Have a dinner party coming up and you need to set the mood with some sweet jams? No worries, we’ve got you covered!
To get you started, we’ve carefully curated a playlist great for most dinner parties. But we’d like to give you some pointers on creating your own too. Here are seven tips to creating a perfect dinner playlist:
1. Make it long. Your playlist should start when the appetizers are set out and last long into the evening when you’re finishing off a bottle of wine (or two) on the sofa. Shoot for at least two hours. Go ahead and either put the playlist on repeat or have a after-dinner backup playlist. Sometimes you just have such a good time with guests that you all end up staying up later than you had originally anticipated—it happens, so be prepared.
2. Genre-bending on a playlist can be really cool, but you’ve got to do it right. That means you shouldn’t put a folk-rock song next to a electric-funk song. That’s a bad idea. Instead, try something like this: Listen to a “Lost in My Mind” by The Head and Heart song and follow it up with Ray Lamontagne’s cover of “Crazy” by Gnarles Barkley. Or start with “3 Days” by Rhye and then listen to Poolside’s cover of “Harvest Moon” by Neil Young. We recommend putting the electronic remixes towards the end of the playlist—they work better after you’ve had a few glasses of wine.
3. Keep it mellow. The playlist can definitely be soulful, fun and a little weird, but it still needs to be tasteful. In other words, the music is supposed to compliment the dinner and set the mood within the background. Whether you’re cooking up a modern Asian-fusion meal or busting out a rustic boeuf bourguignon, the playlist needs to be smooth.
4. Listen to the bass line. Is it clean and melodic or does it just repeat same two notes? Try to steer clear of a bass line that gets too repetitive, grungy or buzzy. It needs to have dynamic range, otherwise your dinner guests are going to leave with a headache. Because if you stripped all the other instruments away, the bass line should be able to hold the entirety of the song—setting the groove while combing rhythm and melody into one entity.
5. Use language to your advantage. Find some French jams that you really like. Or maybe you’re more into Brazilian Bossa Nova. Like a quality spice, sprinkle them lightly in the mix. Not only will you look like a very cultured and attractive individual, but adding music in a different language to your playlist will make guests appreciate the music as a whole entity, rather than trying to decipher lyrics and sing along.
6. Crossfade the tracks. This one is super simple, because no one really likes that pause in between songs. Even though this should be a mellow playlist backing the dinner, don’t make your guest wait for the next song. It stops the the groove, and makes things feel really awkward. It also really helps with any genre-bending you plan on doing.
7. Download a system-wide sound equalizer. By adding an equalizer you have complete control over bass, treble and mid-tone enhancement. Some equalizers even allow you to enhance the ambience, spatial sound and more.
There you have it! Now you know how to create the perfect dinner playlist. Check out the @1201 Dinner Playlist on Spotify, and then build your own.