Perfecting the Art of the Playlist: Part Two


I think I'll call this playlist "Music To Eat Cake To."

In honor of this being my Birthday Week ™, I am going to show you how to select music for a radio show. Don’t forget to check out the first “Perfecting the Art of the Playlist” post if you haven’t already.

This year, my radio show would fall on my actual 21st birthday! Unfortunately (perhaps not-so-unfortunately), I am headed home to frolic in an apple orchard with friends and family, so this playlist will only be heard by the car and me. Alas!

• The First Track: “Birch Trees and Broken Barns” by Caroline Smith & The Good Night Sleeps
Caroline performed live on my radio show last week, and, though she didn’t play this song on the air, it has since become my autumn jam. The song also mentions an apple orchard, which fits with the general theme of my weekend.


Click to enlarge this playlist's tracklisting.

• The In-Between Tracks:
It is always a good idea to create transitions between the songs. Since I started off with a girl folk singer, I’ll change the mood by playing “Prologue,” an instrumental track by Naren Rauch, next. This song actually begins on a note from the ending chord of Caroline Smith’s song.
“Dance to the Morning Light” by Slow Club, a ditty by British boy/girl duo will usher in some more raucous tracks by David Bazan and Joe Pug.
“Going to Georgia” by the Mountain Goats uses nearly the same chords as Joe Pug’s song, and gives way into a 1950s-inspired Cotton Jones composition and an actual 50s song by The Ink Spots.
The lo-fi recording quality of Elephant Micah’s song “Wild Goose Chase*” matches that of the Ink Spots’ track, while his guitar playing is reminiscent of Bob Dylan, who played with the Avett Brothers on last year’s Grammy Awards…you get the idea! The correlations go on and on.

• The Last Track: “Blindsided” by Jose Vanders
I’ll come full-circle with this delicate Bon Iver cover done by a British songstress. She and Caroline Smith have similar singing styles,

• Don’t Forget the FCC:

A radio show also must always start out with a Station Legal ID. Then, at 15 minutes after the hour, the playlist must be interrupted by a Public Service Announcement. Halfway through the hour, the playlist’s flow will be thrown off again when the DJ gives the weather, and finally, at 45 minutes after the hour, the DJ will play the grant spot of one of the station’s sponsors.

Additionally, no playlist should include more than three songs by the same artist in the same hour.

• Say ‘Yes’ To New Releases:
New releases are a must-have unless your radio show is a genre-specific specialty show. That being said, the new releases included on this playlist are Caroline Smith & The Good Night Sleeps, Fun., Beirut, Feist, Utopia Park, and Jose Vanders.

Got it? I never said this would be easy!

“Oh, there are loads of rules.” -Rob Gordon, High Fidelity

One response to “Perfecting the Art of the Playlist: Part Two

  1. A lot of the songs on your playlist are currently on my Fall playlist! Looking forward to hearing more suggestions from you.

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