Top 10 Best Songs to Set the Mood

Let’s be real — sometimes it takes more than candles, rose pedals, and whatever else you’re in to (no judgment here) to set the mood.  You can play the stereotypical Marvin Gaye or Miguel, but where’s the fun in that?  Besides, “the mood” is different each time — for example, a song to set the tone for when one of you is going through a difficult time (so, like, grief babymaking) will most likely not set the proper “mood” for when you’re both coming home from a great night, slightly buzzed, and majorly frisky (I mean, unless that’s your thing).  “The mood” varies, and so should each babymaking song.  Here’s a playlist with a mix of indie, hip-hop, electronic, and a whole lot of ~sensual~ music accompanied by rom-com worthy situations for each song:

Parks-and-Rec101. Good For You by Selena Gomez, A$AP Rocky.  “Let me show you how proud I am to be yours/ Leave this dress a mess on the floor”  You’ve been dating your significant other for a little while now, and it’s really good, but you’re so paranoid of it becoming stale.  You’re unconsciously desperate and almost obsessed with pleasing your partner.  You constantly think of ways to surprise him/her and prove that you’re worth it.  (Side note: You’re worth it.  Don’t ever prove yourself to anyone.)

2. All The Time by Bahamas.  “I’ve got all the time in the world don’t you want some of that”  Two words: Afternoon delight.  You wanted the both of you to play hooky from work to, ummm, “spend time” with each other, but you have that 10:30am conference call that you cannot miss.  So you both go to work, but both rush home to “eat lunch.” 😉 😉 😉  You both go back to work slightly frazzled, a little messy, but with a bigger smile and a bit more energy.  Hey, lunch must’ve been really delicious today!

3. One Time by Marian Hill.  “You like the hit and run/ You say it’s all for fun”  This song is straight-up sensuality and swagger.  You meet someone at the bar (who’s not creepy or douchey or ditzy – idk it might be the tequila talking), and you’re surprised at how decent the conversation is.  You initiate conversation because you apologize for your drunk friend bumping into everyone in a 10-foot vicinity, and he/she flashes you a 1000-mega-watt smile (idk again, everything’s kind of blurry).  You talk a little about your music tastes, your careers, and your mutual dislike for Donald Trump, and wow, you’ve never met anyone this refreshingly normal at a bar before.  It goes without saying that you mutually agree that tonight, despite what Marian Hill is crooning about, you will have a one-night stand (and promise to pretend to still be sleeping when the other is tip-toeing out of the apartment the next morning).

4. Powerful by Major Lazer, Ellie Goulding, Tarrus Riley.  “There’s an energy/ When you hold me/ When you touch me/ It’s so powerful”  You’re at your friend’s overly packed holiday party, and as you’re trying to make your way back to the bar to fill up your glass, you bump into your old ex (the one that you really and wholeheartedly loved even when you broke up and cried for weeks and watched PS I Love You over and over again).  You’re both kind of startled, but in a crowded room full of people, it’s just you two.  And, honestly, it feels comforting to see such a familiar face.  He/she asks if you want to get some air, get a drink elsewhere, or really anything to be alone together.  (Side note: This has probably already happened in roughly 85-120 romantic comedy movies probably starring either Kate Hudson or Katherine Heigl.)

5. Talk is Cheap by Chet Faker.  “I wanna make you move with confidence/ I wanna be with you alone”  You’re both coming back from a great dinner filled with plenty of laughter and happiness.  As you walk home arm-in-arm, you realize how much you admire him/her — literally everything about the person, even the annoying way he/she puts the carton back in the fridge even though there’s about a millimeter of juice left.  When you both finally arrive home and are unwinding, but still basking in the greatness of the night, you both mutually want to show each other just how much you really feel for one another.  (Side note: This song is meant for your FOR REAL, ride-or-die, legitimate lover/soulmate/best friend/person.  Chet Faker should not be taken lightly.)

6. Two Weeks by FKA Twigs.  “My thighs are apart for when you’re ready to breathe in”  You’ve been dating your significant other for a while because, let’s be real, things can get real freaky when FKA Twigs comes on.  No need to go into detail with this one *insert awkward/nervous emoji here*.

