10 Electro Swing Songs to Add to the ‘Great Gatsby' Playlist Heather Taylor

If you’re anything like me, chances are you started streaming the soundtrack to the remake of The Great Gatsby the minute it hit NPR’s First Listen – and probably well before that moment with samples courtesy of Soundcloud and Tumblr. I’ve spent the last week and a half listening to this soundtrack and even though I was skeptical at the initial lineup (Jay-Z, Lana Del Rey, and will.i.am all on an OST for a film based off of a literary classic we read in 9th grade English class); I trusted my gut and the track record of past Baz Luhrmann film soundtracks before this one. And I liked what I heard a lot.

The only problem is that much as I like the majority of the songs featured, I can’t listen to Fergie, Q Tip, and Goonrock on an endless loop. My ears seek musical variety at all times which might be the reason why I have 35 different Pandora radio stations. Beyond variety, I just want to keep that Gatsby house party going strong and that’s where electro swing comes into play. Swing music mixed with house production, it’s what would happen to the Charleston was sped up with a remixed all-nighter in the studio and Peggy Lee sampled in the background. Throwing a Gatsby themed party or wanting to add to a playlist on your iPod? Toss the following 10 songs on (links to listen are in the song titles below) and bring on the roaring ‘20s!

1) Parov Stelar “Chambermaid Swing”

For the perfect opening entrance, you can’t go wrong with a little Parov Stelar. I’ve long considered this song to be the one I wished could follow me everywhere I go, but you can download pretty much anything from his Coco and The Princess albums and be set.

2) Caravan Palace “Brotherswing”

The 1:49 second mark is perfect to get your Gatsby-style dip in the fountain on to.

3) Tape Five “Bad Boy Good Man”

Every mysterious and crazily wealthy party thrower needs a song of their own that is equally ambiguous about the person holding the event and this one does the trick quite nicely.

4) RJD2 “All 4 You”

… And while I’m on that topic, mysterious former flames of the party giver’s eye always have an instrumental musical accompaniment as well. You know the ones, their voices are always full of money.

5) Coco Steel & Lovebomb “Yachts” (A Man Called Adam Mix)

Moving the soiree to a yacht, like all millionaire bootleggers do? You’ll need to queue this track up first.

6) Tim Tim “Rum ‘n’ Coca Cola” (Shake It Up Well)

You never wanted to dance more when having a rum and Coke than with this song. Caution for spills on the flapper dresses.

7) J-Walk “French Letter”

This song is made for that first dance and overall interaction between the party thrower and the former flame and does have a way of making you feel further off from reality and in another world altogether.

8) Dutty Moonshine “Hipbrass” (Dutty Moonshine Remix)

When the artist’s name includes the word “Moonshine”, you gotta know this is a tune that will have everyone in the room getting down with the best of ‘em.

9) Bebo Best & The Super Lounge Orchestra “Sing Sing Sing” feat. Al Cafone

“Now you’re singing with a swing!” Clear the dance floor and let the professionals take center stage with this orchestra-led melody.

10) Kathy Brier “After You Get What You Want (You Don’t Want It)”

I’ve loved this one since it showed up in a promo spot for Boardwalk Empire and it’s spot-on for the Jay Gatsby & Co. crowd. And maybe a little Nick Carraway too, even though he was just more along for the ride than anything else, “… so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” 

Image courtesy of Yahoo! Movies.

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  1. I fell in love with this playlist, perfect for the upcoming summer! Would you happen to have other suggestions like this?