Foxy Digitalis Mix Season 3, #31: Nick Norton

Nick Norton’s new album (out today!), Music For Sunsets, is an expansive sonic treat. There is so much thought and craft in each of these 12 tracks, it’s hard to believe this is only his debut. This music is a space Norton created and used to process and accept a life-altering diagnosis in 2020. Within these lively ambient soundscapes, moments are held with care, and the inward searching becomes a beautiful sonic glow. It’s a wonderful record, and the same spirit and care are woven into this excellent mix (also, bonus points for anyone who includes Jürgen Müller in a Foxy Digitalis mix for obvious reasons!).

Listen to Music For Sunsets and pick up a copy HERE.

Here’s what Nick says about it:

As an artist, making a playlist is a sacred duty to be taken very seriously. You’re creating a context for music that you (hopefully) care about. There’s an inherent beginning-to-end narrative to pay attention to, and the structure and transitions have to make sense and be compelling. It’s extremely similar to composing music, but you’re composing a listening experience out of pre-composed elements. A lot of times a track you really love doesn’t make the cut because you can’t find a way to transition in and out of it that makes musical sense. I often like to challenge myself by picking two seemingly disparate tracks and then finding a way to get from point A to point B that feels natural.

All that said, I’ve always wanted to make a playlist for a cool music site like this, and since I do have an album coming out soon I thought the tracks on said playlist should have something to do with it. I went for somewhat autobiographical bookends, since the album is somewhat autobiographical, and then filled in the middle with music that’s either been a direct and heavy influence on me over the years, or that had vibes that I’m hoping to evoke with my own stuff. Starting with Refused, particularly with a track that starts out in hardcore and then goes ten million other places to end up in electronic music land, sure feels like what happened to me when I transitioned from playing punk and hardcore to composing in a sort of post-genre way, and Shape of Punk To Come is to this day probably the most important record for my figuring out what I wanted to do as a musician. There’s some of your traditional deep-cut and music-by-your-friends stuff that every playlist should have to make it personal, and then some better-known material that led me deeper into certain types of music. I don’t think I’d have started getting into synths and programming beats when I did if it hadn’t been for Give Up, for instance, even though everyone knows that record. Getting from Refused to Jimmy Buffett was pretty difficult, but Buffett was a huge influence on me as a teenager (I spent summers on Catalina Island, where we’d essentially play him all day, and I kept a signed picture up in my dorm room), and he just passed away a couple of days ago so I have been revisiting a lot of his stuff and wanted to pay tribute. I’m trying to get my life to somewhere near his 50 percent fun, 50 percent work recommendation, and think escapism and irreverence are really important for keeping your head on straight while the planet is disintegrating around us, and I’m approaching forty, so it made sense to close with that song.


Tracklist:

Refused – Worms of the Senses / Faculties of the Skull
Phong Tran – Party Quest
Jürgen Müller (aka Norm Chambers) – Meeresbett Meditation
of Montreal – The Past is a Grotesque Animal
Patrick Shiroishi – There Is No Moment In Which They Are Not With Me
Broken Social Scene – All to All
Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker
Little Simz – X
Stan Getz / João Gilberto / Astrud Gilberto / Antonio Carlos Jobin – Corcovado (Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars)
Universed – Milk Man
Dustin Wong – Janus Juggles
The Postal Service – Nothing Better
Stars – He Lied About Death
Julia Holter – This Is a True Heart
Dan Deacon – My Friend
The Beach Boys – Kokomo
Jimmy Buffett – A Pirate Looks at Forty


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