“Listen In” is a weekly feature in which we ask musicians to curate a mixtape-length YouTube playlist of songs they’re currently digging. Click the big play button above to hear the whole playlist or scroll down to see and hear individual tracks.
Listening to Brooklyn’s Jordan Lee who makes music as Mutual Benefit, is like waking up on a beautiful morning in the countryside. His songs grow organically, enveloping you in a warmly solitary feeling, like a secret that’s too good to share. The playlist Lee made for ANIMAL produces a similarly tranquil state, and introduces us to some pretty deep cuts that are nonetheless strangely familiar: a tune from an obscure 1950’s Chinese musical, a song by the first modern Mauritanian band among several other African tracks, including Alhaji Bai Konte, who may have been the first kora player to visit the U.S. No matter where you’re listening, this little mix will feel like a corner of the universe all your own.
“Forever,” Pete Drake, 1964
“I Am Controlled By Your Love,” Helene Smith, 1967
“La Mone,” L’Orchestre National de Mauritanie, 1973
“Amerindia,” Awatiñas, 1994
“Songs of Fishermen,” Calendar Girl Soundtrack, 1959
“Tenkou Why Feel Sorry,” Emahoy, 2005
“Alla L’aa Ke,” Alhaji Bai Konte, 2003
“The Sing,” Bill Callahan, 2013
“Peace On Earth,” Lucky Dragons, 2013