WARMER MIXTAPES #1657 | by David Pimentel [Pomo/Yellow Lunar Human]/(Nouvel Âge)

1. Pet Shop Boys | Love Comes Quickly
I love Pet Shop Boys. Was hard to choose which song to put on the list, I've been listening to this one a lot lately. My dad always listened to them when I was growing up. One of the many songs of theirs that stuck with me. I love their lyrics and unique sound.

2. The Human League | Love Action (I Believe In Love)
Great song, especially Production-wise this song inspires me. I love all the sounds. Still want to make a song using that kind of rhythmic filter on the guitar at the beginning. The instruments, how they're processed and go together is so unique and creative to me. Also the synth lead melody is awesome.

3. Sinéad O'Connor | Nothing Compares 2 U (The Family Cover)
Written by Prince. This song is very emotionally powerful to me. It has such a special vibe. It feels heavenly. Love the subtleties like the chord change in the 2nd chorus. One of my favorites.

4. Prince And The Revolution | I Would Die 4 U (Purple Rain Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
The energy in this song is so awesome. There is a really cool 30 minute version of this where Prince and the band jam on it with added horns, percussion, and guitar. This song and Prince in general always inspires me to push myself creatively and honestly.

5. The Smiths | The Headmaster Ritual
This one is becoming one of my all time faves I've loved for years. I discovered it through Radiohead's amazing cover on their live stream back when they released In Rainbows. (Another one of my absolute favorite bands and albums). Learned this on guitar a couple days ago, gave me even more appreciation for Johnny Mars' playing and writing.

6. ABBA | Lay All Your Love On Me
ABBA has always been one of my favorite bands. Some of the greatest Pop Music, and production. Huge choruses, amazing sounds, great grooves. If you get too stoned, just put some ABBA on. It's such satisfying Music to listen to and enjoy.

7. Talk Talk | It's My Life (Live at Montreux 1986)
This performance on YouTube is so great. Love the acoustic guitars/synths/percussions... It's a great blend. And Mark Hollis is such a fantastic vocalist... RIP. There is a really cool moment in this Live version where it breaks down to just percussion and drums, and the rhythmic synth chords start to fade in. Watching this makes me want to get back on the road with the band.

8. Carpenters | Only Yesterday
Karen Carpenter has one of my favorite voices in Music. It's so soothing and pleasant. I really enjoy their songwriting. Very satisfying to listen to.

9. The Clash | The Magnificent Dance (Dance Remix of 'The Magnificent Seven')
This is my kind of Funk Music. Raw, and creative. Amazing production.

10. William Onyeabor | Body And Soul
I discovered William Onyeabor last year and became obsessed. The grooves are so awesome and raw. My ideal studio would have all the gear used to make his Music. It's dirty, and full of Character. The documentary about him is worth a watch too, a very mysterious guy.

1. Pink Floyd | Shine On You Crazy Diamond
When I've heard it first in 1976 I didn't think Rock Music could go there... Became an instant fan.

2. Kraftwerk | The Robots
A life changer, Pop Music from the spacelab... The sounds that I too wanted to play with.

3. Kate Bush | Babooshka 
Ain't no other like KB, I was impressed as a kid and still am...

4. AC/DC | Highway To Hell 
With a Music School buddy we used to sing that in the street, imitating distorted guitars and drums with our mouths...

5. Giorgio Moroder | E=MC²
The first entirely sequenced Disco album, still sounds great today...

6. Supermax | Lovemachine 
A classic trippy Trancey Disco with guitars, sexy as hell, makes you want to go out and love somebody...

7. Future World Orchestra | Mission Completed
A Dutch gay duo making brilliant Electro Pop in 1982... What a treat of a song and album!

8. Talk Talk | Life's What You Make It
So almost true! Such a lovely vocalist Mark Hollis was!

9. Kurtis Blow | The Deuce
This Rap from 1981 warns you of the dangers of the 42nd Street in New York, but in such a Funky way it is almost an invitation to visit...

10. Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five | The Message 
Still is like a jungle sometimes... And, hell, we are going under... Fast!

1. Aphex Twin | Xtal
Simply my favorite composition of all time. Nothing makes me feel the same way.

2. The Beatles | A Day In The Life 
Probably the best Lennon/McCartney song. I grew up listening to this... Mom was a big Beatles fan.

3. Radiohead | Everything In Its Right Place 
It’s the song I use to test speakers, calm me down when I fly and fall asleep to occasionally.

