Tracks where the piano – and occasionally the organ make all the difference – featuring artists like Tom Waits • James Leg • The Belfast Cowboys • Lou Reed • Joe Jackson • Wilco • World Party • Nina Simone
Hate Country music? Of course you do. You’ve come to the right place – featuring artists like Paul Cauthen • Lyle Lovett • Willie Nelson • Sturgill Simpson • Hank Williams Jr. • Johnny Cash • Jesse Dayton • Merle Haggard
A powerful journey through an eclectic mix of genre fluid composers – featuring artists like Max Richter • Anna Meredith • Sufjan Stevens • Ryuichi Sakamoto • Bryce Dessner • Bob Braun • Hannah Peel • Duval Timothy
I was feeling sad – and I know why, but damn it’s so hard at times.
I’ve sat and watched as circumstance came in and deconstructed my defences one by one – constant pain leading to lack of sleep to lack of writing to lack of self care to lack of confidence to lack of hope to – STOP!
New year new start huh?!
Yeah – that didn’t exactly work out for me either – but – but – it’s the end of January and I’m feeling kinda – what’s that word – I used to use it all the time… it’s odd isn’t it – when you don’t use something for a while it removes itself – giving up space to something more popular – but I’m trying to remember now – what was it – oh yeah – Optimistic!…
This song has a special magic to it, it’s not just about the soothing voice or the comforting piano, it’s not just about the beautiful melodies or the precious harmony, not just about a mood or just a sound, it tends to get you somewhere you need to be.
I’m trawling along the bottom again – I don’t know why – honestly…
It’s the not knowing that kills – and not just you, but your loved ones too as you can’t articulate and are forced to watch as they project and hurt…
I’m here looking for energy – I’m looking for deep groove – I’m looking for repetition, but not lame repetition – not something that just repeats and takes me nowhere.
I’m looking for a shepherd – a guide, a sonic soulmate that lifts me up and creates the universe while I write it all down…
And sure – the track may not be for you – and if that’s so – feel free to skip it too – but if the blues, jazz, awesome piano playing and rock solid grooves make you smile – then stick this on repeat
“My track Sunrise or Sunset was inspired by the creative flow of working from home, being chill and not knowing if the light through the curtains is Sunrise or Sunset but the moment is bliss.”
I see you – sitting at your keyboard – fingers at the ready, mind cycling with ideas and entry points – starting and stopping as each sentence leads to a dead end.
The idea of what you want to say teasingly present but unformed, elusive and hard to grasp…
A smile is worth a thousand words… The need for music that makes you smile is more important now than ever before. The number one infectious human emotion is joy and often it starts with a smile. When we see it, we feel it and then we are compelled share it. These songs share their joyful energy to make you feel good and connect in a positive way. For serious people, this playlist comes with a warning: you may feel like dancing.
Some sheer unabashed emotional manipulation coming your way this week ;-p Yep – if you’re tired of your apartment’s four walls, let alone your roommate (or child’s) disinclination to shower – then I have a treat for you!..
I’m writing this at the end of March – typically the time when students are turning their minds to final exams and beginning to get into a writing groove. I know this because April and May are peak streaming months for instrumental music.
You’d think that with the Covid 19 nightmare things would be a little different this year – but apparently no – students may not be going into school, but assignments are still in place and exams are looming.
Habits are weird aren’t they – the ones that are good for you are hard to establish and easy to break while the ones that are bad for you – well – yes – hello smack habit!…
You know – sometimes – I’m guessing more times than we care to admit – you just have to do the fucking work.
You have to continue showing up – moving the muscles – doing whatever manifestation it is you do – but doing it – even when it brings you no joy.
And that’s a weird ass thing isn’t it?!
I just wrote something i’m kinda proud of. Not that I’m a big fan of pride – it being one of the seven deadly sins or so – but – i really had to work at this one – it took me a long time to work out what i wanted to say and – in the process of doing that – it changed me and will change my behavior in the future…
While stores and restaurants have been busy hanging decorations the moment the Halloween costumes were stashed away, there’s always been a certain restraint when it comes to radio and how they handle Christmas. Well – I say restraint in that they generally don’t start “Christmas Music” until December 1st – thank God – but after that, restraint goes right out the window as it’s a constant onslaught of Bieber to Band Aid, Bing to Bublé – and that’s just one letter of the alphabet!..
Written specifically for the Essay Writing Music album from music2work2 – to my ears, Getting Back Together is the least likely track to become popular with the essay writing crowd but – 150,000 streams in the last year or so would indicate that it does the job pretty well.
