Topping off reasons to love our city, are the legacy and cutting edge scenes of music. You could spend everyday of your life devoted to a date of historical sites, niche new venue openings or exploring the actual settings of the songs and never be left disappointed. To introduce our new series on Ohlala’s dating soundtrack, below are our all time favorite picks that exemplify New York’s character – a multi-tonal mix of depth, reflection, beauty and open-endedness. They are songs to enjoy on your next Ohlala date and either come from homegrown artists, describe the city, or are from bands once based here.
Bruce Springsteen: New York City Serenade
Joni Mitchell: Chelsea Morning
A folky and optimistic vocal rendering of waking up in one of NYC’s most enchanting neighborhoods, Chelsea.
Simon and Garfunkel: April Come She Will
The Beatles: Strawberry Fields
Though it was written during his time with the Beatles, the melancholic song coincides well with John Lennon’s life, passing, and memorial in New York.
Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson: Madison Avenue
Catey Shaw: Brooklyn Girls
A tune that captures the light and almost apathetic trend of indie music currently being produced in NYC.
Sonny Rollins: The Bridge
Billie Holiday: Autumn in New York
The crisp and chilly atmosphere of NYC during fall translated into a song through the smoldering and timelss vocals of Billie Holiday.
Duke Ellington Orchestra: Take the ‘A’ Train
Leonard Cohen: Famous Blue Raincoat
A typical mournful Leonard Cohen song about a lost love told through the poetic descriptions of New York in the wintertime.
Rufus Wainwright: 14th Street
Le Tigre: My My Metrocard
The ultimate retro throwback to 1960’s synth and 1980’s hard fem vocals underscored with local political critique.
Sunflower Bean: Wall Watcher
With gritty instrumental elements and and ethereal vocals, Wall Watcher is a song which depicts the NYC angst over failed and complicated relationships.
Jay Z & Alicia Keys: Empire State of Mind