Cool sounds for tuned in people
Reader’s Choice 2020
Readerschoice Graphic Pink Green Blue
  • This year’s top song says Debra Powell is a soulful and gorgeous ballad by US band The Revivalists
  • Eclectic and adventurous music listener Jan Vochten has enlisted his 16-year-old daughter and 23-year-old cousin to add dimension to an already broad musical palette. The result: Lizzo and Jacob Collier share space with Nick Cave, Sault, Jason Isbell, Bettye LaVette and many more.
  • THE READER’S CHOICE 2020 PLAYLIST: On YouTube and Spotify


The annual Readers’ Choice series lets Kurated readers share music with each other. Long, short or in between, the result is an engaging look at a broad swatch of musical smarts and taste.

There’s a summary playlist from the 11-part series on both YouTube and Spotify.

Thanks to all of this year’s contributors and to you, the readers!

Kurated is a music sharing project.
Stay tuned and enjoy,
Kris Sig Plastic V3

01 January 2021

Debra Powell
Burnaby BC

Formed in 2007, The Revivalists work out of New Orleans, LA (Rob Schmidt photo)

Soul Fight: The Revivalists

I submit the Revivalists’ Soul Fight (sometimes called Soul Fire) as it’s what we all need right now. Friends helping to keep our soul burning warm and bright.

About Debra: Essentially a country girl living in the city and pretending to be in the country! How? Looking at mountains from my Cascade Heights apartment while dancing around the living room to whatever amazing music comes out of my Klipsch speakers. Fused glass artist with a studio on Clark Drive and writer working on some non-fiction pieces. Contact: [email protected]

Jan Vochten
Mortsel, Belgium

Jason Isbell and his musical partner and wife, Amanda Shires, put on a Tiny Desk Concert at home in support of Isbell and the 400 Unit’s 2020 release, Reunions.

In the past year I used Spotify a lot where there’s so much music to discover. I also shared music with my 16-year-old daughter, Hanne, and I was greatly inspired by the many excellent Kurated contributions.

  • Jason Isbell: from the 2020 CD, Reunions. Many good songs including Only Children and Dreamsicle. His concert in Antwerp was cancelled because of Covid. So, instead here’s his NPR Tiny Desk Concert 
  • Lizzo: Cuz I Love You and Truth Hurts. I first noticed her in a Tiny Desk Concert. Juice is Hanne’s No. 1, but she also likes the version by Harry Styles, her hero.
  • Lianna La Havas was my favourite for 2020. I loved Bittersweet, especially this live version.
  • Sault: Little Boy and Wildfires. Excellent new discovery.
  • Bettye LaVette: Blackbird and Things Have Changed.
  • Fenne Lily: Berlin and Birthday. A new discovery. Here’s a live concert by her. 
  • Black Pumas: Colours (also acoustic version) and Fire. Thanks to my friend Dominique.
  • Nick Cave: Cosmic Dancer, from the tribute CD Marc Bolan: Angelheaded Hipster. In 1968 at my first music festival, Marc Bolan’s band – then called Tyrannosaurus Rex – played Ride a White Swan. 
  • Sam Lee, (from Old Wow) The Moon Shines Bright with Elisabeth Fraser (from Cocteau Twins) as well as Lay This Body Down.
  • Trixie Whitley: Need Your Love and Breathe You In My Dreams. She is the Belgian-born daughter of the late Chris Whitley. I rediscovered her music this year.
  • Ane Brun: newly discovered, illustrating feelings during this epidemic. Closer and Last Breath
  • Michael Kiwanuka I watched a live show on YouTube together with Hanne and we were most impressed by his Cold Heart

Didn’t make it to my final list, but were greatly enjoyed:

Jacob Collier (a tip from my Dutch cousin Sietse): Feel  
Agnes Obel: Camera’s Rolling 
Melanie De Biasio: Afro Blue  
Laura Veirs: Freedom Feeling
Loma: Ocatillo 
Cynthia Erivo: Stand Up 
Billie Eilish: My Future 
Adrianne Lenker: Anything 
and Olafur Arnalds’ The Bottom Line (with Josin).