If you’re like us here at Live For Live Music, your listening habits go through cycles. One week, you’re marveling at the abilities of a cult-favorite hip-hop producer. The next, some old New Orleans tunes put some bounce in your step. One day, you’re revisiting the hallowed catalog of a departed jazz legend. The next, a young upstart catches your ear with something new.

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 February 2021 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 – February 2021


LINER NOTES

The Motet ft. Nigel Hall – “And The Beat Goes On” (The Whispers)

What’s good: Nigel’s buttery vocals and The Motet’s poppy brand of funk makes this take on the ’70s classic an instant winner. –Sara Shah

Cory Wong ft. Cody Fry – “Coming Back Around”

What’s good: Cory Wong. So hot right now. (But for real, we’ve really been loving the Cory and The Wongnotes variety show. Check it out!) –Shelby Bretschger

Glass Animals – “Heat Waves”

What’s good: Glass Animals’ latest release, Dreamland, is a VIBE from start to finish, and this track is arguably my favorite. –Sara Shah

Return To Forever – “Medieval Overture”

What’s good: Chick Corea returned to forever this month. One of the greatest, most creative musicians of the last century. –Andrew O’Brien

Vic Mensa, Wyclef Jean, Chance The Rapper – “SHELTER”

What’s good: Wyclef Jean, Chance the Rapper, and Vic Mensa on one track? Say no more. –Sara Shah

Vulfpeck ft. Joey Dosk – “LAX”

What’s good: A clever love song reminiscent of Michael McDonald-era Doobie Brothers. –Shelby Bretschger

Thundercat – “Dragonball Durag”

What’s good: Consistent with Black History Month and Valentine’s Day, Thundercat shows off his loving (and silly) side atop a stank-face-inducing groove. –Shelby Bretschger

Black Pumas, Lucius – “Strangers”

What’s good: Black Pumas are one of my favorite newer acts, and this collab with Lucius displays a more folksy, breezy side of the band. –Sara Shah

Redbone – “Come and Get Your Love”

What’s good: I just think this is a badass song, even if I know it from a Marvel movie. –Kunj Shah

Minnie Riperton – “Baby, This Love I Have”

What’s good: February is both Black History Month and the month of Valentine’s Day. Minnie Riperton both radiates Black excellence and perfectly encapsulates how it feels to love someone while not being the best with words. –Shelby Bretschger

Charles Bradley, Menehan Street Band – “Cumberland Blues” (Grateful Dead)

What’s good: In which Charles Bradley turns the Workingman’s Dead classic into a soul celebration. –Andrew O’Brien

Tash Sultana ft. Jerome Farah – “Willow Tree”

What’s good: Terra Firma is finally here! Been waiting three long years for a new Tash LP since Flow State dropped. Still have to really dig into the full album as the artist intended—”take yourself to a quiet space, turn off the lights, light a candle and light some incense”—but I like what I’m hearing so far. –Andrew O’Brien

Dr. John – “Right Place, Wrong Time”

What’s good: I always seem to be in the right place at the wrong time. –Kunj Shah

Madlib – “The New Normal”

What’s good: Madlib came on my radar as a frequent MF DOOM collaborator, but his latest work makes him stand apart. Behind the scenes, Four Tet played a pivotal role in the project, spending years collecting and piecing together sound bites Madlib would send him and hand-crafting the masterpiece that would become Sound Ancestors. Read more about the fascinating process here. –Sara Shah

Michigander – “OK”

What’s good: “It’s okay to be alone sometimes” could be the new 2021 anthem. –Sara Shah

Polo & Pan – “Coeur d’artichaut”

What’s good: I can’t get enough of these guys, they might be making the best electronic world music out right now. It’s a vibe. –Kunj Shah

The Neville Brothers – “Yellow Moon”

What’s good: It’s Mardi Gras time and I’m thinking about New Orleans. –Kunj Shah

Foo Fighters – “Medicine at Midnight”

What’s good: Wait, is that Dave Grohl or David Bowie? –Andrew O’Brien

Gladys Knight & The Pips – “Midnight Train To Georgia”

What’s good: Georgia on my mind since Georgia Came Alive! –Kunj Shah

Maggie Rose – “Do It”

What’s good: Since she came on my radar in 2019, it seems like every new song from Maggie Rose ends up stuck in my head for weeks. She just did it again with “Do It”, the first offering from her forthcoming album, Have A Seat, recorded at the iconic FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL. –Andrew O’Brien

Cosmo Pyke – “A Piper For Janet”

What’s good: For his first release in nearly four years, English-bred Cosmo Pyke sighs a breath of fresh air into his signature blend of soul and surf rock. He doesn’t disappoint. –Shelby Bretschger

