playlist

#PlaylistsThatHeal 010 X Sara Laufer

SoSlists is a monthly playlist curated by select humans that work in and/or love music who acknowledge its healing powers.  This month's list is by photographer Sara Laufer.

Music has always been central in my life and provided escape, fostered bonds with friends and family, and has been the closest thing to me in periods of isolation. Making this playlist was therapeutic in and of itself: remembering love and loss and the songs that accompanied these experiences throughout my life. The moments leading up to the death of my grandmother was Death Cab for Cutie's "What Sarah Said". Driving my car in my hometown (my car the only place I've ever been able to sing out loud) I would listen to Local Natives and belt my heart out, waiting to pick up my little sister from her karate classes. My brothers would pick me up from elementary school and I would ask them, my first musical influences, what songs they were playing in the car. I took notes and embarked on my first cd-purchasing hunt to collect the Killers discography. I grew into my own taste and made some of the songs included in this playlist my best friends.

My adolescence was built upon an extreme dedication to my favorite bands, extensive consumption of every video, interview, lyric analysis available. My closest friends and relationships have been built upon mutual enjoyment, musing, and making memories with the music we love. It makes a lot of sense to me that now, age 23, my career in photography and film has centered itself largely around musicians. I love the process of visualization that comes with listening to and feeling songs. Meeting the musicians who have shaped so many important developments within myself continues to be one of my greatest pleasures.

This playlist serves as a tribute to growing up and growing through significant parts of my life. Many of the songs I've included I have discovered in the past few years, through college and through my current relationship (shoutout to Jake). I hope the songs resonate with others too, whether to help induce a much-needed cry or getting you to dance and focus on the beauty comes from listening and feeling.

-Sara Laufer


Sara Laufer is a photographer and cinematographer based in New York. She is fascinated with ideas of memory, expression, and visual culture. 

She recently graduated from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Film and minor in Art History. She has worked at Milk Studios' LEGS Media and Panavision New York, and is Co-Founder of visual arts magazine VISCERAL8.

#PlaylistsThatHeal 09 X Angela Betancourt

SoSlists is a monthly playlist curated by select humans that work in and/or love music who acknowledge its healing powers.  This month's list is by photographer Angela Betancourt.

You've reached a numb acceptance of your own depression and now you can cover with it a smile. Have you seen "The Mask" video by David Bowie? There's a moment when the show ends and you can't remove the mask anymore, but you know what's underneath.

Finding new music instead of being clustered in the same old songs that I already know the mood of, is part of a habit I'm trying to develop even more. It keeps life interesting and stimulates my creative thought process and I come up with new ideas that hopefully will develop if I keep myself motivated.

Being able to document live music surrounded by the landscape of different scenes, cities and crowds gives me the opportunity to put my focus on an intensity that is not my own.

This isn't the most cohesive playlist,  but it's an honest mix of some things I frequently listen to (sometimes on repeat ). 

-Angela Betancourt

MUSIC PHOTOGRAPHER/GRAPHIC ARTIST, CURRENTLY BASED IN AUSTIN, TX. SELF- REPRESENTED. AVAILABLE FOR NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL ASSIGNMENTS.

THE BEST LIVE PERFORMANCES ARE A CATHARTIC EXPERIENCE, THE SORT WE INTERPRET THOUGH OUR OWN REALITIES. THE SOUNDS, THE LYRICS, THE LIGHTING, THE AUDIENCE INTERACTION ALL COMBINE FOR AN IRREPLACEABLE ART FORM, ONE I’M PRIVILEGED TO WITNESS.

DOCUMENTING DIFFERENT MUSIC SCENES AND TELLING A STORY AS INTIMATELY AS POSSIBLE DOESN’T COMPARE TO ANYTHING ELSE I’VE EXPERIENCED.


#PlaylistsThatHeal 08 X Mionyl

SoSlists is a monthly playlist curated by select humans that work in and/or love music who acknowledge its healing powers.  This month's list is by Mio of the famed instagram account Mionyl.

Making this playlist has proven harder than I initially thought. I found myself putting it off for a long time, not because of lack of inspiration or motivation but simply because it's been quite painful.

