The other week, I went over to a girlfriend’s house for a glass of wine, and she was playing classical music throughout her house the entire time we were there. At some point, I must have mentioned it, and she shared that she, her three siblings, and her parents have the same channel — Classic FM Nederland — playing at all times in their respective homes. (They are Dutch.) She’ll sometimes be on a call with her brother or mom and hear an echo of the music in her own home across the line!
How sweet is that?
I loved both the shared tradition (“it’s just the way it’s done,” was her shrugging reply) and the way it binds her, temporally, with her loved ones, even if they’re spread across the globe.
Do you have house music you keep on at all times? What is it, and why?
We were spoiled by our first home, which was wired for Sonos speakers in nearly every room. I loved the way I could drift from the kitchen to our primary bedroom to the family room and hear the same thing: we were enveloped in music. It was a killer way to set a mood. In our new home, we use Apple HomePods to achieve a somewhat similar effect (you can snyc what’s playing across any Apple device), but regardless of technical set-up, we have rarely in our married life together gone more than an hour or two without music on. Our house music is decidedly less consistent than my girlfriend’s, though we do group music by time of day.
Morning music is old Bonnie Raitt (her first few albums are incredible), Fleetwood Mac, John Mayer (I know he is triggering for some people but I find him to be one of the most clever lyricists of our time), classical piano (Chopin and Beethoven especially), orchestral music (the children like The Four Seasons and Beethoven’s Fifth because they have books about those symphonies, but we will also play Peter and the Wolf and The Nutcracker during the month of December), and — when the children are really in a funk — meditation sounds, with the intended purpose of calming.
Midday music is often balladic country. I love Kacey Musgraves and am having a major dalliance with Miranda Lambert’s Palomino and Marfa Tapes albums, but we also adore Willie Nelson, Sturgill Simpson, Tim McGraw, Randy Travis. And I live for the old Chicks albums. Sometimes we’ll play Toots and the Maytals if we’re in a chill/happy mood or Brandy Carlile if we’re in our feelings.
Evening music is a tale of two personalities: we are either heavy into pop or ease on by with jazzy classics. On the pop front, we love listening to full albums, end to end, as arranged on the album itself, by a particular artist. We’ve been into Carly Rae Jepsen’s most recent album, “The Loneliest Time,” Harry Styles’ “Harry’s House” (ofc), and we absolutely never tire of Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic” album or his collaborative album with Anderson Paak, “An Evening with Silk Sonic” during the pre-dinner/dinner hours. But we will also infinity play off of current favorite singles (Miley Cyrus’ “Flowers,” Adele’s “I Drink Wine”) and songs we just can’t quit (we love Dua Lipa’s “The One” song). And then there’s the whole category of “old pop.” Our children have been on a major Michael Jackson kick lately, so there’s a lot of that, and sometimes we like to listen to 90s hip hop or pop.
If we’re going with a jazzy evening vibe, it’s Frank Sinatra or Tony Bennett, and I think I probably hold a world record for listening to Tony’s “The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern” album. It’s more piano bar than “old standards,” which is my preference. I discovered it during the depths of the pandemic in NYC and have still not tired of it — it’s like a warm, soothing blanket.
Car music is a whole other beast, and also dependent on time of day and mood. Mr. Magpie has even more eclectic music tastes than I do, and he’ll play everything from Stromae to Surfaces to Nirvana to Weezer to Jacques Brel to MorMor. It’s always a wild ride.
How about you? What’s your house music?
+A playlist for chores.
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