Press Play: Set It and Forget It

by Rachel on March 10, 2011

I haven’t posted a new playlist in a long time, mainly because I haven’t made a lot of new playlists lately. I’ve gone old school and…started buying whole albums.

Who does that anymore, right?!

Well, since I mostly exercise in classes these days, I don’t need tons of singles to power me through my workouts, and I generally just listen to mash-ups from E-603 and Mochi Beats when I exercise on my own (which is…not often). That means my music these days is mostly for hanging out — working, cooking, driving. For that, I leave behind my favorite workout music (pop and/or the kind of rap that white girls like) and go for less-distracting music that just makes me feel good.

And when it comes to music that will make me feel good, I’ve found that there are some bands and artists I can just set and forget, so to speak. I know that every song is good and will provide the perfect background music for my day.

Here are the full albums I’ve been listening to lately!

21 — Adele. OK, you’ve heard it from everyone and her sister already, but I’ll say it again: this album is boss! I loved Adele’s first album “19” (one of my only full albums for a long time!) and the follow-up did not disappoint.

Singles to download (it’s so hard to choose for all of these albums!): the upbeat Rolling in the Deep to start your day and Lovesong, the incredibly sexy and romantic cover of The Cure’s original.

Business Casual & Fancy Footwork — Chromeo. Eric saw this band on Conan a couple weeks ago and told me he thought I’d like them. And he was right! I don’t think I’ve been this excited about a band in a long time. I just love their music! Yesterday at work, I was playing their albums and my coworker said, “For someone who doesn’t like to dance, you sure do like dance party music.” And it did sound like an 80s dance party at my desk. I wasn’t dancing, of course…but I might not be able to keep myself from it much longer. I’m so sad I won’t be able to see them perform at SX next week! They are so great.

Singles to download: Bonafied Lovin (+ Tough Guys Interlude) and Grow Up.

The King Is Dead — The Decemberists. I’ve loved The Decemberists since college, when I played “The Engine Driver” on repeat every day/night while I cried over a boy. (The line “If you don’t love me, let me go” may have had something to do with it.) I promise their music isn’t super emo though! It does have sort of a folksy feel, but I really dig it. I have three of their other albums, and I bought this new one the day it came out. I think it’s a little more pop than some of their previous ones, but it’s not a bad thing.

Single to download: Don’t Carry It All. It just reminds me of early morning in the summertime.

Zonoscope — Cut Copy. When I saw they had a new album out, I was so excited! Their album “In Ghost Colors” is another one I love to listen to beginning to end. I played it in the car for my mom once, and she was convinced that she had heard them before in like…1984. They have that fabulous 80s sound down and I love it. It’s also really chill background music. I can work to it or fall asleep to it.

Single to download: Take Me Over; when I play it, I think that Eric was right when he told me that me that my music makes it seem like I’m always in an Apple commercial.

Other artists and bands I can set and forget: Ratatat, Duffy, Amy Winehouse, La Roux, Fitz & the Tantrums, Janelle Monáe, The Secret Sisters, Scissor Sisters, and Mika, to name a few! It doesn’t even matter which of their albums I choose — they never let me down!

Oh and in the spirit of SXSW this weekend and broke-ass hoedom, I have one more treat for you: a free SXSW Playlist from iTunes! It has 22 songs — a small sampling of the thousand-ish artists who are performing during the music festival next week.

I’m kind of digging this whole “album” thing. I think it means my taste has gotten better. And also, it means I actually have some motivation to start going to concerts again!

What are your “set it and forget it” albums? I’m always looking for new artists to check out!

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Bridget@LifeLibertyandme March 10, 2011 at 9:10 am

I slightly judge myself for this, but I have Kid Rock’s latest album. It just reminds me of going camping up north and sitting around a camp fire. I forgot how nice it is to listen to a whole album!


2 Rachel March 10, 2011 at 9:12 am

Oooh…I haven’t listened to Kid Rock in a while but that DEFINITELY reminds me of Up North, Michigan!


