There’s nothing better than dreaming about a delicious, delicately prepared six-course meal that evokes each of the five major senses. You start picturing a table piled with so much food that it seems nearly impossible to support the weight, but the physics of setting a table are the least of your concerns right now. Each course appears before you plated in a way that would set even Martha Stewart to shame. You’re just about to finish imagining the cheese course when all of a sudden, you snap out of it and realize that cooking or even curating a six-course dinner is hard work! Moreover, eating a six-course dinner is probably a long and boring process of lifting your spoon (which is the correct spoon anyway?) to your mouth dozens of times.
Lucky for you, you don’t need to prepare (or even eat) enough to feed a small village to experience all the opulence and delicate balance of flavours that goes into the preparation of a six-course meal. With a song for each course, this playlist is sure to leave you satisfied and ready to pay your compliments to the chef.
“Keri Baby” — A.G. Cook and Hannah Diamond
Course one, hors d’oeuvre. “Keri Baby” is a sonic hors d’oeuvre that Julia Child would live a thousand lifetimes and still not even dream of conceiving. In the hardly two-minute-long track, Cook and Diamond serve gently bubbling bursts of electronic pop that are as fun and flirty as they are provocative. “Keri Baby” lingers in the ears for just a moment, carefully seducing you into staying for the remainder of the meal.
“Ghost of Books” — Avey Tare
Course two, soup. A good soup is a liquid tasked with the nearly impossible job of being a solid. No one wants to eat something with the full knowledge that what they’re eating is essentially upscale, well-seasoned baby food. Avey Tare’s “Ghost of Books” presents the beauty that sits along the fine curve between the liquid and the solid. On this track, Avey (best known as a vocalist in Animal Collective) allows his voice to rock gently along a rhythmically cascading synth without ever losing himself along the way. His voice is pushed and pulled until it reaches a perfect middle ground between melting and fusion that has to be sipped ever-so-gently to access its true flavor.
“Speechless” — Cibo Matto
Course three, main course. Miho Hatori and Yuka Honda of Cibo Matto are inarguably the queens of writing songs about food. Every song on their first album was named after a different food, and the band’s name is literally Italian for “crazy food.” Somehow, though, its most satisfying cut has nothing at all to do with food. On “Speechless,” vocalist Miho Hatori’s sweet pleas and choppy, hyper-focused raps are served on a silver platter forged from smooth bass and bursting trumpets. Hatori’s fiercely triumphant vocals towards the end of the song add a special kick to a still otherwise completely satisfying track.
“Sunflower” — Nicolas Jaar
Course four, salad. Jaar’s “Sunflower” is a brief track that serves as a perfectly light palate cleanser after a decadent main course. “Sunflower” shows Jaar at his most mysterious. There are no vocals or percussion. Each stroke of the piano is fresh and ethereal. Everything simply falls away piece by piece until all that is left is anticipation for whatever comes next.
“I’m In Love With A German Film Star” — The Passions
Course five, cheese. The guitars on “I’m In Love With A German Film Star” sound as creamy as brie, as velvety as mascarpone and, from time to time, as sharp as camembert. It’s a whole cheese platter folded into one song. That’s not to mention Barbara Gogan’s dreamy vocals most comparable to a rich and subtly sweet ricotta. Like any good cheese, this song has dozens of tryhards trying to recreate the delicate balance of textures that made the original so delectable. Needless to say, none of them come close to capturing the magic of the original.
“Summer Is Gone” — Slime Girls
Course six, dessert. Slime Girls’ chiptune confection “Summer is Gone” offsets a sparkling, sugary melody with a glitchy beat to create a final course that satisfies any sweet tooth without being overly cloying. Like any good hors d’oeuvre, a good dessert needs to linger on the palate and in the memory even after it’s gone. This dizzyingly sweet track will do just that and maybe even coax you into going back for a second round once you’re done with your first listen.
Sannidhi Shukla covers music. Contact her at [email protected]al.org.