7. Black Mambo by Glass Animals.  “Slow down/ It’s a science/ He’s been waiting/ To bring you down”  You’re at an informal, mini-reunion with all of your old college pals, and you’re having a genuinely good time catching up with everyone and feeling like absolutely nothing’s changed.  One minute you’re chugging beer with your one friend you always thought was attractive but never had the guts to cross that line, and the next minute you’re asking that friend: “What if we actually did hook up back then?”  More than a few minutes after that (or at least I’d hope so), your “What if?” becomes a “What now?”

8. Slip by Elliot Moss.  “Whoa, whoa, whoa”  You’ve been dating this person for a little while now, but the relationship (if you can even officially call it that yet) is still brand spankin’ new.  Everything’s a little awkward at first, and you’re both cautious and a little timid, but there’s also a sense of urgency.  You fumble, you stumble, you mumble.  Everything’s tame, but you both know how pivotal this moment is.

9. Four Walls by Broods.  “I wanna make you feel how I feel when I’m listening to love songs/ I wanna take you to the peak of everything that you are”  Everything’s perfect, and you both love each other a ridiculous amount.  But then your company transfers you to a branch in a different country, and you’re stoked because this is your dream and exactly what you’ve been wanting to do — the ultimate next step in your career and your life.  And then you remember your significant other.  You both talk about it over and over again, and you both realize it wasn’t meant to be at this time.  You ache because you know that in another life, in other circumstances, you would 100% be together, but not right now.  You spend your last night in your home country in the place you know best.

10. Often by The Weeknd.  “I usually love sleeping all alone/ This time around bring your friend with you/ But we ain’t really going to sleep at all”  You swore you would stop hitting up your friend-with-benefits/routine booty call, but it’s Saturday night and you’re bored.  So your FWB comes over to innocently watch the game with you and drink a couple of beers.  But then you’re both staring at the game timer as it slowly ticks down second-by-second, and oops wow, you didn’t even realize you were holding your breath with your fists tightly clenched.  It goes to commercial, and in a nanosecond you look over at each other, make knowing eye contact, and then — touchdown, goal, score, home run (who even knows what sport you two were “watching”).

**BONUS**

magic mike

11. Pony by Ginuwine.  “My saddle’s waiting/ Come and jump on it”  When you feel like getting your Magic Mike on.

Stay tuned,

Roxanne

“When I look back I might be mad that I gave this attention”

UPDATE, 8/3:

Yes, this beef nonsense is still continuing.

To basically bury Meek Mill in even more shit, Drake opened up his set at OVO Fest with “Charged Up” and “Back to Back” while a stream of Meek memes was projected behind him.  Memes varied from a participation award entitled to Meek and his diss track “Wanna Know” to a meme of Meek as a contestant on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” with the question “What is the Pink Print Tour?” (LOL).  Also, earlier in the day, Drake was allegedly wearing a “Free Meek Mill” t-shirt.

Meek Drake

So, basically, I’d say this is equivalent to a K.O. for Meek.

Stay tuned,

Roxanne

UPDATE, 7/30:

Meek Mill has finally responded to Drake with his own diss track (if you can even call it that) “Wanna Know,” which was produced by Jhalil Beats and Swizz Beats.  The track features a sample from WWE wrestler the Undertaker’s theme song as well as Quentin Miller, Drake’s alleged ghostwriter, who sings the chorus of “Know Yourself.”  I’ll be completely honest and admit that for the rest of the song, I couldn’t understand what Meek is actually saying.  And really, I’m a little over all of this so I couldn’t really be bothered to even listen to this track for a second time.  From the little I could actually understand, Meek referenced old rapper beef in the last line of the track (“This that Ja Rule shit and 50 cent”).

“Wanna Know” features unintelligible, angry mumbling and a whole lot of forgettable weak one-liners.

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Drake: 3, Meek: 0, Whataburger: 1000

Stay tuned,

Roxanne

ORIGINAL:

And the Drake/Meek Mill catfight continues.

