Here to kick your week off, we’ve got a set of songs selected by our Creative Director, Shaina Sheaff. Whether you’re looking for something chill to zone out and work to or a great beat to start your morning danceparty… you’ll find options here. Be sure to check out what else Shaina is listening to and follow 35 Denton on Spotify, as we’ll be releasing a second playlist of confirmed artists for 35 Denton 2015 very soon!
TV On The Radio – Quartz
While I’ve known about them for years and have seen them live when I was younger, I didn’t get into TVOTR until I heard “DLZ” played during an episode of Breaking Bad. “Quartz” was the first song off Seeds that I heard and I spent a couple of days with it on repeat. The changes at 1:20 and 2:21 are my favorite parts, outside of the line “…into sun, steam, and marigolds.” I think this album is their best work.
Sia – Cellophane
I’ve been saying Sia is my spirit animal jokingly. “Elastic Heart” has been on multiple playlists since it was released and I kind of fell in love with her as an artist after seeing the music video for that song recently. She’s got such a rich voice and has a unique way of painting a picture with her words. Her refusal to show her face and her artistic music videos make me like her even more. This song is one of my current favorites and it’s been on repeat off and on over the past few days.
Volcano Choir – Comrade
I love everything that Justin Vernon touches and “Comrade” was my number one top played song of 2014, according to Spotify. And I believe it – I once edited an entire wedding with this on repeat. There’s a lot to get lost in on this track. It doesn’t hurt that the cover of the album reminds me of an image of Niagara Falls shot by Annie Leibovitz. Yes, I do judge albums by their covers.
Tourist – I Have No Fear
This is another one I get lost in while working. It’s one of those longer “epic” songs that slowly builds by adding layer after layer of sounds and beats. I’m usually dancing in my chair by the 1:57 mark. The title is repeated throughout the track and the short sentence adds quite a bit of power to the song, like it’s a mantra. It reminds me of Frank Herbert’s “Fear is the mind-killer” quote from Dune, which is a personal favorite of mine. Something about this song helps me relax. I dig it.
Childish Gambino – III. Life: The Biggest Troll [Andrew Auernheimer]
This was the album I played the most during 2014 (thanks, Spotify) and it is some of my favorite music to work to. My boyfriend repeatedly tried to get me to listen to one specific track and I held off because I was skeptical about Donald Glover’s actor-turned-rapper factor. I was completely wrong – he’s got a witty/snarky lyrical style that I love coupled with great beats and this nerdy-kid-turned-bad-ass attitude. I particularly dig the second verse of this song. Check out Sunrise, 3005, IV.Sweatpants, Heartbeat, III. Telegraph Ave (“Oakland” by Lloyd), and I.Crawl if you also enjoy dancing like a dork in your kitchen with headphones in.
Jay Z – Dead Presidents II
Anyone who knows me well knows that I am a huge fan of his. I spent way too much time trying to decide which song to use for this playlist because HOV is a rapper who has won 19 Grammy Awards during his career, so…there’s quite a bit of excellent material to choose from. At any rate, I went with this track because it’s from his first album, Reasonable Doubt, released in 1996. Check out the music video for “Picasso Baby” (from his latest album) – his approach to how he creates and shares his art is always unique and it shows in that video as he rapped the song over and over for six consecutive hours at a gallery in Chelsea. Plus, the list of artists, producers, dancers, designers, actors, etc. who interacted with him during the performance is really rad. I love that he acknowledged so many important contributors to the art world in such an interesting way. Photographing him is on my bucket list. Greatest rapper alive.
Odesza – Koto
I was going to start mentioning other favorite tracks from from In Return, but I stopped when I’d written half of them down. Just listen to the whole dang album. I am able to zone out and work on photos for hours at a time when I have something that has a great beat, a melody that flows, and layers of different sounds going on. Odesza brings all of that and more. I can’t stop moving when it’s on.
Led Zeppelin – Tangerine
I went over my 7 song limit, but it’s Led Zeppelin – so I figured it’s ok. This is one of my all-time favorites of theirs. “Tangerine” was one of the songs Jimmy Page wrote during his days with The Yardbirds before later bringing them to the table with Led Zeppelin. The combo of Page’s guitar and those lyrics is spot on. Check out “The Rain Song” and “Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You.” To the younger crowd, spend time getting to know their music if you haven’t already.