For our feature Nice Playlist, Brah, we ask some of our favorite musicians to make a themed Spotify playlist for us. You know, Songs to Make-out To, The Worst Bands I Have Ever Heard, Songs Your Mom Would Like, we just ask them to be creative, and then we post them to The Ardent Music Blog and share them with you. When you’re looking for a good Spotify playlist, now you know where to look. This week we invited Brandon Herrington, founder of Fareveller Music Festival and member of the newly minted Memphis electronic music group Fast Planet to put one together for us. We invite you to take listen to the playlist while you read why the musician included each song. Enjoy!
After the release of a new album, under a new band name (Fast Planet), in a completely different style than anything I’ve ever done, I have started to reflect on how I ended up here in the first place.
This Spotify playlist is dedicated to the bizarre way our influences shape us. My Playlist is called “How did I End Up Here?”
1. “Today” – The Smashing Pumpkins
This is where it all started. I was a seventh grader sitting in the basketball gym for the junior high talent show. After watching what seemed like hours of baton twirling and beginner piano arrangements, three eighth-graders walked out with real drums and guitars and proceeded to (probably) butcher “Today” by the Smashing Pumpkins. I was floored. It was my first experience with live music of that kind and I was beyond sold. By Christmas I had my first bass and by the next talent show, I was completely butchering “When I Come Around” by Green Day and “Unglued” by Stone Temple Pilots in front of 1,000 kids.
It was glorious.
2. “Stars” – Hum
So I’m a senior in high school sitting in a car outside of a bowling alley when my friend Jared puts in a CD and says, “You have to check this band out. “Stars” starts out with the simplest, clean guitar riff over the somewhat awkward vocals of Matt Talbott. Then, at exactly 44 seconds, Hum hits a single, distorted chord that completely melted everything I had ever known about music.
3. “Guitar and Video Games” – Sunny Day Real Estate
Sunny Day Real Estate will always be my favorite band. Their concert I attended when I was nineteen probably should have been the day I gave up playing music. Maybe it was being young and experiencing them then, but the intensity and emotion I saw in that show was something unmatched.
4. “1/1” – Brian Eno
This is where ambient music began for me. You could probably argue that it’s where ambient music really began, period. Freshman year of college, I attended a small, Christian school in Jackson, Mississippi. It was also the year my band dora began writing…in Memphis. Needless to say, I drove back and forth from Memphis to Jackson all of the time. During those drives, I discovered a couple of ambient shows on the radio. One was “Into the Deep” on WEVL. It is now the longest running ambient show on the radio in the Southern United States.
This track is probably still my favorite ambient song. It is also a good introduction to those who think ambient music is simply boring, droning white noise.