What I’ve Been Listening To: April 2014

What I've Been Listening To

I’ve noticed that my listening preferences every month really span a large range. I think its a good thing though. Exposing myself to a bunch of different types of music gives me a unique perspective on my own songwriting. I can take a few elements from one genre and a few from another and incorporate them into my style. It may not alway be very apparent in the songs I write but the inspiration is still there. This month I’ve switched between Electronic, Ambient, Rock, Folk and Country. Sort of all over the place but I just can’t hold myself away from listening to entertaining or interesting music. Enjoy what I’ve listed below and let me know what you were listening to this month too.

Elizabeth Bay – Hauschka

I saw the video for this for this song on some music blog and when I saw a prepared piano, I immediately fell in love. I’m a sucker for any “prepared” or altered instrument ever since studying a little John Cage in college. Hauschka adds a little contemporary techniques to his prepared piano album as well and often loops different parts over one another. The result is an interesting combination of noises and tones that can become mesmerizing.

Neptune – NASA

Yes, you read that right. NASA used sounds and radio signals gathered for studies from the Voyager missions to create an ambient collection of songs. Each song is about 30 minutes long and the entire album clocks in at over 5 hours but it’s worth all 5 hours if you have the time to listen. All I could think about during this song was the Voyager spacecraft passing past that blue gas giant gathering data. I felt like I was in space while listening. This is definitely worth a listen if you have time. Let yourself get lost…

Stay Ugly – Millie & Andrea

I don’t often listen to a lot of electronic music because its almost too perfect for me. I like to study its elements now again but I feel like the human element is often left out. However, I love it when artists add lo-fi aspects to electronic music and Millie & Andrea pull the human back into their new album. I also enjoyed the abrasiveness of some of their beats.

Fire-Scene – S. Carey

S. Carey is one of Justin Vernon’s Bon Iver band members so many of the styles heard in Bon Iver albums can be heard in S. Carey’s solo effort. The entire album is pretty chill and laid back. I’m especially a fan of the laid back banjo parts in some of these songs.

Out Among The Stars – Johnny Cash

I’m so happy that there is a library of unreleased Cash songs. His legendary voice and style has been missed since his passing but this first installment of new songs comes welcomed among many music fans. I listened to this new album the week it came out and then I also listened to it again with a great wine paring. So if you’re looking to relax with an album check out my wine and music pairing pick here.

Locomotive Breath – Jethro Tull

Jethro Tull is one of my all time favorite bands and after talking with the band members of Human Jones and hearing them warm up with a few Tull songs at the Glendale Foothills Library show, I had to go back and revisit my favorites. Locomotive Breath cannot be left out of any “best of” Tull list. The lyrics to the grunts during the flute solo make this song a true classic.

Back In The Goodle Days – John Hartford

I used to listen to a lot of John Hartford in high school with some other members of my bluegrass band at the time, Bluegrass Tuesday. So to turn Hartford on again was very nostalgic for me and I felt like I was back jamming on the banjo with my buddies.