Listen In: Liars Made You a Playlist

May 14, 2013 | Andy Cush

Listen In” is a weekly feature in which we ask musicians to curate a mixtape-length YouTube playlist of songs they’re currently digging.

After over a decade’s worth of music that ran the full spectrum of bad vibes–from “twitchy anxiety” to “slowly creeping dread”– Liars’ sixth album is at once their most welcoming and the largest step away from their oeuvre. More than ever, the band turns to the icy sound of electronic instruments, but rather than using them to alienate, Liars fully tap into the kind of openness and vulnerability that usually only show up once or twice per album.

Similarly, the band’s “Listen In” playlist embraces both electronic music’s potential to overwhelm and its unexpected human side. The artists here–Andy Stott, Hype Williams, the Knife–are the masters of this sort of thing, and provide a welcome window into what the band’s headspace might have been while writing and recording the masterful WIXIW. That is, until you get to the tracks selected by drummer Julian Gross, when the mix shifts into a stretch of perfectly palate-cleansing hard funk.

Click the big play button above to hear the whole playlist, and scroll down to see and play individual songs. Note that one of the band’s selections, Youth Code’s “What Is the Answer,” is not available on YouTube. It has been included as a Bandcamp embed below.

Angus Andrew’s selections:

Holly Herndon – Control And (2012)

Hype Williams – MITSUBISHI (2011)

Devendra Banhart – Your Fine Petting Duck (2013)

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – Julia’s Song (1980)

Aaron Hemphill’s selections

Silent Servant – The Strange Attractor (2012)

The Knife – Full of Fire (2013)

Andy Stott – Numb (2012)

Youth Code – What Is the Answer (2012)

Julian Gross’s selections:

Bobby Brown – My Prerogative (1988)

Le1f – Wut (2012)

The Meters – Cissy Strut (1969)

Herbie Hancock – Watermelon Man (1973)

(Mixtape art: Nate Cepis/ANIMALNewYork)