In an exclusive playlist crafted for Local Spins, the Jammie Award-winning Grand Rapids electronic duo meshes contemporary synth gems with tracks by Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Bjork and Nick Cave.
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Even from its humble beginnings, the electronic music crafted by Pink Sky’s Ryan and Angelica Hay has commanded attention from listeners with its singularly contemplative and mesmerizing milieu, a quality that’s only grown in stature and appeal over the years.
The Grand Rapids duo won the 2020 Jammie Award from WYCE-FM for best electronic album for 2019’s “Meditations I & II,” then released “Meditations Reworked” featuring fetching, innovative remixes of its music by other electronic music artists.
For Local Spins’ Tuesday Playlist — amid a coronavirus crisis that seems to be winding down — Pink Sky has melded synth- and ambient-propelled tracks with surprising classics by Pink Floyd, Nick Cave, Bjork and Radiohead. They call it “A Loop in Self-Isolation.”
“It features 10 songs in heavy rotation the last two months,” the duo explained. “We’ve been listening to some of these songs for years, and others we just rediscovered in 2020.”
A LOOP IN SELF-ISOLATION: The Local Spins Playlist by Pink Sky
1. “Shine on You Crazy Diamond,” Pink Floyd (1975) – This is possibly our favorite song of all time. Everything about it is perfect, and we aspire to have this level of patience in writing our songs.
2. “Familiar,” Nils Frahm (2011) – This is a lovely song from the first Nils Frahm album we heard, and it was hugely influential on the start of Pink Sky. More than any other, this album inspired Ryan to start writing music again after his accident. We’d never heard anything like it.
3. “Sit Down, Stand Up,” Radiohead (2003) – This vibe strongly resonates with us, when it was released and maybe even more so now.
4. “Nocturne 4,” Ben Lukas Boysen (2016) – The patience and fullness of this song is remarkable. Boysen’s albums Gravity and Spells are both masterpieces that blend ambient music with contemporary piano and some of the most beautiful, haunting, perfectly heavy synths and drums.
5. “Tu Sei,” Ludovico Einaudi (2020) – Ludovico Einaudi is the most beautiful pianist we’ve ever heard. His simplicity, melodies, and chord changes can cause as many tears as they can chills of joy and awe. And this album is especially intimate and rewarding, as Einaudi invites us into his home during these troubling times.
6. “Pagan Poetry,” Bjork (2001) – Ryan heard this song and album for the first time this year and it blew his mind. He’s still recovering. We struggled to decide which song to choose because … Bjork.
7. “Bury Your Dreams,” Bronze Wolf (2020) – Bronze Wolf has inspired Pink Sky with his arrangements, tones, and visual aesthetic since before we had a name. This song represents all the best of Bronze Wolf.
8. “Eraser,” HVOB (2018) – A recent discovery that has hardly left rotation, we are in love with the tones and mix style. The patience and slow evolution of the song are incredible, and the vibe is the perfect catalyst for working out some dark energy while dancing around the house.
9. “Unfold,” Olafur Arnalds/SOHN (2018) – This song feels like a perfect, warm hug. Olafur Arnalds creates the most tender music that feels equally melancholic and optimistic, so full of pain and yet still so full of wonder.
10. “Sun Forest,” Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (2019) – Another recent discovery that really surprised and truly moved us. We’d never really listened to Nick Cave before, but this album left both of us in tears, something that hasn’t happened in years. It’s now well worn in and is easily on our fave-of-all-times list, and it’s still hard not to cry at how vulnerable and intimate and beautiful it is.
TUESDAY PLAYLIST: Pink Sky’s ‘A Loop in Self-Isolation’ on Spotify
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