3 Liz March 10, 2011 at 10:11 am

I once broke up with someone over Kid Rock. He wanted to take me to a Kid Rock concert, and I staunchly refused. He stopped calling after that. *shrug*


4 Lauren at Keep It Sweet March 10, 2011 at 9:16 am

I can’t remember the last time I bought a full album. It is actually a little sad that I primarily by singles for working out and overlook any song that is a little slow even if I love it.


5 Diane March 10, 2011 at 9:33 am

My “set it and forget it” album is “Drama” by Bitter:Sweet. It’s sort of Zero 7 meets Amy Winehouse and I never get sick of it. Some people might say it’s the music champagne commercials and spy movies are made of … but I say, what’s wrong with that?!


6 Angie Nikolas March 10, 2011 at 9:48 am

OMG. PLEASE tell me you’ve seen a picture of Chromeo??? My brother introduced me to them a couple years back and then I saw them at Lollapalooza. Seriously, hilarious.

And their music is so 80’s fab. Fancy Footwork makes me groove in my seat like there’s no tomorrow. I love music that let’s me remember to not take myself too seriously :)


7 Natalie @ Scarlett Notions March 10, 2011 at 9:56 am

Nerd alert here! My “set it and forget it” includes Broadway cast recordings like “Rent” and “Wicked.” Movie soundtracks are a fav, too, like “Yes Man,” and “Marie Antoinette.” I’ve also rediscovered my love of making mixed tapes (well, CD’s)…


8 Liz March 10, 2011 at 10:10 am

There is no shame in loving Broadway musicals. I am a total Broadway dork who watched Les Miserables in Concert Sunday night and sang along with every. single. word. My fiance thinks I am a complete dork.


9 Sable March 10, 2011 at 10:08 am

I have been rockin out old school lately…U2! The Stones! It’s acceptable because I was born in the 80s!!! :-)


10 Liz March 10, 2011 at 10:09 am

Mumford & Sons “Sigh No More.” Holy crap, they are seriously amazing. Best musical discovery of 2010 for me, and their performance on the Grammys made me want to do some seriously, seriously dirty things to the lead singer. UNF.


11 Smash March 10, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Mumford & Sons is amazing!


12 Stephanie March 10, 2011 at 3:56 pm

Holy shit. Agreed.


13 Bess March 10, 2011 at 10:40 am

Thanks for telling me Cut Copy came out with a new album. Checking it out now.

As for my preferences, I already told you offline that I love The Joy Formidable (their new album drops next week), but am also digging Young The Giant, Foster The People, April Smith and the Great Picture Show and Surfer Blood.

Also, the front man of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros just put out a great solo album (he goes by ALEXANDER).


14 Julia March 10, 2011 at 10:40 am

I’ll second the Mumford & Sons suggestion. I’ve also been listening to a lot of Joshua Radin and Brett Dennen lately. I think they all calm my thesis stress :) If you listen and like these, I’d suggest making a Pandora station out of each of them to get other good ideas. I’ve been exposed to a lot of new people I’ve never heard of that way. The Decemberists have popped up on those stations a few times – I’m thinking they might be one of my next complete album purchases!


15 Cat @ younghungryfoolish March 10, 2011 at 10:45 am

Love Adele! Perfect cooking and wine music. And I’m seeing Cut Copy in Atlanta in a few weeks — cannot wait!!!


16 Jessica March 10, 2011 at 11:07 am

Florence + the Machine is an album I recently bought that I’ve listened to straight through and am loving almost every track.


17 Maggie March 10, 2011 at 11:11 am

I love, love, love Bonafied Lovin and Chromeo. It’s one of my favorite just ridiculous songs. And I agree about the Decemberists, I didn’t love their new album but there are some pretty good songs on there.

I’ve been listening to a lot of live Adele songs lately. If you haven’t heard it you should check out her cover of Cheryl Cole’s Promise This and Don’t You Remember from BBC One Live Lounge.


18 Savannah March 10, 2011 at 11:16 am

The album that is seriously on repeat at my place is ‘Distant Relatives’ by Nas & Jr.Gong. It is EPIC one of the best albums I’ve heard in a long time. Even if you’re not a huge rap fan, I think you may like it. Others that I can set & forget: Corrine Bailey Rae, The Noisettes, Zero 7, Amy Winehouse, Gossip, and Florence and the Machine, Jet, and Phoenix.
@Diane if you like the music of spy movies and champagne commercials you may want to check out Supreme Beings of Leisure…LOVE them!


