PaperCity Magazine hits the stands with an evocative theme every month. Images and words designed to enlighten, entertain, and inform. With PaperCity Sounds, we present a music playlist inspired by the month’s happenings, from fashion to society galas and balls and new beginnings.
From the ashes of 2015…
There’s little argument against the idea that 2015 was a banner year for music; it was so good that it will take us few weeks into 2016 to digest it all. And, after all that holiday eating and drinking, January always has us in a a bit of a haze. What could be more appropriate than to suggest it will be a dreamy 2016?
So we’ve taken the hint: If you’ve turned on a radio, you’ve probably heard “Say It” by R&B crooner Tory Lanez. What you may not realize is that the tune is an interpolation of a classic Brownstone song, one of those “play it for me and I’ll immediately recognize it” tracks. “If You Love Me” is now a dream, a lost R&B hit trending at the top of 2016 as a newcomer reinterprets its charm (fans of Xscape, Total and SWV should apply).
Further down the playlist, we have California gurl Kali Uchis, the latest single from David Bowie‘s excellent new Blackstar album, a fantastic surprise. Compared to 2013’s The Next Day, Blackstar is yet another reinvention to add to Bowie’s long career.
Some 2015 faves from D’Angelo, Alabama Shakes, and Tinashe fill out the rest, and, much like the reimagining of Brownstone, Erykah Badu reimagined a classic New Edition song with her version of “Mr. Telephone Man,” less a cover and more of an interpretation, from her latest album/mixtape, But You Cain’t Use My Phone. Another stunner is Archy Marshall‘s “Ammi Ammi” from his December record, A New Place 2 Drown. That record is less interested in pop melodies, more interested in an atmosphere: a dreamy, slightly unsettling vision in which Marshall mixes drums that knock like a Mobb Deep track song and his trademark baritone.
Lastly, Kelela delivered on 2013’s great Cut 4 Me mixtape with her EP from October, Hallucinogen. If the rest of this playlist sets you up for a dreamy 2016, with its pop Giorgio Moroder synths and classic Portishead songs, then Kelela really sets it off with her dark, deliberate twist on R&B, essentially the complete inverse of the nostalgic sounds of Brownston, Badu, D’Angelo, Kali, and The Internet, more of a hallucination than a dream.
We’re starting 2016 not asleep, but with musical visions in our heads.