Joana’s Issue 4 Picks: Albums That Spark Joy

Hello it’s me, Joana Meurkens, your Artistic Director and reigning Music Editor here to deliver a monthly curated list of albums for all of you! Tune in each issue to see what albums have been on my mind for the past 6 weeks… each month will have a specific theme as I welcome you all into my personal musical world.

THEME: Albums that spark joy

1. It Might As Well Be Swing- Frank Sinatra and Count Basie (1964)

Now THIS is what I call a classic. Frank Sinatra and Count Basie come together to deliver we, the people a 27 minute album filled with songs that will give you an  instant serotonin boost. With arrangements by Quincy Jones, this album is an example of the power within the Golden Age of Jazz music. This album reminds me of being little in the car with my dad just BLASTING this shit, so yeah, good vibes. 

Top Tracks:

  1. Fly Me To The Moon (In Other Words) 
  2. Hello, Dolly! 
  3. I Wish You Love

2. Contre-Temps – Flavien Berger (2018)

This is one of my favorite albums that will simply transport you to the French fantasy world that Flavien Berger lays out for you. The production quality is incredible as there is a new detail that creeps into your earphones every time you listen to it. The album is a soundtrack to dramatically look out into the rain to and think of a past lover while also delivering beats to have your own cathartic personal dance party. 

Top Tracks:

  1. Contre-Temps 
  2. Castelmaure
  3. Maddy La Nuit

3. <atrás/além> – O Terno (2019)

The latest album from O Terno, a band hailing from São Paulo, Brazil offers the beauty that lies in the roots of Brazilian music.  The first time I heard Volta e Meia (a song featuring Japanese singer Shintaro Sakamoto and Venezuelan-American singer Devendra Banhart) I was instantly transported to a beach where the only thing that existed was the beautiful sounds curated by these three artists.  This album is a contemporary embodiment of the Portuguese word saudade, which encapsulates the beauty and melancholy of loving and losing someone. 

Top Tracks

  1. O Bilhete
  2. Volta e Meia
  3. Atrás / Além

4. Ctrl-Sza (2017)

This album brings me joy because I am a Black woman and every time I listen to it, I feel SZA personally gifting me her strength. This album is the blueprint. If you haven’t listened to it and given yourself a nice little hug, I highly suggest you put that at the top of your priority list.

Top Tracks:

  1. Supermodel
  2. Love Galore (feat. Travis Scott)
  3. Broken Clocks

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