So why was this so hard? Shouldn't it be a fun experience, thinking back, making a playlist of songs that essentially saved you from slipping into complete darkness?

Well. When I started looking back I realized that music has not only been a kind of "guiding light" throughout my life, something I've built both my career & my relationships around, it has also saved it. I am convinced that if I didn't discover a passion for music at a very early age I would not have been here.

That may sound dramatic but growing up in an environment where nothing was predictable it was extremely important to find something that wasn't as fickle as the immediate reality. Some stability. I found that in music. From being completely mesmerized by the wonder that is Prince when I barely could walk, to the first time hearing Elliott Smith as a tween, singing words to me I never had the courage to say out loud myself. Music followed me around, making sure I could escape when I needed to or kept me company when I needed it.

But the importance of music is just as big now as it was when I was young. From my childhood I was left with C-PTSD & bouts of crippling anxiety. That darkness, continuously calling you, urging you to lay down flat on your back and just give up, wanting to consume all that you are, keeping you from sleep, love, food & all other pleasures in life; somehow it's incredibly hard to resist when the hurt washes over you. But I've been able to keep my head above the surface. I've been able to always keep my eye on the light, the place where all the "normal" people live, even when that light has been really faint, & I think music is one of, if not THE main reason for that, both creating it & experiencing others work.

So what I'm saying is that music can save a life & for me at least, one of the main reasons is this:

Music can end that harrowing feeling that you are completely alone in an experience. Hearing someone else express similar bone-crushing feelings, sometimes in actual words but just as much in instrumental music, is invaluable. Someone who confirms that what you're feeling isn't unique. Someone else has been there before. Someone else has thought the same thoughts. We all strive to be unique but in this case it's an incredibly harrowing thought. That you're alone. But you're never alone.

So, with that said, here's a couple of songs in no particular order from musicians that has given me some kind of comfort at some point in my life. I'm sure that they are all classified as "sad songs" but not to me. To me they have all been able to draw out some beauty from the above mentioned darkness & given me peace at the absolute lowest points of my life & now that I'm out of the woods, it gives me perspective & helps me appreciate the things I've learned from it all. 

Hopefully you'll find something there that you enjoy too.

-Mio

Mio is a photographer, body painter, musician & record store worker from southern Sweden who combines all her passions together with her biggest hobby, vinyl collecting, on Instagram under the alias @mionyl (Mio + vinyl = Mionyl). There she tries to engage & start personal conversations about music in a positive & inspirational way, across all genres.



#PlaylistsThatHeal 07 x Ian Bremner from Old Rookie

SoSlists is a monthly playlist curated by select humans that work in and/or love music who acknowledge its healing powers.  This month's list is by Ian Bremner from the site Old Rookie.

The right song at the right time can do more for the soul than any of the 5 senses. Well, if you count hearing, then the other 4 senses. Certain emotions can wash over and totally overcome you when that right song hits. Maybe you played it on purpose. Maybe it came on randomly at a bar. Maybe you had to whip out your phone and quickly find the Shazam app when you’re strolling through the record shop. Maybe you are watching a sad movie by yourself and as some crushing scene hits the crescendo, a song you’ve never heard comes on and puts it all over the top. Some folks may have a go-to song in a time of need, but often times that special feeling happens unexpectedly and out of the blue.

Whenever it happens, a wave of affirmation hits and as cliche as it sounds, you feel alive. Music has that unique power to change your mood on a dime. Sad music can make you happy and happy music can make you sad. The same song can sound different depending on your current setting and mindset.

 Hearing anything off Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon” record will immediately transcend me back to my childhood, eating corn on the Cobb in the backyard. The smell of the summer air and the smoke from the barbecue comes flooding back. Having such a strong nostalgic connection to a specific album, sets the tone for music in the future too. It all becomes more important. You don’t realize it at the time, but the right song at the right time can have that effect on someone else. Of course, there’s no telling until years into the future, but the wait is worth it.

