It’s been a while since a straight up Tadpole Audio Mixtape, but over this past winter break I found myself inspired as I rode the chairlift at Stratton Mountain in Vermont. My dad and I were discussing listening to music while skiing – he’s done it before, I worry that I will either not hear an incoming snowboarder, or somehow accidentally crush the device – when I began to think about what I would want to listen to out there in the snow. I’m not a particularly aggressive skier; I used to race in high school, but that was quite a few years ago. Now, the only times I hit the slopes are Christmas’s with my family.
RIYL Mixtapes: Because sometimes the best way to get to know a new artist is to use them in a sentence.
I’ve decided to do RIYL Mixtapes a little differently. The first one started with an excellent new band and put them in a playlist with more known names, but then I realized that it’s probably a better idea to start with an artist people are more familiar with and go from there.
RIYL: Laura Veirs
This mixtape begins with Colorado native, Laura Veirs. Her latest effort July Flame landed her on many Best of 2010 lists, including NPR, Paste, American Songwriter, and a slew of other blogs (including this one). The album is quiet and organic. Veirs draws you into such an intimate listening experience with her pure voice that, when finished, you can’t help feel woken from a beautiful trance. Since the album is an ode to the fleeting sweetness of the summer, it seemed appropriate to introduce several other songstresses and artists in a play on that theme, specifically, summer love: exciting, hot, and often fading with the season itself. Mixtape below.
The holidays are a time of friendly gatherings, a time of joy, a time of cheer, blah blah blah…but, have you ever had one of those kinds of Christmases or holidays? There’s so much storytelling surrounding these traditional celebrations, but what if you don’t feel much like celebrating? There’s a story there too.
When I was little I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. A painter, to be specific. It was the clearest way I knew how to translate images and stories in my head into something I could see and touch. I always told myself that someday – when I was a real artist – I would finally be able to paint the perfect sunset. I tried a few times of course, but I just couldn’t get the textures, layers or nuances in each vivid shade. No matter. Someday I would get there. Well, that day still hasn’t come, but living in California and getting to see the most beautiful sunsets every day from the 5th Floor of my office building has certainly brought it to the forefront of my mind again.