Carnival is never fully cancelled and this playlist highlights the best music from New Orleans, with those classic Mardi Gras songs.
The city of New Orleans is continuously proving that Mardi Gras isn’t truly cancelled, just different. With tight Mardi Gras restrictions set in stone for the big day, all bars and Carnival public hotspots are set to be closed or cornered off.
Instead of living through the Mardi Gras blues, NOLA has several unique alternatives to celebrate. From Yardi Gras to the drive-thru spectacular, ‘Floats In The Oaks’, there’s no reason why you can’t get your carnival on.
We’ve even curated the ultimate Carnival playlist so you really don’t have an excuse. Get into the Mardi Gras groove on, New Orleans.
1. Big Freedia
A few tracks from the Queen of Bounce and you’ve got yourself a party, even if it is for one! Officially this year’s Gran Marchall for the Yardi Gras housefloats, Big Freedia is a hometown hero. Born and raised in New Orleans, Freedia understands the power of Carnival, so turn it up louder. Known for her work in the New Orleans genre of hip hop called bounce music. Freedia is the undisputed Queen by helping popularize the genre, which was largely underground since developing in the early 1990s.
2. Wild Mangolias
‘Peace Pipe’ has become a Carnival classic. The Wild Mangolias dropped their self-titled album in 1974, famous for being on of the groups known as the Mardi Gras Indians. The Mardi Gras Indians are Black Carnival revelers who dress in elaborately beautiful costumes. These traditions have been practiced in New Orleans since the mid-19th century, possibly before. As the history of the Mardi Gras Indians is filled with mystery and folklore.
3. Dixie Cups
The NOLA pop group from the sixties are guaranteed to get you in the Mardi Gras mood. Their song ‘Iko Iko’ has become an institutional part of the perfect Carnival playlist. Other smash hits from the trio include ‘Chapel of Love’ and ‘People Say’. Listen to the latter if you’d like to feel the cancellation blues. We need to release that negative energy before Mardi Gras 2022.
4. Earl King
For some classic New Orleans jams, check out Earl King. Play ‘Street Parade’ extra loud this Carnival season to get rid of those FOMO feels. You can easily bring Mardi Gras to your own home with his catalogue of hits that are proudly played on the streets of New Orleans.
5. Rebirth Brass Band
Founded in 1983, the Rebirth Brass Band is a New Orleans brass band that usually dominate the Carnival scene come Mardi Gras season. Throw on one of their albums and you’ve got yourself a party. They even have albums dedicated to their city, such as ‘Rebirth Of New Orleans’.
6. The Hawketts
The Hawketts were an American R&B combo from New Orleans. They are best known for their 1954 recording of ‘Mardi Gras Mambo’, a song that’s become a Carnival staple. The songs they recorded reflect the rhumba and Caribbean influences in early R&B artists who called New Orleans home.
Featured Image: @bigfreedia via Instagram