Monday, December 20, 2021

Travelmarx Music Picks - Winter 2022 - No More Blue Mondays

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Composite of 25 albums covers used in the Winter 2022 playlist.
Composite of 25 albums covers used in the Winter 2022 playlist.

Here are 25 tracks to liven up your winter day. The playlist is on Spotify at Travelmarx Winter 2022. Toward the end of the playlist, the tracks tend toward psychedelic and downtempo. The 25 songs in this playlist are listed below.

In Italian, we would say that all these tracks are orecchiabile (catchy). The word has as its root orecchio (ear) with the addition of the suffix abile (reinforces that what goes before). If we translated it literally, we would say "earable music". For these earable tracks, we reach back to 1972 for the oldest track "Tudo Que Voce Podia Sera", by the Brazilian group Quarteto em Cy.

In the Northern Hemisphere, December 21 is often regarded as the first day of winter with the solstice falling on the 21st or 22nd. Winter solstice is the day with the fewest hours of sunlight in the year. The lack of sunlight can have a strong impact on well-being, which is why were were surprised to learn that the term Blue Monday, a Monday in January, is said to be the most depressing day of the year.  By then, we are past the shortest day. The idea was born in 2005 as what looks like a marketing term to sell vacations and but is now largely considered pseudoscience. We learned about the term Blue Monday recently visiting the Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci (aka the Science Museum in Milan). In the museum, a small exhibition called Sociocromie – 100 years and 25 colors, designed the architect Giulio Ceppi, associates 25 colors with significant events and movements in Italian society. The color (R: 125, G: 159, B: 196) for the year 2004 was for the term Blue Monday. With all that said, you won't find New Order's "Blue Monday" in this playlist!

Blue Monday from the Sociocoromie - 100 years in 25 colors exhibit.Sociocromie logo. The colors covered in the Sociocromie exhibit.
Left: Blue Monday from the Sociocoromie - 100 years in 25 colors exhibit. Center: Sociocromie logo. Right: The colors covered in the Sociocromie exhibit.


Tracks 1 – 5

Cayucas – "Bigfoot" (2013). Track "High School Lover".

Jon Batiste – "WE ARE" (2021), track "Freedom". Love the video to this song.

Sleigh Bells – "Treats" (2010). Track "Rill Rill".

Cults – "Cults" (2011). Track "Go Outside".

Caroline Rose – "LONER" (2018). Track "Jeannie Becomes a Mom". Love the cover showing Rose (?) with a mouthful of cigarettes.

Tracks 6 – 10

Ezéchiel Pailhès – "Tout Va Bien" (2017). Track "Éternel été". Damn catchy tune.

The Blaze – "Dancehall" (2018). Track "Places". Another French group.

Alabama 3 – "Exile on Coldharbour Lane" (1997). Track "Ain't Goin' to Goa".

Lana Del Ray – "Norman Fucking Rockwell!" (2019). Track "Doin' Time". Originally a Sublime song that sampled George Gershwin's "Summertime".

Jadu Heart – "Melt Away" (2017). Track "I'm a Kid". A band from Huddersfield & London whose music is a mix of psych rock, electronic and indie music.

Tracks 11 - 15

Thao & The Get Down Stay Down – "A Man Alive" (2016). Track "Meticulous Bird".

Malik Djoudi – "UN" (2017). Track "Allant vers, à l'envers".

Brazilian Girls – "Brazilian Girls" (2005). Track "Lazy Lover". Brazilian Girls is a band from New 
York, United States, known for their eclectic blend of different musical styles.

Shannon Shaw – "Shannon in Nashville" (2018). Track "Broke My Own". Shaw is part of the indie band Shannon and the Clams.

William Onyeabor – "Who is William Onyeabor" (2013). Track "Body and Soul". Onyeabor (1946 – 2007) was a Nigerian funk musician and businessman.

Tracks 16 – 20

Buddy Sativa – "Deus Ex Machina" (2011). Track "Una Peripecia".

Mountain Man – "Magic Ship" (2018). Track "Rang Tang Ring Toon". Three woman and two llamas on the cover, what's not to like about that from this American trio?

Gruff Rhys – "Seeking New Gods" (2021). Track "Loan Your Loniless". This year a lot of music from France and Wales has been circulating in our house, including this by the Welsh musician, composer, producer, filmmaker, and author.

Jane Weaver – "Flock" (2021). Track "The Revolution of Super Visions". Weaver is an English singer, songwriter, and guitarist.

Pond – "Tasmania" (2019). Track "Burnt Out Star". We like our psychedelic rock and we like Pond, a psychedelic rock band from Perth, Western Australia, formed in 2008. The track "Burnt Out Star" changes in the middle to a good groove built around the date 1917. Meaning?

Tracks 21 – 25

Warhaus – "We Fucked a Flame Into Being" (2016). Track "Time and Again". Warhaus is Maarten Devoldere, is a Belgian singer-songwriter and music producer.

The Colorist Orchestra, Emiliana Torrini – "The Colorist & Emiliana Torrini" (2016). Track "Catepillar". The Colorist Orchestra is a pop/chamber music collective that rearranges the repertoire of an invited singer-songwriter, in this case Emiliana Torrini.

Quarteto Em Cy – "Quarteto Em Cy" (1972). Track "Tudo Que Voce Podia Sera". The group's name Quarteto em Cy is a play on words of the Portuguese for Quartet in B by poet and lyricist Vinicius de Moraes. Quarteto em Cy is a Brazilian girl group originally composed of four sisters from Ibirataia, a in the Brazilian state of Bahia: Cybele, Cylene, Cynara and Cyva.

Leifur James – "A Louder Silence" (2018). Track "Mumma Don't Tell". James is a London-based experimental producer, composer and vocalist known for his esoteric avant-garde style.

Kraak & Smaak – "Juicy Fruit" (2016). Track "Hands of Time". We end the playlist with a track from the musical production trio from the town of Leiden, Netherlands.

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