Just Good Bops: June
June’s here! It’s hot! It’s time to go outside and show the world your legs and arms and feet! With that in mind, I tried to make this month’s playlist broad so that it can cover any number of outdoor/outdoor-adjacent summer activities of varying energy levels — from laid-back beach days (surreptitiously drinking wine spritzes out of view of the lifeguards) to raucous weddings (hitting the dance floor with your drunk extended family members).
And once you’re on Spotify, you should really click through and listen to these albums in full:
Hot Chip, Why Make Sense?
Hot Chip consistently makes excellent pop music with R&B and house undertones. Their dance songs are fun (funny, even!) and their sweet songs are romantic, lush, and wistful. I included a song from their 2015 album, Why Make Sense?, which Pitchfork aptly described as, “probably the fourth-best Hot Chip album. But that’s not necessarily a knock, because their fourth-best album is still a very good album.” Give this album a listen, and make sure you carve out time for songs like “Boy From School,” “Over and Over,” “Ready For The Floor,” and “Look At Where We Are.”
D’Angelo / The Vanguard, Black Messiah
D’Angelo hadn’t released an album in 14 years and then, with no warning, he decided to pull the biggest flex and released an unbelievable album that spoke to the national unrest sparked by the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. If you like blues, funk, soul, or R&B, then you’ll like Black Messiah. It’s weary and funky. Make sure you listen to “Sugah Daddy” and “Another Life.”
Vince Staples, Big Fish Theory
If you’re like me and you want your club bangers to come with a side of commentary on class and entitlement, then look no further than Big Fish Theory. The songs are explosive and manic in the best way possible. And I know that this is meant to be a music recommendation blog post, but Vince Staples is also an extremely good Twitter follow (but he has a habit of deleting his best tweets).
And here’s the usual disclaimer! I’ve never been good at curating a playlist that ebbs and flows in just the right way, so just throw this shit on shuffle and have a good time. 🎧