19 Marie March 10, 2011 at 11:30 am

It’s a type of music I never would have thought I’d like, but lately I’m loving Florence and the Machine’s “Lungs” album. It’s my favorite album to run to or just hang out to. I also really like The Black Keys, and their newer album is my favorite– “Brothers”
And then I love Alison Krauss, the Doobie Brothers, the Eagles…
I had actually not listened to Adele before, so thank you!


20 kelly March 10, 2011 at 11:37 am

Jarrod Gorbel and Bright Eyes (I know, I know) both have new albums that I love


21 Kristen March 10, 2011 at 12:03 pm

I discovered Fitz & The Tantrums near the end of last year and CANNOT GET ENOUGH. I saw them live in early February and they blew me away (and I’m sort of maybe a tad hard to blow away because I go to about 100 concerts a year). EVERYONE, give them a listen. SO GOOD.


22 Smash March 10, 2011 at 12:05 pm

Came out last year but still obsessed with “Treats” by Sleigh Bells. Seeing them in Dallas on 04/22!


23 melissa (fitnessnyc) March 10, 2011 at 12:23 pm

I am very excited about this. Love Adele! Thanks.


24 Megan@Dirty Dishes Daily March 10, 2011 at 1:16 pm

For high intensity moments I listen to songs from Eyedea’s album “By the Throat” and for a cool down I always listen to Hall and Oates songs.


25 Ashley Breton March 10, 2011 at 1:34 pm

My favorite set it and forget it recently has actually been Mumford & Sons. SO GOOD :)


26 Stephanie March 10, 2011 at 3:57 pm

It’s been Mumford & Sons, Adele & Florence + the Machines for me lately! Can’t wait to check out some of these other suggestions of yours!


27 Danielle March 10, 2011 at 5:55 pm

Thanks for the recommendations! I love a lot of those artists but didn’t know they had new albums out! I have been listening the the Limousine’s lately. I love the ‘Get Sharp’ album.


28 Alanna Joy March 10, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Not going to lie . . . Britney Spears “Blackout!”

That’s some seriously good party music on there.


29 Wilson March 10, 2011 at 9:32 pm

Cut Copy is playing the Free Press Summerfest in Houston in June!

Favorite album this week has been the new Matt and Kim cd.


30 caitie March 10, 2011 at 10:35 pm

Seriously I dont know if this is a sick game you are playing with readers (or maybe just me if I am the only one who keeps buggin you about it haha) but which outfit did you pick from Anthro!?!? I am dyyyyyingggg


31 Rachel March 10, 2011 at 11:28 pm

It’s not a sick game! All will be revealed…eventually…including my reason for making you think it’s a sick game! xx


32 Megan March 10, 2011 at 11:24 pm

LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. CHROMEO!! That’s really all I can articulate. Just love them. LOTS.

Also, check out Raphael Saadiq. Totally amazing. He has a new album coming out in May, but the last one was effing bomb. I actually wore out the CD. Oh CD’s, such memories….


33 KP March 10, 2011 at 11:43 pm

new favorite artist/album – the mistress – yellow ostrich… the front man is adorable, too!! look up Whale for a taste!

favorite single this week – Paris (Oh la la) – Grace Potter and the Nocturnals


34 Triz March 11, 2011 at 1:04 am

Nice playlist! Thanks! Also ….

You should track her down and give her one of your nice t-shirts.


35 Kayla March 11, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Couldn’t agree more with both Adele’s album and The Decemberists. My favorite one off of “The King is Dead” is definitely June Hymn. THAT ONE reminds me of morning time in the summer.


36 Krista March 12, 2011 at 9:55 am

I love your Press Play posts! I’ve requested Adele’s 21 from the library…I’m #33 on the waiting list so I should get it by…..oh, March 2018 (ha!). Seriously though, the library rocks for trying out new music. Oh, and I’m currently hooked on Citizen Cope.


37 Kavi March 13, 2011 at 10:10 am

Adele’s 21 is the first complete album I’ve bought in a long time — so worth it! And I love Chromeo too. Bonafide Lovin = instant dance party!


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