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 shows to society galas and balls, new beginnings and things that come to an end. Happy reading, and happy listening!
I can’t hear the word “tribe” without my brain immediately filling in “called quest,” so the March fashion spread — dubbed “Our Tribe” — set off visions of Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, and Ali Shaheed Muhammad in my head. Ergo, we kick things off with “Award Tour,” one of their most recognizable and breezy songs from their classic 1993 record Midnight Marauders.
On the eve of creating this playlist, Kendrick Lamar surprise-released an album called untitled.unmastered, an eight-song set comprised of demos from the sessions that resulted in 2015’s epic To Pimp a Butterfly album. Much looser and warmer than his oft-conceptual full-lengths, untitled.unmastered is a spirited view of the creative process of one of the best musicians working today. (Did anyone catch that incredible Grammy performance?)
Elsewhere, Wizkid and Davido continue to release bangers from the afrobeat scene in Africa — while these are hardly their most obscure songs, they are among their best. Pharrell Williams protégé Yuna teams up with Usher for a sumptuous slice of pop, while Oakland rapper Droop-E (the son of Bay Area legend E-40) teams up with chillwave queen Nite Jewel as the duo AMTHST; they released their gorgeously lush Euphoria EP at the tail end of January. And lastly, experimental R&B crooner Miguel teamed up with country star du jour Kacey Musgraves for a surprisingly great remix of one of the best songs off his 2015 Wildheart LP, “Waves.” It’s a true re-imagining of the original, and Musgraves does not sound out of place at all in this world (in fact, her vocals translate a lot better than the interminable Travis Scott remix of “Waves” off Miguel’s Rogue Waves EP, which is the same song remixed five times).
Also: Free Press Houston announced the lineup for the 2016 edition of Free Press Summer Fest. Deadmau5, The National, and Leon Bridges are the big headliners (with more promised to come), but if you ask us, we’ll be on the lookout for Jamie xx, Mac Demarco, Built to Spill, Thee Oh Sees, and Modest Mouse the most. Five of their songs appear throughout this month’s playlist, so get ready for some summertime fun in the extreme heat of June in Houston. (We also like BeatKing, Trae tha Truth, Ill Faded, The Black Angels, and the reunited Refused on the year’s FPSF lineup.)
Enjoy your spring break/March Madness/Lent!