4. The Rolling Stones | You Can’t Always Get What You Want 
The movie The Big Chill is one of my favorites and there’s a scene where this song is featured that always stayed with me.

5. Duran Duran | Save A Prayer
I destroyed the Arena cassette tape rewiring and listening to this song over and over.

6. Groove Armada | At The River 
Reminds me of my first years in Los Angeles.

7. The Chemical Brothers | Let Forever Be 
Very emotional. The vocals makes me want to cry... They’re so good...

8. Bonnie Tyler | Total Eclipse Of The Heart
Favorite song when I was little. I always wondered who the gentleman signing the answers was...

9. William Basinski | dlp 1.1
Total Emotional Bliss.

10. Jeff Beck | 'Cause We've Ended As Lovers 
Guitar as a Natural Extension of The Heart and Soul.

WARMER MIXTAPES #1654 | by Jonathan Daniel Donahue [XJ6 Donahue]/(The Flaming Lips, Harmony Rockets, Shady Crady) of Mercury Rev

1. Richard Burton | The Little Prince (Narration)  
One of the underlying currents throughout my musical life has been the children's albums my mother would play to me as a very small child. They informed my world view before I was old enough to see out the window myself. The story of The Little Prince was like listening to my own autobiography long before I could write.

2. Ramesh Mishra, Polash Gomes | Raga Todi
From Reminiscence album... A student of Ravi Shankar, his sarangi playing is the closest to my heart of any instrument besides the bowed saw. To me, the North Indian sarangi is what I hear in my head when all other Music fades.

3. Mississippi John Hurt ‎ | Pay Day
Today! album... A soft spoken Delta Blues man who had such a subtle approach to Inflection and Word Play that even today when I play this record I tell anyone else in the room to either shut the fuck up or leave. It's that sacred of a listening moment to me.

4. Modest Mussorgsky | Night On Bald Mountain (Performed by State Academic Symphony Orchestra of the Russian Federation; Conductor: Evgeny Svetlanov)
My mother, whose family comes from the Carpathian Mountains near old Transylvania, would often play this music and tell me stories of witches and otherworldly beings when I was young. I grew up to love both this spooky melodramatic style of Classical Music and witches. To this day it is my favorite Classical piece.

5. The Chameleons | Second Skin
Script Of The Bridge album... All my teenage angst and distrust of Society seemed to be already spoken for when I first heard this LP. I was astonished to find something so compelling and articulate on vinyl at a time when most Outsider Music was either to literary or too compelled by hormones. I always thought if I could be in one band it would be this one. Years later I would come to know the group and its singer Mark, though sadly I've never received the invitation to join, ha!

6. Antonín Dvořák | The Symphony No. 9 in E minor, "From the New World", Op. 95, B. 178 (Performed by Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Conductor: Paavo Järvi)
Growing up the Catskill Mountains, this piece of Music often symbolized the discovery of my part of the world many hundreds of years ago. I can still lean on this when I grow homesick on the road.

7. Billie Holiday | I'm A Fool To Want You (Frank Sinatra Cover)
Lady In Satin... If ever there is an LP and songs that know every crevice in my emotional character, it is this album. Her voice, the songs and their arrangements are unrivaled in the 20th Century.

8. Mark Lester, Ron Moody, Shani Wallis, Sheila White, Jack Wild & Boys | I'd Do Anything (Oliver! Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
This movie, much like The Little Prince in Literature, seemed to encapsulate so much Emotional Information from my early lives that, even to this day, I cry when watching it. I know its songs by heart, or should I say its songs know me by heart...

9. Ludwig van Beethoven | String Quartet No. 12 in E♭ major, Op. 127 (Performed by Talich Quartet)
All of the Late String Quartets!... For many years I awoke to these pieces of Music every morning. These quartets do something only two or three others have ever done in the entire History of Written Music. The Late String Quartets SQUARE THE CIRCLE. And while I won't go into what this means, for those who understand the import of this phrase... They will understand its profoundness.

10. Silence | No Man-Made Sound
As in no sounds but my own beating heart, the buzzing of my ears and the bubbling of my stream. Greater than all the above, The Quiet of being in Nature is paramount to any Human attempt to mimic it. This Silence is most elusive and fleeting, but in those rarefied moments when encountered my world... Ultimately it's so much better for it.

