10 Tracks Selected by River Gallo

As part of River Gallo's guest edit, the filmmaker and intersex advocate selects their top tracks.


For their takeover this week, HUNGER cover star River Gallo has started off with a dreamy playlist to get you groovin’ on a Monday. From the soothing sounds of Lana Del Rey to the heated vibes of Rosalía, there’s something for everyone in River’s playlist. So listen up here…


"Yes, I'm ready" by Barbara Mason

A pioneer of American soul, Philly born Barbara Mason had her first major hit single with this 1965 release. ‘Yes, I’m Ready’ reached #2 in the sixties R&B charts, and #5 on the pop one. Going on to be a 70s sex-positive queen, we stan Barbara and her early, vital feminism which paved the way for some of the most iconic musicians of all time.


"Venice Bitch" by Lana Del Rey

The long-awaited return of Lana Del Rey was the musical moment of 2018. ‘Venice Bitch’ was the second single from Norman Fucking Rockwell!  (one of this year’s best albums) and gave us we all needed to get our Lana fix. Folky and psychedelic all in one, the ballad becomes a alt-pop dream after a couple minutes, and proves the vibrant talent of a very worthily hyped star.


"Dead of Night" by Orville Peck

Country crooner Orville Peck’s 2019 debut, ‘Dead of Night’, proved the rising star to be one to watch for the new year with its gently cool sense of self. Known for his fringed Lone Ranger mask and unique sound, the queer artist gained a massive audience this year, all intrigued to find out more about the mysterious cowboy.

"Coney Island Baby" by Lou Reed

The titular track from Lou Reed’s 1975 album, ‘Coney Island Baby’ is one of the most romantic tracks from the New Yorkers discography. An ode to his girlfriend and muse Rachel Humphreys, a trans woman who sadly passed away from AIDs. Lou sings of the “glory of love”, and calls out to his muse and his old school “I’d like to send this one out to Lou and Rachel, and all the kids at P.S. 192.”, in a true love letter to nostalgia.

"Nothing's Gonna Hurt You Baby" by Cigarettes After Sex

Taken from their debut album, Cigarettes After Sex’s ‘Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby’ was recorded in a four-story stairway at his alma mater, in the University of Texas at El Paso. This raw, wholesome beginning is felt in the delicate beats and sweet lyrics, and leads way for the band’s atmospheric ambient pop.

"In Time" by FKA twigs

FKA twigs once told us that this 2015 single was about “wanting and aching” for someone, and that earnestness echoes through the track. Taken from the  Boots-produced EP, M3LL155X (pronounced “Melissa”), ‘In Time’ captures twigs’ captivating melancholy succinctly, and certainly sums up our end of 2019 mood.

"You Already Know" by August Eve

LA native August Eve gave us this chill track in 2019 and kept us mellow. Already a singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist, at just 22-years-old, we can’t wait to see what else August has up her sleeve for the new year…

"People's Faces" by Kate Tempest

London born and raised, Kate Tempest is the multi-hyphenate the music scene needs. A spoken word performer, singer-songwriter, rapper, novelist and playwright, she’s a rare mix of old soul and new talent – bringing together the Golden Ages of literature with England’s 21st-century hip-hop. This 2019 release epitomises her versatility flawlessly, reaching Kate’s audience with her expressive soul-searching.

"Closer To You" by Clairo

Taken from her debut record, Immunity, Clairo’s ‘Closer to You’ teased her unique talent, and made her a definite rising star. The Atlanta born singer-songwriter started out DIYing lo-fi creations from her bedroom, and this year sparked out into the big time. An electropop banger to get you grooving, even on a Monday…

"In My Room" by Frank Ocean

Returning in November after a lil hiatus, mystery man Frank Ocean dropped this short number. ‘In My Room’ shows off Frank’s rapping more than singing, giving the track a more mumblecore vibe, until the final 45 seconds when the simple beat and rap is replaced by that soothing singing we know and love.

"Almeda" by Solange

Solange’s groundbreaking fourth album, When I Get Home, made waves with its accompanying visual film and its innovative composition. The stand out track on it is definitely ‘Almeda’, an ode to her native Houston, Texas (as the whole album is), the song tells a story of Black experience with its delicate exploration of faith and culture. A must listen.

"Con Altura" By Rosalia

Breaking out this year was Spanish singer-songwriter Rosalía, and this reggaeton number with J Blavin and El Guincho was a massive part of her meteoric rise. ‘Con Altura’ is a playful flamenco-esque track with a bit of Afro-Caribbean flair, the Catalonian talent proved herself to be a multifaceted star.

16 December 2019