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DJ Jim Q's Playlist: Promise

The first theme of 2021 is Promise. Well the promise of a fresh reboot sure is appealing right now. Let’s hope for a better new year eh? While we all collectively give 2020 the side eye, let’s not forget that even at our darkest we have seen some shine. Witnessing the masses of young people unify around the world in the name of social justice is inspiring and should give us all at least a little hope for the future. The vaccine is technically a 2020 thing, so there’s that. And I’m also blown away by how creative communities have adapted in this strange new reality. Whether that be musicians and DJ’s live streaming performances, artists mentoring and teaching remotely, poets and authors holding virtual readings, or our wonderful CreativeMornings events continuing to remotely infuse us with much needed inspiration and community—it’s all still happening. Furthermore we have normalized physical distance while retaining some level of intimacy. I think we will come out of this a far more connected people than we were pre quarantine. That’s not to diminish all of the truly tragic suffering that this year has unleashed, but I just wanted to acknowledge a few bright spots.

An oath, a pledge, a vow, this month’s theme relates to truth, commitment and dedication. There is no deficit in musical explorations of these themes. After all what are love songs but songs of loyalty, devotion and commitment. As we breach the threshold of 2020, it is tradition to make a new year’s resolution. I have few music-related resolutions for 2021: I will listen to more music I am unfamiliar with; I will try to be less judgemental of new bands I don’t “get”; I will create my own music instead of just buying more gear; and I will support musicians by paying for their art, not just streaming it for mere pennies. On that last note, it’s been a difficult year for everyone but it’s been especially hard for working musicians who sustain their creation through live music performances. So if you can, support your favorite non-millionaire artists. Buy a physical record from an independent record store. If you’re digital only, here is a cool little tool created by Hype Machine that will convert any public Spotify playlist into a list of bandcamp purchase links, neat. So what’s your music-based new years resolution?

These 40 plus songs of pledges, oaths, vows and commitments are dedicated to our creative community. From the brashness of proto-hardcore Peru Ubu to the subtle smooth serenade of Luther Vandross, I promise a diverse and dynamic listening experience through and through.

Happy New Year, and thanks for listening. If you enjoy these playlists, feel free to follow me on Spotify and give me a shout on Twitter, I would love to hear from you. See you next month.

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