This month’s music discovery comes to you by one of our Music Supervisor, Aaron Voros. Our March BrandRadio playlist has been handpicked by our entire music team to set your playlist in the right direction for the month of March.
As a music curator at PlayNetwork I spend my time making playlists designed for overhead play in retail, hospitality, and restaurant spaces. While every playlist creates a unique experience, they all set out to achieve roughly the same goal of grabbing the attention of the listener from the second they first step into the space and sustaining their interest until they make their exit. I usually focus on selecting the upbeat, the energetic, the catchy, the succinct, and anything else that can make a quick first impression.
Call it a rebellious streak, but despite the time I spend searching for music placed in retail playlists I generally gravitate toward mellow music and instrumentals. Three relatively recent releases by a few of my favorite composers have caught my ear – and even though I might not pick these people to help get people in the mood to buy shoes, I could spend days on end trying to pick up on all their nuance.
Artist: Nils Frahm
Title: All Melody
“All Melody” isn’t a new track by any means (live improvised versions have been floating around the internet since the early 2010’s), but as the title track on his newest album, it can finally be heard in studio format. As seen by this track, Nils is a master at weaving steady analog synth lines through a sea of textures, building interest through subtle changes and swells instead of melodic variation.
Artist: Poppy Ackroyd
Title: The Calm Before
Earlier this year English composer and multi-instrumentalist Poppy Ackroyd released her fourth album Resolve on Bjork’s One Little Indian label. Poppy Ackroyd takes a highly textural approach to her compositions, as seen on “The Calm Before.” She artfully blends both percussive and smooth elements of woodwinds and piano to create a broad spectrum of moods that range from somber to cheerful.
Artist: Jean-Michel Blais
31-year-old pianist Jean-Michel Blais of Montreal crafts a sparse but rather dark and brooding picture on his track “roses” which was released by Arts & Crafts earlier in 2018. Without knowing much about his intention on this piece, it’s really easy to pick up on a bit of an emotionally heavy atmosphere that builds through the middle of the piece before an eventual resolve and return equilibrium. Like the two others mentioned prior, Jean-Michel uses texture to his advantage.