I thought about doing so many different playlists, but the one I kept coming back to was one to help us all unplug, heal and find a little order amidst the chaos of 2020. I wanted to create some space and calm for those who have found themselves navigating a drastic amount of change, and new beginnings in 2020. Music has been an escape and a saviour for me this year, bringing me deep joy and peace, and has also left me feeling less alone during isolation.
This playlist has a little bit of everything from lofi chill-hop to jazz, classical and even Jamiroquai (a genre on his own). In this playlist, you’ll find music old and new, showcasing both International and Australian gems.
Many thanks to those who are listening, or are about to. I often say that sharing music is one of my love languages and so it brings me great happiness to be able to share this playlist with Peril.
If you enjoyed this playlist, you can find extended versions under my “mellow rockmelon sorbet” and “yage stick the house” playlists on my personal Spotify profile.
Sending love & peace.
Glory Box – John Martin
Originally written by the almighty and powerful Portishead, this track is a soulful cover by British singer-songwriter and blues guitarist, John Martyn. If you enjoy this track, then I would highly recommend listening to another of his tracks entitled ‘Solid Air’, which was my very first introduction to John Martyn. The composition of ‘Glory Box’ alone is fabulous and its descending baseline instantly sets a mood. But what truly sets this cover apart from the original is John’s raspy, deep and emotive voice and his bluesy, tasteful guitar lines.
Perdida – Biig Piig
Jess Smyth’s moniker, ‘Biig Piig’ is allegedly a name she saw on a pizza menu and I tell you what, this track is a slice of musical pizza I recommend sinking your teeth into. ‘Perdida’ meaning ‘Lost’ is an isolation/post-COVID favourite for her home-hitting lyrics over a hazy, lazy hip-hop beat.
“I just wanna lay here, smoke my cig and drink my wine and think, I wanna lay here, until my hurting’s done.” Isolation has been tough, and for some, coming out of it has been just as rough. Let Biig Piig remind you that you’re not alone if you’re feeling a little lost right now, in both English & Spanish.
m i s t – eevee
For someone with Chinese heritage, the sound of a Guzheng or a Dizi (bamboo flute) is incredibly evocative and comforting for me to listen to. When I first heard this lo-fi beat by Netherlands producer, eevee, I knew it was one I would be able to listen to over and over again. So simple, yet so pleasing to the ears.
Ylang Ylang – FKJ
French Kiwi Juice is at it again and with a title track like ‘Ylang Ylang’ – before you even listen to this tune, it is already promising to evoke calm & relaxation, relieve pain and inflammation and even, improve your mood. Like all good music, if it makes you feel good it has succeeded in its purpose, hasn’t it? The music video to this track is cinematic. I would actually recommend listening to this tune for the first time whilst watching the video. May this beautiful piano melody provide you with some much-needed relief.
Hammock – mommy
Another short and sweet lo-fi beat to help you roll on out of bed, make that morning coffee, sit in the sun and write out some things that you are grateful for in this current moment. Take a few deep diaphragmatic breaths, press play and sway a moment in your self-love hammock.
I only just realised that I put two songs in this playlist that have titles in Spanish. Well, Feliz Cumpleaños amigos! Enjoy! Meaning ‘Dream’ in Español, we have the track name, ‘Ensueño’ and personally, I think the rhythmical matter and overall production of this track is truly what dreams are made of. By this point in the playlist, I hope you’ve started to ascend and float amongst the clouds just a little. This track by GODTET (the brainchild of Australian instrumentalist and producer, Godriguez) will be sure to have you thinking more vividly and maybe, even, howling at the moon.
Morning Glory – Jamiroquai
And right on queue, Jamiroquai is that friend that will keep you up all night dancing, but also be there to pat your head and help with your comedown the next day. I would very much recommend listening to this particular track with high quality headphones. During the creation of this track, I’m assuming someone thoroughly enjoyed exercising the use of the ‘panning’ technique, as you can hear unique percussive elements darting from the top right corner of your cochleas, to the bottom left and back throughout the entire track. Discovered amongst the beast that is Jay Kay’s 2nd studio album, “Return of The Space Cowboy”, I’m alive once again after a bathe in this cleansing, meditative track.
Basel Bike Ride – Desmond Cheese
Brisbane based buttery beat-smiths, Desmond Cheese, are international and timeless in sound and vibe. If you haven’t discovered Desmond Cheese yet, I am so delighted to know this track from their latest album, Sunrise & Sunset, will be your first introduction. If you’re a newfound fan, do yourself a favour and listen to their entire ‘Peace & Quiet’ album from start to finish for some sublime, spacey grooves. I’d recommend indulging in this Basel Bike Ride if you are one for hitting the concrete at sunset on your wheels of choice (me personally: rollerskates) and riding a 20 degrees Celsius breeze all the way home.
In The Wee Small Hours of The Morning – Frank Sinatra
During COVID, I became indulgent with this song, listening to it often, perhaps a couple of times daily. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t stay up until 3am some nights on my lonesome, listening to romantic, slow-swinging, vocal jazz and feeling sorry for myself. I often reminisced about human connection and affection and realised that me, myself and I was sometimes not enough to sustain my social heart and love for interacting. So, this is an ode to Franky: thanks for singing me to sleep when nobody else was around.
Love & Peace – Quincy Jones
If there was an opening or closing track to a feature film about my life, I’d want Love & Peace to be it. ‘Love & Peace’ are two powerful concepts that the world has always been fighting for and this song manages to express that without words. And in mastermind Quincy Jones we trust, he has truly created such a stunning horn arrangement with this song. Oh! And just you wait for the treat of both a guitar AND a saxophone solo. I am in love with this track, and I like to think it loves me back. I feel warm and fuzzy every time I listen to it and I hope it treats you similarly.
Our Energy – Romeo Moon
Mellow and mystical Melbournian, Kevin Orr, under the moniker Romeo Moon shares his heart on this track with a simple message: “Our Energy, Is Beauty, Is Poetry, Share Heart. Our Energy, tis the pen defying gravity, is Love, within Heart.” At a time when we feel like we’re slipping further apart from one another, music like Romeo Moon’s brings me back to my most vulnerable core and reminds me of my interconnectedness with all other beings and nature. I’m teleported outside of the physical world and am reminded that the most powerful energies are the ones we often cannot perceive. I personally believe that intention, attention, love and gratitude are of the most powerful energies in this world, and this track reminds me of all four, in a mere four minutes.
Claire De Lune, L. 32 – Claude Debussy
Clair De Lune is a distinguished piece of classical music, and if you have not heard it before I’d be quite surprised. But when you listened to it previously, were you really listening? You see, to me, this music is sheer poetry. Every time I listen to it, I am transported into a story. I picture a romantic evening stroll along the streets and a dance under the moonlight, a kayak through a lake full of swans and lilypads with white flowers in bloom, a run and jump into a meadow of blue, red, yellow and orange flowers, or a shower under a waterfall on a hot summer’s day. It could be anything you please and that is why this song has never faltered in its 130 years of existence. When Claude Debussy was asked by his teachers what rule of musical thumb he followed, he often answered: “Mon Plaisir” meaning My Pleasure. Let Debussy take you to your own happy place, via your own imagination.
Sun Room – Wilson Tanner