WARMER MIXTAPES #1183 | by Will Samson
1. John Martyn | May You Never
When I was asked to compile this list of 10 personally important songs, this was the first that came to mind. My Dad (a very humble musician, who would usually always stop singing if he noticed that someone was listening) used to play this song to my sister & I, when we were babies. He'd grab his Acoustic guitar (which I still have) and quietly sing us to sleep. It's a beautiful piece of Music that is deeply embedded within me & always will be.
2. Kyle Bobby Dunn | Statuit
Kyle Bobby Dunn is somewhat of a master in guitar swells & creating heart-wrenching soundscapes. I was immediately hooked on his music upon hearing this track & have since included it in nearly every online mixtape I've been asked to do. Luckily for me, I discovered it during the beginning of one particularly beautiful Spring, and for a period of a few weeks, listened to it nearly every single morning with my breakfast – windows open & sun beaming in. Great way to start the day! Shortly after, when Spring had become early-Summer, I ordered the vinyl of Ways Of Meaning purely for this track. I didn't have any speakers at this time, so I set my record player next to my bed (which, at the time, was a roll-up mattress on a living room floor) & fell asleep to it whilst listening on my headphones. It was during an incredibly hectic time, so I was always guaranteed a DEEP sleep by the time I got to lie down & delve into the album.
3. John Frusciante | Helical
Even when I was much younger, I have never been excited by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. For this reason, I avoided John Frusciante's Solo Music for a long time, as I falsely believed that it would be relatively similar. However, eventually a good friend of mine lent me his copy of The Will To Death – and I was very, very pleasantly surprised. One track from that album which has always stuck out for me was Helical. It's a short, instrumental track that could easily be overlooked on a vocal-led album --- however, for me, it was more emotive than any of the other songs. There's just something about this little guitar piece that feels like a beautiful little snapshot of Frusciante's mind, during that time. I have a real soft-spot for short, scrappy, little instrumental songs & this may have helped to perpetuate that love. I really respect how he creates whatever the hell he feels like doing, even if it means releasing an album that could potentially confuse & bewilder a lot of his fans.
4. Explosions In The Sky | Yasmin The Light
I first heard Explosions In The Sky when I was visiting my sister in Australia, back in 2006. I was approaching the end of my trip and still had a few Australian dollars left to spend. Luckily, there was a great little record shop in Fremantle (where I was visiting) and I saw a copy of Those Who Tell The Truth.... I had never heard Explosions before, but a friend of mine had highly recommended them to me a few weeks previously. I respected my friend's Music taste enough to buy the CD & take a bit of a gamble. When I got back to my sister's flat later in the evening, I lay in bed with my headphones on and started listening to my new purchase. It totally blew me away! I had never heard anything so emotionally engaging, cinematic or meditative. At the time, it was the Australian summer & we were very close to the Ocean. All the windows were open to let the sea breeze come through, and I could just about hear the waves crashing in the distance. Explosions In The Sky have remained a treasured discovery since. It was shortly after this that I began recording my own Solo Music...
5. Do Make Say Think | Anything For Now
Possibly my favourite song by my favourite band. & Yet & Yet is undoubtedly one of my favourite albums & the perfect soundtrack for Summer drives through long, winding, English countryside roads. This album has played a huge role in shaping the way in which I write Music & how I try to approach Recording Production.
6. Adam Gnade | Run Hide Retreat Surrender
A beautiful & uplifting song, that ends a rather sad & heavy album. Adam Gnade's songs feel like listening to an audio version of a book that I would love to read (he is actually an author too), accompanied by sparse & Cinematic Music. This particular song is undoubtedly my favourite of his & always reignites my wanderlust. It's difficult to listen to it & not want to drive across the deserts of North America.
7. Devendra Banhart | There's Always Something Happening
The first Devendra Banhart song I heard (around the age of 18) & still my favourite. This was a track he did for a compilation album a few years ago & for that reason, it seems to have slipped under the radar for a lot of Devendra fans. The whole song is just two chords (!), but never bores me. I can listen to it over & over again. The nylon string guitar sounds so sweet. If I had to choose the perfect song for a Summer evening – this would be it.
8. At The Drive-In | Arcarsenal
When I was 16, a friend made me a CD-R copy of Relationship Of Command with the hope that I might like it. It was during lunchtime at School & I sneaked into the Music room to listen to the album on their big speakers. That's how excited I was about hearing this band. I pressed play & Arcarsenal began. I immediately loved it. It was totally exploding with energy! I was a really dedicated and passionate drummer at the time (something I've sadly let pass me by) and was so excited about the drumming in this album. Thanks to this album & song, I soon went on to discover The Mars Volta & Omar Rodriguez's Solo Music – which then lead me onto bands such as Battles, 65daysofstatic, etc. It really opened up my whole Musical World. I recently listened to Relationship Of Command on a very long drive & it stills sounds as amazing as it did back then.
9. Jónsi & Alex | Sleeping Giant
Easily one of my favourite albums & one that I must purchase on vinyl! (I lost the CD a long time ago). This album was the soundtrack to a brief summer romance – so it's full of some happy memories of that short period of time. I almost still feel those butterflies in my stomach when I listen to it. For me, it has always been an album that seems to be totally overflowing with Love – and considering that it was made by two lovers, that's not surprising. Everything sounds as though it was recorded so delicately, resulting in some incredibly intimate sounding Music. It's also perfect for falling asleep to. Particularly, Sleeping Giant, which always makes me feel as though I'm on the deck of an old, wooden ship – slowly sailing through the Ocean at night. Listen to it on headphones and you'll see what I mean.
10. Anis Mojgani | Shake The Dust
OK, I'm cheating here. This is actually a poem not a song – however, it's just far too good not to share. I can't remember how I stumbled across Anis Mojgani, but I'm deeply grateful that I did. Before hearing his work, I had never been excited about Poetry. It was a form of Art that I had always found difficult to connect with, but Anis' words immediately resonated within me. His performances (many of which are on Vimeo/YouTube) are passionate, sincere & intense... Especially this poem in particular. ...When the World knocks at your front door, clutch the knob and open on up, running forward into it’s wide spread greeting arms with your hands before you... Your fingertips trembling, though they may bet...