Today we are restarting our series of playlists by music lovers with a kick shot by Ivan Belcic, Ivan selected some of his favorites tunes to listen to while he is drawing, one of the arts that he practices.
Ivan Belcic is known for being drummer and singer of many hard bands that have emerged in Shanghai, Moon Tyrant, Death to Giants, Death to Ponies, and The Machinery of Other Skeletons, this last one is his active band currently. Also Belcic is known for being one of the founders of the art and apparel label Twin Horizon, you might have seen his draws on the flyers of many shows happening at YuyinTang, or on some bands’ t-shirts, or on the covers of albums of his bands or other bands like Friend or Foe or Nahash recently. Anyway Ivan Belcic spends most of his time with music, draws, or games.
1. Baroness “Rays on Pinion”
This is the opening track from the band’s debut Red Album and really encapsulates their sound. It’s uplifting, it’s heavy, it’s musically sophisticated, and it grooves. Plus, lead singer/guitarist/songwriter John Dyer Baizley is a phenomenal artist and a significant influence on my own work. He’s achieved measurable success with both his music and his art, making him a clear role model for me.
2. Mobius Band “Taxicab”
Mobius Band’s 2005 record The Loving Sounds of Static is one of those records that’s always been able to transport me to a calmer, gentler place of mind. The warm tones, lush instrumental layers, and languid vocals on this track pervade through the album and quite aptly encapsulate the mood of the record.
3. Deathcab For A Cutie “I Will Possess Your Heart”
This song’s hypnotically driving bassline is pure fuel. It’s got a four-and-a-half-minute introduction that hones my focus and helps clear my mind. It’s always a challenge to choose a Deathcab album to play, but this song always hits me where it counts and keeps me feeling energized.
4. Fuck Buttons “Sweet Love for Planet Earth”
The optimal way to listen to a Fuck Buttons album is in the dark and lying down with headphones on and your eyes closed. Barring that, I like it for drawing because it’s prime zone-out music. I can get into a very focused headspace and just pound out line after line.
5. Notwist “Consequence”
Another good focuser-relaxer choice here. The Notwist’s album Neon Golden is filled with rich textures and hypnotic rhythms. I’m noticing that hypotism is a running theme with the songs I’m choosing. Perhaps that’s the real underlying thread that ties all these songs together. It’s a playlist that wipes clean the mind-slate.
6. Bon Iver “re: Stacks”
Bon Iver’s debut album For Emma, Forever Ago never fails puts me in an introspective, tranquil mood. It’s the perfect medicine for longer drawing sessions involving a lot of repetitive motions. “re: Stacks” is the album’s closer, and the subtleties of its arrangement, almost imperceptibly cresting and then dropping out, make me feel as though I’m bobbing in the center of an infinite ocean. Easily one of my all-time favorite songs on an album that will always have special emotional significance for me. One of those records that came along exactly when I needed it.
7. Old Canes “Face It”
Old Canes is Chris Cresci of The Appleseed Cast writing, recording, playing and producing everything on his own. It’s smartly written folk with cutting, dry lyrics that won’t waste your time with overly flowery language. This track and the others off their Early Morning Hymns are another group of songs that have a very specific emotional context for me, and it’s a place in my head that I like to be when I draw.
8. Taking Back Sunday “Cute Without the ‘E’ (Cut From the Team)”
Sometimes, I just need some nostalgia. Tell All Your Friends and Where You Want to Be were a crucial part of my formative years, and at times it’s healthy to revisit that place.