Curating a playlist for a chill weekend might seem easier than it actually is.
Once it comes time to select a mix of artists with great rhythms and laid-back energy, there are tons of great and not-so-great options out there. Whether you’re having a hot cup of coffee on a foggy morning or having beers with a few friends, a subtle beat and friendly vocals are just what you need. We did the dirty work of sorting through and finding Spring 2020’s cream of the crop for the perfect weekend kickback playlist.
Click here for the full Nü Sound Kickback Spotify playlist!
1. Stevie wolf – “Ink”
Meet Stevie wolf – the indie-pop savant with a propensity for crafting earnest and intricate songs that make you feel like you’re not so alone. From themes of bravery and vulnerability to love and anxiety, Stevie captures a rollercoaster of emotions in “Ink”. With easy-going acoustic finger-picking and Wolf’s smooth and soft vocals, “Ink” leads listeners on a peaceful path of relaxation.
2. Rett Madison – “Shame Is A River”
In “Shame is a River” a lulling guitar melody welcomes you in with open arms and crystal-like vocals whisk you away. With an Americana twang reminiscent of cherished talents like Sheryl Crow and Joni Mitchell, Rett’s unbridled talent is evident in this deeply personal song. It’s equally raw but polished and there’s an intimacy interconnected throughout each layer of the track-from the cathartic violin, to the soothing guitar, the dominant piano, to her salient vocal runs.
3. Palma Louca – “Black Snow”
Exotically named and delivering nothing less. Newcastle based Palma Louca are a 5-piece indie/alternative band delivering a unique blend of indie rock, dream pop, and progressive shoe-gaze. “With ‘Black Snow’, we’ve tried to create an atmospheric and imposing piece of music that stirs the soul, contrasting to the high tempo energy of our most recent release ‘Billion’. Exploring emotions that are normally difficult to explain, the song attempts to deal with our thoughts when our lives are thrown into turmoil.”
4. alyse – “obvious.”
FOLLOW ALYSE: Instagram
5. Starwolf – “Real Love”
Real Love is the second single from Starwolf’s unannounced EP, due TBD in 2020. After traveling as stardust for 13.8 billion years through the universe, Starwolf has morphed into human form in order to satisfy your ears, or so their biography says. It seems accurate with the ’80s-feeling synth that accompanies the springy vocals in Starwolf’s latest single “Real Love”, bringing listeners to a sunny beach like the one on the track’s album artwork.
6. Of Good Nature – “Carolina Blue”
photo by Jake Rothwell
Charlotte band Of Good Nature is always a staple on any chill playlist, even more so with their new album “Everything Turns Gold” out today! This album is another example of the good vibes this band models their signature horn-based reggae sound after and features the nostalgia-tinged track “Carolina Blue”. Vocalist Cameron Brown’s raspy, airy voice is grounding and earthy, a unique feeling found in each delivery from this four-piece.
7. three/\sides – “The Duel”
With a passion for psychedelic surf rock and funky disco, three/\sides delivers a unique blend of soundscape and songwriting. Four friends decided to follow their passions and create original rock music by taking a polysemic approach, leaving the listener with more than one meaning to mull over. “The Duel” features surf-rock guitars and drifting vocals that will kick up the room’s energy.
8. Vince Desert – “Colorado”
From San Diego, Vince Desert creates music with a goal of emotional exploration and acceptance. With a relatable voice over simple synth, this gentle song brings upbeat happiness to each listener with his mountainous cooing. “Colorado” is the last track of his album Through the Smoke; A Liar. “This song is a special song I wrote while traveling across the country. I’ve always felt a connection to Colorado and this tries to capture that. Different than my usual message-driven music.”
FOLLOW VINCE DESERT: Spotify
9. Little Kid – “Losing”
Piano-driven, this indie folk track winds through lush arrangements and highlights the band’s obvious attention to detail in their songwriting process. Verses that detail the experiences of two down on their luck characters experiencing two different kinds of loss, before giving way to a call and response chorus between Boothby and banjo/keyboard player Megan Lunn. Tightly composed and beautifully realized, it’s an engaging preview of what awaits on Little Kid’s forthcoming LP. Little Kid’s Transfiguration Highway is due out on Solitaire Recordings on July 3rd. It is available for preorder here.
10. Raquel Lily – “Mary”
photo by Liesa Cole
Feeling like a piece of Paradise, funky and fun vocals from indie-soul artist and gamer Raquel Lily on her latest single “Mary” (guess what it’s about) has recording bits usually not found in a traditional reggae-based song. Tiny synth-scapes bring this song from super chill to the perfect mix of dance and smoking soundtrack. The track is dedicated to Lily’s LGBTQIA+ fans features laid-back instrumentation and brings smoky vocals and hazy melodies. The musician shares, “I wrote this song while coming to terms with my own sexuality. The chorus is about my liberation on that front, and how I don’t need to be ashamed of who I choose to love.”
11. Rosalie – “Gold (Acoustic)”
design by Kelly Anne Thomas
After an autoimmune disease left Rosalie without her cherished singing voice, she ended up creating a quiet yet powerful and transformative 2-single project, Alchemy. While she had already written the full version of “Gold”, the acoustic version help bring her back to her creative side. “I wrote this song in my living room after being flooded with grief. I was processing the loss of my dad, and I just started writing to help try to work through some of the heaviness and mud. I had been inspired to write after scrolling through Facebook and seeing a post about the kintsugi tradition in Japan. In kintsugi, broken pieces of pottery are welded back together with gold instead of being thrown away. The idea is that they become more beautiful for having been broken. When I saw this, it struck me and I felt like it was a metaphor for my life.”
12. Bohifale – “Tupperware”
photo by Ioan Urs
Lawrence Ola, under the moniker Bohifale (pronounced ‘Bowie-Fah-Leh), is based in Sydney and, interestingly enough, primarily works as an actor. This synth-pop track from Bohifale contains a brooding energy that feels quite relatable in today’s current conditions. Husky vocals tell the story of inner dialogue between a person and their mind, navigating the topic of self-worth. The bridge also incorporates the use of Samoan, Korean and Spanish languages.