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Make Me a Mixtape: Ron Gallo's Top Songs for a European Rendezvous

We present to you today a new weekly segment called Make Me a Mixtape, where we interview artists and have them make a mixtape of seven songs based around a particular scenario, explaining why they chose each song. This week, we chat with the Philly-born, Nashville-based musician Ron Gallo, who gives us a seven-song soundtrack for driving down the Italian coast on a sunny day.

Photo by Dylan Reyes

From the fuzzy and dark garage punk on 2017's Heavy Meta to his embracement of feel-good music on his new album PEACEMEAL, Ron Gallo's eclectic music taste bleeds into the music he creates. He refuses to be confined by one genre and constantly redefines his sound by experimenting with garage punk, avant-pop and even jazz. The colorful nature of Gallo's music, along with his emphatic adoration of Italy, inspired the theme of this mixtape. Featuring Frank Ocean, John Coltrane, and Ron's wife and collaborator Chiara D'Anzieri, aka Chickpee, RG’s Italian Summer Drive takes us speeding down a winding two-lane road in Italy with only a rail separating the car from the sea. If you close your eyes, you can just about feel the breeze.

Buon Viaggio!: RG’s Italian Summer Drive

Frank Ocean — "Pink + White"

"Been #blessed enough to have driven down the Italian coast a bunch of times while 75° and sunny and I feel like I always start it with this song. This sounds like that looks to me."

Juan Wauters — "Sanity Or Not"

"Juan is always my entrance into springtime music. When the weather starts to break, it's like clockwork that I dig up this record. Maybe he is even responsible for evoking the sunshine after dark grey winters."

Khruangbin — "People Everywhere (Still Alive)"

"This is for the portion of the drive where I'm waiting for the next rest stop (which rest stops in Italy are amazing and have incredible food and espresso bars) and I am going 20 mph over the speed limit."

Chickpee — "25"

"She [Chiara D'Anzieri] would be in the passenger seat and another perfect song for this picture because we finished this recording and shot the video on the beach in Italy."

Jonathan Richman — "Parties in the U.S.A."

"Jonathan Richman transports me to another place and time. In this song, I feel like he is nostalgic for a time in America that is still very much alive in Italy. People happy, celebrating, actually enjoying their life."

Stan Getz & João Gilberto — "Corcovado"

"This would be for when the sun starts to go down and we're almost where we're going. Movie scene kinda shit."

Duke Ellington & John Coltrane — "My Little Brown Book"

"And this one would be perfect for pulling into the little town. It's dark and we've arrived."

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