Category Archives: MIX TAPE

Lauryn Peacock Makes MAGNET A Mix Tape


To celebrate new record Euphonia, Lauryn Peacock has prepared a mix tape for MAGNET. In addition, you can download or stream a new song “Wounds Grow Grass,” an otherworldly, beautifully orchestrated circus waltz. Check it out below. Euphonia is out now.

“Wounds Grow Grass” (download):

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Sharon Van Etten “One Day”  
Everything is just right with this song. Video

Lucius “Turn it Around”
People making good indie-pop music, with great rhythm and melodies. Video

Angel Olsen “Unf**ktheworld”
This entire album—I can’t even count the number of times I’ve listened to it. This song means I’m starting the journey of this album again—something I love to do. Plus, the audacious title. Video

Vashti Bunyan “Just Another Diamond Day”  
The best cloudy-or-sunny, perfect-day kind of song. Vashti is also my mix-tape stand-in for the incredible women artists who came before: Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Stevie Nicks—all the amazing songs I couldn’t fit on this playlist. Video

Natalie Prass “Bird Of Prey”
When I first heard Natalie Prass, I felt a kinship—a female artist with intriguing orchestral arrangements and sensibilities that I (and the music I’ve been making) could relate to. I was immediately sold. Video

Damien Jurado “Museum Of Flight”
One of my all-time favorite songwriters and one of his simplest and most beautiful songs. It’s perfect. Video

Neil Young “Tell Me Why”
Neil Young is always such easy and good, rewarding listening. This song and album (After The Goldrush) frequently rotates on my turntable. I put it on sometimes, just to hear this song. Video

Grizzly Bear “Two Weeks”
I have built one of my favorite Pandora stations around this song. I couldn’t resist adding it here also as an homage to favorite indie-rock band: Phoenix, My Morning Jacket, the Walkmen, everything that came before. Plus, the great piano rhythms, background vocals and vibe. Video

Sigur Rós “Hoppípolla”  
Sigur Rós in general, and this song, do such great, beautiful “epic”—with arrangements and melodies that take off in flight. I love the happy in this track—also a great video. Thanks for listening. Video

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Rahim Quazi Makes MAGNET A Mix Tape


Rahim Quazi is a Texas singer/songwriter who crafts spectral, supernaturally interested folk/pop tunes. His new album, Ghost Hunting, is out now. Quazi has put together a mix tape for MAGNET. Check it out below.

Goldenboy “Sleepwalker”
“Sleepwalker” inspired my latest album. I love the way they layer simple parts with lush and upfront vocals. I am captured in this little known song. The lead singer/writer of Goldenboy, Shon Sullivan, played with Elliott Smith and Neil Finn. “Sleepwalker” is his masterpiece—crafted line-by-line, warm keys and piano. Shon takes this song to the stars and back. When I think he has exhausted the melody, he finds a way to take it and me further. Video

ELO “Shangri La”
Again with a heart-wrenching melody and matching guitar line. ELO taught me the art of the outro ending. The song should easily be over, but here comes fresh waves of sound. Video

Sean Lennon “Dead Meat”
Sean created a perfect album. Its theme is tragic, having to do with his girlfriend cheating on him with his best friend. Then his best friend gets killed. It was a true story, and Sean captured it perfectly. “Dead Meat” is a twisting and turning of chords met with his somber vocals. The link is the full Friendly Fire album. Video

Sondre Lerche “On And Off Again”
Sondre Lerche let me know that it was OK to song craft in this day and age. He is a master of creating perfect tunes. Melody is first. This song builds layer by layer. When Feist joins in with her innocent voice, my inner-smile endorphins increase. Video

Beatles “For No One”
Perhaps saving the best for last. “For No One” can’t be more than a handful of tracks, but it speaks volumes and is timeless. That’s what the Beatles did—create timeless pieces of music. Who hasn’t felt the sadness of looking into a past loved one’s eyes and seeing nothing? The French horn is warm and comforting. After hundreds of listens, I still want to cry. Video

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The Legal Immigrants Make MAGNET A Mix Tape


Detroit garage-rock band the Legal Immigrants will release new album Drugs To Roses on July 3 and have previously shared first single “Fork In The Road.” Their sound is reminiscent of older White Stripes and the Black Keys as they play painfully catchy tunes rooted in blues and hard rock. Now, they have been so kind as to make MAGNET a mix tape. Check it out below.

