What’s This Playlist All About? Danish singer/songwriter Agnes Obel compiles a mix of songs she’s had on regular rotation, many of which likely inspired some of the gorgeous sounds from her 2020 album Myopia.
What You Get: A taste of Obel’s own moody, multilayered, piano-punctuated arrangements (such as the haunting, aptly titled “Island of Doom”), alongside notable tracks from icons as disparate as Nina Simone, David Bowie, Philip Glass, and Scott Walker. Several of her selections dive deep into dark, dreamy spaces, like Cocteau Twins’ angelic “Ivo,” Joanna Brouk’s glistening “The Space Between,” and Björk’s otherworldly “Black Lake.” Elsewhere, Obel, a classically trained pianist, invites us into the magical worlds of exotica pioneer Les Baxter and jazz legend Alice Coltrane.
Greatest Discovery: Lhasa De Sela’s smoky, rhythmic “My Name,” which builds tension— slowly and sensually—without ever letting go.
Biggest Surprise: Track No. 2 on the list, right after Obel’s “Broken Sleep”—a pensive, symphonic piece that seems to exist in some gravityless plane—is one of Rihanna’s many megahits, “Love On The Brain,” a saucy, swinging doo-wop ballad that hits right at the gut.