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4 seasoned hosts share their favourite dinner party playlists

IMAGE VIA LONG PRAWN

WORDS BY CAIT EMMA BURKE

As they say in France, bone apple tea!

Let me paint you an all too common scene. It’s a mere moment before your guests arrive and you’re perspiring after slaving away over a slow-cooked ragu, homemade bread and what you hope will be an excellent tiramisu (emphasis on hope).

You hear a knock at the door and realise the podcast you’ve been listening to for the last three hours won’t quite cut the mustard now that you have company. Your sauce covered fingers reach for your phone and in a panic, you tap out ‘lounge jazz’.


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Look, I get it, there are many things to keep in mind when hosting a dinner party. Obviously, there’s the food you’re serving (absolutely essential) and the guests you’re inviting (also key if you are going to call it a ‘party’), both of which require some brainpower in order to achieve the right balance of flavours (yes, people have flavours too).

On top of this, you will probably spend a solid chunk of time finessing the presentation of everything, meaning that music is often left as an afterthought. But I would argue that music is just as essential as every other component of the evening. Much like seasoning, the right selection can enhance, whereas the wrong selection can prove catastrophic.

Envisaging a time post lockdown when I will be hosting once more, I asked four seasoned hosts – artistic food practice Long Prawn, Sophie from Club Sup, musician and vegan cook Eyes of Bel, and Matisse from We Eatin’ Good Bitch – to share with me their favourite dinner party playlists. Rest assured, there is no lounge jazz in sight.

Long Prawn

 

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Long Prawn believes that any dinner party worth its chops should be an intergenerational orgy of people, food and music. Imagine you’re invited to dinner by an eccentric Godmother – she has extravagant taste in cuisines, fine wine and incongruous company.

You sit down at a large, glass table purchased from Space Furniture (as she tells you) alongside a baby boomer, a Gen X, a millennial, a xennial, a Gen Z, and a Gen Y sucking on a feijoa flavoured vape.

On the table are wobbling plates of vegetables in aspic, pokè bowls, frankfurts on skewers and poached egg on sourdough with micro herbs. What happens over the course of three and a half hours is beautiful, chaotic, melodic, messy and delicious; each guest takes the musical horse (the aux cord) for a ride. Close your eyes and let this music take you there.

@long_prawn

Sophie McIntyre from Club Sup

 

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Music taste is so subjective, so over dinner, you want it to be as warm and welcoming as the company, food and wine. This playlist is the perfect soundtrack to the ‘dinner’ section of the dinner party. Then it’s free reign once the sixth bottle of wine is opened and everyone is on the table lip-syncing to Missy Elliot. 

@clubsup_

Eyes of Bel

 

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My name is Bel, I’m a queer artist (singer/songwriter/producer) from Melbourne/Naarm, and my dinner party playlist oozes with eclectic energy designed to delight every type of music lover. It’s no secret that music to me is more than just sound. Music is a powerful concoction of dopamine, emotion, nostalgia and feeling. I’m kicking things off with ‘Cloudbusting’ by Kate Bush and my song ‘Better Than Me’, tunes built on self-belief, filled with much hope and optimism; something that we all need.

Tracks like ‘Baby Let Me Kiss You’ by Fern Kinney, ‘Song For Jesse’ by Nick Cave and ‘Glory Box’ by Portishead set the mood for a feast of vegan delights and natural wines, but when ‘Supersoaker’ by Eartheater and ‘Habibi’ by Sevdaliza hit, the candlesticks are dripping with wax and we are onto desert (plant-based of course). Hosting vegan soirées is one of my favourite things to do, and this playlist will hit that sweet spot every time. Follow me on Spotify to listen and transcend into deliciousness.

@eyesofbel

Matisse Laida from We Eatin’ Good Bitch

 

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I’m Matisse, I run @we.eatin.good.bitch, a collaborative food platform dedicated to amplifying queer, Black, Indigenous and POC folk in Naarm, and this is my ideal dinner playlist! My ma taught me a lot of things, but good food and music are the lessons I hold on to the most. My love for both have their origins in her kitchen, and this playlist is a homage to her.

My music taste is a mix of old and new R&B/neo-soul, with Black artists that I grew up listening to – think Lauryn, Erykah and India Arie – paired with new-age icons like Kaiit, Sampha and Solange. This playlist is sexy, chill and has the soothing energy that is perfect for an intimate and wholesome dinner with your chosen family. Enjoy! And eat good, bitch!

@we.eatin.good.bitch

Hosting a dinner party? For more tips, try this.

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