Vox Vidorra “We’re So Lonely”
I’ll lead off with our studio-mates, Vox Vidorra. We were both recording around the same time at Goon Lagoon Recorders, and our producer, Dick Chiclet, gave us a taste of what was cookin’ in Vox’s kitchen. What I admire about Molly’s vocals is how much command she has over her voice. She makes going from delicate to razor sharp sound easy. It isn’t. Oh, and the vocals were recorded live. Take that, computers. Video

Gunnar & The Grizzly Boys “Standard American”
Another West Michigan band and close friends of ours, this GGB tune has that old country thump I really dig. I’m into story songs and clever lyrics, and this song has both. I’d much rather be a “standard” American than a “basic” one. They avoided some of the most hefty fines in country music by including a pickup truck in the video. Video

Jesse Ray & The Carolina Catfish “Lonesome”
Keeping with the theme, here’s a cut from our certified homeboys JRCC. “Put on that skirt, girl/Let’s flirt over whiskey” is a perfect line as far as I’m concerned. This song, and many others from JRCC, are hard to not dance to than to dance to. If they captured the energy they have onstage on a record, your stereo would explode. Video

Nicholas James & The Bandwagon “Saturday Nights”
This is a happy song. I picture them playing this outside somewhere in the county and me having a solo cup of beer that I’m occasionally spilling because I’m doing the lock-arms spin dancing move with strangers. Shoes off, of coarse. Video

Devin & The Dead Frets “Cut My Hair”
Last, but certainly not least from the West Michigan scene are our pals from D&TDF. The first thing I noticed from this song is the bass line. Devin’s voice is unique, and this track does a great job of highlighting its power and tone. Video

Johnny Thunder “I’m Alive”
The fuzz tone to start this song is nothing short of splendid and drew me in the first time I heard this rendition of “I’m Alive”. Johnny’s voice is so passionate in this tune, and it sounds like him being alive didn’t come without a fight. If you find a copy of this 45 in a record store, buy it. That, or send it to me; I promise I’ll pay you back. Video

The White Stripes “Party Of Special Things To Do”
This version of this Captain Beefheart classic is crunchy as a mug. It slams. The White Stripes are one of the few bands that sound awesome on blown speakers. This song further proves Lou Reed right with “One chord is fine/Two chords are pushing it/Three chords and you’re into jazz.” Video

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Corsica Arts Club Makes MAGNET A Mix Tape


L.A.’s Corsica Arts Club is the project of Brendan Thompson and Arash Parsee, with help from contributing members Nate Chovanec, Peter McArthur and Jason Mittleman. They will issue their new self-titled EP on May 29, following the release of a few acclaimed singles. Their brand of pop is upbeat and energetic with a variety of vocal ranges and clearly impressive musicianship. Now, they have been so kind as to make MAGNET a mix tape. Check it out below.

Can “Dizzy Dizzy”
A lot of excellent music came out of Germany in the 1970s: Can, Kraftwerk, Neu!, etc. This is the first track off the album Soon Over Babaluma from 1974. From the very first chord, it creates a certain atmosphere—you’re instantly transported to some far-off, mystical place. We were blown away the first time we heard this song in college, and to this day it still evokes that same feeling. Video

Curtis Mayfield “Blue Monday People”
Curtis Mayfield is a big influence on the way we both play guitar. His genius lies in the subtlety, the delicacy with which he plays. It compliments his voice and his songwriting so perfectly without overshadowing anything. This whole album, There’s No Place Like America Today, is fantastic. Video

