Music is a big part of traveling, whether it’s obscure songs you hear in taxis or tuk-tuks, or the tunes you select for a personal journey. The team behind Arlo Skye, one of favorite luggage brands, shares our love for music and travel, as does LA-based DJ Myles Hendrik, with whom they partnered to select this week’s ListenUp picks. Myles couldn’t stop at only five songs, so an eclectic, exciting playlist was born—everything from Nirvana covers to Australian rapper Tkay Maidza, and sullen rock to disco reworks are covered in Hendrik’s roster of tracks. There’s enough music here to take you on all kinds of flights of fancy—whether literal or not. When you’re actually heading out of town, the perfect duo is this playlist and Arlo Skye’s lightweight, functional, and affordable luggage.
As for Hendrik, he shares that “Music and travel are key ingredients in my life. There’s an absolute symbiotic relationship between the two. Music is there every day, whether I’m listening to it in the background, making it or playing it. It’s always there helping me manifest art, ideas, dreams, motion. Being a DJ, I’m fortunate in that I get to travel all around the world. I get to listen to all the different sounds, the different influences and be inspired all over again and again.”
Check out Myles Hendrik’s full playlist, made for Arlo Skye and Cool Hunting, on Spotify now. He sums up the pairing of music and travel, for him, like this: “It’s always eclectic and forever changing: the beauty of music and travel. I couldn’t live without either.”
Arlo Skye’s aluminum carry-on luggage offers plenty of simplicity, but it’s not basic or dull. Sophisticated and elegant with no detail ignored, they even come with a super-useful built-in 10,050 mAh portable charger, which is hidden away under the handle so it doesn’t disrupt any of the clean lines of the case or get bumped or scratched in transit. The practical pieces are not only user-friendly, but the brand’s direct-to-consumer business model means they are also surprisingly affordable.
Here are our five picks from the playlist, along with why they resonated with Hendrik.
Tkay Maidza: Tennies
“Tennies” is one of those bangers that grabs listeners from the very first listen and doesn’t let go. Maidza’s flow—a little reminiscent of M.I.A, Santigold and Rye Rye—is so effortless and the production from crossover producer Salva is the perfect complement. Designed with the dance floor in mind, this track simply crushes it in the club. One tip: when listening to it, turn the volume up.
Freedom Fry: Smells Like Teen Spirit
On their Soundcloud page for this song the Los Angeles-based indie duo comment: “The fact that ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ can work with a disco and reggae influence is a testament to how great Kurt Cobain’s melodies were.” Couldn’t have said it better. I have to admit, being one of my all-time favorite songs there was some trepidation when I stumbled across it. But like their other glorious covers (for example Smashing Pumpkins’ “1979”) they pay homage tastefully—and the verses are sung in French just to make it even more awesome.
The Kills: Echo Home
The Kills paint aural dreamscapes that make you travel to lands you somehow know, but have never thought of. Their songs lead listeners on an emotional path through the fire-and-water romance of true thought—and the gorgeously sullen duet “Echo Home” is no finer example. Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince are like a modern-day Nancy and Lee (Sinatra and Hazlewood) tearing around Mulholland in a jet black Challenger, headlights flickering to a new beat.
Lapsley: Operator (DJ Koze’s Disco Edit)
If ever there was a modern-day disco anthem that makes listeners imagine what Studio 54 must have been like the night Bianca Jagger rode in on her white horse, then this is it. German DJ/producer Koze’s perfect and unabashedly disco remix of Lapsley’s pop track “Operator” sounds timeless in all the right ways. Soaring strings, cowbell flourishes, glorious tambourine, a driving kick-drum and the voice of a diva—what more could you ask for? (A pony, perhaps.)
Sofi Tukker: Drinkee
This gem of a song, Sofi Tukker’s “Drinkee” will forever be a reminder of summer ’16. It oozes the season’s vibes. The repetitious Portuguese chanting and the relentless groove makes this jam undeniable and completely hypnotic. Almost like a mantra, it—in essence—forces you to lose a sense of space and time and just inhabit the song. That’s why it’s genius.
Images courtesy of Rony Alwin and Arlo Skye