Wednesday, January 28, 2015

{friend music library}

I've been in a huge musical ditch lately.

Part of the reason could be that my life pre-2014 was so over-saturated with it that I stopped even having to put any effort in outside of the various "jobs" I had. 24/7, I was researching and interviewing bands, reviewing CDs and spending multiple evenings a week at shows. I was discovering new music daily and I loved it. Then the heavy pendulum that is time and life circumstances swung definitively from one stage of life to another and suddenly, I'm here. And it's a drastic, high-contrast difference.

It should be noted that I'm not at all unhappy with this change. Those were fun years, but so are these ones. And this past year, especially, had to be different, for a billion reasons. I wouldn't trade it for anything. But this year coming up? I'm very much looking forward to sticking a toe back into the water - all things in moderation and all that. Not three shows a week, but not no shows a week. Not hours a day spent researching new bands, but not no hours a day spent in the living room entirely focused only on enjoying a new album.

All that to say that yesterday I found myself wanting to put on some music to soundtrack a quiet day at home and came up completely blank.

Thank goodness for friends.

Not all of my friends like the same kind of music as me or as each other. I have friends who like top 40s and friends who like indie and friends who like nu folk and friends who like 70s rock and country and bluegrass and so on. I like this about my friends. They're like a library.

So yesterday morning, I headed to the back corner of this proverbial library, where it's quietest and where the windows are all full of stained glass and suncatchers. This is where I imagine my friends Jannaya and Robyn would be, if they were books in a musical friend library. They're into music that is sometimes quirky, often softer, usually chill. They can be counted on to recommend artists from Iceland but also to know a few good local acts. They like smart music, because they're smart. And I like that about them.

So, anyway, they are who I texted yesterday when I needed something to listen to. And I got such good suggestions that I thought I'd share them with you in case you are in a similar slump. (Click on the links to hear the music.)

Jannaya recommends:

Low Roar, especially Nobody Loves Me Like You (whose EP you can download for free {legally and with the band's permission} here on Noisetrade)
Cat Power's Werewolf
Arum Ray's Warrented Queen
Milky Chance's Fairytale
Shapeshifter by Elephant (who also has a free EP on Noisetrade: download it here)
Hybrid by Elsiane
To A Poet by First Aid Kit

Robyn recommends:

John Mark McMillan ("His album The Medicine was the first one I heard, but Economy is really good and Borderland (newest) is awesome!")
the Oh Hellos (Through the Deep, Dark Valleywhich is also on Noisetrade)
Asgeir's In the Silence

I built myself a playlist based on these recommendations and have found quite a few gems. The favourites at first listen are Asgeir, Low Roar, and Elsiane, but I need to spend some more time with the list as a whole. Give a listen! Thanks, friends!