If you’re like us here at Live For Live Music, your listening habits go through cycles. One week, it’s nothing but lo-fi beats. The next, a hip-hop sample leads you down a ’70s soul rabbit hole. One day, you need something to help you relax. The next, Beyoncé releases a visual album that blows you away.

Enter the L4LM Monthly Mix, a serial playlist curated with care by our staff, a small group of dedicated music lovers with unique and varied tastes. Each month, we bring you a new mix of tracks—from the old to the new, the beloved to the obscure, the silly to the sentimental. There’s no particular overarching rhyme or reason to the L4LM Monthly Mix. This is just the music that’s on our minds, the music we’re excited to share with you right now.

This article serves as your listening guide for the L4LM Monthly Mix—your liner notes, your peek inside our brains. Hear a song you like as you listen through? Scroll down (or “cmnd + f” search) and find out “what’s good” with the selection—why that music moved us this month. We hope we can help you discover something that moves you, too.

Dive into the August 2020 edition of the L4LM Monthly Mix below and subscribe on Spotify to make sure you don’t miss any new L4LM Monthly Mixes.

L4LM Monthly Mix – August 2020


Breakbot, Irfane– “Baby I’m Yours”

What’s good: This song never gets old and always gets me dancing. –Kunj Shah

Trey Anastasio – “A Wave Of Hope”

What’s good: A great new uplifting quarantine anthem from the man himself reminding all of us that “this too shall pass.” –Mikala Lugen

Stevie Wonder – “You Haven’t Done Nothin'”

What’s good: A song that remains sadly relevant 46 years after being released. –Michael Broerman

Anderson .Paak, Rick Ross – “CUT EM IN”

What’s good: .Paak is back, with some help from Rick Ross the Boss. Instant banger. –Sara Shah

Jacob Collier – “Sleeping On My Dreams”

What’s good: An ambient soundscape sprinkled with an upbeat, infectious groove defines this track off of Collier’s latest release. –Sara Shah

Circles Around The Sun, Billy Strings – “All The Luck In The World”

What’s good: Couldn’t ask for a better combo than Billy Strings and Circles Around the Sun… this song definitely moved me. –Kunj Shah

WILLOW – “Warm Honey”

What’s good: Willow Smith might just be one of my new favorite modern-day female artists. Her honey-sweet singing voice gives this 2017 single a warm afterglow. –Mikala Lugen

Mac Miller – “Woods”

What’s good: Been on a Mac kick recently, particularly the last two albums, Swimming and Circles. Dude was blazing a new trail, and it still bums me out to not know where that trail may have led. –Andrew O’Brien

The Honey Drippers – “Impeach The President”

What’s good: Relevant. –Sara Shah

Tash Sultana – “Through The Valley”

What’s good: Is there anything Tash Sultana can’t do? Tash went from busker to international superstar right before our eyes and the multi-instrumentalist’s latest release only further legitimizes that success. PlayStation Australia partnered with Sultana earlier this year in support of the gaming console’s highly-anticipated release, The Last of Us II. Sultana would film a cover of Shawn James‘ “Through The Valley” for the game, which had become its defacto theme song after developers Naughty Dog used it in the announce trailer several years ago. It’s cryptic, powerful, suspenseful, and totally badass. –Kel Kawas

Leo Kottke, Mike Gordon – “Ants”

What’s good: Mike and Leo, reunited and it feeeels so goooooood… –Andrew O’Brien

Adam Deitch – “Meeting of the Mystics”

What’s good: Deitch communing with aliens and shit on this track from his new album. It’s like a Dilla and Yeezy sandwich on a Lettuce wrap. –Andrew O’Brien

Big Gigantic, The Funk Hunters, Eric Benny Bloom, Opiuo – “Higher (Opiuo Remix)”

What’s good: Bump this for an instant mood boost. Party mode, engage. –Sara Shah

Beyoncé ft. Tekno, Lord Afrixana, Mr Eazi, Yemi Alade – “DON’T JEALOUS ME”

What’s good: Beyoncé recently blessed us with a brand new visual masterpiece that serves as a modern day retelling of The Lion King as an empowering celebration of Black and African culture. It was tough to pick just one, but this is one of my favorite tracks from the album. And if you haven’t seen Black Is King, go watch it immediately. –Sara Shah

Medasin – “Africa”

What’s good: Just when you think you’ve heard it all, Medasin comes out with an ambient remix of Toto’s iconic “Africa”. –Mikala Lugen

