Six years after releasing their debut EP, singer Sedona Schat and producer Noah Yoo released their first full collection of dreamy indie-pop tracks last summer as Cafunewith Functioning building on the foundations laid by love songs for others while drawing inspiration from more contemporary pop sounds. In fact, this blend of modern glitz and Frou Frou-style 2000s electronic pop seems to have landed at the perfect time – over the past year, the duo’s single “Tek It” has been certified gold by the RIAA. , which led to a signing with Elektra Records. and a touring opening slot for CHVRCHES.
Amidst these dates, and before releasing any new tracks through their new label, we asked the duo to reflect on their songwriting talent by creating a playlist of tracks that perfectly combine the task of songwriting with the creative process of creating a record. . “Songwriting and record making are one, the same way the mixing process begins at arranging,” the duo explain. “These are tracks from our current rotation that blur that creative line in inspiring ways.”
Check out their picks below with words from Yoo and Schat, and find their remaining tour dates with CHVRCHES. here.
Porter Robinson, “Everything Goes On”
It sounds like one of the simplest songs Porter Robinson has ever put out in the best way. It’s as detailed as any of his past work while emphasizing vocal melody and chord progression above all else; definitely one of my favorite things he ever wrote.
Frou Frou, “A New Kind of Love (demo)”
Frou Frou’s songs are so well defined that this demo feels so listenable and complete, even in its relatively raw state. It has those classic Imogen vocal layers, bouncy pads and glitchy drums. Please, Imogen and Guy, a new feature!
Shirley Horn, “Here’s Life”
We recently spent some time listening to this recording and marveling at it, wondering what it must have been like to put it together. Johnny Mandel, the arranger, was one of the greatest of the 20th century; a true legend.
Charlie Puth and Jung Kook of BTS, “Left and Right”
Puth brings a lot of confidence to his writing, and that translates into some genuinely interesting and whimsical decisions. The defining feature of this track is that the vocal pans left and right with the corresponding lyrics – the kind of thing that might inspire a child to learn more about mono versus stereo, about recording, about writing songs.
John Carroll Kirby and Laraaji, “Dawn of New Day”
This is one of those instances where the instrumentation really sets the stage for the (relatively minimal) song within. JCK’s solo work has that fluid pastoral vibe, and his sound blends so well with Laraaji’s vocals.
Remi Wolf, “Michael”
Sedona put me on this one and it just became one of those songs I listen to all the time. The hard-hitting production does a lot of work, but there’s also this heartfelt longing for Remi’s manic lyrics that keep me coming back.
Steve Lacy and Foushee, “Sunshine”
This song sounds like floating in the air. Each new section puffs up and spreads out so satisfyingly, and it never drags. I love the guitar sound at the end, the Rhodes and the keys, the vocal stacks, all of that.
altopalo, “I love it 4 u”
Rahm’s vocal processing and Haldeman’s guitar timbre feel so glued together. All sounds are crystal clear and vibrant with life. Always in awe of this band.
Soccer Mommy, “Shotgun”
Everything about this track sounds dirty and lived in, from the drums and riff to the way Sophie’s voice is pressed. I like the tangible, sensual details – “Coffee and menthol on your breath” – and a good old metaphor (“I’m a bullet in your shotgun”).
Yves Tumor, “The secret is incredibly important to both of them”
What is there to say about it beyond: huge piece. The sound, the atmosphere, the scale, everything in the recording is just perfect. “How can I miss you if you don’t go away” is also an amazing phrase.
Rayvn Lenae and Steve Lacy, “Skin Tight”
The. Vocal. Arrangement. There are so many moments in this song that are created by emphasizing specific words with backing vocals. The sneaky 6/8 time signature is the best.
We both love this band. The riffs sound like they could have come from any of their eras, and the commitment to the entire outro section is sublime. “Leave as the departure as the departure as one hydrogen bomb / And I give off a certain glow / You have to look at it from all angles, says the cubist judge in the cubist prison. A perfect marriage between absurdity and poetry.