As a companion to his Underscore piece on the history of Quiet Storm, writer Eric Harvey compiled this 104-song playlist of essential slow jams, from the Delfonics, to the Isley Brothers, to Smokey Robinson, to Anita Baker, to Maxwell, and much more.

(Source: Spotify)



"One Sunday night in May 1976, Cathy Hughes’ idea would accidentally come to fruition. Needing a last-minute substitute DJ for the evening, she brought in Melvin Lindsey, a Howard journalism student, WHUR intern, and her babysitter, to boot. Lindsey grabbed some Isley Brothers, Delfonics, and Spinners LPs from his family’s collection and hurried to the studio. Somehow, despite Lindsey’s complete lack of experience behind the mic, it clicked. Lindsey’s silky, youthful voice was an appealing shift from many of the more forceful black DJs of the day, and his smooth soul-song selections coupled with the Sunday-evening slot to create something bigger than he or Hughes could have imagined: ‘The lines were flooded with calls. There must have been some kind of natural knack.’ The next morning, Hughes came up with the perfect name for Lindsey, and his show: ‘The Quiet Storm’."

— Really psyched that my Quiet Storm retrospective is up on Pitchfork.






Our latest Underscore feature, "L.A. Weirdos", focuses on three idiosyncratic 70s West Coast singer-songwriters: Randy Newman, Harry Nilsson, and Van Dyke Parks. Read the piece by Mike Powell here and listen along with this 20-song playlist. 

(Source: Spotify)





Underscore, our new feature series that surveys undervalued artists, eras, and scenes of the musical past, kicks off with a deep analysis of Portland punks Wipers by Nick Sylvester.

Underscore, our new feature series that surveys undervalued artists, eras, and scenes of the musical past, kicks off with a deep analysis of Portland punks Wipers by Nick Sylvester.