Updated: May 8, 2019
The creative process can be somewhat solitary and quiet at times. The solution? Music to paint to and my personally curated podcasts for artists! I find it easiest to slip into a flow state and pass the time with a chuckle, head nod or something thought provoking in my ears. Here are my recommendations for music and podcasts for artists - 5 of each. What are you favourite tunes or podcasts to boost creativity?
5 of each…
The Duncan Trussell Family Hour (DTFH)
If your tastes tend towards the eclectic, Duncan probably has a guest you’d love to hear him chat with. Imbued with raw honesty, zany humour and tangents into the bizarre, Duncan shares his thoughts on life, the universe and everything as well as the funniest, surreal adverts (don’t hop over them) you’ve ever heard.
Joe Rogan Experience
The JRE probably needs no introduction to anyone keen on podcasts. The range of guests never ceases to amaze, but means you will likely hop over a handful whose subject area or personality bores or grates on you. For the most part, a great springboard to further reading, other inspiring podcasts and gaining understanding in many areas - and often for 3 hours!
Plein Air Podcast
My favourite art podcast. If the enthusiasm, tips and passionate stories from the featured (mostly American) plein air artists doesn’t make you want to go paint outside, nothing will. I pick up at least 2 tips about painting itself, as well as the business of art every week from this gem.
Ram Dass, Here and Now
My mental and spiritual reset button. Ram Dass’ life and teachings have helped me gain all sorts of perspective on life, death and everything in between. The talks, captured after his return from India and before his stroke, and played here again for a new generation, encourage the listener to question all manner of our good and bad behaviours, conditioning and relationships. Many wise, kind and often humorous takeaways. As a bonus, here’s a link to the recent Ram Dass documentary.
The Blindboy Podcast
Better known in Ireland as the producer and bandmember of the comedy pop act, the Rubber Bandits, Blindboy draws on his background in psychology, music and the humanities to dig deeper on wide ranging topics such as Irish politics, the recently reopened Michael Jackson case and the birth of advertising. Usually a solo podcast, sometimes Blindboy heads out to meet a guest where we gain an intimate insight into Irish artists and culture.
Vitalic, around since the late 90s, is a one-man, French producer DJ. If Daft Punk have gone too pop for you in recent years, fear not, Vitalic pick up the baton for dirty, soulful and playful dancefloor electronica. Vitalic doubles as awesome workout music as well as music to boost creativity.
More Frenchmen! Personally, I feel a lot of metal has become a bit same-y since the early 2000s. The lyrics are for a generation I grew out of and the guitars and drums often a rehash of days gone by. Whilst waiting on tenterhooks for the new Tool album, Gojira are keeping my head banging with their increasingly melodic and crushingly heavy blend of inspirational, political and environmentally concerned chuggage.
Run The Jewels
I found Run The Jewels recently, when one half, Killer Mike, appeared on the JRE podcast. The other half of the duo, El-P makes catchy and claustrophobic beats that will appeal to the rockers amongst you and both their lyrical flows shine a light on the state of America making the listener laugh and frown in equal measure.
Carbon Based Lifeforms
When you need to bring the tempo down, find music to relax and work to, and drift into a deep flow state, there are a handful of Swedish ambient artists who really know how to take you on a journey. Amongst my absolute favourites are Carbon Based Lifeforms or CBL for short. Soothing, journeyistic, spacey, good!
My happy place music! I’m generally a fan of The Beatle’s later albums. The earlier, screaming girls, black and white films with McCartney’s daily daydreaming lyrics – not so much. I imagine cockroaches will be painting to The Beatles long after we are gone.