WARMER MIXTAPES #1331 | by Annie Stela

1. Ben Folds Five | Philosophy
I’ve played piano since I was little, but not until I heard Ben Folds did I really understand that the piano could be a Rock instrument—that you could pound on it and kick at it and treat it just like guys treated their guitars. Ben Folds changed the way I played piano. This song in particular always kills me.

2. Emmylou Harris | Where Will I Be (with Daniel Lanois)
This is as close as I get to worship Music. It contains some of my favorite lyrics ever written: Don’t waste your breath... Don’t waste your heart... Don’t blister your heels running in the dark. I have been known to choke up when even talking about this song.

3. Billy Joel | Big Shot
This guy’s Music is in my DNA. His records were always on in my house when I was growing up. When I was ten, I didn’t know what he meant by spoon up your nose, but it didn’t matter. There is a snarky joy to this song I will always love.

4. Paul Simon | Train In The Distance
There are so many Paul Simon songs I love, but this one always sticks in my brain. I love songs that read like stories, and this one tells the story of a Love affair and subsequent split that makes me smile and then breaks my heart. Nothing feels overdramatic or sensational; it just sounds like Life.

5. Jeff Buckley | Satisfied Mind (Red Hayes' 'A Satisfied Mind' Cover)
This song was written by Joe Hayes and Jack Rhodes, and covered by tons of people including Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan. It’s at the end of Buckley’s posthumous recording Sketches For My Sweetheart The Drunk, and it sounds like he just turned the tape on and started fucking around, but it is the most beautiful, joyful fucking around I’ve ever heard.

6. Tori Amos | Cornflake Girl
I remember the first time I heard Tori Amos at 11 years old, sitting in the backseat of my parents’ car listening to my Walkman. I didn’t know what the hell she was talking about, but I remember thinking that I wanted to do it. I wanted to be a part of it. When Cornflake Girl came out, I listened to the piano solo a million times until I knew how to play it note for note.

7. Bruce Springsteen | My Hometown
I know a lot of people grew up on Bruce’s Music, but I didn’t get into him until after College. I had moved to LA and, faced with Sunshine and movie stars, I was longing for the sounds of smaller towns and everyday people. This song sets you down smack in the middle of its story from the first line.

8. Colin Hay | Waiting For My Real Life To Begin
This song feels like it was written specifically about me. It’s actually difficult for me to listen to because of that, but I love it just the same.

9. The Replacements | Skyway
This is a perfect two minute snapshot of a song. Paul Westerberg has one of those voices you know the moment he opens his mouth.

10. Radiohead | Let Down
As a piano-playing song-writing angsty teenage girl, you would have expected me to listen to Fiona Apple and Sarah McLachlan. And I definitely did, but nothing got to me like Radiohead. I remember listening to this song over and over, bored and driving through the streets of my suburb at night. Radiohead woke me up, and this song in particular just makes me glad that Music exists, and that Thom Yorke exists, and that we get to hear him sing.