[Weekly Playlist] altopalo

New York four-piece altopalo has made a name for themselves conjuring an experimental mix of ambient, electronic, and guitar music. Beneath their alien musical transmissions, altopalo grapple with modern themes of anxiety, embracing fear and the rejection of self-care as a lifestyle brand. The decontextualization of instruments in their compositions allows listeners to dive into every layer of each song, and there are many layers.

Recently, the quartet announced their second album “farawayfromeveryoneyouknow” (due April 24th) and shared the first single “am I am.” The track unearths some previously buried pop smarts amidst clattering percussion, startling dynamic shifts and tinkering instrumental.

“‘am I am’ is about being full of shit”, the band says, likening the track’s subject to “Thoreau with a supermarket. A manchild with a trust fund googling his way through the wilderness after watching The Revenant.”

We asked the band to select some of their current favorite tunes for our weekly playlist so dive in below and get inspired.

Andy Shauf – Living Room

Listening to Andy Shauf is like stepping into a Coen Brothers’ film. He has such a unique skill of capturing this pathos that makes his music seep into any shame-loving, self-hating person with a sense of nakedness and solidarity. Living Room is an especially pointy example of this cinematic approach to song writing and music making.

Noname – no name

Noname is one of those artists whose sound and trademark is so unique it sticks with you. She has no restrictions and her music can go anywhere. This song makes no sense to me but i love it, and somehow THAT makes sense.

Mustard & Roddy Ricch – Ballin

Ballin was a song I heard in Ubers and other public places all summer last year, and passively enjoyed it. But it wasn’t until recently that I payed attention to the song itself. This happens a lot where a well know pop song just hits me inna way that most pop songs don’t and I fell in love. The rhythmic and melodic dancing Roddy rich does in the chorus is genius to me, not to mention the production by mustard is brilliant, and it toes the line between hip hop and pop in such a perfect modern way. In addition, the lyrical content is clever and complex, and I CANNOT STOP LISTENING TO THIS SONG.

Burna Boy – Koni Baje

I’ve been trying to educate myself on Afrobeats music recently, and was recently blessed with a 7 hour Afrobeats playlist. I threw it on at a party, and because it’s 7 hours, every shuffle you hear different songs. So this time, I heard “Koni Baje,” and immediately pressed save. The drums, guitar, kick pattern rhythm, Yoruba lyrics. Its just the fucking shit. Makes my booty shake, and that’s all I need.


Caroline Polachek – Parachute

I first encountered Caroline’s record while we were traveling up the west coast between tours, and after a long while hearing a lot of the same music day-in and day-out, her songs and production really struck an inspiring chord for me. the stranger songs on the record, like parachute, stood out to me, particularly those edging more toward ambience / soundscape where the acrobatics of Caroline’s voice really gleam.

Ethan Gruska feat. Lianne La Havas – Haiku4U

I have been super excited to hear Etha’ns follow up to “slowmotionary” basically since I first heard his solo music. the lushness of this record is extremely hypnotizing, and this track stands out for more than a few reasons. Lianne’s performance is so dynamic and controlled, such that moments of peaking energy really feel elevated while the mellowness of the undulating understory remains calm and muted.

Ojas Del Sol – Y La Bamba

“Ojas Del Sol” by Y La Bamba is a dusty home video of a perfect day you didn’t remember.

Scott James – After

“After” by Scott James is a train full of toddlers falling from the moon.