The Flaming Lips – “One Million Billionth of a Millisecond on a Sunday Morning”

What’s good: Just getting into The Flaming Lips, the band’s debut album has a lot to unpack. However, “One Million Billionth of a Millisecond on a Sunday Morning” shows that trademark psych sound that I’m looking for in a band. –Michael Broerman

The Raconteurs – “Top Yourself – Bluegrass Version”

What’s good: I guess it wouldn’t be a Monthly Mix without my obligatory Jack White selection. This month I decided to go with the bluegrass version of The Raconteurs’ “Top Yourself”. While the original saw a release on the band’s Consolers of the Lonely album in 2008, this bluegrass rendition didn’t see the light of day until White’s 2016 release, Jack White Acoustic Recordings 1998-2016. –Kel Kawas

Generationals – “Gatekeeper”

What’s good: A round of applause for Spotify Discover Weekly for showing me this this indie-pop duo. This song comes off their latest 2019 album, Reader As Detective, and  their distinct voices a catchy rhythm and sliding synths have earned this jam numerous repeats in my car. –Mikala Lugen 

R.L. Burnside – “Let My Baby Ride”

What’s good: What’s better than some good, old-fashioned blues? I listen to quite a bit of music and I’m not sure I can think of a single album that has got more play this year than R.L. Burnside’s 1998 gem, Come on In. The third track, “Let My Baby Ride”, features a masterful slide guitar, percussive strumming, and his unmatched ability to tell a complex story in just a few words. Furthermore, the track also features his grandson, Cedric Burnside, on drums. A+. –Kel Kawas

Richie Havens – “Strawberry Fields Forever” (The Beatles)

What’s good: Every summer, around the anniversary of Woodstock, the Richie Havens “Freedom” video makes the rounds—and every summer, it sends me down a Richie Havens rabbit hole. This Beatles cover from 1969 caught my ear this time around. –Andrew O’Brien

Sean Hayes – “Rattlesnake Charm”

What’s good: This established San Francisco-based musician caught my ear with his sweet lyrics and charming voice. Everyone needs a little love song, but the gentle guitar and banjo melodies and female vocal accompaniment really make this one hit home. –Mikala Lugen

Ehrling – “Eternal Summer”

What’s good: This Swedish artist is making his name known in the electronic music scene with his catchy melodies mixed with brass blasts. His latest six-song EP, Tropical Confessions, Pt. 5, is a perfect addition to your summer playlist for any occasion. –Mikala Lugen 

Emancipator, CloZee – “Labyrinth (CloZee Remix)”

What’s good: Earlier this month, French electronic music producer CloZee released a remix of Emancipator’s “Labyrinth”. The song initially appeared on Emancipator’s latest studio album, Mountain of Memory, which he released back in April, and CloZee’s remix arrived just one month after she put out a studio album of her own, July’s Neon Jungle. Her remix of “Labyrinth” hit the spot for me on arrival. Her “World Bass” complimented Emancipator’s original production perfectly and she totally made it her own. If Peter Jackson and George Lucas ever decide to make a Lord of the Rings/Star Wars crossover film, CloZee should handle the score. –Kel Kawas

Beyoncé – “BLACK PARADE”

What’s good: Black is King was such a positive celebration of black culture. My favorite line from this was, “Rubber bullets bouncin’ off me, Made a picket sign off your picket fence, take it as a warning…” –Kunj Shah

Nas, Anderson .Paak – “All Bad”

What’s good: I was already sold when I saw Nas and .Paak together on a track on Nas’ new album, King’s Disease—and then I learned that MonoNeon played bass on the recording. –Andrew O’Brien

Felt (ft. The Grouch, Aesop Rock) – “Hologram”

What’s good: It’s been 11 long years since Slug (Atmosphere) and Murs (Living Legends) joined forces for an album under their supergroup moniker, Felt. Back on August 7th, the duo surprised fans around the world with their fourth Felt album, appropriately titled Felt 4 U. For their latest studio effort, they tapped into Slug’s close friend and longtime Atmosphere counterpart, Ant, for production. This marked the second Felt album that Ant would produce and it arrived just when hip-hop, and music in general, needed it most. While it was hard to pick just one song for the Monthly Mix, I had to go with “”Hologram””, as it featured the only other musicians to produce a Felt album, Rhymesayers Entertainment‘s Aesop Rock and Living Legends founder The Grouch. It’s dark. It’s heavy. It’s over four minutes of nonstop bars from some of the best rappers the genre has to offer.” –Kel Kawas

