Steve Gunn’s Cold Embrace

What’s This Playlist All About? With the release of the singer/songwriter’s 2019 album, The Unseen in Between, Matador Records’ best-kept secret (though not for long!) updates his playlist of “recent and all-time favorites.”

What You Get: Alongside some of Gunn’s own sprawling, psych-laced rock (definitely check out “Paranoid”) is a carefully curated mix of vintage crate-digging gold—especially for those of you who dig out-there folk and rock from the ‘60s and ‘70s. There’s warm, wistful folk from prolific English singer/songwriter and Gunn collaborator Michael Chapman; spacey, border-blending psychedelic noise from the Sun City Girls; lighter-waving-worthy prog-pop from Greek rockers “Aphrodite’s Child”; and a perfect pop melody from the “one-man Beatle” Emitt Rhodes. He also gives room for some sweet New Zealand pop from The Chills and David Kilgour and The Heavy Eights, as well as indie electro heroes Stereolab and Broadcast.

Greatest Discovery: The breathless, poetic musings of “Sell-Out Agitation Waltz” from Joan Baez’s sister Mimi and husband Richard Farina, who tragically died a year after the recording, at just 29 years old.

Why “Cold Embrace”? There’s something so warm and cozy and analog about this playlist, but it seems the title is inspired by a seemingly inconspicuous cut buried deep in the mix, Sam Gopal’s sizzling psych-rock epic “Cold Embrace.” Be sure to listen to that one—we certainly dig it.