During Saturday’s installment of “OVO Sound Radio,” Drake premiered “Charged Up,” the first diss track to dispute Meek’s claim that Drizzy used a ghostwriter for his verse on Meek’s song, “R.I.C.O.”  drakeMeek called the diss track “baby lotion soft,” and I can’t say I completely disagree with him.  However, earlier today, Drake released “Back to Back Freestyle,” Drake’s second diss track aimed directly at Meek, on October’s Very Own Soundcloud.  After giving “Back to Back Freestyle” a listen (or like 10), “Charged Up” seems like a warm-up in comparison.

Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 4.09.18 PMScreen Shot 2015-07-29 at 4.09.29 PM

Although Drake has been playing the “I’m-so-legend-I-don’t-need-to-fight-back” card (“When I look back I might be mad that I gave this attention/ But it’s weighing heavy on my conscience/ And fuck, you left me with no options”), shots have absolutely been fired with “Back to Back Freestyle.”  Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 4.34.16 PMAttacking Meek’s current position as an opener/warm-up/hypeman act on his girlfriend Nicki Minaj’s “Pinkprint Tour,” Drake raps: “You love her, then you gotta give the world to her/ Is that a world tour or your girl’s tour?/ I know that you gotta be a thug for her/ This ain’t what she meant when she told you to open up more.”  Not only that, but Drake attacks Meek for starting beef via social media (#millennials): “Yeah, trigger fingers turn to Twitter fingers/ Yeah, you gettin’ bodied by a singin’ nigga.”

And Drizzy doesn’t stop there.  The accompanying artwork to the track is a photo of Toronto Blue Jay’s Joe Carter from the 1993 World Series when the Blue Jays beat the Philadelphia Phillies.  Everyone knows Drake is from the 6.  Where’s Meek from?  Philly.

Looks like Meek’s gonna be needing Jimmy’s wheelchair after that shot.

 

Stay tuned,

Roxanne

The Smoothest Remix Yet

As if Chet Faker’s “1998” needed any more swagger and sensuality, a rework was just released featuring a new verse and smooth harmonies from California singer BANKS.  chetThe original track was initially released on “Built on Glass,” the Australian producer/singer’s debut album that propelled him to fame.  The new “1998” remix just premiered on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 show yesterday (turns out Beats 1 is just as awesome as I initially thought).  This track follows last month’s release of “Bend” and comes just in time for Faker’s upcoming fall tour.

“1998” Remix featuring BANKS

Original “1998”

Still smooooooth as hell if you ask me.

Stay tuned,

Roxanne

Top 10 Best Songs for a Pregame

I’ve always understood the importance of a *fire* pregame playlist.  The songs queued up set the tone for the night and are supposed to pump you up for impending shenanigans.  You sure as hell don’t want to hear Bon Iver when you’re 4 shots deeps (I mean, unless it’s that kind of night).  Sure, you can easily play an hour-long DJ set from Ultra or Coachella (like this one), but I’ve recently found that having a playlist of a healthy mix of hip-hop, indie pop, and electronic music will better cater to all of your buddies’ listening preferences.  Having just celebrated survived my 21st birthday this past weekend, I’d say I have a pretty good understanding of the pregame playlist:

bridesmaids

1. 679 by Fetty Wap, Remy Boyz.  Fetty is taking full advantage of the spotlight that “Trap Queen” put on him.  Fetty’s rolling deep with the Remy Boyz in this bass-heavy track that’s perfect for when you’re equally as squad deep.

2. Last All Night (Koala) by Oliver Heldens, KStewart.  I love me some Oliver Heldens.  In this song it’s more about the bouncy beat and less about the average female vocals.  That catchy beat can make anyone dance – even your one friend who really just shouldn’t.

3. Bitch Better Have My Money by Rihanna.  Rihanna’s a straight-up trap (music) queen on this one.  Her badass attitude and sneer as she spits out lyrics make you kinda lose it and sing/scream along (even if no one actually owes you money).

4. 7/11 by Beyoncé.  “Smack it, smack it in the air.”  Warning: The beat on this track/the alcohol you’re chugging makes you think you can dance like Queen Bey — you can’t, but it’s cool.

5. Slowly by Dropout.  I’m a HUGE fan of this track (but not its marketing tactics).  I love how the pitch shift and slight dub step tones make for a fun, carefree song.

