WARMER MIXTAPES #1612 | by Alex Chod (The Vorticists) and Bruce Smith Jr. (Midcentury) of Wonderbitch

SIDE A | by Bruce Smith Jr.

1. Brand New | Sowing Season
This song was the pinnacle of my teenage agnst. Vicious yet sentimental. The release of The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me marked the beginning of a dramatic transformation of how I create and consume Music into something that was far more personal.

2. Fugees | Killing Me Softly With His Song (Roberta Flack Cover)
One of my favorite songs as a child, and ultimately my gateway into the world of Hip Hop when I discovered The Score.

3. mewithoutYou | Wolf Am I! (And Shadow)
This band changed the way I listened to Music, and to this day is the most consistent source of Inspiration, Awe, and Joy that I receive from Music.

4. Radiohead | All I Need
In my opinion, this is the most perfect song. During my first experience with psychedelics, this entire album was burned into me. Every time I hear this song I am transported to that same place of Peace and Wonder. Truly the most intimate song for me.

5. True Widow | Flat Black
True Widow taught me the meaning of Heavy Music, not through clich├ęs or tropes, but by showing you that no matter how low you go, you can always go lower.

6. Tears For Fears | Pale Shelter
When I joined Wonderbitch, it was during this period of Discovery where I was diving deep into the unique and synthy songs that made it to the top of the charts in the 80s. This song is the consummate bridge of Melody, Structure, and Originality. We are pulling a lot of Influence from these types of songs on our Oceansoft album. Something about that rythmic synth and pristine acoustic guitar sweeps bring out a nostalgia for something I've never experienced, a true sign of a Genius.

7. Talking Heads | This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)
To me this is what being in Love sounds like, as cheesy as that is. The line I came home, she lifted up her wings, I guess that this must be the place makes me feel that comfort of coming home from a long day and your lover lifting the blankets and welcoming you in. Magic.

8. Miles Davis | So What
The song that made Jazz approachable. In High School I played guitar in the Jazz band, mainly doing old stardards, stuffy arrangements. From that timeless bass intro to the slick shimmery ride, Davis and Coltrane showed me how Jazz could be cool and intense.

9. Lauryn Hill | Ex-Factor
I fell in Love with Lauryn Hill watching Sister Act 2 as a kid. I'm still convinced we will eventually marry. She is my favorite singer, without contest. This song perfectly represents Heartbreak and has been with me through every troubling break-up or heartache. I'd pick this whole record if I could.

10. Ryan Adams | Anybody Wanna Take Me Home
Love Is Hell will always remind me of the rainy days of my youth. Ryan Adams is able to elicit such strong emotions by bringing so many styles of Music together, crooning in only a way he can. There's a passion to this song that inspires me to brood and to create.

SIDE B | by Alex Chod

1. Neil Young | Out On The Weekend 
See the lonely boy, out on the weekend, trying to make it pay... From my teen years, wondering how everyone could have so much fun destroying their bodies, acting like mongrels, screaming anthems of Materialism. The pedal guitar sighs.

2. Electric Light Orchestra | Showdown
I used to put this on while I zipped around rainy St. Louis as a teen in my silver car. The stormy lyrics and groovy string sections soothed my teenage frustrations. A rainy little world in a song.

3. Genesis | Duchess
The time I realized that songs aren’t just an entertaining few minutes of sequenced parts for the listener, but something you can fall into and get lost for years. The analog synthesized sounds of a late Spring night over Banks’ lonely electric grand, towered over by that Phil Collins slow burn.

4. Tears For Fears | The Working Hour
From when I realized that there was way more soul to the 80s than we remembered. Things were cold, cheesy, and flashy, but the arrangement of these shiny elements could create something beautiful and emotional. A soul exposed, yet covered in layers and layers of sheen, which deserves its own appreciation.

5. Steely Dan | Gaucho
The last classic Dan era takes time to get into like a nice whiskey. You put it on for a bit, and then the third time, you start noticing how goddamned expensive it feels. Like you hadn’t realized that you’ve been on a luxury yacht that’s been meticulously designed. Taught me that Perfectionism isn’t bad, it's just another flavor to play with.

6. DeBarge | Rhythm Of The Night
Rediscovered this Dance hit recently. If the Steely Dan cut is a luxury yacht, this is a Carnival cruise ship, complete with kids’ club. The kind of song that continues to make me feel like nothing has ever been wrong with The World, and it's been one long dazzling birthday party for all ages. The intention to make someone’s life better can carry the cheesiest productions through the decades.

7. Alexander O’Neal | Hearsay
Or pretty anything else off this Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis vehicle album, which is a very big influence for our Oceansoft album. This, to me, is one shining star in the vast sea of the 80s R&B iterative process. It has the left brain complexity of Jazz harmony and Pop production, with the right brained imagination and soul in the arrangement, and a sassy scoop of Ego in the subject matter.

8. Yes | To Be Over
This is the closest song I’ve found to describe a positive Psychedelic experience. It’s not the heavy kind of trip, it’s the kind where you realize that everything is okay and you are unburdened of your heavy carcass. You catch sight of something heavenly and get a sense of where our collective idea of Heaven comes from. After all, your soul will still surrender.

9. The Mars Volta | Eriatarka
As our first bass player Karl once said, Man, those guys pretty much WON Music with that song. With Rick Rubin at the wheel, they were able to combine Punk, Angst, Dub Reggae and Prog into some kind of transcendent blast of Power that feels like it was shot out of an Emotional Energy cannon. A song trying to shake out the poison and heal itself.

10. Missing Persons | Tears
This song starts with tropes put forth by The Police, but these are ex-Zappa players. And stick the squeaky Pop Punk chick Dale Bozzio over top, and you get this thing that somehow encapsulates all of our obsession with the 80s in one slick, sparkly production (no small thanks to producer/engineer legend Ken Scott). I love when extremely capable musicians find a way to flex while still keeping things moving in a kinetic Pop way.