The Discover Setlist – 17 January

Tune in to what's been playing at Ticketmaster this week – including Pavement, Teddi Gold, Silverbacks and The Weeknd

‘Be My Baby’ – The Ronnettes 

A walk through The Ronnettes’ back catalogue feels even more bittersweet now after last week’s sad loss of Ronnie Spector – but the opening beat of ‘Be My Baby’ is still powerful enough to cut through anything and everything else. A miracle of simplicity, raw power, and the genius decision not to edit out the fuzzy echo of an overhead mic, the first few seconds of the track are all session musician Hal Blaine, before Ronnie’s rebel rock voice cuts through the bass drum with the soul of an entire era. Sampled and referenced by everyone from The Jesus And Mary Chain and Bat For Lashes to Lykke Li and Lana Del Rey, made even more iconic in movies like Mean Streets and Dirty Dancing, and namedropped in an Arctic Monkey’s song – ‘Be My Baby’ seems to find a new life every few years but still sounds timeless. PB

‘The Killing Moon’ – Pavement

Radio 6 Music spent last week reliving the 90s, which is pretty much what I do every day anyway – but a replay of the BBC Evening Sessions from January 1997 reminded me that I don’t play the B-sides of Brighten The Corners nearly as much as I should. Somewhere between the superior live version of ‘And Then (The Hexx)’ and two different Space Ghost themes is Pavement’s cover of the Echo & The Bunnymen’s classic new wave anthem, rolled up and smoked out here in a lo-fi jam that’s at least as great as the original. PB

‘Something On Your Mind’ – Karen Dalton 

There’s such a sadness to Karen Dalton’s music, and you can hear every blue note of it in ‘Something On Your Mind’. Once one of the brightest lights of the Greenwich Village folk scene in the 60s (bright enough to have Bob Dylan back her up on harmonica), Dalton was never famous and certainly not rich – dying in a mobile home in the early 90s without the world ever appreciating just how incredible an artist she really was. Angel Olsen covers Dalton’s 1971 ballad beautifully for her own new single, and she’s generous enough to put the original on the B-side – using her own profile to raise that of one her forgotten heroes. “Hey, well you know, you can’t make it without ever even tryin’…”. PB

‘Clearly’ – Grace VanderWaal

Like many, I sat down to watch the rebooted Sex And The City with high expectations. And unfortunately like many, I’ve been pretty disappointed. After what was a particularly difficult episode to sit through recently, they finished with this song. A quick Shazam and it lead me to Grace VanderWaal who many might remember from her viral America’s Got Talent audition in 2016. The song is a reimagining of Johnny Nash’s ‘I Can See Clearly Now’ with a fittingly moody pop vibe and perfectly shows off the vocals of the then 14-year-old (yes, really!). OC

‘Stand Back’ – Stevie Nicks

Despite its 80s synth-pop introduction, this Stevie Nicks record is quickly cleansed with her distinctively soothing vocals. From her second studio album, The Wild Heart, ‘Stand Back’ was the lead single released in 1983 but never quite managed to make it to No.1. Despite this, it’s been a firm fixture on her setlist and that of Fleetwood Mac ever since. Written on the day of her wedding to Kim Anderson, Nicks said it was hearing Prince’s song ‘Little Red Corvette’ on the radio that inspired her. That same night, Nicks recorded a demo in her honeymoon suite. OC

‘Confetti’ – Teddi Gold

This Teddi Gold song will give you a pretty good understanding of what my walking playlist sounds like – upbeat pop sounds with a catchy hook. From her 2021 EP Vol.2, ‘Confetti’ is about finding everything you never knew were priorities in a relationship and more. OC

‘Crazy’ – Spiritualized

Following the glorious cacophony of ‘Always Together With You’, Spiritualized have released yet another gem from their upcoming album Everything Was Beautiful. ‘Crazy’ is a gentle, swaying, lovesick country waltz spirited along by pedal steel, piano and Jason Pierce’s wounded voice. It’s an overwhelmingly lovely ode to falling in love against all your best instincts and efforts. MG

‘A Job Worth Something’ – Silverbacks

In the darkest depths of the pandemic, Silverbacks’ Daniel O’Kelly was working as a copywriter for an insurance firm and living with his sister, who was on the frontlines in Dublin’s St James’s Hospital. The difference in societal importance between their respective roles inspired O’Kelly to turn a crisis of conscience into this supremely catchy tune that distils everything that’s great about the Dubliners into two and a half minutes of tightly coiled bliss. The video’s pretty great tooMG

‘Bethel Woods’ – Midlake

For fans of bold declarations, here’s a doozy: Midlake’s ‘Roscoe’ is one of the best songs ever written. But that’s not to discount the band’s output since. After a long break, the Texans have returned (their reunion ushered forth by a dream visitation from Jesse Chandler’s late father) and they sound utterly undiminished. The pulsating, dramatic ‘Bethel Woods’ ups the ante for their forthcoming album, driven on by some stunning drumming from McKenzie Smith. And speaking of great videos, I give you Michael PeñaMG

‘How Do I Make You Love Me?’ – The Weeknd

Though many treat The Weeknd’s early EPs with a cult-like idolisation, their sleaze and melodrama felt a little too ripe for a perfume advert for my liking. It was from 2016’s Starboy onwards that Abel Tesfaye really started grabbing my attention, with its retro-tinted, smooth and pulsating electronica aided in no small part by Daft Punk. On his fifth studio album, Dawn FM, released pretty understatedly earlier this month, Tesfaye leans into this 80s sci-fi synth sound even more as he paints his conceptual world of vice and smooth grooves. ‘How Do I Make You Love Me’ is one of the LP’s most energetic moments, with an immediacy fueled by TRON-like arpeggiated synths and morphing vocals. Perfect for psyching yourself up; even if it’s just to go downstairs to fix another brew. JB

‘Drive My Car (Kafuku)’ – Eiko Ishibashi

It speaks volumes when a film’s soundtrack conveys enough emotion to leave a mark on those who’ve not even seen the film. Such a score is Eiko Ishibashi’s Drive My Car from Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s 2021 film, which has rightfully been gaining attraction in its own right for its gorgeous piano-lead melodies and sparse, jazzy orchestration. This section in particular builds emotively as flutes swirl and slide above a delicate breakbeat and hypnotic piano line to goosebump inducing effect. JB

Hear January’s full Discover Setlist below:

Tickets are on sale now or soon for many of the names on this week’s list at Check back next week to listen to another Discover Setlist.