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Welcome to Songs for Listening, a curated site for daily playlists from musicians, agents, managers, writers, scholars, and programmers.

07-17-19 | Songs for Listening | David Whitehead

07-17-19 | Songs for Listening | David Whitehead

David Whitehead, founder of Maine Road Management, a company that's worked with musicians ranging from Joe Henry to Natalie Merchant and David Byrne to Tyondai Braxton, amongst many others, picked tunes for Wednesday, July 17 at Songs for Listening. You can read more about Maine Road and David’s path into the music business by clicking here.

Here's David's picks along with his annotations:
'I Believe in You' by Talk Talk
"With the album 'Spirit of Eden', Talk Talk followed in the path of The Beatles, David Bowie, Scott Walker & Miles Davis as artists that took a non linear direction and passed through the gates of musical eternity.

Moving away from synth pop and digitally constructing an album from improvised recordings, it’s a fusion of jazz, ambient, classical, and rock. This song, 'I Believe in You', was written for Mark Hollis’ brother Ed who died of a heroin overdose.

The song provides the emotional content to a suite of music worthy of the definition ‘album'. Just as you think the song could be over at the 3min 40sec mark, it floats off twisting and turning like a slow motion marine mammal, only to re enter the surface with it’s moving melodic refrain at 4:45. The departure and the refrain capture the brilliance of Mark Hollis, RIP."

& perhaps without Talk Talk, we would not have:

'This Blue World' by Elbow
"Much more than an anthem band, there’s a grace, gentleness & depth to the band's music. Poetic lyrics, reflective, melodic, a touch of wistful sadness. Late night candle light listening for anyone who has loved & lost but who is now in a serene place."

‘Flight From The City’ by Jóhann Jóhannsson from 'Orphee'
"An album inspired by the myth of Orpheus and the Jean Cocteau film of the same name. The track uses a repetitive piano & violin sequence with various ‘sounds’ in the background. If 'neo classical' is a lazy term that does not quite do justice, it goes some way to articulate a direction being forged by a sector of artists like Max Richter, Nils Frahm, and Olafur Arnalds who are exploring layered meditative mindfulness in music. Listening on a plane through headphones 35,000 feet in the air, I can't help but tear up.

RIP Johann Johannsson."

'Atmosphere' by Joy Division
"A song that captures the soul of a band, the soul of a city & the mood at the time in Northern England. A tragic ending, but one that led to the birth of the fabulous New Order."

'Crossing The Bar' by The Spooky Men's Chorale
"A beautiful elegiac a capella recording set to the words of a poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Metaphoric in its use of sandbars, rivers & oceans as the journey through life to death, but hoping to meet his Pilot (God) face to face when he has 'crossed the bar'."

'If I Go I’m Goin’' by Gregory Alan Isakov
"A young gifted South African songwriter via Boulder, CO. He’s written many beautiful songs."

'I Believe in You' by Talk Talk from 'Spirit of Eden'
'This Blue World' by Elbow from 'The Take of & Landing of Everything'
’Flight From The City’ by Jóhann Jóhannsson from 'Orphee'
'Atmosphere' by Joy Division
'Crossing The Bar' by The Spooky Men's Chorale from 'Warm'
'If I Go I’m Goin’' by Gregory Alan Isakov from 'The Empty Northern Hemisphere’


07-18-19 | Songs for Listening | Tess Mangum Ocaña

07-18-19 | Songs for Listening | Tess Mangum Ocaña

07-15-19 | Songs for Listening | Margaret Lawrence

07-15-19 | Songs for Listening | Margaret Lawrence