Music has charms to soothe a savage beast. And get a creative team firing on all cylinders, too, but that’s not really the stuff of eloquent quotes, so you probably don’t hear about it as often. Nonetheless, our tunes play a pretty big role in keeping the OTM team on our grind, whether it’s listened to from the confines of headphones or bumping from our ever-evolving office Spotify playlist.
We culled our playlist for some of our favorite creativity-boosting tracks, and, in the process, realized that the team has radically different music tastes. Take a listen to the playlist on Spotify and read what OTM team members had to say about their songs (or podcasts).
“Walking on a Dream” – Empire of the Sun
I love music and I am obsessed with Spotify playlists (Soak Up the Sun, Chill Vibes, Daily Lift, Country Gold and All Out 80s are some of my favorites… you know, just to name a few). My interests in music span genres and decades, so this was a really hard choice, but to be perfectly honest – most of my favorite at-work jams are highly inappropriate for the workplace (Warren G, anyone?) so I opted for a lightweight alternative rock pick that keeps me standing at my standing desk when I’d rather be sitting and singing through the workday (good thing Miles bought everyone noise cancelling Bose headphones).
“Steady as She Goes” – The Raconteurs
Do I have an unhealthy obsession with Jack White? No. Is this a ploy for my name and his to be somewhere on the internet together? Possibly. In all seriousness, whenever I am lacking creativity I will turn on a Jack White song or anything by the Foo Fighters. Perhaps it’s the loud rock sounds that help drown out the murmurs around the office that puts me in the right headspace. The lyrics are nice, the song is just cool and badass which is how we want all of our campaigns to be.
“This Is How We Do It” – Montel Jordan
I can’t help but get up and move when Montell Jordan starts playing which helps my brainstorming process. Anytime a throwback song hits the radio I get more creative with my problem solving. I love all hip hop and rap but 90’s hip hop is where it’s at for me when I need to break through creatively!
“Finally Moving” – Pretty Lights
I like listening to a lot of different kinds of music, but when I want to get in my zone, I go for Pretty Lights. Pretty much anything off Taking Up Your Precious Time will work, but I had to go with “Finally Moving,” because it’s got the perfect blend of digital sounds and organic instruments – a metaphor for OTM, if ever there was a one – and, really, it’s just a great song.
“Just a Dream” – Nelly
Kerrie might not want to put her Warren G onto this playlist, but that’s not going to stop me from dropping one of my all-time go-to artists on it. There’s always been something about Nelly that I love. Maybe it’s his voice? His beats? I don’t know. Maybe I just like being reminded of all the great summer times I had listening to him.
“My Curse” – Killswitch Engage
If I’m going to drop on headphones and tune out the rest of the office, I want music that’s loud enough to actually tune out the rest of the office and is the kind of thing that gets me pumped. I love metal when I’m working out and working on code, and Killswitch is one of my favorite bands.
“Oops! … I Did It Again!” – Britney Spears
Actually, I totally forgot to respond to this email before I went home, so Matt and Mollie just picked this out and then wrote about it for me. I have the coolest coworkers around, but my hypothetical musical preferences are kind of sad.
“Albatross” – Public Image Ltd.
I’m not really the kind of dude who puts songs on repeat, but I will occasionally turn to single-track repeats “Albatross” when I want to get on my grind. Yes, it helps that it’s like 11 minutes long, but there’s just something amazing about Jah Wobble’s hypnotic, unrelentingly repetitive bass line that gets me moving. Do I even need to mention his tone? It’s impossibly low and rubbery and dominating and everything a a bass should sound like.
99% Invisible, Episode #83 – “Heyoon”
Instead of a song, I chose a podcast called 99% Invisible. It’s about the origin and evolution of design we go throughout life barely noticing. They have made episodes about the sound of sports, the pound sign (# or octothorpe), flag design and revolving doors. It’s nearly impossible for me to select just one episode, but the one I find myself going back to all the time is Episode #83 – Heyoon. I think one of the reasons I’m drawn to this one because it takes place in a city I’ve visited a number of times, Ann Arbor, Michigan, which is and only a couple hours from my hometown. There are illustrations on the 99% Invisible site that I love. The subject of the tale is entranced by this pavilion throughout his life and as an adult decides to try to find out more about it. They don’t tell you where it is located the podcast, but internet detectives have found it and now you can find actual images and the location on Google Maps.
Illustrations are here.
Google map location of the pavilion is here.
Some of my other favorites episodes are:
- #143 – Inflatable Men (The blow-up tube guys in front of car dealerships, etc.)
- #103 – UTBAPH (Used To Be A Pizza Hut)
- #06 – 99% Symbolic (Flag Design)
- #238 – NBC Chimes
- #145 – Octothorpe
- #219 – Unpleasant Design
- #75 – Secret Staircases
- #156 – Coin Check