 'Half Crazy'


The Barr Brothers is a four-piece band, only two members of which are brothers named Barr. They’re usually classified as roots musicians, but on their second album, Sleeping Operator, they show off a broad range of influencesbefitting a group that includes an erstwhile experimental harpistthat draws from far outside traditional Americana. “Half Crazy,” in particular, is the group’s tribute to the trance-inducing North African blues of Amadou & Mariam and Moroccan gnawa master Mahmoud Guinia, a hypnotic, recursive fractal of a piece with an acoustic texture that roots fans should find familiar even as it draws from influences half a world away. In order to place it in its proper context, the group’s made a Spotify playlist showing off the music that inspired its creation, capturing a fruitful collision between Guinia and Muddy Waters, and more.


'Vampire Diaries' star Michael Malarkey shares a playlist of his influences

Michael Malarkey is best known for his role as Enzo on The CW’s hit show The Vampire Diaries, but the actor isn’t always causing trouble in Mystic Falls. In anticipation of Malarkey’s EP release, Feed the Flames, on Oct. 12—not to mention Enzo’s return on tonight’s TVD—he put together an exclusive playlist for us using Rdio.

The playlist is compiled of the songs that have inspired his songwriting. As Malarkey puts it, “This music is for active listening. Preferably while driving across the country in a beat up Oldsmobile. Or on a Greyhound bus watching the ghost towns flicker by through the misty window. Or maybe just sitting in your den with your eyes closed and a stick of Nag Champa burning…”

Check out the playlist below, along with his reasoning for each pick.


Gedeon Luke shares a beginner's guide to soul and gospel


If any one city can claim to be the spiritual home of soul music, it’s Memphis, where R&B, blues, and gospel have been commingling for generations. Memphis native Gedeon Luke is a student of his hometown’s soulful history, and with his band the People he makes music—like their recent full-length debut Live Free & Lovethat not only replicates classic soul’s rich, organic tones but also the crucial blend of spirituality and sensuality that’s fueled the genre’s most important works. Ever an energetic proselytizer for the form, Luke made EW a primer on the soul and gospel music that inspires him.


Emo revivalists Joyce Manor share the soundtrack of their tour

One of the most heartening aspects of the ongoing emo revival is that most of the bands taking part in it seem to have not only inherited the sound of the genre’s ’90s-era second wave but the heavy streak of egalitarianism that was one of its primary non-musical qualities. That being said, Torrance, Calif.’s Joyce Manor enjoy something of a “first among equals” position, with a fan base that’s quickly growing to legitimate rock star size, a surprising amount of mainstream media attention, and a new album, Never Hungover Again, on the famed punk label Epitaph.

Never Hungover Again combines the earnestly awkward adolescent squawk of emo foundation-layers Cap’n Jazz with Cali pop-punk’s buzzsaw hooks, but on this exclusive playlist for EW, the band shows off some impressively diverse listening habits. Collecting some of the music that they’ve had in heavy rotation while on tour, it includes everything from ska-core heroes Operation Ivy to the Cocteau Twins’ gothy dream-pop.


Purling Hiss conjure weird, gritty VHS vibes with a playlist

Singer-songwriter Mike Polizze occupies the weird zone where experimental art music and eccentric rock ‘n’ roll overlap: an odd but fruitful territory that’s been home to generations of Weird Rock heroes from Frank Zappa to Ariel Pink. Recently Polizze’s expanded his project Purling Hiss from a solo endeavor to a trio, upping the music’s pop quotient in the process, and in the process created his most accessible album. Weirdon, released today on Drag City, delivers classic rock tunefulness enveloped in a haze of freaky vibes that feels a bit like the group’s label mate Ty Segall but just a touch more tweaked out.

To celebrate Weirdon‘s release, Polizze compiled an exclusive playlist for EW that he says has “a gritty lo fi/VHS aesthetic.” If you like your rock music weird and obscure, you’re in luck.


Hear a 'bountiful autumn' playlist from The Drums


EW recently talked to Brooklyn indie heroes The Drums about their new album, Encyclopedia, and you can read the jumbo-sized Q&A with founders Jonny Pierce and Jacob Graham here. We also asked the pair for a playlist, and they gave us 10 tracks covering an impressive range of sounds and styles, from ambient goth to jittery postpunk funk to the Disney Robin Hood soundtrack.


Singer-songwriter Lowell talks about the messy origins of her debut LP

Elizabeth Lowell Boland, better known simply as Lowell, is a nomad. At various points, she has resided in Calgary, the Yukon, Toronto, Massachusetts, Georgia, and London.

Over the course of her travels, she’s accumulated a similarly broad range of work experiences, from stripping in Toronto to writing for the Backstreet Boys to playing in a band with one of the guys from Coldplay. After all this wandering, the 22-year-old singer-songwriter is finally releasing her debut LP Tuesday on the Canadian label Arts & Crafts. We Loved Her Dearly is both intensely catchy and emotionally deep, with songs that draw from her experience in abusive relationships, as well as a passionate political streak that comes through on her queer pride anthem “LGBT” that carries on Le Tigre’s legacy of mixing activism and dancefloor-friendly beats. The music is as complex as her subject matter, fiddling with contemporary electronic pop conventions with frequent nods to such diverse influences as Pet Sounds and Aphex Twin.

Before the album’s release, Lowell spoke to EW about its origins from a cab in Toronto, where she resides—at least for the time being.


Nude Beach share a playlist of their inspirations, and it's kind of like a collage

Brooklyn trio Nude Beach have a rare talent for borrowing sounds and ideas from various high points in rock history without coming off like copycats. Part of the reason is that they tend to collage bits from different styles and periods within one single song  part of it’s the quality of material that they’re drawing from, and part of it’s just a gift for writing undeniable hooks. While they’re getting ready for the release of their third LP 77 and an accompanying fall tour, the band took a break to make EW a playlist of songs that inspired the album. Covering everything from modern jangle revivalists to classic country to psychedelic folk, it’s proof that when it comes to making records, the band’s working with top-shelf ingredients.


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