While music plays a huge part in almost everyone's life, I find it hard to recommend the best album of the year. I'm a total nostalgic music fan and if I like someone or some albums, I just listen to them all the time. For some new albums to enter that list, not gonna lie, it's gonna be a tough fight.
However, I do want to mark down the 10 albums that I listened to the most last year while working. If you're a remote worker like me and are always seeking fitful music to create a nice work ambiance, this list has some real gems you're gonna love. (You're welcome.)
An Awesome Wave by Alt-J
Alt-J was who we listened to a lot when working in Milan with my previous colleagues. It just never went wrong if you need to be the music picker for a group and you need to spend one afternoon together knocking some real wood.
It adds a bit of cool flavor in the air without being heavily distractive, the music is relatively flat with micro explosive waves that you might find inspirations coming along.
Peace Or Love by Kings of Convenience
I have been listening to Kings of Convenience for more than a decade (including following them both on Instagram for years), and they're the type of artists you wish you could grow up with, or become friends with on some street encounters.
In the very beginning you might find their music a bit hard to rhyme and have little odd notes that you haven't heard anywhere else, but give it some time, they have the power to wash away your little doubts and reveal a beautiful world to you.
Working, driving, having a morning walk, biking under the trees... If you want to hear birds singing and lovers talking, those guys will deliver.
The album I recommend here is their newest, but pls, their earlier ones are even better. And they are lovely artists who are worth a concert ticket if they happen to host shows in your country.
In Rainbows by Radiohead
If there is only one band I can introduce to my kids, it'll be Radiohead. Their reputation is self-explanatory, still, I find them particularly inspiring in being genuinely innovative and deep in their craft and lyrics, and how powerful their art can have a long-lasting influence in people's lives.
Again, all their albums are worth your time 100%, and this one happens to be my last year most played. I found the song "House of Cards" so out of the box from their other works that it's really rare to hear Thom Yorke singing " I don't want to be your friend, I just want to be your lover" considering how hardcore he is. But that's also the reason it's so touching, that eventually, we are just tender mortals who want to love and be loved no matter how far we've gone.
For Lovers - Chet Baker, Jogh Coltrane, Stan Getz
Call me old-fashioned. But who doesn't listen to Chet Baker in autumn? That's the best mix of sound and smell for a deep November vibe out there, free of charge, and gets you all soaked in an authentic relaxing mood.
It's particularly beautiful music for reading and writing too. It's not distractive, not pushy, and can put u in a calm productive mood especially when working on tasks you love.
Looking for a very slight push in the morning and does not want to fully commit yet? This one is for you. It's fun, authentic, a nice bit of chaotic, and full of the energy of youth (from the 60s lol).
I love that piece of history around Andy Warhol, that he created "Factory" and incubated great artists from the era in music, movies, and art.
If you haven't watched the movie "Factory Girl" yet, schedule some time this week.
Ok, finally we got to Bowie. My No.2
(the first being unshakable Sheena Ringo) idol in music, and it's modest to say he has helped shape who I am today.
The energy he had was out of this world, and how he turned the "odd" into mainstream pop was beyond legend.
I still remember how my colleagues in Italy were playing "China Girl" in front of me and forced me to dance, and works like that you don't hear often.
Again, this album might not be his most representative, but it's great for work. You'll be filled with his energy and fierce, and even accidentally add a bit of boldness in whatever you do.
Native Dancer by Wayne Shorter
If you're looking for something exotic, with a tropical breeze and a smell of palm trees, this Album delivers. While you dive deeper, you'll realize what a talent the artist is, with a deep understanding of Jazz, world music, and the versatility of switching instruments and sounds.
For work, it's an absolute killer to add you some color without trying to impress you in the surface. And you will recognize the development of the music itself, representing the creative work process that you're currently at.
Come Away With Me by Norah Jones
Norah Jones is such a lovely lady that I can listen to till the end of the universe. She always reminds me how beautiful life actually is, and brings that little romance in the room with grace and charm.
Her image and music from the movie "Blueberry Nights" by Wong Kar Wai was the exact mode you're gonna get. On a sunny afternoon with a cup of coffee, you'll master your art.
And this recent video of her home concert can accompany you on your tough working day for you to fall in love with her (accidentally but surely):
Grace by Haruka Nakamura
If you're seeking for something extraordinarily peaceful, elegant, and refreshing and you don't want to go mainstream, try this album. It is stunning to witness what electric music can bring, and their craft of using daily sound mixing with female voice singing will bring you not only calm, but turn your exploration mood on.
This has been on my shelf since I was 19, and whichever list I do, still remains a spot for it. If you have a day alone working on the sofa with a candle and the last bit of sunshine outside of your window, play this one please.
春游 by Leah Dou
Alright, we come to the end of the list and I have to recommend you something Chinese. This young artist is the most worthy to follow musician in China ( not because of her famous parents at all), and how much freedom, youth, purity, and friendship you can find in her music, will make an impression for u.
Leah is my secret weapon on a bad day to turn my mood around, you'll see color again in whatever stressed you're currently in by listening to her. It's refreshing and delightful, and turns Monday into a blessing rather than something to bear with.
Ok friends, I have so many more to share about music beyond this list, but keen to hear your stories listening to them, and pls let me know what are your favorite musics to listen to while working. We'll make 2024 rock in all senses!