As opposed to our favorite songs, or songs we'd like to think define our listening habits, taking a look at what a person actually listens to can be far more revealing. With that in mind, every week we ask an artist to take a look at the most-played songs in their iTunes libraries and share with us the results. We do this on the honor system, and we ask our subjects to share a few words about each song.
Five years stand between Becky Stark's indie-folk group Lavender Diamond's debut release Imagine Our Love and September's Incorruptible Heart, but the half decade hasn't been without its milestones. Stark has been steadily adding her heavenly vocals to projects with John C. Reilly and She and Him, while meantime her band jumped labels from indie heavyweight Matador to OK Go imprint Paracadute, whose founder Damian Kulash produced the new effort. Incorruptible Heart is a dreamy work of moving pop anthems preciously fitted to Stark's gently soaring voice which draws comparisons to Julee Cruise and Beth Gibbons. As Stark shares with us here, her vocal style and inspiration draws on the tunes and artists in regular rotation on her iTunes.
Lavender Diamond play the Sunset this Thursday (12/13).
"Be Brave," My Brightest Diamond: I listened to this song about a thousand times in a row when Shara Worden first sent it to me. It makes me feel--well--brave! Especially when I'm not feeling that way. It has courage in it!
"You're All I Need to Get," Tami Terrell and Marvin Gaye: I love the harmony in this song! And such a sweet and strong feeling of togetherness. This song always makes me feel so uplifted.
"Cry to Me," Solomon Burke: Sometimes I just can't stop listening to the song, it is such good medicine! Perfect for turning from blue to sexy.
"How to Keep Your Heart Hate Free," The Finches: This song I could listen to forever. When I first heard it I didn't want to listen to any other song. I made up a harmony part and would sing it as a duet. Such a beautiful meditation!
"No Moon at All," Nana Mouskouri: This song is so beautiful and Nana Mouskouri has the most sublime voice. It's a song that my sister Sarah loves and she and I can both listen to it over and over.
"It Must Be True Love," Toots & the Maytals: Damian Kulash first played this song for me and it is such a perfectly blissful song. It's just incredible when a song can have the simple love magic in it! I could listen to this song a million times!
"Salt Truck," Eleni Mandell: I love this song so much! Me and my friend Mandy will listen to it again and again and sing it together. It's such a beautiful metaphor and prayer for a clear path.