Sondre Lerche’s ‘Patient Music for Impatient Times’ Playlist
"Music can't solve every problem, but it can strengthen, elevate and focus our minds when we need it the most"
With everyone sequestered and self-quarantining due to the coronavirus, we’ve asked our favorite artists to come up with playlists that keep you entertained. Here’s Sondre Lerche:
Musically speaking, I feel well-prepared for the wild times we are all coming to grips with right now. I’ve been immersed in soothing sounds for the past few years while taking some years off from touring to finish Patience, my upcoming album. I’ve been writing, running and listening to mostly ambient and minimalist music. The kind that allows you to think of nothing, or everything, depending on what you’re in need of. I call it patient music.
Music can’t solve every problem, but it can strengthen, elevate and focus our minds when we need it the most. It serves the part of us that we sometimes lose sight of, reminding us of who we really are, or want to be more often. Since I was very young, music has threatened to take over my whole identity. Music is my safe space. When I make music I don’t heed any needs that are not my own. When I listen, I want the whole world to be able to feel the way I am made to feel. That is, of course, impossible — we all hear the world differently, as we should. But I wanted to share some soothing, patient music for impatient times. These pieces have proven helpful to me, maybe there’s something here for you too.
Please stay safe and empathic out there.
Love and patience,
“Febril” – Gilberto Gil
The best of both worlds, bossanova and ambient.
“The Noose of Jah City” – King Krule
This song has soundtracked some of my most treasured memories.
“The Kiss” – Judee Sill
Way up there in the pantheon of the most beautiful songs ever written.
“Like A Family” – Haruomi Hosono
The entire Shoplifters soundtrack was a revelation to me when I saw that film.
“Night Ride Home” – Joni Mitchell
This song really opened up all of Joni’s work to me, when I needed soothing a few years back.
“Bismillahi ‘Rrahmani ‘Rrahim” – Harold Budd
This song is a great place to be, a huge inspiration on Patience.
“Up North” – Catherine Howe
When I first found it, I listened to this song on repeat for hours, walking around Brooklyn, solving a puzzle.
“Nascente” – Milton Nascimento
This song has been on my inspiration mix for twenty years. I’m finally getting closer to this feeling.
“Sunset Village” – Beverly Glenn-Copeland
A masterclass in serenity.
“Better Lull Bear” – Sean O’Hagan
Played this every morning, all fall, while cooking oatmeal. Sean’s an inspiration and a friend.
“Love Comes Back” – Arthur Russell
This man was music in every shape and form. Great, simple words of empathy: “being sad is not a crime”.
“Grains Of Sand” – Louis Cole
My generation’s Todd Rundgren is a master of little songs like this.
“Hare Jaya Jaya Rama II” – Laraaji
Sometimes the algorithms get everything right, like when this song came on after Laurie Anderson.
“bless ur heart” – serpentwithfeet
A modern standard.
“Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet” – Gavin Bryars
First time I heard this it made me cry, now it brings me comfort.
“You Are Not Who I Thought I Was” – Sondre Lerche
Sometimes it feels great to write a feel-good song about mercilessly self-examining yourself