Much like the classic mixtape, Tracklisted presents a collection of songs under a selected theme, which you can check out below. Click on the provided Spotify playlist and listen to this week’s arrangement while you read a few words about the selections.
Colorado-based artist Laura Brehm has been adding her vocal melodies and lyrics to EDM instrumentals for the past several years, while her roots reside in pop/folk/singer-songwriter stylings. Her new self-produced solo release, the Breathe EP, represents a turning point for the songstress in that it sports an alternative/folk sound. Taking inspiration from different realms of music, she plans on continuing experimentation, blending the genres, and developing her style. The following playlist showcases some of the sources of her inspiration.
Take a listen to “Parallel,” the first song off Breathe, below. The EP will drop on July 28th.
Sarah Jarosz — Take Me Back
Sarah Jarosz is one of those artists that has won Grammy Awards, but you may not have heard of her because it’s not what’s televised. It’s a shame though because this woman has so much talent in songwriting, performance, singing, guitar, banjo, and mandolin. The song “Take Me Back” reminds me of how important the emotional quality of a song is, and how it can come through simply with a few of the right notes on the guitar, singing from the heart, and expressing how you really feel.
Trampled by Turtles — Victory
Bluegrass and folk music is suited well with mountain scenery and sunny weather. It’s my favorite genre to listen to while driving through the country near Boulder, Colorado where I live. Trampled by Turtles has become one of my favorite bands recently and like Sarah Jarosz, has influenced me to incorporate more of a folk sound into my music and inspired me to start learning banjo, as well. “Victory” is my favorite song by this band, who are also incredibly impressive to see perform live.
Bon Iver — 00000 Million
When I heard Bon Iver’s new album, 22, A Million, it was on repeat for weeks. I loved the way he mixed experimental electronic production with his unique indie folk sound that established his career with singles such as “Skinny Love” and “Holocene” years ago. He took his new sound to an entirely new level and reminded me [of] the value of hearing an album as a whole piece of art rather than just always listening to singles as they come out at a fast pace. Each song on the album is as hauntingly beautiful as the next, and “00000 Million” concluded it perfectly.
Sofie Letitre — Not Helping
I’m a huge fan of dark electronic music, even though a lot of my work tends to have more of a brighter, airy sound. Sofie Letitre has caught my ear recently and I’m hooked. The way her songwriting creates a build in this song has just the right amount of tension and power, and I think the production and instrumental section is just as intriguing, adding to the overall effect. I’m excited to see where she takes her sound next.
Bonobo — Second Sun
Being a singer/songwriter, sometimes I forget that music doesn’t always need a voice. Often times when I want to take a few moments in the day to relax and daydream while listening to music, bands such as Tycho, Emancipator, and Bonobo are a great choice. “Second Sun” was a standout for me among Bonobo’s new album, Migration, because there was something about the arpeggiated piano and guitar, strings, ambient textures, and pads that almost felt like a spiritual experience that has a calming effect. The end of the song creates an image in my head of what a futuristic orchestra would sound like.
Royksopp — Sordid Affair
I had to put a Royksopp song on this playlist simply because they are one of the most inspirational electronic artists of all time to me. I listen to their entire discography on a regular basis and it never gets old. It’s hard to choose a favorite song, but “Sordid Affair” is among the top choices because although it’s pretty simple, the duo is able to get such beautiful emotions across. Even the vocal melody is simple, but the lyrics and delivery, along with the complementing production, creates their desired effect in the music.
Imogen Heap — Entanglement
Another artist that is a main inspiration for me, in fact, a huge reason why I got interested in becoming an artist in the first place and in self-producing is Imogen Heap. Her album, Speak For Yourself, was life changing for me, so of course I’ve continued to follow her work closely. Her latest album, Sparks, is equally as impressive and lovely, with everything from the writing to the technical aspects being done by her, minus a collaboration with deadmau5. One of my favorite singles is “Entanglement” for the way she blends electronic sounds with vocals and orchestral elements.
Radiohead — Daydreaming
I heard A Moon Shaped Pool as I was finishing the songwriting phase for the Breathe EP and [was] beginning to go through the process of deciding which songs I really loved and which songs don’t quite fit with the overall theme. I was listening to “Daydreaming” on headphones while walking on a trail around a lake and it started raining, and I felt as though I was actually dreaming. It invoked such a mysterious and ethereal sense in me and after that I knew which songs I should pick for my EP. Radiohead’s music tends to dig deep and allow for that kind of inspiration to take place, which is one of the reasons why I look up to them.
Novo Amor — Anchor
Novo Amor came up as a suggested artist on SoundCloud, and I’m very glad I discovered his music. The light and airy vocals, guitar picking, ambience, electric guitar effects, and subtle textures on “Anchor” really plucked at my heartstrings and I just loved the overall vibe. Songs that lead somewhere, evolving and developing as the interest peaks and almost paints a picture in your mind are truly works of art and I think this is a good example of that.
Ellie Goulding — Lost and Found
For me, this song is the ultimate combination of folk, pop, and electronic. It never fails to make me feel happy and content. I just want to sing this song at the top of my lungs.
We thank Laura for speaking with us.