Hearing a song that was popular during your bar or bat mitzvah season is like traveling back in time. The first few notes creep in and you’re transported into a temple auditorium filled with sweaty 12- and 13-year-olds, the rainbow strobe lights flashing and party motivators directing your arm movements—high, middle, low, repeat—usually to a song like Kool & The Gang’s “Celebration.” But with age comes understanding: there’s actually more to play at a bar mitzvah or wedding than number one hits from the 1980s. Our newest Friday feature finds those songs for you, condensing each week’s new music into a short list of guaranteed party hits, plus a suggested time during the party to play each of the songs. There’s never been an easier way to ensure you’ll look hip at your cousin’s nephew’s wedding next month.
Blood Orange, “You’re Not Good Enough”
Who: Dev Hynes is the London-born, New York-based singer and producer behind Blood Orange, his four-year-old project producing Prince-inspired pop songs. He’s worked with stars like Solange Knowles and Sky Ferriera and this week released his album, Cupid Deluxe, to critical acclaim. For an in-depth look at Hynes, check out this profile in the Fader.
Song: This song will take you straight back to the 1980s, and reminds me of a TV theme song—in a really good way. The normally sweet and loving Hynes tells his girl she’s not good enough for him. Turns out the girl on the track is his real-life girlfriend, Samantha Urbani (They’re still good, though).
Moment: Parents and their kids will unite on the dance floor to break out the goofy dance moves. Feel free to stare down your ex from across the room.
Death Grips, “Come up and Get me”
Who: Death Grips is an experimental group from Sacramento known for combining punk, hip-hop, and straight-up noise. These guys are angsty. They were dropped by their label, Epic Records, after releasing their sophomore album, No Love Deep Web, for free on their website, and have since caused stirs canceling shows and just generally doing whatever they want. Just last week they surprised the music world when they released a third album, Government Leaks, for free online.
Song: Here’s a quick reminder that there are still a lot of things to be angry about these days (they even scream about Nazis).
Moment: Teenage boys are still angsty, right? Everyone’s allowed to have an angry moment, even at a party.
Santigold, “Shooting Arrows at the Sky“
Who: Santigold—nee Santi White, the Wesleyan University graduate and star behind the excellent 2012 album, Master of My Make Believe—got the call to record a song for the new Hunger Games movie soundtrack.
Song: Named after Katniss Everdeen’s archery expertise, “Shooting Arrows in the Sky” starts slow, with a calming guitar riff, and builds to a busy chorus with some electronic accents.
Moment: Bat Mitzvah girl power anthem. If Katniss can overcome the Hunger Games, you can do anything.
Check out the rest of the Tablet playlists here.
Lauren Schwartzberg is an intern at Tablet Magazine.