Below is a playlist of favorite songs at one point or another. What makes these songs special is that indescribable feeling I tried to explain above. Immediately upon hearing them for the very first time, I knew they would be in my life for long time. Some have specific memories attached to them. Some I just knew I liked from the first note.

 -Ian Bremner

Ian Bremner is a lifelong Pacific Northwesterner and founder of Seattle-based music blog, Old Rookie. The idea for Old Rookie is simply to prop up good music and avoid the rat race for content, which leads to some TMZ-shit real quick. Ian writes about music, presents shows around town, DJs and talks about music a lot. Genre knows no bounds. All good music is soul music.

SoSLists #6 x Sydney Campos

SoSlists is a monthly playlist curated by select humans that work in and/or love music who acknowledge its healing powers.  This month's list is by author and adviser Sydney Campos.

Music is soul healing and for me that has always been the case, even when I wasn't consciously aware of the fact. I've spent my entire life seeking god even though I couldn't have told you that up until just a few years ago. I sought god through attention, through success, achievement, drugs, alcohol, sex and a series of other adrenaline-boosting activities only to find that the whole time I was looking outside for the thing that resided inside all along. Music however has always been the constant source of remembrance and healing - whether it was dancing at the club after 1am in New York City, at the school dances in middle school wondering if my crush would notice me or turning to my favorite childhood song in a moment of turbulent emotional distress to recall the safety and love I felt at once upon being home. I’ve always loved to dance and yet only in the last few years - two to be exact - have I tuned into what that medicine truly offers when I dive in all the way. Pushing past boundaries and barriers of what I think other people think of me, how this move looks, what this person things of this positioning, or anything else that someone else projects onto me about my own experience - is none of my business. How I choose to move my body and how I move through life is FOR ME, and to be completely expressed and enjoyed precisely as I desire. Dance is therefore a revolutionary - liberating even - practice in self-love. Music is the fuel to the fire. These songs are remembrances of what it means to be a beautiful infinite multi-dimensional soul housed only for a few moments in time in this beautiful human vessel. How are you choosing to celebrate this now moment you are so gifted with receiving? Did you know that there's a story that says - spirit created music here on earth so that souls would finally choose to incarnate in physical form since it was only through the physical body that music could be fully felt, heard and experienced? How are you choosing to dance through this one wonderful life you have? How can your dance be more designed solely for you to open to more love - and more grace - more of ALL that you are? I love you, keep going.

Sydney Campos is a Visionary Mentor, Intuitive Advisor and Author of The Empath Experience: What To Do When You Feel Everything. Sydney guides visionary leaders to live in alignment with their soul purpose while embodying next-level power, pleasure and prosperity.

In addition to being a seasoned Business Strategy Advisor and Certified Holistic Health Coach, Sydney is also a 200-Hour Registered Yoga Teacher, Reiki Energy Healer, and Certified Akashic Records Practitioner. Sydney shares her multifaceted inspiration through 1:1 visionary mentoringcourses, transformational retreats, intuitive readings and her Visionary Souls Podcast.

An avid adventurer, Sydney is likely to be found in Bali, Venice Beach, San Francisco or anywhere in Mediterranean Europe. Sydney has been featured in Forbes, MindBodyGreen, Refinery29, Bustle, PureWow and New York Magazine.




SoSlist #4 by Matt Gross

SoSlists is a monthly playlist curated by select humans that work in and/or love music who acknowledge its healing powers.  This month's list is by Matt Gross.  

Probably the most difficult moment of my adult life took place a little over three years ago when my dog Cooper passed on a frigid, snowy January evening. I didn't really grow up with dogs. My family always had pets but mostly the non-furry kind, i.e. fish, iguanas, birds, oh and hermit crabs (!). I adopted Cooper in my mid-20s and he totally changed my world. A brown-and-white, happy-go-lucky pit bull who spent the first few years of his life in an assortment of undesirable situations, he was nearly 80 pounds and had the warmest, most loving personality. He changed my perception of pretty much everything, all the while grounding and teaching me every single day. I miss him waking me up at 4am for the early bird special by jumping up and down repeatedly until he was fed. I miss his body sprawled out on top of mine while we slept and he snored - loudly, so incredibly loudly. I miss his incessant, wet, sloppy kisses. I miss walking around the park with him. I miss it all. Some days I try to brush away the sadness, some days I have no choice but to cave. Here are some songs that have helped me along the journey. 