Japan “European Son”
Up until recently, we’d thought Giorgio Moroder produced this song, but in fact it was Japan’s attempt at writing something in his style—with the four-on-the-floor kick drum, pulsating sequencer throughout, and airy string synth flourishes. Add David Sylvian’s inimitable crooning and Mick Karn’s unparalleled fretless bass playing, and it’s something uniquely their own. They eventually did work with Moroder on “Life In Tokyo.” Video

David Bowie “Sound And Vision”
We could have picked any song off Low. It’s a very important album to us: the lyrical themes, the production, really the whole zeitgeist of Bowie and Iggy Pop’s time in Berlin. Low changed our entire approach to making music. It helped us tear down boundaries we’d once perceived and helped define a clear vision of the sort of music we wanted to make. It’s an eternal inspiration, a constant muse. Video

The Band (With Van Morrison) “4% Pantomime”
The Band is one of our favorite bands of all time and one of our greatest influences, though you probably wouldn’t expect that listening to our music. They were pioneers of home recording, a pillar of camaraderie, and the truest definition of a band: five extraordinary talents uniting to create something far greater than the sum of their parts. This song is about a couple of musicians stranded in L.A. after a gig, with nothing to console them but a bottle of scotch (the title supposedly refers to the difference in alcohol percentage between Johnnie Walker Red and Black). Sharing vocal duties with the brilliant Richard Manuel is the Belfast Cowboy himself, Van Morrison. After the session, as Levon Helm recalled in his autobiography, “There was horror among the civilians at the studio when the two dead-drunk musicians argued about who would drive the other one home.” Video

Air “Kelly Watch The Stars”
We saw Air at the Hollywood Bowl about 10 years ago with the L.A. Philharmonic. They were one of the first artists that opened our minds to utilizing electronic sounds in songwriting. We find their production techniques and synthesizer aesthetic nothing short of elegant. Must be a French thing. Video

Lucio Battisti “Neanche Un Minuto Di ‘Non Amore'”
Arash: My parents showed me Lucio Battisti last summer, and it was a revelation! My dad lived in Rome when this album came out, and he says Battisti’s lyrics have the same sort of poetic quality in Italian that Leonard Cohen’s lyrics have in English. This album, Io Tu Noi Tutti, was actually recorded in L.A. with a who’s-who of session musicians: Hal Blaine on drums, Ray Parker, Jr. of “Ghostbusters” fame on guitar …
Brendan: Those dueling guitars! It’s a master class in song arrangement. Amazing across the board.
Arash: The perfect soundtrack to a summer evening in Rome, Negroni in hand. Video

Chris Bell “I Am The Cosmos”
If there’s a better way to open a song than by singing, “Every night I tell myself I am the cosmos,” we haven’t heard it yet. Video

Bryan Ferry “The Price Of Love”
We love his vocal phrasing and delivery. Both Bryan Ferry solo and Roxy Music are big influences on us, not just musically but aesthetically, too. Always impeccable album artwork, and always looking dapper like a boss. Video

The Beach Boys “(Wouldn’t It Be Nice To) Live Again”
Often overshadowed by his iconic brother Brian, Dennis Wilson was a genius songwriter in his own right. In our humble opinion, some of these Beach Boys songs that were never properly released are better than the material most artists put on their albums. Video

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Blind Lake Makes MAGNET A Mix Tape


New-wave/pop sci-fi folk duo Blind Lake features Lotta Wenglén (guitar, bass, keyboards, drums, vocals) and Måns Wieslander (guitar, drums, bass, vocals). They use atmospheric melodies and layered synths to create a largely energetic sound and ready for the release of latest album On Earth, due out June 9. Their name is based on a 2003 sci-fi novel by Robert Charles Wilson, Blind Lake, in which scientists use alien technology and are able to follow the lives of aliens on other planets. Now Blind Lake, the band, has been so kind as to make MAGNET a mix tape, check it out below!

