Introducing Stay Golden, Our First Golden State Spotify Playlist
Exploring the best of California,
one song at a time.
CategoryMusic + Culture
Curated byRich Thomas
Golden State aspires to celebrate the best of California. Part of that mission is delivering a soundtrack that complements your journey through all the stories you can explore here.
Our newly launched Golden State Spotify will serve as a hub for all the exciting music created in and inspired by the state of California. New music, old classics, up-and-coming artists, and longtime torchbearers of iconic West Coast songwriting. Our goal is to create playlists that cater to each facet of the California music experience—all through the unique lens of Golden State.
Our first playlist, Stay Golden, is your home for new music born and bred exclusively in California. Eclectic, inspiring and insightful, these songs reflect the state’s diverse tapestry of artists and sounds, from Laurel Canyon folk magic and unpolished garage rock, to stripped down bedroom beats and house party anthems dipped in ’80s nostalgia. Each track is handpicked by our staff with the hopes of becoming an instant classic in your own playlist. If you hear something you like, make sure to favorite the song. As more new music is released, we’ll be rotating songs in and out to keep Stay Golden fresh and current.
To kick-start your journey, we’ve highlighted some our favorite tunes and linked you to each artist’s Spotify page so you can keep tabs on their latest releases. If there’s an artist you’d like is to consider for Stay Golden, reach out to us at goldenstate.is/about and let us know.
mxmtoon “high & dry”
Maia is a 19-year-old singer/songwriter from Oakland whose quirky and deeply personal lyrics have resonated not only with her peers struggling with similar feelings of alienation, heartbreak and self-expression, but with taste-making blogs like Hypebeast and I-D. “high and dry” is part of a handful of new tracks you can explore on her Spotify, but set a calendar reminder for September 17; that’s when her new full-length, the masquerade, is set to drop. She’ll then embark on a massive (and mostly sold out) fall tour that will take her all throughout the U.S. and into the U.K.
Korean-American artist NIve is an exciting new pop singer with only a few songs under his belt, but “Liberated” (and his autobiographical “Who I Am”) caught our ear for their raw emotional honesty. The well-traveled artist also has a beautifully shot video for the song we’re highlighting, which deals with emotional alienation and the need to help others who are going through dark times.
Your Smith “Wild Wild Woman”
Currently on tour supporting a new EP, Caroline Smith is a Minneapolis native who relocated to Southern California and found a strong identity mixing up the R&B and funk roots of her hometown with the classic songwriting of her LA folk heroes. While she just released “In Between Plans,” it’s the infectious “Wild Wild Woman” that she dropped earlier this summer that we can’t get out of our heads. Stay tuned for a new EP set to drop in September.
Primaveras “Find A Way”
Multi-instrumentalist James Clifford started Primaveras when he was a student at USC back in 2016, and his star has been on the rise ever since. “Find A Way” is one of four tracks off Clifford’s Anthropometries EP, which was released just last week. Infused with just the right amount of psychedelia (“Ingenue”) and disco pop (“Call Me Back”), the EP is like an LA story that starts with a drive down the coastline and ends up at an afterhours in Chinatown.
Jade Jackson “Don’t Say That You Love Me”
Central California’s Jade Jackson is a whip-smart songstress whose new album, Wilderness, was produced by Social Distortion’s Mike Ness. The songs have a decidedly country flavor—there’s just something magical about those slide guitars—but an unapologetic punk rock edge runs up and down the LP. Before she heads to Europe in September, catch Jackson at a string of California shows starting 8/22 in Los Angeles and ending on 8/29 at the Fillmore in San Francisco. Full tour dates can be found on her website.