What’s This Playlist All About? The seasoned singer-songwriter is returning with his 11th studio album, Gold in a Brass Age, set to drop on March 8. To accompany the release, he’s posted this playlist of timeless gems, which he describes as “something bright and zesty to see us through as the days lengthen into Spring.”
What You Get: A blissed-out collection of acoustic wizardry and electronic ecstasy from a largely British crop of artists, including English folk legend John Martyn with “Over the Hill” and dream-pop pioneers Cocteau Twins with “Iceblink Luck.” In between, he gets a tad more global, with Nina Simone flipping Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne” on its head (according to Gray, who also says he digs her version’s “celebratory” spirit), and the Kronos Quartet with TV on the Radio’s Kyp Malone and Tunde Adebimpe taking on Fela Kuti’s rhythmic odyssey “Sorrow Tears + Blood.”
Greatest Discoveries: The folky-acoustic/dreamy-electronic blend of Brighton-based artist Birkwin Jersey, who kicks off the list with the hypnotic “Sixes & Nines,” and the glistening ambient world created by London-via-Adelaide artist Inch-time.
How Does This Reflect Gray’s Evolution as an Artist? On Gold in a Brass Age, expect Gray’s signature poignant songwriting, but intertwined with soft, supple electronic touches that make it all sound so very sweet and, well, fresh.