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August marks the 5th month that the 9Lives team are working from home. As the self-acclaimed office DJ, `I really struggled enjoying music at the beginning of lockdown, because there was no one shouting a new song for me to play or counting down the days for the release of a new album from our favourite artists. Recently we turned to Discord and the “Hydra” function where we can join a channel, request songs and everyone on the channel can listen to the songs together – just like the normal days in the office. With that being said, many new songs from different genres and musicians played on repeat on the Discord channel, and I asked some of the 9Lives writers about their new favourite songs. Here follows some of those new songs that you can listen to on repeat while working from home:


Devendra Banhart – Vast Ovoid

It’s Sunday morning. The taste of last night’s packet of cigarettes lingers on my clothes and breath. A slight pounding headache is keeping me from my slumber and in the distance, I hear the gentle melodies of Devendra Banhart’s latest EP, Vast Ovoid, as I lay on a teal-coloured vintage couch in a mid-century-esc decorated house surrounded by a few musos in the heart of Cape Town. This is how I imagine I’d be listening to this EP for the first time had we not been on lockdown. 

The album exudes a sense of disillusioned bliss and according to Banhart three of the songs on the EP are about the difference between disappointment and disillusion. “Lots more freedom in disillusion, lots more breathing space,” he says. In a statement, Banhart talks about the single “It’s Not Always Funny” and says “while writing this song I was thinking about over-consumption, a kind that goes beyond objects, and starts to pig out on emotions … it’s never kindness or joy is it?” 

The EP is a follow-up to Banhart’s critically acclaimed 2019 studio album, Ma, and includes a remix of the Ma track Love Song, along with three songs from the session that are not on the album. The tracks included on the EP flow from being charmingly low-fi to including elements of fluttering instrumentals and electronic beats and bass, making it the perfect album to play on a mellow Sunday. 


Bring Me The Horizon – Parasite Eve

When I first heard this song, I had many discussions about it with fellow BMTH fans, and there was a lot of back and forth from hardcore fans. “This is nothing like the BMTH that we have come to love”. Yes, I totally agree with that statement. But one afternoon when I went on my annual afternoon jog and Parasite Eve started playing, I really enjoyed it. I love this song because it’s not light-hearted pop. Parasite Eve is different from anything that BMTH has done, with its own sound and mood. 

This is the soundtrack for a certain occasion and emotion. It addresses the dark side and processes the way we are living in this new “normal” because of the pandemic. Parasite Eve is brilliantly executed and produced, and is somewhat an anthem for anger. I don’t know about you but I definitely feel angry some days and metal will always pick me up. 

So yes, I missed the pre ”That’s The Spirit” era, and luckily Bring Me The Horizon decided that 2020 is the year for aggression and overall good metal.

Ben Harper & Rhiannon Giddens – Black Eyed Dog

For a cover of Nick Drake’s 1974 Black Eyed Dog, Ben Harper joined hands with Rhiannon Giddens on banjo for a beautiful re-edition of the punchy American roots song. I’m obsessed with this song because of the brilliant harmonising apropos to the song. 

On this track you experience the truly steel lap guitar from Ben Harper and Rhiannon playing both banjo viola while both contribute vocals. 

Black Eyed Dog is an American roots folk song that needed to be carried on to the time that we live in. Ben Harper and Rhiannon Giddens gave the spirit to the son in their own individual ways. 


Jackal & the Wind – Methuselah

There I was, browsing Apply Music for something new to listen to, when the album cover of Jackal & the Wind‘s latest release caught my eye. Curious, I hit play on their new EP. As soon as the first notes of Lover Don’t You Know hit me, I was captivated.
Imagine my surprise when I discovered these guys are in fact Stellenbosch locals! Their sound is definitely folksy but also upbeat and catchy, with a definite South African flavour. I can picture it playing in the car on route to a day at Llandudno, Deluxe coffee in hand.
Any highlights? There’s the melodic sway of C’est La Vie, the whimsy in I Don’t Think of Japan, and the paced rhythm of I’m See Through and Wild Child. And like I said, Lover Don’t You Know was the one that really caught me in the first place.
The discovery of their latest EP led me to dig deeper into their earlier releases and so far I’ve really liked everything I’ve heard. I am excited to follow their journey.


Patchwork – Passenger

I fell in love with Passenger when their hit Let Her Go went viral back in 2012 and since then I’ve been a fan of their acoustic folk-rock sound and gorgeous lyrics. Their brand new album, Patchwork, is to me an homage to their folk sound that we have come to love. From the album’s artwork (a beautiful patchwork quilt) to the melodic use of the piano that creates this earthy and authentic vibe, it’s your granny’s softest comforter.
The digital album only has eight songs, including a Lewis Capaldi cover of his hit Someone you loved done in true Passenger-style. Michael David Rosenberg, Passenger’s front man, says that he never intended to write a quarantine album, but the album’s opening song Sword from Stone speaks of the powerlessness we face in the current situation.
Another song to look out for is Queenstown. It is one of those songs that just transports you – even though I’ve never been in Queenstown, Rosenberg sweeps you up and allow you to travel with him. I’m a sucker for the violin, so I’ve also had Summer Rain on repeat soaking in the slow emotion of the song, calming the storms within.

Net Geleen – Bernice West

Na YouTube vir die hoeveelste keer Sonop-Blom aan my voorstel so paar maande terug, stem ek in en die energieke, unieke stem van die jong Bernice West vul my sitkamer. Sedertdien het die naaswenner van die gewilde Maak My Famous ‘n gunsteling by my geword. Haar debuut album, Net Geleen, is einde Julie vrygestel en is in dieselfde alternatiewe pop- gemeng met rock-genre as Sonop-Blom.
Behalwe haar eerste enkelsnit, Sonop-Blom, sal haar tweede enkelsnit, Die Hart, ook jou onmiddelik aan die sing hê. Verder, speel West ook in die gospel-genre met talle van die veertien snitte op die album wat hiervan spreek. Sy wys ook haar meer akoestiese vermoeë met Eenvoud, terwyl Ingeperk weer meer na die pop-genre se kant toe staan. Die album se produksiespan verdien ook ‘n klop op die skouer vir die wyse waarop snitte soos Klop aanmekaar gesit is.
West se talent is duidelik en dit sal interresant wees om te sien watter rigting sy in die toekoms inslaan, veral ten opsigte van haar genre en liedjieskryf keuses.

Want to jam to more of our favourite songs, head on over to our Lumico Lockdown Living playlist here.

Foto vergunning:


The VaaIie girl with a laugh better than the joke itself. If you’ve lost me in the crowd, look for the red hat. Or the shoulder pads. Or the floral-patterned blazer. I’ve got a winner of a party trick, just give me a shot of tequila and a raw egg, and if you’re not sure how to start the conversation, don’t worry. I’ve got you covered.

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