Let everything from Catalonian rock and Ethiopian instrumentals play as you become better attuned to the world and yourself.
As thousands of people get involved in protests and take to the streets—often putting themselves in harm’s way—it’s important to remember to take the time out of your day to care for yourself. Self-care is political; as Audre Lorde once wrote, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” For Black people, especially Black women, racist violence can leave in its wake an overwhelming feeling of grief, pain, and hurt. Continuous struggle requires that we develop ways to make space for other feelings—for love and joy—in order to avoid burn-out. It helps to remind ourselves that our existence is more than just pain, that the natural world is full of tiny wonders and endless discovery.
Before the Minneapolis Uprising and subsequent worldwide protests against police brutality, AdHoc asked singer-songwriter Jess Williamson to share her meditation playlist. The Texas-born, Los Angeles-based artist’s fourth album Sorceress is the kind of golden Americana that emerges when folk and country cross paths. Sorceress marvels at the beauty and wonder of nature, presenting a spiritualism that feels grounded and immediate like on “Wind on Tin” when she sings “Heard a sound so heavenly / Were the angels singing just for us?/ Or is that what the wind out here does on tin?”
Williamson’s collection of “two hours of music to ease you into the day” contains soothing instrumentals and pleasantly stripped-back folk tracks—from the sound of Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou’s fingers fluttering across a piano to the deep reverberating noise of Alemu Aga’s begana. This “Meditative Morning” playlist also features music from Alice Coltrane, North Americans, and Big Thief, as well as one-album wonders like Catalonian rock band Pep Laguarda & Tapineria and Bob Desper’s forlorn folk. Each song is carefully picked and imbued with a sense of personal revelation—like finding an out-of-print record at your local shop.
“I am very particular about what music I can listen to in the morning, and this playlist has many of my favorites,” Williamson told Adhoc. “It begins with the song I wake up to every morning: Journey in Satchidananda by Alice Coltrane. It’s my alarm on my iPhone and it’s usually still playing while I quickly scribble down my dreams from the night before in my first few minutes of consciousness. In these frenetic days, I hope this playlist brings a little peace.”
Sorceress and Jess Williamson’s latest single “Pictures of Flowers (Feat. Hand Habits)” are out now via Mexican Summer.