Cariad Harmon Makes MAGNET A Mix Tape

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NYC-based singer/songwriter Cariad Harmon released her self-titled sophomore album last year to much praise. The record touches on personal aspects, such as hope, loneliness, the human condition and relationships. Her songwriting is impressive and captivating to say the least, and now she has been so kind as to make MAGNET a mix tape. Check it out below.

Willie Nelson “Funny How Time Slips Away”
Willie Nelson, I mean come on! This song is perfect. I love how conversational the lyrics are; it puts me in the room with the protaganist and his ex-lover. It starts so sweet and there’s such a nostalgia to it, and then the second verse slays me. It’s an F.U. to this woman, wrapped up in a beautiful bow. I have a wonderful guitar teacher who showed me this video during a lesson, and I love it because it’s just Willie alone, doing his thing and everyone in the room is transfixed. They all just look like they can’t believe it. A true master at work. Video

Ry Cooder “Billy The Kid”
My dad used to listen to the album Into The Purple Valley on repeat in our car when I was a kid, and I still love all of it. I’ve only recently started revisiting Ry Cooder as an adult, and I keep coming back to this LP. This song in particular stuck with me forever; it’s folk in the truest sense, simple changes as a vehicle for the telling of a story. Of course, it’s Ry Cooder, so the playing is complex and wonderful. As a little girl in England, it conjored up this fantastic image of the Wild West, and I wanted to marry myself an outlaw. It still reminds me of car journeys through rainy wet London Town, dreaming of the desert. As a guitar-playing and songwriting adult, I am amazed at how easy he makes it all sound—and he just keeps creating. What a gift he is. Video

Parker Milsap “Truck Stop Gospel”
I saw Parker open for Patty Griffin at Music Hall of Williamsburg a few months ago and I just fell in love with his music. I love the character portrait in this song and the point of view. It’s another tune that paints a picture by having a direct conversation with the listener. I love that device, and it’s just so well done here. This guy is going places, and he’s only 21! God damn him! Video

Margaret Glaspy “Best Behavior”
My friend and guitar player Jon Paul introduced me to Margaret’s music about a year ago, and I fell in love! This was the first song I heard, and it’s still my favorite. Her lyrics and point of view are interesting and smart and her whole vibe is so unique. I love what she does and she’s just about to go into the studio to record. I can’t wait to hear what happens next. Video

Randy Newman “Losing You”
I love me some Randy Newman. The first time I discovered him, I was in school and someone played a version of “Short People” that instantly had me in stitches. In the serious and competitive music-school environment, it was this unexpected moment of hilarity; I was hooked. I so admire the humor in so much of his work, and it’s had a huge influence on me, understanding that you can break hearts and make people laugh at the same time. This song is just pure heartbreak, I love hearing songwriters talk about their inspiration and knowing the story behind this one makes it all the more poignant. What a beautiful piece of work. Video

Emily King “Distance”
Emily is another New York-based songstress who I admire and adore. She can sing like it’s nobody’s business, she writes a great song, and her band is killing! I dare you not to love her. Video

Otis Redding “Look At That Girl”
This was a song that for some reason I hadn’t heard until recently. I love discovering classic music that’s new to me; I feel like I’ve just found a new room in a house I’ve lived in for years but didn’t know was there. It always makes me imagine how I’d feel if I ran across someone like Otis Redding as a new artist today and how exciting it must have been to be a part of the explosion of this kind of music and talent. I love the simplicity of the lyrics; there’s nothing convoluted about any of it, and the conviction and delivery is absolute. He’s giving us everything, and you can hear it in his voice. Yay for humans; we do so many terrible things to each other, but some people are born and open their mouths and make music that sounds like this. Video

Paul Simon “Something So Right”
Paul Simon just astounds me. His lyrics are like watching a movie, they’re so rich with imagery. And the way he puts everything together is always so slick and smart. My experience of one song could be so different to yours because I’m painting such a specific and personal visual picture in my head from his cues, and I love that about him. Every time I hear “Graceland” or “Still Crazy After All These Years,” I’m just amazed that it all came out of one person. This one makes me cry, almost every time. I love Paul Simon and I want to marry him, and I don’t care who knows it. Video

Cyndi Lauper “When You Were Mine”
Cyndi Lauper is just one of my favorite vocalists and performers. The woman has an unbelievable voice; she seems so unafraid and irreverent to me. I just love that about her. I had to add this tune because I love everything about this performance and this Prince cover is phenominal. Video

Peter Gabriel “Sledghammer”
As this is a playlist of videos, I had to add the first music video I remember loving to see as well as hear. I can remember watching this in the house I grew up in over and over and over again. I haven’t sat down and listened to this song in a long time but I thought of the video for this mix tape and hearing it caused me to go to iTunes to download the album. I’m checking the whole thing out tomorrow, and I’m putting this perfect pop song on repeat. Video

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