Every time I start up Spotify I’m introduced to a new artist. Some good, some bad; some to add to a playlist, others forgettable. Then there are those that make you stop everything because it is something entirely different. Who is this person? Where are they from? What’s their story?
I want to tell you about Tash Sultana. She’s a 22 year old Australian with an incredible story, and we’re already late to the game.
At 15 years old she started playing on the streets of Melbourne after school and on the weekends. On any given day she could’ve been performing one of the ten instruments she taught herself how to play. Fast forward some years, and she’s battling a year-long episode of psychosis thanks to a bad mushroom trip. She misses school for months, loses 35 pounds, but it was music that kept her from losing her mind. Then, last year, she creates Jungle, posts it on YouTube and she’s a star.
Her Tiny Desk Concert is time well spent. Not only is it remarkable to see her musical talent (looping all of her sounds), but Tash performing is nothing short of mesmerizing.
It was nearing the end of the night. Two more songs maybe? Just one? Ben looked around and could tell everyone was getting anxious to wrap it up and move onwards to their parties, their open houses…their freedom.
“Alright everyone, last song of the night. You know what that means..find that special someone one last time. Class of 2016, this is for you!” Was it possible for the DJs at these dances not to sound corny?
Ben’s eyes flickered frantically around the dim room. His heart rate picked up. The time had come. In his mind, he’d put himself in this exact moment countless times. It was his last shot to impress her, to make a statement, to look into her eyes. There was no afterparty for Ben. There was no next opportunity. After tonight was a summer of lethargic boredom and the foreboding unknowns of college.
Where was she?
There. Her yellow dress caught his eye. She was laughing with a friend. The colorful lights of the dance floor shimmered in her eyes; those eyes that first grabbed Ben’s attention sophomore year. He smiled.
Ben took a deep breath, walked over to her, and put his hand on her shoulder. She turned.
May I have this dance?
It’s 9:42 on Saturday morning, and I’m trying to go back to sleep. A small headache – thanks to some tequila, some beers, and definitely no waters – pulses to the beat of Rufus. The set they played last night was incredible, lighting up the feet of a sold out crowd.
If you follow this site, you don’t need a reminder of the greatness of Rufus. No, there’s something else entering my groggy memory: the opening act.
The Kite String Tangle is a fellow Aussie following Rufus’ current tour with good reason. He absolutely crushed the role of an opener, with a healthy dose of throbbing dance beats getting everyone hyped for Rufus to step on.
Curveball alert! Folk music!
Spotify Discover introduced me to Caamp, and sweet baby jesus am I happy about it. A little folk banjo pickin’ action coming from two Ohio dudes, I’ve been playing their debut album nonstop in the car. There’s not a song on it I don’t like.
“Ohio boys making beautiful noise”…. These guys Tyler and Evan have a bright future.
Think about this: songs almost always reveal themselves in the initial listen. Whether it’s a club banger, a chill vibe, a folksy love tale, or a mellow downer – we know what kind of song it is meant to be right away. You agree, right? Rarely do songs polarize listeners, blur the lines, and provide multiple moods.
Pale Sun Rose is a song I’ve been chewing on for a few weeks, and I still can’t put my finger on it. After seeing D-Man dabbling in my Spotify and gravitating towards this song himself, I found he had a similar reaction. We know this is a good song immediately; it’s unique and captivating. But what is the story – is it sad? Adventurous? Reflective? How is the listener meant to digest the song – for a roadtrip, around a campfire, on an aimless stroll?
I’m still not sure myself, but I know it’s cool music. And we should acknowledge the songs that lure us to dig into them; songs that aren’t cookie cutter in their theme and feeling.
What does this song do for you?
A lot has happened since my last post. I graduated from college. I drove across the country. I spent 4 months rowing vacationers down the whitewater of the Snake River. I explored the West. I drove a ton of miles.
I look back on all those hours behind the wheel and I miss it. Not because I like driving, but because I was always heading towards something sweet – a Montana weekend for the books with flowebro, a fly fishing trip in Yellowstone, the red rock of Utah, or simply my daily commute to the whitewater – I was always driving to exciting experiences and strange adventures.
Now the newest Aftermath member to join the 9-5 world, I’m severely missing those drives of anticipation and getting in the zone to some jams. (Most often Thomas Jack Tropical House sets). We can all agree there is nothing better to put you in the mood to send it than music. So whether you’re on your way to the slopes, the surf, or South Africa, I hope this playlist gets you stoked for the destination ahead.
Head towards something sweet.