- Words Notion Staff
With a new mixtape, ‘so here you are, drowning', due next month, Kamal. curates 10 tranquil tracks around the theme of water.
“Darn That Dream” by Bill Evans, Jim Hall
From the LP ‘Undercurrent’, this song is a somber conversation between piano and guitar, which instills in me the same calmness I might experience sitting by a body of water. Bill Evans and Jim Hall play their respective instruments with an almost delicate tone, and the melancholic polyphony that they produce together is quite achingly beautiful.
“Weird Fishes/ Arpeggi” by Radiohead
A ridiculous riff which combines with the drums in a perfect synergy. I read Thom Yorke’s oceanic lyric as a metaphor for his life, and his perception of it. I go through phases where my existence feels particularly strange, familiar objects and faces suddenly appear alien to me, and this song reminds me of that feeling.
“Aquarius” by Boards of Canada
A trance inducing instrumental, with fractured samples of speech scattered throughout. I love the world Boards of Canada create because it is strange. The final phrase “we’ll sail to the stars” repeats inspiringly.
“come” by Adrianne Lenker
I sleep to the sound of rain, so any song that introduces itself with that meditative low-end pattern is already appealing to me. Adrianne Lenker writes some of the most beautiful lyrics I’ve ever read/heard.
“River Man” by Brad Mehldau
Brad Mehldau is a criminally underrated pianist and composer; I am in awe of his ability to use uncomfortable sounds to provoke the listener, and it makes resolutions even sweeter. The balance of dissonance and simplicity reminds me of water itself.
“Purple Rain” by Potter Payper
Potter Payper always brings a certain rawness to his lyrics and delivery, which I find moving. The sample is the perfect foundation for the outpouring of emotion that he provides in this song.
“21 M◊◊N WATER” by Bon Iver
This whole album is impossibly beautiful.
“Oasis” by Pat Metheny
Ethereal and haunting. The lack of a sure tempo facilitates this constant ebb and flow of ritardando that make the finger-picked chords sound as though they are pouring out of Pat Metheny quite naturally, like an extension of his own rumination.
“sunken city” by Walterwarm
I stumbled across Walterwarm through his collaborations with Lord Apex, but fell in love with this beat tape immediately upon discovering it. The whole album is water related, and there’s a real warmth to his sound selection.
“Lakeside” by Haruhisa Tanaka
I like writing candidly to ambient music, it both softens and focuses me. I don’t know much about Haruhisa Tanaka, but this track perfectly reflects its title in its serenity.