WARMER MIXTAPES #1653 | by Elena Alexandra Apostoleanu [INNA]

10 songs I love.
These are the first 10 songs that came to my mind.
Old and new.
Songs that help me reflect back to what I used to love in Music and how my taste transformed during the years.
Music is in our Human Nature.
It connects us to deeper parts of ourselves.
Simply being surrounded by Music, listening to it changes your mood, your day, your life.
It can inspire Generosity, Kindness, Understanding.
 It can empower you, make you feel less alone...
It makes you move, it helps you when you’re hurt, it energizes you when you’re happy.

1. Lauryn Hill | Everything Is Everything 
Favorite 90’s song. I love how the lyrics are still relevant today. I’ve liked this song because it was catchy, but listening more and more to the words, I totally understand how powerful this song is.

2. Rihanna, Kanye West, Paul McCartney | FourFiveSeconds
Never expected this group of people to release a song together. I’m happy they did it. I’ve been listening to it since it came out and still have it in my playlist. Perfect combo!

3. Justin Timberlake | What Goes Around... Comes Around
I was and still am a big fan of Justin Timberlake. He’s very talented, creative, always coming up with something new, different. Either very sensitive, or very powerful, catchy, dancey. This song and video were something else for that time. I first saw it on MTV in High School. It was a very important moment for me because I realized that Music can have all these amazing parts that help the story: video, meaning, beauty, dance...

4. P!nk | Get The Party Started
My female version of Eminem. Early 2000 crush. I wanted to be just like her. She was the picture of Cool, Fun, Sexy and Strong. She still is my all time favorite artist. I truly admire and respect her. P!nk is a super artist!

5. Childish Gambino | Redbone
This song makes me want to ride my bike on the beach in Barcelona, salt water and wind in my hair.

6. Morcheeba | Enjoy The Ride 
I just love this song. It’s so soothing, calming and true. Stop chasing shadows, just enjoy the ride!

7. Bebe | Siempre Me Quedará
Even if you don’t know Spanish, listen to it. You simply feel this song. It’s addictive and beautiful, it touches your soul, it clears your mind, makes you dream, have Faith, never lose Hope, makes you embrace Life, Love.

8. Billie Eilish | Bellyache 
I really like this girl. I recently started listening to her and I think this is my favorite song. Pop in a very fresh way. The lyrics are kind of dark. It’s about feeling guilty after you do things on the spur, sponstaneously and then you're left with the decision you made and you have a bellyache.

9. Calvin Harris | Hard To Love (feat. Jessie Reyez)
I have been listening to her songs for some time now and this feat. with Calvin Harris is Perfection. I had it on repeat for a week straight.

10. Jhené Aiko | The Worst 
I think I know this song from my friend Antonia, who’s also a singer. She sent it to me a few years ago saying that I need to listen to this girl and she was right.

+11. Leikeli47 | Tic Boom
This song makes you go BOOM! There’s no way you'll not go crazy on it. It’s addictive and strong, like a shot of espresso.

WARMER MIXTAPES #1652 | by Leon Smith and Ross Standaloft of Too Many T's

Photos by Caitlin Mogridge

SIDE A | by Ross Standaloft

1. Slick Rick | Children's Story
This was the first Hip Hop song I learnt all the words to, I literally used to rap the whole song to other kids at school when I was 14 and I got my first proper girlfriend out of it (I was that cool).

2. Dilated Peoples | The Platform
Dilated... were absolutely massive for me when I was a kid. I used to skate and I'd take the Dilated Peoples album Platform to the skate park - they'd put it on and I was literally having the best time of my life.

3. Eminem | Drug Ballad (feat. Dina Rae)
Just such an amazing visual from the raps in this song, my fave Eminem track.

4. Edan | Mic Manipulator
First Edan track I ever heard - trippy Hip Hop with incredible lyricism, heard it on a Yoda mixtape arund 2004. Edan's been my fave ever since (not that he's ever put much out!).

5. Jurrasic 5 | What's Golden
You just can't not nod your head to this track. Sample is the nuts too! J5 are my fave crew.

6. Zero 7 | Somersault (feat. Sia)
I love Hip Hop, but over 50% of my listening time has probably been to Trip Hop. Bonobo, RJD2, Nightmres On Wax - but this Zero 7 song strikes a chord, the strings are powerful and full of Emotion. Love it.

