Kicking off 2021 we’re trying our best to stay positive of the year ahead. With the prospect of brighter days and vaccinations allowing normal life to slowly creep back in, there are definitely some big things to look forward to after the mess of the previous year. Below we have selected some tracks that have helped us get back to work after the festivities with the prescribed mix of melancholy and jubilation that our playlists have come to follow.
Mallrat – For Real
Aussie musician Mallrat delivers such impeccable pop music on track For Real, meshing together piano loops and borrowing some different elements from hip-hop and house to create some really earnest and fun listens. Soaring above the track is her superb voice, which delivers sentimental, confessional lyrics that are carried forth with impressive range. The whole track shines with the sort of sunny vibe that we all sorely need in the dark month of January.
Suki – Forest Life
Another Aussie artist, producer Suki exhibits his capabilities on this track with a heady deep-house cocktail that muddles together minimalism and spacey blasts. This track is exquisite; I love the bouncy bass, expansive swirls and most importantly the squishy, driving melody that sounds like some kind of transmission from Saturn. An energetic kick keeps things anchored to the ground whilst a myriad of samples shimmer off the centre. There is definitely an adventurous talent at play here, one that takes the sort of deep magic of fine producers like Harrison BDP and charges it up for club context.
Paolo Nutini – January
You can’t go wrong with a bit of Paolo. A real national treasure in Scotland, he has largely kept a low profile since the release of his last studio album, Caustic Love back in 2014. Him and I share a birthday in the first month of the year, so I felt it only appropriate I include his nod to the month for this edition of inertia fm. This B-side sits tucked away on the back of his anthemic single Jenny Don’t Be Hasty – a live performance at Glasgow’s Garage from way back in 2006. It captures wonderfully for me the essence of both Nutini’s music during his heyday as well as the self-pitying, hungover mood of the month everyone loves to hate.
MF DOOM- Rapp Snitch Knishes
The announcement that MF DOOM had died back in October of last year was one final kick in the teeth from 2020, and an especially hard one to take for fans of rap and hip-hop from across the globe. For me, MF DOOM was one of the first rappers that I really got into and became obsessed with, as I am sure is the case for thousands of his fans that will be mourning the loss of one of the greatest talents that music has seen in recent years. The comic book style alter egos, immaculately flowing lyrics and captivating beats all became synonymous with DOOM since his rise to popularity in the 2000s. This song is always the first one that comes to mind when thinking of MF DOOM and will always be a classic in my mind.
Kelly Lee Owens- Re-Wild
I have to say that had I discovered the music of Owens a month earlier than the inertia top 20 albums of 2020 list may look a bit different today. The dark twisting electronic songs laced with brilliant vocals have captivated me since discovering this album. Re-Wild perfectly demonstrates the amazing atmospheric music of Kelly Lee Owens and I thoroughly recommend checking the full album out if you haven’t already.
Mac Miller- Once a Day
January saw the birthday pass by of Mac Miller, who tragically died back in 2018. Once a Day, the closing track to the posthumously released album Circles is a very beautiful end to a very beautiful album. Knowing the background of the artist and the album, this track is a bit of an emotional one. If you are new to Mac Miller then this album is still a lovely listen, although it does carry a certain melancholy and heartbreaking loss of a real musical talent. Showing the sensitive and deeply introspective side to Miller’s work, this song has been on repeat for me since seeing the birthday messages online from fans and friends to celebrate the life of Mac.