If you’re trapped in the house and are starting to get tired of your heavy rotation, this carefully crafted selection of albums is a change of pace that’ll fit you for everything from casual listens, deep introspection or even just a bit of background noise.
Mort Garson – Plantasia
Envisioned specifically as an album that was designed to be played to plants and aid in their growth, Plantasia is calming like nothing else I’ve heard before, even though I’m the opposite of photosynthetic. There’s something genuinely comforting about its lilting synths and ethereal brass sections. Excellent to stick on if you’re trying to study, or if you’re attempting to desperately save those succulents you forgot about 3 months ago that look like they’ve survived through multiple world wars by now.
Hildur Guðnadóttir – Saman
More widely known for her work on the score of Chernobyl and Joker, Guðnadóttir’s impressive vocal range and musical talent makes Saman an astounding listen. Its sparse nature works to its advantage, and simply tuning out to let its beautiful arrangements wash over you is an experience that’s equally as rewarding as paying attention to every little detail found in its rising orchestral swells. It’s best experienced with a solid sound system.
Oneohtrix Point Never – Replica
Based heavily around samples that were ripped from old TV advertisements, Replica is arguably the magnum opus of Daniel Lopatin, better known as Oneohtrix Point Never. It’s a constantly shifting soundscape that manages to evoke emotion from across the whole spectrum of human feeling – it can be anxiety-inducing, soothing and genuinely uplifting all over the course of ten minutes.
Arca – Arca
Alejandra Ghersi’s self-titled is difficult to describe in words. It’s boldly experimental, challenging and difficult to listen to without feeling your hairs raise on end at least once. It can be simultaneously brutal and tender, awe-inspiring and disturbing. Her wavering vocals effortlessly shift from deep baritone to tenor – haunting electronics collapse and give way to heart-ripping stories of lost love before reforming even harder than they were before.
Matthew Derwin – Music Editor