7. Dizraeli | Bomb Tesco
A witty and funny track, my fave off Dizraeli's solo album I think. But it's more the significance of this album why this is in my top 10 - it made me start writing again, it was around 2009, I'd kinda lost interest in UK Hip Hop and stopped writing, but this album got my creative juices flowing again and I've ended up progressing far beyond what I ever thought I could as a lyricist.

8. Rick James | Give It To Me Baby
I'm no chauvinist, but I just absolutely love this track, Funky as hell.

9. Commodores | Brick House
What number 8 said.

10. Wu-Tang Clan | Method Man
I was obsessed with Wu-Tang as a kid, went to get a Wu bat tattooed on my arm aged 16 (luckily got ID'd and didn't do it). Meth has one of the best voices, delivery and flows in Hip Hop and it'd be a crime to not have a mention here!

Special shouts to Atmosphere, DJ Format and Abdominal, Bonobo, Asher Roth, The Kinks, Arctic Monkeys, Bill Withers, The Roots, James Brown, Jamiroquai, De La Soul, Gorillaz and LOAD more I couldn't squeeze in.

SIDE B | by Leon Smith

1. DJ Format | Vicious Battle Raps (feat. Abdominal)
This came on MTV at a mate's house about 2004 and I was like what the f*ck is this!! The beats so sick and I was instantly hooked on Abdominal’s rhythm and flow and have been since – real inspiring, positive rapper. So lucky I got to work with him on our last record.

2. Eminem | Infinite
Early Eminem is one of the main reasons I started rapping and this track is a lesson in Multi-Syllable Rhyming and matching the beat perfectly with his flow. Still the pinnacle of Rhyming for me.

3. The Notorious B.I.G. | Notorious Thugs (feat. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony)
Biggie’s deffo in my top 5 rappers, but he’s not known for his double time. He absolutely nails it in this track alongside Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. I transcribed the whole song to learn the lyrics and master that double time 'n' rhythm 'n' show off to my mates.

4. DJ Kool | Let Me Clear My Throat (Live at Bahama Bay Club, Philadelphia)
I love it when you can feel the energy in The Music, but it can sometimes get lost through the recording process. This track was recorded live in Philly and the vibe and energy of that room comes through on the track like I've never heard on any other.

5. Method Man & Redman | Da Rockwilder
I love the way Meth starts his verse before the beat drops and Red & Meth work off each so well.

6. Busta Rhymes | Gimme Some More
Samples Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho theme-tune all the way through… Normally samples get chopped and changed, but this just stays consistent the whole through and just works. Then Busta’s flow and rhyming on this track is on another level.

7. Michael Jackson | Billie Jean (Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever Live Performance)
Performance.com! To this day I haven’t seen anyone own a song and a stage and a performance as well as MJ does here. I was captivated. I had the performance recorded on VHS – I wore the video out from watching it over 'n' over to learn it.

8. Nas | Rewind
Nas raps the whole track in reverse. Genius.

9. Q-Tip | Things U Do
There’s an unusual arrangement to this track, but I really like the instrumental break between the verse and chorus – it gives a real nice laid back atmosphere to the record.

10. Amy Winehouse | Stronger Than Me (Reggae Version By Reggaesta)
I love the original, obviously Amy’s vocals are incredible, but I love the bounce of this remix you get from the offbeat Reggae staccato chords.

WARMER MIXTAPES #1651 | by Regina and Günther (Heroina, M. Arfmann & The Naked Factory) Janssen of Donna Regina

SIDE A | by Regina Janssen

1. Dusty Springfield | The Look Of Love (Casino Royale Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
A classic in the words' true sense. Burt Bacharach is a master, there are so many excellent songs written by him. I chose this one because I had a personal Donna Regina moment: we were playing in Japan, it was my first ever concert, I had never sung in front of people. I am still very stagefright, but this evening was nervewrecking for me. After the concert, a shy, young Japanese woman came to me and gave me an audio cassette with cover versions sung by her, among them was this jewel of a song and one of our songs, too, Almaty, I guess. I could only listen to it back home, and it brought tears to my eyes. The young woman was singer Ayako Akashiba, we became friends and we still are. Thank you, Ayako.

2. David Bowie | Where Are We Now?
There are so many songs by David Bowie I really like, I also love his instrumental, more Ambient stuff like on Low, but somehow I lost interest in him for many years. Too much Rock for me. Then all of a sudden this song came out, and it brought back the old fascination. A frailer voice as the young Bowie, but he got older so well. He was back. And then he died. I still miss him. 