Ween – “Your Party”

What’s good: “I dreamt about me maybe throwing a party/And just how great that would be.” –Michael Broerman

Trey Anastasio – “I Never Needed You Like This Before”

What’s good: The cream of the crop on the quarantine album. 2.5 minutes of fire-breathing Languedoc from Big Red. And he played it with The Roots on Fallon? Totally sold. This will become a crazy live Phish jam. Mark it. –Andrew O’Brien

Grateful Dead – “Uncle John’s Band” (Live At The Capitol Theatre 2/21/71)

What’s good: Last month, RHINO released the 50th-anniversary reissue of the Grateful Dead’s Workingman’s Dead, complete with the full-show soundboard audio from the band’s February 21st, 1971 show at The Capitol Theater in Port Chester, NY. The Dead closed the show that night with a sublime “Uncle John’s Band”, which stands out as an all-time live cut thanks to its sonic clarity and phenomenal group playing. Not to be a victim of the present here, but it may be the best live recording of “UJB” this younger Deadhead has ever heard. –Tom Shackleford

Wood & Wire – “My Hometown”

What’s good: Been spending all of August back in my hometown in the country woods of Western New York. This Grammy-nominated, Austin-based quartet’s newest single captures the essence of going back to your roots with some gritty, classic bluegrass. –Mikala Lugen

Bananagun – “People Talk Too Much”

What’s good: Australia remains the undefeated champion of producing the best psychedelic rock bands on the planet. The latest release from down under comes from Bananagun, who released their full-length debut back in June via Full Time Hobby. The music featured on the album blends the excitement of Afrobeat with the looseness of proto-garage psychedlia resulting in songs like “People Talk Too Much”, which is undeniably masterful and makes for a fun summer anthem. –Tom Shackleford

Guster – “Dear Valentine”

What’s good: Guster celebrated the release of their new live album alongside the Omaha Symphony last month with the 11-track OMAGAH!. While the album does showcast some fantastic stand-out performances between the veteran alt-rock band and the full symphony including “Satellite”, “Ramona”, and “Fa Fa”, but the climactic “Dead Valentine” takes the prize of the best track of them all. –Tom Shackleford

Khruangbin, Leon Bridges – “Texas Sun”

What’s good: Even though we had this on a prior monthly mix, the fact that it’s the opening segment to Obama’s summer playlist made me revisit this masterpiece of a song and throw it back on this month’s playlist. –Kunj Shah

Michael Franti & Spearhead – “Good Shit Happens”

What’s good: Haven’t listened to Michael Franti in a decade, but this song recently came across my desk and it definitely gave me the pickup I needed. I hope it does the same for you. –Kunj Shah

Jerry Garcia, John Kahn – “Little Sadie (Live)”

What’s good: The new GarciaLive release, featuring one of Jerry Garcia’s acoustic shows with John Kahn, is an important reminder of how Jerry never lost sight of those early folk traditions that helped shape him and the Dead. –Michael Broerman

Twisted Pine – “Come Along Jody”

What’s good: This bluegrass group just came out with 10 fresh and fast-pickin’ tunes sprinkled with elements of funk, pop and, my personal favorite part, the energetic quick breaths of the flute that make you stomp your feet. –Mikala Lugen

Koresma, Andrew Rothschild – “Alpine”

What’s good: This relaxing, electro-acoustic groove by Koresma and Andrew Rothschild captures the feeling and sound of the mountains. –Mikala Lugen

Beyoncé, Blue Ivy, SAINt JHN, WizKid  – “BROWN SKIN GIRL”

What’s good: I remember what it was like growing up brown in a predominantly white neighborhood; being teased everyday, feeling shame, and just wishing I was just like everyone else. When I heard this song, it moved me to tears thinking about how empowering it is for people with my complexion, and how maybe one day I can play it for my daughter and she’ll feel the pride I couldn’t when I was younger. –Kunj Shah

John Scofield – “Chicken Dog”

What’s good: Scofield, Medeski, Martin, and Wood… need I say more?! –Kunj Shah

Tank and the Bangas, PJ Morton, David Shaw, etc. – “What The World Needs To Know”

What’s good: I thought this would be a great way to end the playlist, with some of our favorite New Orleans musicians, coming together to sing this classic—because what the world needs right now, is love, sweet love… –Kunj Shah

L4LM Monthly Mix – August 2020