David Bowie “Five Years”
Wenglén: I listened to this album constantly as a kid (The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust). It was like a journey and a perfect soundtrack for me playing with my Action Men. Like The White Album with the Beatles, it kept me listening for details, and with every listen I found something new. I also sampled the drums in the intro for my first demo recordings on my four-channel Tascam porta studio when I was 15. Video

Keene Brothers “Death Of The Party”
Wieslander: Razorsharp jingle-jangle power-pop perfection. I’ve always thought Robert Pollard is at the top of his game when collaborating. Preferably with Doug Gillard! This time, Tommy Keene helps him take it to the next level. I will never tire of this. Video

Yazoo “Too Pieces”
Wieslander: With subtle touches of Abba melancholy, this is a benchmark in making stripped down, heartfelt synth pop. As fresh now as when I first heard it as a 12-year old. Yazoo is part of the Blind Lake constitution. And the kids love them! Video

Amy Correia “Fallen Out Of Love”
Wenglén: I love the lyrics, Amy’s voice and the whole sound of the song. Her songs are like short novels or movies. Video

Kirsty MacColl “A New England”
Wieslander: In the words of Johnny Marr, “She was a fucking Jedi at harmony.” In 2000, she was killed in an accident, 41 years old. I’d like to believe her soul has touched the likes of Neko Case and Star’s Amy Millan; they’ve got some of that “Kirstyness.” Which, I guess, means brilliant, funny and tough, with tons of integrity. Anyway, this is truly beautiful and insanely catchy. Written by Billy Bragg, he added more words to this version, as Kirsty thought the original was too short. Nowadays, he performs the Kirsty version live. Bless him. And her. Video

Wilco “The Lonely 1″
Wenglén: At the time, this was the most beautiful song I’d ever heard. Jeff Tweedy at his best, and the song itself is so touching in its simplicity. Video

Residents “You Yesyesyes”
Wieslander: The sound of your rabid grandmother force-feeding you cookies. With the amazing Snakefinger on guitar and an excellent sax-riff. I fell in love with the Residents (or, the idea of them) and NRBQ (thinking they were the same band) around the peak of my Duran Duran fan-dom. Those were confusing and interesting times. Video

Pretenders “Don’t Get Me Wrong”
Wenglén: This song gets me going every time. “Happiness in a can” type of thing. I just have to pour it down and dance every time I hear it. Video

Herbie Hancock “Spank-A-Lee”
Wieslander: Is it possible to be this funky? Does Mr. Hancock have alien DNA? I’ve seen dead fish shake ass to this. There should be statues of Herbie Hancock in every town. Video

Roxy Music “Avalon”
Wenglén: As a kid, me and my friend Thomas spent hours and hours lying on a Persian rug, listening to this god-like song. The chorus is untouchable. As is Bryan Ferry. Video

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The Corner Laughers Make MAGNET A Mix Tape


California pop quartet the Corner Laughers play a jangly brand of indie pop and will release latest album Matilda Effect on June 12. The LP features unique string instruments, such as the ukelele and the violin, which brings out the creativity of the band and the many guests featured on the album. The Corner Laughers have been so kind as to make MAGNET a mix tape (in haiku form, no less).

Linda Draper “Broken Eggshell”
On endless repeat/
This song is pure perfection/
We wish we wrote it

Andrea Perry “Throw Me A Line”
Incredible groove/
Heartache pours through melody/
But still I boogie

Mouse Deer “Foreground”
Mouse Deer is Holly/
McIntosh, Bristol, UK/
And she plays bass well

Heart “Crazy On You”
Was young when I learned/
Badassness knows no gender/
Female Led Zeppelin

Rosie Abbott “Hard To Sleep”
Somnambulist waltz/
Gershwinesque sense of songcraft/
Ray Davies digs it

Antonette Goroch “In Bocca Al Lupo”
Punk-folk-rock priestess/
Often she’s in Italy/
Take us next time, please

Alison Faith Levy “The Froggy Dance”
Loud Fam to tot rock/
The Start Of Things is out now/
Butterfly mic stands

Salt N Pepa “Push It”
Ever since eighth grade/
It ain’t a dance ’til it’s played/
Cause we’re in effect

Fiona Bevan “A Broken Heart Can Heal”
Suffolk-born songbird/
We played with her in London/
Magical guitar

The Orange Peels “Head Cleaner”
Begin The Begone/
New album from labelmates/
Mystery Lawn, yo!