3. Beach House | Other People
I love almost everything from Beach House. It was difficult to chose one song, I might as well take the whole Bloom album, which is my favourite. I am a fan.

4. Pet Shop Boys | Being Boring (Album Version)
This one is the opposite to Beach House: I am not a fan, much of their music is too polished and, hmm, speculative. But this song always kills me, the lyrics, the way they play with words, The Melody, The Melancholy, an ode to Being Young, I just love it.

5. Jacaszek/Miłka | Gra Towarzyska
We were touring in Poland many years ago with the two of them, they just had released Sequel. The tour took place in a very cold winter, we had hair-rising experiences on Polish streets, covered with snow and ice. It was very romantic and beautiful. After returning home I discovered the beauty of this music, I like the album very much, it's like the Polish answer to Portishead. They did not continue working together, Jacaszek is a very successful musician today, doing mainly film scores and Experimental Music, Milka became a writer. Still like it!

6. Ducktails | Headbanging In The Mirror
The album – St. Catherine – became a true friend of mine: reliable, trustworthy, maybe not too exciting, but always there to make me feel good. It is difficult to single out one song, but Headbanging... has it all.

7. Biosphere | Kobresia
Biosphere's Substrata is one of my favourite Ambient albums, this is Cinema for the head. I don't know what the guy in Kobresia is talking about, maybe it is a manual for a vacuum cleaner, but it touches me deeply.

8. Ryuichi Sakamoto + Taylor Deupree | Disappearance
Another Ambient album, I have to put the whole album on my list. No problem for me, because this one works like opening the window when the air has become thick.

9. Kraftwerk | Autobahn
No list of a German Electro-Indie-Avant-Lo-Fi-Pop musician would be complete without Kraftwerk. How elegant they were, how inventive, and how sad it is that they have been doing only remix stuff for so many years now.

10. Hildegard Knef | Heimweh Nach Dem Kurfürstendamm
This is very nostalgic, la Knef sings about a street, an avenue in Berlin. I love the German word Heimweh, it means a kind of Nostalgia, longing for Hhome. This street does not possess its past grandezza anymore, but still, as we are living not far from it, it goes through my head from time to time – and always will.

+11. Joni Mitchell | Blue
No.11!!! But no list of mine would be complete without Joni Mitchell's album Blue – and I just cannot say which song on it I like best. She's The Queen.

SIDE B | by Günther Janssen

1. Syreeta | Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers
Syreeta was married to Stevie Wonder, together they made beautiful songs like this one – maybe the instrumental Cover version of Jeff Beck is more well-known. But I prefer the original, produced during the golden creative years of Stevie Wonder in the 1970’s.

2. The Ronettes | Be My Baby
For me, this Phil Spector written and produced single is a sort of trip back to a Pop paradise that probably never existed. In my teens and twenties this kind of Music was definitely not my thing… Whereas now, while driving my car, I always turn up the sound and smile.

3. Manic Street Preachers | Motorcycle Emptiness
I don’t know whether in my deepest inner musical me I am more a bluesman or a rocker (carefully hidden behind all the other aspects of making songs and sounds…) – this one is a Rock song not only with the right attitude but real substance, The Melody, The Singing, The Lead Guitar, the ever changing parts and above (or underneath?) a good portion of Melancholy.

4. Pink Floyd | See Emily Play
While still growing up and absorbing all kinds of Music listening to pirate radio stations, Pink Floyd (the early ones with Syd Barrett, a fallen angel genius) was probably the first group I discovered by myself and not through my brother’s recommendation. Suddenly there was Music especially made for me, Beatles vs. Stones was a foolish game for the others…

5. Mathilde Santing | I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face (Rex Harrison Cover)
Mid 80’s, of an now forgotten EP by the Dutch singer Mathilde Santing, who was never better on later records than on her self-produced debut. Nearly under-produced, she sang (I think) 5 cover versions, this one being an old American standard.

6. Hank Williams | I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry
It’s a funny thing when or why a song moves you… I never had an ear, a heart for Country Music… And then, suddenly, this tune by the late Hank Williams always drives me to tears… Strange.

7. Joy Division | Love Will Tear Us Apart
In 2017 I saw New Order live at a festival here in Berlin. As an encore, they played this Joy Division song, with great respect, totally devoted and not at all in an ironic way. Thank you, Ian Curtis for giving us so much passion!