Erykah Badu (Prod. by J Dilla) – “Didn’t Cha Know”

What’s good: In honor of the late, great J Dilla, gone 15 years this month. Lots of casual heads know the name of the iconic producer, and maybe some of his beats, but most don’t know just how prolific this dude was making beats for other artists. For all things J Dilla, check out our recent feature, Yancey Taught Me: Examining the Life, Legacy, & Genius of J Dilla.  –Andrew O’Brien

Allen Toussaint – “Night People”

What’s good: This song always gets me up and dancing. –Kunj Shah

Aaron Neville – “Hercules”

What’s good: One of the GOATs to come out of New Orleans. –Kunj Shah

Judith Hill – “Irreplaceable Love”

What’s good: One of many new discoveries from Georgia Comes Alive. Watch out for her new album, Baby, I’m Hollywood!, coming this spring. –Andrew O’Brien

Aqueous – “On The Edge (Live)”

What’s good: Aqueous never fails to deliver that ’90s skateboard-punk energy. –Michael Broerman

Melt – “Hours”

What’s good: Melt first caught our attention with the groovy, soul-pop sweetness of “Sour Candy”. Now, they’ve returned with bass-driven psychedelia and a mellow, pop flair on “Hours”, *melt*ing our hearts just in time for Valentine’s Day. –Shelby Bretschger

DANGERDOOM – “Space Hos”

What’s good: That mask hid a million different identities. Still haven’t fully processed MF DOOM’s passing. –Andrew O’Brien

Justin Townes Earle – “Can’t Hardly Wait”

What’s good: It’s a shame when an artist’s passing serves to introduce you to their tremendous body of work, but that’s what happened with Justin Townes Earle. –Michael Broerman

Lake Street Dive – “Nobody’s Stopping You Now”

What’s good: Lake Street Dive’s first new music in nearly two years comes in the form of an inspiring ode to originality and staying true to one’s self. –Michael Broerman

The War On Drugs – “Eyes to the Wind (Live)”

What’s good: “Eyes to the Wind”, one of the many stand-out songs from The War On Drugs’ 2014 studio masterpiece, Lost in the Dream, stretches out to nine minutes with this sublime live cut on their new concert album, LIVE DRUGS. –Tom Shackleford

John Coltrane, Duke Ellington – “In a Sentimental Mood”

What’s good: This classic recording featuring the incomparable John Coltrane on saxophone and Duke Ellington on piano should be mandatory for any wintertime playlist. Not much else needs to be said for this soothing and timeless jazz standard, so perhaps it’s best to let the music speak for itself. –Tom Shackleford

Holly Bowling – “Weather Report Suite”

What’s good: I wish Holly Bowling would transcribe entire Grateful Dead concerts. Would love to hear the grand piano rendition of “Drums” from the Pyramids with Hamza El Din. –Michael Broerman

Belle & Sebastian – “The Boy with the Arab Strap (Live)”

What’s good: Listeners are treated to a wonderful live version of the dance-friendly, fan-favorite tune from the Belle & Sebastian songbook here. This live cut of “The Boy with the Arab Strap” appears on Belle & Sebastian’s brand new live album, and treats fans to some loose mid-song commentary from singer Stuart Murdoch. –Tom Shackleford

Bay Uno – “Wait For Your Love”

What’s good: I recently rediscovered this charming ballad from indie singer-songwriter Bay Uno. The song’s quirky horn parts matched alongside a borderline drowsy tempo and enchanting melodies make for a romantic and feel-good listen at the end of a long winter’s day. –Tom Shackleford

Sturgill Simpson – “Hobo Cartoon”

What’s good: Off the latest volume of Cuttin’ Grass, Sturgill actually wrote this song with Merle Haggard shortly before his death in 2016 and has now finally released it. Aged like fine wine. –Michael Broerman

Chad Kroeger (ft. Josey Scott) – “Hero”

What’s good: The Cleveland Browns made it to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 1994—three years before I was born—with quarterback Baker Mayfield and head coach Kevin Stefanski emerging as the Hero(s) that can save us. –Michael Broerman

Miles Davis – “Shhh / Peaceful”

What’s goodOne of the hardest things for me throughout the pandemic has been finding moments of inner peace. As such, I’ve been gravitating toward relaxing music. I hadn’t gotten into Miles Davis’ In A Silent Way until after Chick Corea died and I learned that the album feature three legendary keyboard players—at the same time: Chick, Herbie Hancock, and Joe Zawinul (Weather Report). Now I can’t stop listening. Close your eyes. Breathe deep. You got this. –Andrew O’Brien

L4LM Monthly Mix – February 2021