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This Way To The EGRESS Makes MAGNET A Mix Tape


Bethlehem, Pa., group This Way To The EGRESS has been described as “gypsy jazz,” as it incorporates European musical styles to form a unique sound. The band will release a new album, Great Balancing Act, on May 19, an LP featuring a variety of diverse instruments including fiddle, trombone and accordion. Now, the group has been so kind as to make MAGNET a mix tape. Check it out below.

DeVotchKa “We’re Leaving”
DeVotchKa makes the best road-trip music. It is no surprise they were chosen for the Little Miss Sunshine soundtrack. All of the songs on this album, this one particularly, are driving. It drives you forward while pulling at your last heart strings. We make it a point to put it on in the band van whenever we leave a city on tour that we wish we weren’t leaving. It is the audio equivalent to life experience and wandering. Aside from the fact that the music is impeccably arranged, the lyrics strike the most perfect chord for us and would for anyone who felt they needed to leave a time or place or that their hometown had become too small. Video

Foxy Shazam “The Rocketeer”
Taylor: I love the unique writing style of this band! They have such interesting song subjects and lyrical content. They also put on a highly energetic live show! Video

Spike Jones And His City Slickers “Clink Clink Another Drink”
Sarah: Spike Jones has to be one of the band’s biggest influences and favorite listening music while on the road. The musicianship is amazing, and the songs are hysterical. I seriously think it is impossible to not utterly enjoy whatever you are doing while you are listening to Spike Jones. To this day, there is no one doing this. Video

Violent Femmes “Look Like That”
Taylor: One of my favorite all-time bands. This is the third track off their fifth studio album. The Femmes have been going strong for more than 30 years. They have the most loyal fan base I’ve ever seen, which is pretty amazing since they never really had any number-one hits. Great live band as well. I’ve seen them as minimal as a three piece and as big as a 13 piece. They’re amazing!!! Video

Beck “Missing”
Sarah: I fell in love with Beck when I was 13. My favorite album of his is probably Midnight Vultures, but this song has the most amazing groove and I love the strings. He is another enigma and amazing songwriter. He strikes a perfect balance between bizarre and pop culture and has left his mark on music while completely doing it his way. I admire that as a music listener and a musician. Video

Ween “Roses Are Free”
Taylor: Another one of my all-time favorite bands! This track is off their album entitled Chocolate And Cheese. Ween has always been such a unique band with a huge following. Every album, they free themselves to explore different genres and styles. They even recorded a full-on country album! Video

Buena Vista Social Club “Chan Chan”
Sarah: This is one of my favorite driving songs. I am just a sucker for Latin American music. It makes anything doing more fun to do, house chores, dancing in my kitchen, going for a jog and, especially, driving. Video

Tom Waits “2:19
Taylor: Tom Waits has been a huge influence on me for the last few years and, overall, an influence on everyone in the band. Another genius that spans more than four decades of constant, evolving music. He’s also influenced many other great and successful artists over the years. Tom Waits’ lyrics stand alone, and when added with his sound and voice, you can’t go wrong! Video

Yula Beeri (Yula & The eXtended family & Kiss Slash Crooked Smile) “Keep Me Satisfied”
Sarah: I originally couldn’t choose between the Beatles and Michael Jackson for this my choice but I said to myself, “Everyone knows the lasting power of that music.” I am going to choose a song that some people might not know about. Yula Beeri is probably one of the best songwriters, musicians and stage performers I have ever met. She commands something from the audience and the listeners that is indescribable. Video

Slayer “Angel Of Death”
Taylor: A bit of a change in genres on this one! I always listened to so many different kinds of music, and Slayer was a group I was really into when I was younger. Intense thrash metal and intense shows! The mosh pits were crazy to be in the middle of! This song was written by the late Jeff Hanneman, one of the epic guitarists of Slayer. Video

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Josh Gilligan Makes MAGNET A Mix Tape


Nashville-based singer/songwriter Josh Gilligan readies for the release of his debut full-length, Steady On, which exemplifies his talent and simplistic style of easy-listening country. Gilligan grew up in a musical home and listened to mostly oldies, and it can definitely be heard in his sound. Now he has been so kind as to make MAGNET a mix tape. Check it out below.