6. My Type by Saint Motel.  With a jazzy, disco-y opening that’s heavy on horns, guitar, and bottle clinks, you already know you’re in for a good time with this track.  You can’t really help but dance like an idiot (I dance purely with my shoulders for this song).

bridesmaids 2

7. I Don’t Like It, I Love It by Flo Rida, Robin Thicke, Verdin White.  Just a breezy song that makes you want to dance whether you like it or not.  Although Robin Thicke has landed on my shit list and Flo Rida doesn’t make it on my list of favorite artists, I still dig this song.

8. You’re On by Madeon, Kyan.  This is a great example of an EDM-radio-friendly song with its airy vocals and poppy beat and bass.  It’s just fun, and that’s exactly what you need at a pregame.

9. Like a G6 by Far East Movement.  An oldie but still a goodie if ya ask me!  So easy to get ~slizzard~ to this one.  You’re going to sing along and remember when you used to blast this to get pumped before your high school semi-formal.

10. After Life by Tchami, Stacy Barthe.  This one’s a little heavier and feels more geared towards raging, but is reminiscent of Oliver Heldens’ bouncy beat.  Go ahead, take that last shot.

Stay tuned,

Roxanne

Top 10 Best Songs that Sum Up My New Zealand Trip

I’m finally back after having one of the best adventures of my life thus far: visiting one of my very best friends in New Zealand.  On our trip, we rented a car, planned a road trip 2 days before leaving for it, sand boarded (sand dune: 1, us: 0), Zorbed (see: hamster in a ball), soaked in a mineral hot springs, ate Tim Tams for dinner, met all different types of amazing people (special shout out to the English guy that looked like Dan from Bastille), hiked plenty (my butt and quads are thankful), almost got ran over multiple times while crossing the street (the one time looking to your left before you cross the street is a bad thing), and hung out with the coolest and friendliest Pacific Islanders.  Before arriving, I wasn’t really sure what exactly New Zealand would look like — I just imagined a whole lot of green and grass and my brother claimed there would be sheep left and right.  Turns out we were both right — grass and sheep and hills and mountains everywhere.  As you can imagine, truly good radio stations were hard to come by in the deep heart of the country.  Radio stations would go from playing R.E.M. (umm) to Backstreet Boys (#tbt) to Hozier (that’s more like it).  While this playlist will sound eclectic and the opposite of cohesive to others, this playlist of songs is more sentimental than anything.  It brings me back to a time of merry misadventures, simplicity, laughter, good vibes, friendship, and great memories.  When people ask how our trip was, it’s hard to explain every single thing to them, but this playlist does a pretty good job at summing it up:

1. Someone New by Hozier.  “Love with every stranger, the stranger the better”  There’s never been truer lyrics than this.  While we spent long hours on the road or walking in the most beautiful places, we realized how true this entire song is.  Arguably one of the best parts about traveling is the people you meet.  We also learned that it is, indeed, possible to “fall in love just a little bit with someone new” every day — from the guy we didn’t actually talk to but who gave us a 1000-mega watt smile when we let him cross the street to the couple/travel buddies we met who have been cycling the world for a little over 2 years.

2. Pompeii by Bastille.  “But if you close your eyes, does it almost feel like nothing changed at all?”  This song has so much sentimental meaning for us.  Bastille is one of Lauren’s favorite bands and hearing it on the radio as we just began our mini road trip seemed like a sign from God that this is exactly where we were meant to be.  So, yeah, we freaked out, choked on nostalgia, and almost shed a few tears when this song blared from the radio.

3. Ruketekete Te Mamae by Beau Monga.  So I actually have no idea what he’s saying for a majority of this song, but Beau Monga won the second season of X Factor New Zealand and is from the Cook Islands (where Lauren’s housemates were from aka “the coolest and friendliest Pacific Islanders”).  And, honestly, how can you listen to this song and not smile?

4. The Nights by Avicii.  “One day you’ll leave this world behind so live a life you will remember.”  Okay, so I lied earlier — these lyrics are just as true as Hozier’s “Someone New.”  We heard this on the radio and had so much fun screaming out the lyrics.  And then we actually paid attention to the lyrics and that’s when the feels hit us.  Here we were, two very best friends, in a foreign country together embarking on adventure after adventure without a worry in the world (besides whether or not we would get trench foot and/or athlete’s foot from having wet socks).  While we were hiking back down Mount Maunganui, we blared “The Nights” and deliriously half-danced, half-trotted back down the mount.

