I need to break up with my AirPods. As someone who promotes slowing down, deep listening, and paying attention, I’m embarrassingly bad at being present. I’m plugged in at all hours of the day during this pandemic. I know I’m not alone in this — we’re all dealing with fraught attention spans — but for me, my AirPods are a coping mechanism for the constant noise and stimulation in my house. In the past, I used to work for hours in silence. It was a much-needed reprieve from the chaos of daily life with two young children. Now, to concentrate on work, I have to drown out the noise with more noise. I listen to music, podcasts, audiobooks, the sound of rain — anything to help me escape. I’d hoped it was going to be a temporary fix, but who knows how long this pandemic is going to last. I’m co-dependent on my AirPods; I have them on all the time. I’m actually getting sore ears from wearing them so much, but they get me through my long days. They’re how I’m able to share these “Listen Lists” with you. They feed my curiosity and help me fall asleep at night. Maybe when life returns to a more “normal” state, I’ll be able to tell my AirPods we need a break, but for now, I’m resolved to the fact that they’re just one of the many bad habits I’ve formed since being locked in my house for a year.
I have to admit, hearing of the Cloud Appreciation Society, I felt a little put off. It sounded corny. But then, when I thought about it, it’s actually right up my alley. I’m always gazing at the sky — bugging those around me to look up! It’s surprising how many people go throughout their day without really looking at the beautiful things around them. It turns out, the writer of this article had a similar experience writing this story. In the end, he realized that appreciating things that make us wonder and fill us with delight isn’t a hippie-dippie thing to do; it actually makes us more empathetic human beings — which is something our society needs.
Zadie Smith never fails to amaze me with her quick wit and radical honesty. I enjoyed this conversation — especially the Q&A with the audience at the end.
Most of my work consists of reading and writing, which means I can’t listen to music with words, but music without words helps me tune out the plethora of noises in my house. This album is so simple and beautiful; I highly recommend it. It’s also on my Background Noise playlist.
I’ve been really into the dreamy sonic sounds of Infinite Bisous. Rory’s vibe is part-indie, part-deep listening, part-soft-rock techno (is that a thing?).
I’m obsessed with Brittany Howard! She was incredible in Alabama Shakes, but I’m particularly fond of her new solo work.
Oh my goodness — this song gives me the chills. I adore the paired back, folksy sound.
The number of times this song has been in movies had turned it sour for me, but I was recently listening to a Sade playlist, and when it came on, I was reminded of why it’s so popular — it’s romantic as hell, and I think we could all use a little more romance these days.