A rare collection including Paul Simon, Pedro Infante, and some Ethiopian Jazz.
Richmond, Virginia duo Lean Year released their stirring, self-titled debut on Western Vinyl last week. It’s a somber, amorphous rock record that plays like a cathartic cry, hitting on folk, jazz and ambient art pop. We asked vocalist Emilie Rex and filmmaker/musician Rick Alverson to make a playlist of some of their favorite songs as of late. True to their record’s wayward nature, the band’s playlist contains some cosmopolitan selections–Ethiopian jazz for solo piano by Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guébrou, Brazilian Tropicália sensation Tom Zé, Mexican national treasure Pedro Infante, Grammy-winning Malian musician Oumou Sangaré and more. Check it out below, and catch Lean Year at Alphaville this Friday 10/27!
Paul Simon – “Slip S lidin’ Away”
So heartbreaking when he sings, “A good day is when I lie in bed and think of things that might have been.”
Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guébrou – “The Homeless Wanderer”
Such a fragile thing—there’s this delicate certainty to her music.
Tom Zé – “Dói” It’s hard to pick a favorite song on Estudando o Samba, but Emilie fantasizes about singing backup on this one some day.
John Cale – “Hanky Panky Nohow” “Memories of planing lakes” and “the cows that agriculture won’t allow.” What more needs to be said?
Pedro Infante – “Cien Años”
So much longing in one song.
Oumou Sangaré – “Saa Magni”Sangaré’s voice is so melancholic, but powerful when she sings, “Oh death, oh death. Death is too hard. Death is too cruel.” It slays us every time.
Harold Budd – “Let Us Go into the House of the Lord/Butterfly Sunday”We always listen to this record in the late evening…gives us permission to go to bed and try again tomorrow.
Solange – “Cranes in the Sky” Required listening for all USians.
Leonard Cohen – “Famous Blue Raincoat”We always come back to Cohen’s long poem song.
Listen to Lean Year’s newly released self-titled debut.