5. Let It Go by James Bay.  More like James BAE, am I right?!  NZ radio stations would always play this sweet, sweet song and of course we would swoon every time.  We also saw him about 2 days after we got back to the states in NYC and were definitely not disappointed!

6. The Wolf by Mumford & Sons.  So this song didn’t technically play all the time in NZ, but Mumford and NZ were made for each other.

7. You & Me – Flume Remix by Flume, Eliza Doolittle.  With Australia being so nearby, we had to play Flume at least once during our trip!

8. 7Eleven by Dexta Daps.  The awesome Cook Islanders Lauren lived with would play the best music during their drink-ups (aka parties) — they played music you can actually dance to and not just pump your fist to and bob your head to.  It’s safe to say we felt severely inadequate dancing in front of them though.

9. Buzzcut Season by Lorde.  It’s a must to listen to Lorde while in NZ!  When the radio was shitty and spotty, we played Lorde’s entire discography picking out our favorite lyrics from each of her songs.

10. Waiting For Love by Avicii.  I guess NZ really digs Avicii! This was just another fun, catchy song for us to scream/sing along to (with all the open space and high elevation, how could you resist?)

*Not mentioned because she’s not on Spotify: Taylor Swift — we played all of Tay’s old albums and discussed her lyrics in depth.  Things got surprisingly ~deep~.*

Stay tuned,

Roxanne

This Radio Station Might Just BEAT all the Others

Beats 1 might just be one of the best radio stations out there.

Last week, Apple released iOS 8.4 alongside Apple Music, a streaming music service.  In addition, Apple’s music addition also included Connect, a promotional tool for artists (“great stuff straight from the artists”) and Beats 1, a 24/7 Internet radio station with constant music and prominent live DJs, guest DJs, and various radio shows. apple music connect Unlike Apple Music and its $9.99/month subscription fee, Beats 1 is completely free, and will even become available to Android users in the near future, which makes Apple Music Apple’s first Android app — can you tell they’re really trying to take over the music streaming service industry and dethrone competitors like Spotify and Rdio?  Beats 1 is ad-supported, but doesn’t air those full, annoying commercials like the ones you hear on the radio — the ads on Beats 1 are short and act more as sponsor shout-outs.  What’s interesting to note about Beats 1 is that it censors explicit songs even though services are allowed to play uncensored songs over the Internet (personally, I always go for the “explicit” version of a track on Spotify) — this could be because they are trying to attract a more wide-ranging audience.beats1 hosts And speaking of audiences, there’s no doubt that Beats 1 is attracting a huge, global audience. As Mike Elgan of Computer World pointed out, there’s only one version of Beats 1 being offered — this means that I’m hearing the same content that someone in London or Budapest is also listening to.  With technology being able to take you here and there and everywhere, this is one of the rare times that we can all share the same media experience (aside from when we win the World Cup obviously).

So I may be am totally giving into the hype around Apple Music, but it’s hard not to when I continuously see articles boasting about various, high-profile artists hosting radio shows on the new radio station.  Beats 1 is hosted by three main DJs, and arguably the cream of the crop when it comes to radio personalities: former BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe, ex-Hot 97 host Ebro Darden, and London-based radio personality Julie Adenuga (okay, so she’s relatively unknown compared to the former two, but this is already changing thanks to Beats 1). Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 12.41.05 PM I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at how star-studded the Beats 1 Radio shows are, but it’s incredible to see the lineup of the well-known, wide-ranging hosts.  Dr. Dre hosts a show called “The Pharmacy” (of course), Elton John hosts “Elton John’s Rocket Hour,” rap duo Run the Jewels hosts “WRTJ,” and most recently announced, Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend will host “Time Crisis with Ezra Koenig” (squeeeeal).  Other artists who will have their own radio shows include Drake, Disclosure, Pharrell Williams, Jaden Smith (lol what?), St. Vincent, Ellie Goulding and more.

So will Apple Music with all of its bells and whistles conquer Spotify and all other streaming services?  Beats the hell out of me (I’m sorry, I had to — my honest answer would be that I love Spotify and would never forsake it).

Stay tuned,

Roxanne