For me, a winning song is one that combines atmosphere and power to deliver the listener to an entirely new world. One that energises them, motivates them, and refreshes them.
Have you ever put your heart and soul into something for years and yet it didn’t work out?
If so, this track’s for you.
The frustration I’m referring to is not the angry, cheated emotion – it is the sad one. The frustration of not getting what you want – to be frustrated in one’s efforts.
Close your eyes, let this wonderful music flow through your feelings. Let the notes take your soul and feel as when you were a child, listening to the lullaby to fall asleep.
We don’t allow more than two tracks from any one artist on these playlists but I’m thinking of making an exception for the Neil Cowley Trio ‘cos well, they’re just bloody great! I remember falling in love with this track last week and it sounds even better on the 6th or 7th listen – and the video’s pretty rad too.
I always had a vision for this playlist where the music would take you out from the terror of turbulence and drop you into the cool ethereal place that exists above the clouds – this is the kind of music they play up there!
The whole idea of this playlist was to find piano tracks that enveloped you in ethereal melodies and wrapped you up warm in cloud like comfort – Raplapla is a stunning example of what we were looking for.
Originally placed on the Music to Grieve to playlist I knew it would be perfect for essay writing too. Put it on repeat and it works brilliantly.
I’m not totally convinced that music can be depressing – if music is making you feel something then that’s the opposite of depression. Having said that – this track makes you feel pretty deeply…
This track is on a couple of playlists, making it onto the Music to Descend in an Airplane playlist as well. It’s so beautiful in its sadness that it’s kinda hopeful.
Some tracks just have a way of bringing you into a specific state of mind – I wasn’t thinking of the music to grieve to playlist when I heard this but I couldn’t stop thinking about it afterwards.
I’ve composed this one keeping in mind an idea of consolation after loss, just follow its flow and let it take care of you 🙂
I’m a sucker for beautiful piano – I should be as that’s the kind of piano I like to write and play. Ludovico Einaudi is a genius and this track with its 29+ million streams is a good example of why.
Propellers. I don’t know why, but it’s all I can think about with this piece. Like an old biplane – or even a world war II fighter, like a spitfire or a hurricane.
It’s the tone of the piano that grabs me here – big and dark and and faintly foreboding – kinda like the steel tube you’re sitting in.
I love this – it feels like the start of a new day – full of hope – full of build – full of light and love and support and just – damn – it’s everything you want in a beautifully uplifting piece of music.
Yann Tiersen is one of my favorite pianist / composers – what he did with the score of Amelie was amazing – one instrument – a myriad of emotions – sheer genius.
As an artist you never know what tracks are going to resonate with the public – of sure, you can be part of a Nashville songwriting team and construct a track for an audience but even, you’ve no real idea whether it’ll “fly” or not.
So you want a cascading piano to paint every bit of sadness in your soul? Yet you also want it to have an element of hope?
Originally written for the music to grieve to playlist – it’s kinda disturbing that it should arrive on this playlist too!
I love it when you think you know a track only to have your expectations exceeded as the composer take you in a completely unexpected direction.
A collaboration between two people, two pianists which produces an effortlessly light, floaty, safe space.
This track was the original inspiration for the entire playlist. Actually the original idea had been kicked around a few years back and I had worked up a theme at the time but when i came back to it it didn’t really resonate.
Short, simple and super sweet – it’s the kind of thing I might have written. Simple arpeggiated bass line with this uncomplicated meandering melody that reminds you of how it feels when you’re wondering, lost after your loved one has gone.
“Take my mind and take my pain”
Oh if only that could happen.
The initial seeding of this playlist was dominated by instrumental tracks but this track made it in by the sheer beauty of the vocal – Tom Odell has a fabulous voice.
Loss – when it’s still visceral – when you still think you can call them – when you’re still discombobulated and not sure when it will end.
Loss – when it colors your every move and burns hot in your heart.
Have you ever had your family break apart?
There are a hundred different feelings you go through, none of them good, but the emotion that lingers long after everything else has faded, is sadness.
I wasn’t aware of Sophie’s work until Nicole introduced me to this track for the Music to Grieve to playlist – I immediately fell in love. Melancholy piano – not overdone or flashy, just a simple theme that you can hear her breathe life into – and then the cello arrives – and it’s beautiful!
There is a hopefulness to this track – particularly at the end where it’s all about imperfect and perfect cadences resolving positively around the G major root. The reality of grief is that life does go on, and while the grief may never fully subside, it does fade and we do get to feel good again.
It’s the birdsong and background sounds that get you at the beginning – the scrunching through gravel accompanied by the sparsest piano chords and the whole mood is set.