In my last blog post, “Music and Creativity: Let the Music Play. Or Not,” I asked for input on music that inspired people creatively. I got back recommendations that were thoughtful and unique. As promised, I’ve compiled a playlist that partially reflects those responses. As a Creative Director, I have a front row seat to subjectivity, so I know this list won’t fit every musical taste. But I think it does fit the bill for inspiring creativity. Some recommendations were great choices, but they didn’t fit the flow of this list (I’m looking at you, Mike T). That will be another blog post altogether. Anyway, here’s the playlist that resulted – and a download is available here via iTunes. Hope you are inspired by it.
Intro – The XX – XX (Bonus Track Version)
Fans of this buzz band put the “fan” in fanatical. I think I agree. What iTunes describes as “steely quiet-storm soundscapes” is an ideal start to settling in to a creative mindset.
Serenata – Charo – Charo and Guitar
Charo. Yes, that Charo. A great suggestion from Melissa. No lyrics to distract just yet. We’re still getting the easel set up. Really beautiful sounding.
All Apologies – Sinéad O’Connor – Universal Mother
Okay, I just thought Sinead should be on this list. Probably a little too slow for this point in the playlist, but “All Apologies” stays. Bonus points that it’s a Nirvana cover.
Sweet Tides – Thievery Corporation – Radio Retaliation
Loved Lisa’s comment that her Art Teacher always played Thievery Corporation to get them in the creative zone. This one is for all of those inspiring Art Teachers that we all remember with affection.
Act of the Apostle – God Help the Girl – God Help the Girl
This whole cd for me is less a favorite than an obsession. To me, it’s a must have for any music lover. You’ll play it over and over and over again.
Islands – The XX – XX (Bonus Track Version)
Circling back to another The XX song since they set the overall tone for this playlist from the first song. This one with lyrics, but still in that same low-key vibe.
Congratulations – MGMT – Congratulations
Love MGMT and this one is a good song for when you’re well into the creative process. Haven’t given it a full listen yet, but I’m hoping that “Congratulations” is at least half as good as “Oracular Spectacular.”
To Kingdom Come – Passion Pit – Manners
A great suggestion from Angela for a less-familiar band. Also, a natural progression from MGMT. “The giddiest music possible . . . with dark and soul-searching lyrics.”
God Help the Girl – God Help the Girl – God Help the Girl
More “God Help the Girl,” because they’re so, so good. Love this song, love these lyrics. “You have been warned, I’m going to be contrary.”
A Beautiful Mess (Live) – Jason Mraz – Jason Mraz’s Beautiful Mess – Live On Earth
Fun to end with something live. Hopefully, “A Beautiful Mess” matches up nicely to something you’ve accomplished creatively after listening to this playlist.