America “Ventura Highway”
When asked what my favorite song is, this one almost always comes out in the short list. It’s the first song that really made me want to learn guitar. It’s one of the first songs that I memorized the lyrics to. My family vacationed in East Tennessee every summer, and this was on the vacation playlist every year. It’s always been a favorite. Video

Wilco “You & I”
This is one song I could probably listen to 50 times in a row. It’s just enough. Never too much. Driving music, background party music, wedding music, it’s just one of those songs. Love it. Video

José González “What Will”
To get a little more current: This is one of my favorite cuts off of his latest. Overall, it’s such a patient volume of work. Both the music and the lyrics weave smoothly between complexity and simplicity, and nothing ever feels overstated. I would’ve enjoyed this record 10 years ago, and I’m sure I’ll probably enjoy it 10 years from now. Just great stuff. Video

Laura Marling “I Was An Eagle”
Beyond the emotional impact it brings when I hear it, this song really changed a lot for me. As a listener and as a creator, this song (and the record it’s on) made me crave new things from music. It effortlessly reaffirms the beauty of musical simplicity, and the lyrics are so strong you feel as if you’ve lived each situation she sings. Note: You can’t listen to this song without listening to the following track, “You Know.” Just let it play… :) Video

Dawes “Moon In The Water”
There’s a lot of sad love songs. This one sits on the top of the pile for me. Video

The Staves “Blood I Bled”
The Staves just put out a new record. I saw them open for Justin Vernon in 2011, and it was gorgeous. It’s just hard to beat family members harmonizing together. I’ve loved their music ever since. The new record is wonderful, and this song is a masterpiece. It’s my number one played song right now. Video

The Real Efforts Of Real People “Ink & Tight Jeans”
Like some of the earlier tracks, this is another longstanding favorite. But, I’ve never really heard anything about the band since this release. I came across the Real Efforts’ music online when I was in high school, and the songs just stood out to me right away. After years of wearing this one EP out, I emailed the band through an old BandCamp link to extend my thanks. A swift reply let me know that it was one guy who had made the tracks from his house and never really put too much stock into the project. Slightly disappointing, but even more so it was a cool experience—music is so powerful, and you never know who your songs will find and what they’ll mean to that person. Video

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Beth Bombara Makes MAGNET A Mix Tape


Americana singer/songwriter Beth Bombara‘s story began as many musician’s did, with punk. She was in a punk band with some high-school friends and was given time to explore music. After finding her place in music, playing soothing Americana for the masses, she now she readies for the release of her self-titled album, due out June 23. Bombara has been so kind as to make MAGNET a mix tape, so check it out below!

Smith And Weeden “Aim To Please”
I heard these guys for the first time at one of our shows in Nashville last fall, and I was immediately blown away. The chorus is such an anthem: “Don’t you try to speak to them of anything/They only aim to please.” Bonus points for putting on a raucous live show while also being super-friendly dudes. Audio

Bill Withers “Use Me”
I keep wanting to do a cover of this tune, but I’m going to wait until I figure out how to do it justice. What a sweet jam. Video

Big Star “Thirteen”
Remember when the world was still big and exciting, and falling in love was some new revelation? This song takes me back there. Video

Sturgil Simpson “Turtles All The Way Down”
My friend Jacob introduced me to this record during a tour last year. Jacob and I don’t always see eye to eye on music, but we can agree that Sturgill Simpson’s got some kinda magic that I hope to catch from him. Video

