D’Angelo – Ain’t That Easy


Take a toke of smoke from me as you dream inside
Let your days slip away come with me and ride…

He’s back. I know I’m about a month late on this one, but if you haven’t yet taken the time to listen to D’Angelo’s third album I am here to tell you that it is actually imperative you do so. Right now. Black Messiah marks his first release in 14 years. Oh, the anticipation. He knows how to build suspense, draw you in and keep you asking for more and he couldn’t have chosen a more culturally and politically appropriate time to drop this shit. D’Angelo explains that the title Black Messiah is “…about people rising up in Ferguson and in Egypt and in Occupy Wall Street and in every place where a community has had enough and decides to make change happen. … It’s not about praising one charismatic leader, but celebrating thousands of them.” Thank you D’Angelo, for your good vibes and unapologetic funk.

This track in particular is a winner. I was hooked from the start; the jutting bass line is super reminiscent of George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic. And his lyrics are just so on point:

Ever hit with a choice that you can’t decide?
Which direction left or right
Shut your mouth off and focus on what you feel inside
(See y’all know I’ma go with my vibe)
You won’t believe all the things you have to sacrifice
Just to get peace of mind

He hits the nail on the head– indecision is a bitch. As these lyrics so eloquently suggest, maybe sometimes the best antidote to uncertainty is to shut your mouth and turn inward. Listen to what’s going on inside. Making choices isn’t easy, but it is an inevitable part of this existence. Instead of fostering anxiety about the infinite directions you can take in any given situation, maybe shut off the nagging voice in your head and allow new inspiration to filter through. It will, if you just allow it.



Kasper Bjørke – Heaven (Nicolas Jaar remix)


Buoyantly forlorn is how I’d describe it. Cascading nuances & celestial undercurrents flood my mind; wistfully fragrant with hints of the ultimate, this track embodies a distinct melancholia, echoing undertones of the unknown. Its sincere sublimity rouses me from my daily oblivion.

Kissing and running,
Kissing and running away
Kissing and running,
Kissing and running away.”

Nothing like a rush of nostalgia to the brain, and that’s how this track feels. Nicolas Jaar’s remixes are always pretty boss, but this one feels timeless. It’s been a solid number on my playlists for over a year which is Timeless enough for me. I am indeed grateful that Kasper Bjørke decided to cover what was originally a very loungey Rolling Stones song, enabling Nicolas Jaar to work his magic! Jaar’s signature sound — that is a distinct melancholia paired with an infectious beat — with Kasper Bjørke’s ethereal vocals is perfection.

Smell of you baby, my senses,
My senses be praised.”

On the topic of nostalgia, it’s amazing how a particular scent can evoke a feeling of a specific time and place as its so inextricably linked to every other sense. Olfaction (aka ‘smell-o-vision’ see “Sir Nose D’voidoffunk” à la George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic for relevant mythos) is an awesome sensory experience. Praise be to the nose for its uncanny ability to grant us access to memories that have otherwise been lying dormant somewhere in your consciousness.

Nothing, Nothing.
Nothing will stop you, nothing will stand in your way.”

These lyrics are slightly reminiscent of the Talking Heads song “Heaven” in which David Byrne sings “Heaven is a place, is a place where nothing, nothing ever happens.” Something to ponder while you’re grooving to its infectious beat.

Kasper Bjørke – Heaven (Nicolas Jaar remix)