Given Trevor Sensor’s sincere songwriting and weathered voice, it’s no surprise that his Talkhouse Weekend Playlist features the warm, folk-tinged tones of artists like Towns Van Zandt and Sufjan Stevens. But Sensor doesn’t stop there, including tracks from the world of 1950s jazz, electronic photography music, and innovative hip-hop from major players like Kanye West and David Bowie. Check out what Trevor Sensor has been listening to lately, and if you’re in New York, catch him at Baby’s All Right tonight (June 17) with the Staves.
— Dave Lucas (Twiga), Talkhouse marketing manager
Typhoon — “Artificial Light”
I discovered Typhoon when I was in high school. Friends and I would drive around our desolate small town during the summer and listen to their A New Kind of House EP all the time. So when I first heard this song off their latest record, White Lighter, I was completely blown away. Kyle Morton is such an underrated songwriter and really knows how to connect to the human condition.
Sujan Stevens — “Should’ve Known Better”
Easily the best song off the best record of 2015. Carrie & Lowell is the type of album every songwriter wishes they could write—the type of honesty and pain it professes. The problem is I don’t know or understand the type of personal turmoil someone has to go through to write those kinds of songs. We should just respect that burden, not wish for it just to get that artistic result. What kind of maxim is that?
Sam Amidon — “I Wish I Wish”
Been a fan of Sam since his record, I See the Sign (circa 2010). Sam Amidon seems to be both reinventing the American songbook while adding on to it at the same time. I’d first heard this song through Uncle Tupelo, but Sam’s version is so brilliant. Love the jazz vibe he adds to this. As Pete Seeger said, we’re all just adding on to this tradition, this chain of songs and adding our own voice to all these recycled chords and melodies. Sam is really dedicated to that, I think. I respect him for it.
David Bowie — “Girl Loves Me”
I knew a couple people who were really depressed by Bowie’s death. His last album, Blackstar, is a fantastic piece of work to go out on, and this is my favorite track from it. Hip-hop has been one of the most innovative genres in music in recent years, and Bowie was able to harness that and make one hell of a piece of music out of that influence. I daydream about screaming this song to large crowds on English hilltops.
Kanye West — “Ultralight Beam”
Going off that whole “innovative hip-hop” thing, Kanye’s the king. If the guy knows how to do anything, it’s he knows how to make each individual song its own thing. So each of his albums has worlds within the world that is the album. I like that about his work.
Tom Waits — “Frank’s Wild Years”
Tom Waits is by far my favorite songwriter. The guy is pure originality and really embodies American music, which I think is missing from a lot of popular music today (the American roots). This little diddy is fantastic. Everyone should look up his performance of it on Letterman from ’83 or so–takes you to another world. An American saint playing Halloween music and covered in glitter.
Chet Baker — “I Fall in Love too Easily”
Through Kerouac’s writing, I was introduced to a lot of jazz players and singers. Along with Charlie Parker, Chet Baker really stood out to me. He has this romanticism about him and was able to make his voice sound just like his trumpet (or perhaps vice versa). Tough to pick a favorite of his, but I really relate to this one. It speaks to me.
Tycho — “Montana”
A friend got me into Tycho in college. Great chill music, photography music. Music you listen to out in the wilderness or the canyons somewhere
Sigur Rós — “Inní mér syngur vitleysingur”
The same friend got me into Sigur Rós around the same time I got into Tycho. This one’s indescribable for me. I listened to it all the time this past winter while walking to class. Kept my bones warm from the Midwest cold
Townes Van Zandt — “If I Needed You”
This is one of my drinking songs. It’s everybody’s drinking song.
(Photo credit: Katie Hovland)