If you know Will, you know that "holiday" does not always rhyme with "happy". He's been doing these mixes for over two decades, as a holiday gift for close friends, and just now making them into Spotify lists to share more widely. And because some friends no longer have a way to play CD's!
Here's Will in his own words...
Music has been a constant in my life. Some of the earliest songs that I can remember are by the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Mamas and Papas, Patsy Cline, and the Everly Brothers. Ever since my childhood, music has been like a wind blowing intensely through my mind, always leaving a song in my head. Some days, weeks, months or years are windier than others. 2019 was a blustery year and the 16 songs on this year’s mix represent some of the strongest gusts for me. Here’s to a windy 2020 for all of you from all of us.
• Track 1 Waiting for The Miracle- Leonard Cohen: I first heard this song when I watched Natural Born Killers and it has been a go-to song ever since. Cohen’s booming voice and storytelling lyrics set the mood in the first verse. This song comes back to me often.
• Track 2 Service Road- Better Oblivion Community Center: One of two BOCC songs on this year’s mix that came from one of my top three albums of the year. Conner Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers’ voices weave in and out of harmonies and create a gorgeous wall of sound.
• Track 3 Not- Big Thief: My friend Randy turned me onto Big Thief and I am now hooked. This song has particularly buried itself deep. The relentlessness of this song and searing guitar solo create an intensity that was unmatched by any other song I heard this year. Maybe the best song of the year for me.
• Track 4 I’ve Been Dazed- Michael Kiwanuka: I heard this song one time and woke up with it in my mind the next morning. Love the music and message.
• Track 5 High On The Mountain- Joan Shelley: The most beautiful song and voice that I have heard in a while. Shades of Joni Mitchell.
• Track 6 Why Can’t We Be Friends- War: Whenever my family goes on a road trip, we always have a theme song that helps us remember our trip. One note or verse and we are immediately transported back to a special place or time with all of us together. This past summer Kai and I took a road trip up to Devils Tower in Wyoming and then drove on through Montana, North and South Dakota before returning home. This was our song.
• Track 7 Life is Hard - The Good Ones: For our dear friends Grace and Devotha from Rwanda. This Rwandan song is about forgiveness and love. We are so thankful for new friends and for a deeper understanding of their homeland.
•Track 8 My City- Better Oblivion Community Center: Another gem from their debut album.
• Track 9 Galleon Ship- Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: The new album Ghosteen is full of pain and grief over the death of his son. It’s not for everyone but if you stick with it you find immense beauty and love.
• Track 10 Seventeen - Sharon Van Etten: Remind Me Tomorrow is probably my favorite and most played album of the year. It was hard to pick only one song from this but… I love how SVE continues to evolve and how her music reflects the changes in her life.
• Track 11 Fourth Of July- Sufjan Stevens: Another beautiful song about death. I come back to this song repeatedly.
• Track 12 Busload of Faith- Lou Reed: Sometimes you need a little bit of something to help you when you are feeling down or times are tough. This song is the pill I swallow for those times.
• Track 13 Pancho & Lefty - Townes Van Zandt: Woke up recently and this song was on my mind. I hadn’t heard it for years. Crazy how that happens. Love this song.
• Track 14 Cattails- Big Thief: The first Big Thief song that Randy played for me. I became a fan immediately.
• Track 15 Distant Sky- Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds: I put the studio version of this song on a previous year end CD so you may be familiar with this from that. This has been my go-to song for the past three years. I especially love this live version and find the additional minute at the end of this to be hauntingly gorgeous.
• Track 16 The Future - Leonard Cohen: an appropriate song to end the decade.