A Painter’s Playlist, Vol. 2

Some New Material, Plus Some Favorites I Keep Going Back to

What my art table typically looks like. Computer just out of view top right.
I play all audio in my studio through my desktop computer. I bought a pretty great set of inexpensive Logitec speakers (plus subwoofer) when I lived in Baltimore; after it died a few years later I found the exact same thing on Amazon and bought it again.

My list is going to be shorter this time around, I think, because lately I sometimes like to work in the quiet. That probably seems boring, but it’s actually kind of meditative: my phone in another room, no social media open, just me, here, focused on one thing.

Does anyone else do that?

I think I occasionally get overstimulated without realizing it. I’m definitely on the introvert side of the spectrum, and if being an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) is a spectrum, then from what I’ve read about it, I suspect I might be on the low end of that too.

Of course, sometimes music or an audiobook helps block out all the ambient stuff that I often can’t help but notice, and if it’s a story I’ve listened to before, it doesn’t require as much attention. My audiobook selection is mostly repeats this time around, but I’ve got some new music and a new category for you:


  • I started the Harry Potter series (read by Jim Dale) again this year, and I’m up to book six. I listen to these in order every year or two.
  • I’m currently re-listening to Lethal White by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling) because someone brought it up at work and I remembered how much I liked it. Today I discovered that book #5 in the series is coming in September!
  • Little Women, which I mostly picked because it was available on Hoopla and I wanted something to listen to while cleaning. I ended up listening to the other two books in the trilogy as well (Little Men and Jo’s Boys). I read Little Women as a kid, but it’s been long enough that I didn’t remember much.


At the risk of sounding like an adolescent, music is still really important to me. It’s great for enhancing or lifting mood and I love discovering new stuff that I can jam to while I work. I’m going to leave off anything I listed last time around, though I still revisit a lot of it (mostly through Pandora). So here’s some of the stuff I’ve discovered since then:

  • “Tokyo Drifting,” “Deja Vu,” and “Dreamland,” all by the Glass Animals*
  • “Cuz I Love You” by Lizzo
  • “Kicks” by Barns Courtney
  • “Melody” and “Don’t You Know” by the Kungs
  • “Freedom” by Chester See and Andy Lange
  • “Doin’ Time” by Lana del Ray
  • “Nice to Meet Ya” by Niall Horan
  • “Antisocial” by Ed Sheeran
  • “Catgroove” by Parov Stelar**
  • “Tearin’ it Up” by Gramatik**
  • “Dragons” by Caravan Palace**

*These guys somehow didn’t get a mention last time, but they’ve been one of my favorite bands since their album “How to Be a Human Being” back in like 2017. Their next album is out in July!

** I mentally group all these musicians into the “electroswing” category, though that’s not strictly true. All three do interesting things with sampling and electronics over big band or strings, anyway, and I’m into it.


This is a new category for me. I never used to think I’d really like podcasts, but after I was pleasantly surprised by audiobooks, I decided to give them a try. Most specifically, I’ve recently listened to:

  • “Unlocking Us” by Brene Brown (yes, I jumped on the Brene Brown bandwagon. I regret nothing.)
  • The Jenna Rainey Show (all about the business of being an artist, and how she became a successful one)
  • I also listened to some episodes of “Stuff You Missed in History Class,” but like less than 1% of the almost 1500 episodes they have on Pandora.

Have you made any interesting new auditory discoveries this year? Did all the extra pandemic time lead you to discover something new, or did you stick to old favorites?

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