Karl Kling “Forward Thinker”
Karl Kling’s whole record is already a classic for me even though it just came out this month (a lot of people know him from his other project: RAC). This tune is comfortable leaving questions hanging in the air. So good. Audio

Mates Of State “Get Better”
I have such a soft spot for Mates Of State; they were an important part of my soundtrack as a young musician. I remember seeing them in a small dive bar where I grew up in Michigan, and having the best time. I felt inspired to be myself and do my own thing. Video

Spoon “Don’t You Evah”
I just found out recently that this is a cover song … Crazy cause this is one of my favorite Spoon jams. Both Spoon’s version and the original, by the Natural Selection, are cool in their own right. Spoon video / Natural Selection video

Dr. Dog “Lonesome”
“What does it take to be lonesome? Nothing at all” This tune is somehow whimsical and dark all at the same time. That’s a tough line to walk. Video

The Velvet Underground “Sunday Morning”
Can anyone other than Lou Reed make a song so beautiful and peaceful and sad? Video

Laura Veirs “The Sun Song”
Every time I hear this song, it feels like waking up out of a stupor and throwing the windows open on the first day of spring. Video

The Kinks “Mountain Woman”
Ahh, the Kinks. Don’t know if any other British band could make sense of a “rural America” concept album like Muswell Hillbillies, but it’s one of my favorite Kinks records. This tune has a great old Southern rock vibe, and the vocals are spot on. Video

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The North Country Makes MAGNET A Mix Tape


The North Country is a melodic indie-folk sextet from D.C. that will release latest album There Is Nothing To Fear on April 20. The band has a special way with melodic hooks, and its music clearly comes from the heart. These guys show strength in songwriting but are most notable for their fantastic musicianship. Now, they have been so kind as to make MAGNET a mix tape. Check it out below.

Luke Temple “Hard Working Hand”
Luke Temple is one of the most underrated artists today. He fronted Here We Go Magic and is now doing mostly solo stuff. I’ve seen him a bunch of times and it’s always different and always incredible. This song is the first cut off his album Good Mood Fool, which a dear friend introduced to me as, “the album the ’80s wished it had made.” Video

Kraftwerk “Vitamin”
One of the things I love about Kraftwerk is how minimal its lyrics are. This song is off the 2003 soundtrack for the Tour de France, and the lyrics are literally just a list of vitamins and bodily chemicals associated with strenuous cardiovascular activity. Seriously, though, what else do you need? Video

Panda Bear “Mr Noah”
This whole album is so amazing. It pushes the envelope so much in terms of sonic textures while still staying rooted in good songwriting. Video

R.E.M. “Welcome To The Occupation”
I recently discovered early R.E.M. and fell in love with Document. This is one of my favorite songs off that album. Video

Stronger Sex “Temptation”
D.C. is a hotbed of some really fantastic music right now, and Stronger Sex is a testament to that. Music today is rarely this fearless or seemingly devoid of any sort of self-awareness, and the result is deeply compelling and thoroughly inventive music. I’m lucky enough to be able to call these lunatics my friends and can easily say they are a regular source of inspiration for me as a writer and performer. Audio

Philip Selway “Coming Up For Air”
Radiohead’s drummer comes from behind and makes a really great solo record. Video

Leonard Cohen “Everybody Knows”
The ’80s production doesn’t age well, but the lyrics are timeless. Video

Brian Eno “Deep Blue Day”
This song was a gateway for me into a whole new world of sonic possibilities. I don’t know anyone who can pull off space-country as well as Brian Eno. Video

Steve Reich (Performed By Jonny Greenwood) “Electric Counterpoint III: Fast”
When most take time off from a band as big as Radiohead, they relax and don’t work so hard. What I love about Jonny Greenwood is during his brief hiatus with the band, he’s busy with many projects, one of them being recording looped guitar versions of classic pieces by minimalist composer Steve Reich. Video

Velvet Underground “Pale Blue Eyes”
I first heard this song on the soundtrack for The Diving Bell And The Butterfly. I’ve been in love with it ever since. Video

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