8. Nick Drake | Time Has Told Me
The same as with other comments written before: a beautiful song, the voice, the arrangement, the lyrics. Nick Drake was bitterly disappointed when his debut album had been totally ignored by the record buying public. Perhaps his songs, his singing, he as a person was too intense… I don’t know…

9. Jeff Buckley | Lover, You Should’ve Come Over
Still living in Cologne, I saw Jeff Buckley twice in concert (both in a club called Luxor). The first one is one of my all-time favourite Live experiences, the band, the playing, the songs and of course Jeff Buckley himself... He had such a great voice, not just in a technical way. His death has to be one of the biggest losses to Music, nevertheless I am so glad I had the honour to see him performing live.

10. Scott Walker | If You Go Away (Jaques Brel's 'Ne Me Quitte Pas' Adaptation/Cover)
Ne Me Quitte Pas was the original by Belgian chansonier Jaques Brel. Scott Walker sang it on one of his solo albums (with the titles being Scott 1 – 4) after his time in The Walker Brothers. Big drama, big arrangement, big singing, perhaps all too much? It still moves me, though

WARMER MIXTAPES #1650 | by Peter Broderick

Photo by Markus Shearer

1. David Allred | Harter Way
I love David’s Music and this song feels very special to me because the first time I heard it, I felt immediately that David’s songwriting had evolved significantly deeper.

2. Sibylle Baier | I Lost Something In The Hills
Sibylle’s album Colour Green is a thing of Soft Beauty.

3. Chet Baker | My Funny Valentine (Mitzi Green Cover)
I just love Chet Baker’s sweet voice so much.

4. John Cage | In A Landscape (Performed by Stephen Drury)
What a beautiful piece of Music with a calm sense of Mystery...

5. Brian Eno | 1/1 (From Ambient 1 (Music For Airports))
This piece has such a calming effect for me. Any time I put it on, I feel it brings a sense of Serenity.

6. Milton Henry | Let The Sun Shine In
This song makes me so happy!

7. Joni Mitchell | Both Sides, Now
Joni’s voice is so incredible, and this song is just a classic which so many people have learned to play over the years. I’d like to learn it one day.

8. Arvo Pärt | Für Alina (Performed by Jürgen Kruse)
This piece is so quietly devastating. Arvo Pärt does such a beautiful job of capturing the Deep Melancholy of The World.

9. Arthur Russell | This Is How We Walk On The Moon 
I think this was one of the first Arthur Russell tracks that really blew my mind.

10. Nina Simone | I Got It Bad And That Ain't Good (Duke Ellington And His Famous Orchestra Cover)
There are so many wonderful songs that Nina sung which touch my heart so dearly, and this is the latest one I’ve fallen in Love with.

WARMER MIXTAPES #1649 | by Samuel Charles Regan [Sam Regan/HALLOLEAN TAPE] of Satan Wriders, Lotion Boys, Kanko Fetti and Baseball Gregg

1. Carly Rae Jepsen | Boy Problems
E.Mo.Tion was easily my favorite release of 2015. It is never out of my car’s CD player for too long. Both The Production and Songwriting aspects of this song are really original. The song manages to remain super Poppy without sounding anything like other contemporary Pop songs, which I unfortunately think is part of the reason that Carly isn’t widely considered to be the genius that she is. She is truly in her own lane.

2. SZA | The Weekend
Another album that stayed in my car’s stereo for months. Also another song that really creates it’s own Sound Production wise and melodically. The Story-Telling in the lyrics of this song is really vivid. SZA’s album came out before our album Sleep, but our whole album was written and recorded before this was out, and on our album there is also a song (Together In My Dreams) about being in Love with a taken man. I’ve never actually been in that situation, but I’ve definitely had crushes on married people, and this song has given me an interesting outlet to exploring those feelings.

3. Solange | Cranes In The Sky
I can’t say I’m sure what Solange is speaking about in this song, but to me this song is about trying to stave off Depression. The constant looming of the mellotron is the perfect sonic description of a what it feels like to have a dull sadness underlying everything. So many of the lyrics in this song hit me really close. I tried to run it away... Thought then my head be feeling clearer... I traveled 70 states... Thought moving around make me feel better. And the line about the cranes in the sky, Sometimes I don’t wanna feel those metal clouds. It’s beautiful, the cranes in the sky aren’t elegant birds soaring through the sky, they’re The Machines of Construction. There’s a lot of different I feel about this line. At first I thought the song was about birds, but then I realized it’s not. That’s like Life, it’s not what you think it’s going to be, the cranes aren’t graceful, soaring, and elegant. They are just metal claws dangling in the sky, constant and dull, and you can’t escape them.