-Matt Gross

Matt Gross is a music publicist, former blogger, current DJ and influencer living in NYC. 

 

SoSlist #3 by Alec Bemis (of Brassland Label)

SoSlists is a monthly playlist curated by select humans that work in and/or love music who acknowledge its healing powers.  This month's list is by Alec Hanley Bemis from the label Brassland.    

Last week a friend of my friends, Scott Hutchinson, took his own life. He was found by the waterfront, in a town just outside of Edinburgh, Scotland. Scott was part of my music community. One friend produced the last record by his band, Frightened Rabbit, released in 2016. Scott was also a tourmate to more allies & colleagues than I can count —- and by all accounts, he was a warm & generous one. After he died, someone posted a backstage picture of him spelling out the name of a fan in Cheetos, a virtual gift to be passed along by cell phone pic. 

I've been close to more than one of these kinds of pointless deaths this year — and more still in the timeline that is a life. My own father, maybe. (No one is certain.) When I was a journalist a lifetime ago, the subject of my first cover story — my 'big break' — was Elliott Smith.

"I never think of [my songs] as being particularly dark," Elliott told me, unpacking people's impressions of his music. "I just think of them as being real. I look for songs that are sort of happy and sad at the same time, that have conflicting feelings coexisting." He went on to explain his understanding of the term 'melancholy' — a hint of happiness mixed into a field of sad. "What's the point in a one-dimensional song? There's gotta be a certain amount of darkness so the happy parts pop out. It's like a bright color. It won't look so bright surrounded only by other bright colors. It would just sort of be hard on the eye."

I've been told I like sad songs. But it's that mix of colors that I hope you take from the ones I've collected here. Because I believe music itself is a color. And I think of sad songs as a way to illuminate one's darkest feelings with a brighter shade of expression. 

-Alec Hanley Bemis

Alec Hanley Bemis is a manager and creative producer who lives in Brooklyn, New York — and, in 2001, co-founded the Brassland label with Aaron and Bryce Dessner of The National. For these projects he has been covered by The Irish Times, The Guardian, Print Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal. In his first career as a writer & journalist, he was published in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Bookforum and LA Weekly on topics ranging from Beck to backyard wrestling.

SoSlist #2 by T. Cole Rachel

SoSlists is a monthly playlist curated by select humans that work in and/or love music.  This month's list is by T. Cole Rachel.  

"As a queer teenager growing up on a farm in Oklahoma during the ‘80s, I lived in a perpetual state of panic and fear. Terrified by my own sexuality and always anxious that I would somehow be outed, music and books became my primary source of solace and escape. Driving a tractor in lazy circles across the sprawling wheat fields behind our house, I’d spend hours listening to a dubbed cassette copy of The Cure’s Head on the Door and daydreaming about a time in my life when I could freely be myself, preferably many many miles away from the dust and dirt of my childhood home. Even after coming out in college, my early twenties were a constant state of emotional upheaval and I struggled with self-loathing and intense suicidal ideation. Now, many years later (and after lots of therapy), it makes sense that I’d eventually become a music journalist for a living. Music has always provided (and still provides) a lifeline that has kept me tethered to this world during moments when nothing else could. I am so grateful for it."

-T. Cole Rachel

 

T. COLE RACHEL is a writer, teacher and ceramic cat collector who lives in Brooklyn. He creates poems, essays, and all manner of culture-related journalism. His work has appeared in Interview, The FADER, Pitchfork, The New York Times Magazine, Bon, Man Of The World, OUT, Dossier, Maxim and Stereogum. He is a regular contributor to Pitchfork and has served as a Contributing Editor at both V Magazine and Interview. He teaches a recurring poetry workshop, Poetry & Photography, via the Camera Club of NYC. His books include Surviving the Moment of Impact and Bend Don't Shatter. He is currently Senior Editor at The Creative Independent.