Listening Post #22

by Soey Kim

Editor’s Note: I am really excited to introduce Soey Kim as the latest writer of PearShaped’s Listening Post. A huge thank you is owed to the previous writer, Ben Gladman, who did an excellent job. Soey and Ben have quite different musical tastes, and so I’m really looking forward to the variety of tracks that will be featured each fortnight.

As this is my first Listening Post for PearShaped, I thought I would set the tone with a ‘Revision/Work Playlist’ comprised of some ‘oldies’ - albeit, they’re not that old, but considering this post has been following the release of new tracks, I thought I’d switch it up a bit.

These tracks are mellow and chilled that they won’t distract you from your work. But they’ll also allude to and take you back to those summer days,  and so will (hopefully) help you get through your work, reminding you of what you have to look forward to.

1. HNNY - Most Really Pretty Girls Have Pretty Ugly Feet

Strange song title; brilliant song. It’s the sort of song title you might expect from a heavy ska/metallica album - but it’s nothing like the sort or what you might expect from such a song name. If you could imagine the city of Tuscany as embodied in one song, this would be it. It’s a light, beautifully produced track with a catchy melody riff and a prominent steady beat that will keep you focused when working. It’s one of those songs that you can listen to over and over again and never get bored of, or realise that the song has been playing on repeat. It’s a great song to work to but also a great summer tune.

2. POLO & PAN - Plage Isolee (Soleil Levant) + Plage Isolee (Soleil Couchant)

This might count as cheating as they’re two songs, but you can’t listen to one without listening to the other. Polo & Pan are one of my _favourite_ French artists, and after listening to this track you’ll see why. They fuse so many different musical genres and elements into their tracks - it’s folk, and trance, with Spanish and oriental influences with an EDM twist. It’s mellow and chilled but also incredibly vibrant and musically colourful, layered with ethereal vocals.

3. Henri Texier - Les-la-bas - Bonobo Remix

Henri Texier is a double bass player and has collaborated with Bonobo for this track, and if you enjoyed the original, you’ll enjoy this remix even more. Bonobo have stayed true to Henri’s original track, focusing it all on the beautiful double bass melody, but giving it an electronic kick. The electronic element isn’t too heavy, but parallels in lightness to the double bass melody. The electronic kick will just give you that extra bit of motivation to keep going with your work, and is again a great song for the summer to kick back and relax to.

4. Anderson .Paak - Room in Here

Finally, a song with some words! This track is my favourite from one of the best albums of 2016, Malibu. I can’t recommend the entire album enough - it’s a beautiful synthesis of gospel, soul, with Kendrick-esque vocals meeting the melodies (albeit, slightly more dense) of A Tribe Called Quest. But this track in particular is just the perfect balance of fun, light, gospel, soul, RnB - an easy, beautiful listen. Only catch is, it’s incredibly catchy (excuse the poor pun here), but, we all need a break and a sing along after all. I cannot recommend the entire album more, it’s the perfect album for a summer’s day. It is called Malibu after all.

5. Saux - LIWY

To finish, I’m taking us back to the electronic, mellow vibes with this song, and it’s crazy beautiful. It’s like The XX, but better.  Sorry, I said it, but let’s be honest, their latest album was an absolute flop. This track is beautifully simple, with minimal tracks, layered with dulcet vocals. It has a stunning melody line and is a song that you can definitely listen to over and over again when you’re working.

Listen to the PearShaped Listening Post #22 Playlist below.