Growing up, my parents never played the top 40 station as we drove to and fro in our iconic blue mini van. My dad strictly played “80s on 8” and “70s on 7” while my mom played the sinful sounds of Motown and Jill Scott. So, I’ve never have the same taste for popular music as my peers. When friends would ask me to make a playlist for a party, I would fill it with The Ramones, The Supremes, Television and Paul Simon, rather than the usual Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande. Even though my music would often be shut down within the third or fourth song, it felt so good to look up and see a few friends sway to the sounds of the past in appreciation. This playlist was made for anyone who needs to be reawakened via my favorite bands, and see the world through a new set of barre chords.
1. “Close To Me” – The Cure
The Cure is one of my favorite bands out of the 80s, embodying two things I think that era is known for: crazy hair, and, sometimes, overly emotional songs. With vinyl records making a song comeback, I believe that this band is a quintessential component on any playlist.
If you like this song, you’ll also like “Sunday Morning” by No Doubt.
2. “Is This How You Feel?” – The Preatures
The Preatures is a 5-piece Aussie band that continues to impress me as I listen to their upbeat and head-bopping album. Released last year, this album has a 70s rock element to it, and makes me want to roll down all the windows and blast it while driving down the highway on a bright summer’s day. Great song. Great band. Great everything.
If you like this song, you’ll like “Don’t Save Me” by Haim.
3. “Messed Up Kids” – Jake Bugg
One of my favorite artists of all time, Jake Bugg sounds, to me, like the product of Paul McCartney and Michael Kiwanuka. Mixing McCartney’s smooth vocals, and Kiwanuka’s soulful acoustics, every song on Bugg’s new album (appropriately named Shangri La) is utter perfection and tells a story that everyone should listen too.
If you like this song, you’ll like “Sixteen” by Bombay Bicycle Club.
4. “Drive” – Oh Wonder
I heard of Oh Wonder while looking for songs to listen to while shut up in the library during finals week, and I can solidly say that their soothing synchronized vocals are the single most important attribute for my success over the hellish week. Oh Wonder’s debut album consists of every aspect one needs to have a great band: meaningful lyrics, great vocals and simple instrumentation.
If you like this song, then you’ll like “I’ll Try Anything Once” by Julian Casablancas.
5. “Funn” – Cash+David
Cash+David is made up of two wildly talented artists who mix both of their electronic and indie backgrounds to make one extremely entertaining record. This song, along with others, has stellar guitar and fun beats that, no matter who the listener, make you want to tap your foot.
If you like this song, then you’ll like “Take My Picture” by Filter.
6. “Fallout” – Catfish and the Bottlemen
No playlist would be complete without a song by one of the best up-and-coming bands of 2016, Catfish and the Bottlemen. I’ve listened to this album on every medium I can get my hands on, and everytime I hear it I get knots in my stomach because that’s how good it is. Mixing a little bit of punk, rock, alternative and everything in between, this band never ceases to amaze me.
If you like this song, then you’ll like “If You Wanna” by The Vaccines.
7. “La Verite” – Francois & The Atlas Mountains
Lately, I’ve been on a bit of a french pop craze. Francois & The Atlas Mountains have great upbeat songs that you don’t mind not understanding because you’re too busy being entranced by the melodic piano and sinful hodge podge percussion instruments.
If you like this song, you’ll like “Tous Les Memes” by Stromae.
8. “Open House” – Bombay Bicycle Club
If you ever find yourself in an adventurous mood, listen to any of Bombay Bicycle Club’s albums and let the wanderlust wash over you as you listen to the musical stylings of Britain’s finest.
If you like this song, you’ll like “Archie, Marry Me” by Alvvays.