4. Boy Romeo | Don’t Call Me Girl
John Steiner is my best friend and he wrote this song. But I didn’t pick this song because he’s my friend, I picked it because it’s fucking great. Melodically and structurally this song is really amazing, but the lyrics are really what make the song one of my favorites. It’s about a partner telling you to that they don’t want you to gender them as female. I first heard this song around a time when I was thinking a lot about how I personally related to Gender, and it felt super relevant to my life. (Also I’d highly suggest checking out all of Boy Romeo’s Music, they’re my favorite band and are criminally under appreciated.)

5. Kate Bush | Hounds Of Love
It’s only been the last 6 months or so that I’ve been listening to Kate Bush, and she’s been really incredibly important to me lately. She has such a powerful and unique sound, nothing else gives me the same feeling. It’s difficult for me to pick a specific Kate Bush song to put on this list (I’m still working through her discography), but it seems like every month or so there’s a new one that takes over my life for a week. I love the melody and the energy in this song, and the metaphor of Love as a pack of dogs to run away from is really poignant. It’s especially beautiful how she’s afraid of Love, and she is looking for someone to help her, and she then sings Don’t let me go!... Hold me down!... It’s coming for me through the trees! Help me, darling! Help me, please!. She is begging the person she loves to keep her from running away, it’s the person she loves who she trusts to help save her from herself, but it’s that same love and trust that she is afraid of.

6. Mount Eerie | Now Only
Phil Elverum has been one of my favorite artists since I was in High School. The last two albums he’s made since the death of his wife are unique and powerful. On this song It feels like Phil is attempting to put his life back together. The songs starts with Phil describing how he felt in the hospital waiting room while his wife was dying, surrounded by people in similar situations, and how even surrounded by people in Misery, he felt alone, his devastation is unique. Then the song shifts to the most Pop-oriented section of the two albums with the musically light-hearted chorus, while Phil sings the matter-of-fact lyrics, people get cancer and die, people get hit by trucks and die. He feels less alone in his sorrow, and seems to be finding comfort in realizing he’s not alone, it’s actually common for people to just die for no reason. But this stability quickly crumbles. Phil sings I wrote down all the details of how my house fell apart as the scaffolding of musical structure he has constructed in the chorus also crumbles, opening the song to the Stream-Of-Consciousness feelings that characterize the rest of the two albums. This song is a beautiful glimpse into a specific moment of dealing with Grief. Healing is slow, unsteady, and tumultuous.

7. The Beach Boys | God Only Knows
Pet Sounds has been so important to me for so long that I don’t really feel like I can say anything about it. If anybody asked me what my all time favorite song was, I would say God Only Knows. I don’t have any tattoos, but I’ve been thinking about getting a Brian Wilson tattoo for a while.

8. Kanye West | Runaway (feat. Pusha T)
This song is larger than Life. I’m not sure if this makes sense, but it feels like the Bohemian Rhapsody for my generation. This is the kind of song that, if played at the right moment at a party, people seem to come out of the woodwork to yell every word, and that’s a really powerful and unifying feeling. One of my favorite things about this song is how imperfect Kanye’s vocal takes are, it fits perfect in a song about imperfections, and is beautifully juxtaposed against such a meticulously composed album. I remember once I was driving on the I-5 free way in California from Sacramento to Stockton around sunset listening to this song. Everything was golden. During the vocoder solo at the end I drove past some cows standing in a small river and instantly started crying. It was such a beautiful moment.

9. Tatsuro Yamashita | Love Talkin’ (Honey It’s You)
This is maybe the most fun song I’ve ever heard. I’ve been speaking a lot about the lyrics of the songs on this list, but since this song is mostly in Japanese I can’t really say much. The arrangement on this song is so good, it fills me with Joy and makes me want to dance.

10. Rich Gang | Lifestyle (feat. Young Thug, Rich Homie Quan)
I’ve loved Young Thug since I heard the mixtape 1017 Thug in 2013. I think he’s been one of the most exciting voices in Rap. I also really love Rich Homie, but unfortunately he hasn’t continued to make Music at the same level as Thug has. This song was HUGE when it came out. I couldn’t go anywhere in summer 2014 without hearing this song blasting out of cars, and it’s still fun as fuck to listen to.