“This playlist could be used for any purpose really, but you might as well be driving out in New Mexico, preferably as the sun sets over your shoulder, preferably as you undergo a major life transformation such as moving/running away from something. This playlist will decidedly render your life into cinema. You should also make sure you set your music player on ‘repeat all,’ because in all likelihood, you will be driving for awhile.” — Phil Moore of Bowerbirds.
Cass McCombs – “County Line “
This is a driving song for sure. This song is so warm and cinematic that you can turn it up loud, loud and still everything is copacetic.
Arthur Russell – “That’s Us/Wild Combination”
It’s really hard to peg this song, which is what makes it so good. The sounds that comprise the beat are amazing. It extends on further than you think it will go.
Aphex Twin – “Xtal”
I could have chosen any of the songs off of Selected Ambient Works, really. When I was in 10th grade, I would play this disk every night for several months to go to sleep to. Sometimes I would hear the whole album, and sometimes I would fall asleep and just make it through “Xtal”.
Beach House – “10 Mile Stereo”
In my opinion, one of the very best albums of 2010. One of those albums that has a clear vision from start to finish. The mood is just expanded upon, but is never lost. Super important album.
Washed Out – “Feel it All Around”
A little honesty is required here. I had heard of Washed Out for a while and heard clips of some of their songs, but I had always been a grumpy old man about them just putting them in the huge pile of bands that I should listen to but didn’t have the time for. Then, my favorite current television show, Portlandia, used this song as their theme song. I love this song and the rest of this band’s work now. Great mood landscapes.
Tim Hecker – “The Piano Drop”
I forget where I heard this for the first time, but it really doesn’t matter. This song is the end of the world in the most beautifully violent sort of way.
The Tallest Man on Earth – “Love Is All”
Just the best ever. I cannot explain my love for everything that Kristian Matsson does. It’s all perfect.
Ry Cooder – “Paris Texas”
From my favorite soundtrack ever, from my very first life-changing indie film ever.
Arthur Russell – “Close My Eyes”
Another side of Arthur Russell. Beautiful sentiment and chord changes.
The Roaches – “Hammond Song”
When they drop to the minor and hit you with gorgeous and creative three-part harmonies, I lose it every time. Robert Fripp from King Crimson makes an appearance as the key change takes hold, as well as Jim Maelen playing a killer triangle part throughout. The narrative is beautifully honest, which is really what makes this song so good.
William Basinski – “Melancholia II”
I learned about this artist through a piece on his disintegration loops on NPR. Basinski found some of his earlier compositions and cut the tape that they were recorded on up. He spliced them into loops and ran them through a reel-to-reel until the loops fell apart. He recorded the results. All his other compositions are slow and patiently amazing as well.
Bon Iver – “Wash.”
I love every song on this album for being so warm and beautiful and creative above of all else. This is one of the most ambient gems on the record. It holds me right in between that state of wonder and sadness, which is one of the hardest things to record onto tape. #xoxo2UJustin