Saturday, January 16, 2010

Lay Down Your Mind

At the end of a busy day, putting your thoughts at rest can sometimes prove trickier than one might hope. I can't guarantee music will fix all your problems, or help you sleep, or even make you a better person. But for me, it presents itself as a way of seeing things in a new way, and that's what these songs remind me of. How to let go of needing to "solve" life and just give in to it's natural ebb and flow. Come on, lay down your mind. It'll be alright.
1. Help Yourself - Sad Brad Smith

Off the Up In the Air soundtrack, Smith melds a soft, bare voice with memorable harmony on this gentle tune of encouragement. An instantly soothing track that has carried itself from the screen to my playlist with just as fervent a resonance. "We believe in everything that you can do/ if you could only lay down your mind"

2. Hey Baby - Stephen Marley feat. Mos Def

The mellowest beat with the sweetest lines. It gets better with every listen. Let another great Marley put your mind at peace with whatever's been stressing you.
A time a space a different place, how perfect we might be
I would be the wind that blows, you'd be that willow tree
And I could never bare the thought of you not by my side
So I would be the warmth of day, you'd be the cool of night

3.Solitude - Billie Holiday

Tremendously soulful. Listening to Billie Holiday is like reading Jane Austen; when you finish Pride & Prejudice you realize that every romantic comedy since has been somehow based on such a definitive work. When I listen to Billie, I think of everything music has since come up with; and how it will never be quite as good.

4. Coin Laundry - Lisa Mitchell

Whimsy is the word that comes to mind when I hear Lisa Mitchell. Recently recommended to me by a friend, her child-like charm immediately caught my attention. No one says such big things with as much simple eloquence as Ms. Mitchell, quaintly singing her minimalist words with unexpected depth and philosophy. Plus the way she dances about a laundromat in the music video...come on. So adorable.

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