Lovely Recordings Hosted by Oliver Gerestein

Since my musical tastes are all over the map, it's only fitting that my list would reflect that. I've been very impressed by the diversity of tastes so far in the Lovely Recordings column and have felt compelled to contribute my own list. In keeping with the spirit of discovery, I hope everyone will find something new here to enjoy.

Conjure One (Nettwerk, 2002)
Delerium's Rhys Fulber has taken his etheral dream-pop and injected it with a Middle-East vibe to create this masterpiece of electronic pop. A mesmerizing album from start to finish. I often fool myself into thinking I can put this on as background music, but I keep getting drawn in to the point where I have to stop and listen.

Available from PonoMusic

The Flaming Lips: Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (Warner Bros., 2002)
This is the first album that I can really remember sitting down and actually listening to from start to finish, uninterrupted and without distraction. I've done a lot more active listening since then, but Yoshimi is still my favourite album of all time.

Available from HDtracks

Chilly Gonzales: Chambers (Gentle Threat, 2015)
Thanks go out to my friend Patrick for turning me on to Chilly's albums Solo Piano I and II, which can only be described as an odd mix of ambient and quirky. On Chambers, he adds the Kaiser string quartet into the mix. If and when I get a rustic winter cottage, this album will play on repeat, 24/7.

Available from Tidal

Kiasmos (Erased Tapes Records, 2014)
Another ambient electro album, this time from Iceland. The ambient-ness is occasionally punctuated by more intense, upbeat moments to keep things moving at a satisfying clip. Perfect for work or a chilled-out evening at home.

Available from Erased Tapes

Various: Frozen: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Walt Disney, 2013)
Just kidding!

Art Taylor: A.T.'s Delight (Blue Note, 1960)
Credit to this one goes to my friend and colleague Seb, who turned me on to this album when I was just getting into jazz. Although I've quite thoroughly explored the usual jazz suspects (Miles, Coltrane, Hancock, etc.) I find myself repeatedly drawn back to this one. Maybe it's the fact that it's not pretentious: it just says to me, stop thinking about jazz and just have fun listening.

Available from PonoMusic

The War on Drugs: Lost in the Dream (Secretly Canadian, 2014)
Maybe the most mainstream choice on my list, but I just can't get enough of this album. Late-summer evening road trip is what I think about every time it's playing.

Available from Tidal

The Wooden Sky: Every Child a Daughter, Every Moon a Sun (Imports, 2012)
Just when I felt I needed an antidote to the 'epic-folk' movement of the past five or so years, Every Child was the perfect palate cleanser. This album couples fantastic songwriting and a deft mix of electric and acoustic instruments, but they never go anywhere near overboard, keeping it sensible and intimate.

Available from Tidal

I'm a 35 year old aerospace engineer from Ottawa currently residing in Montreal, where I'm already getting ready for my annual pilgrimage to the Salon Son & Image. I got into audio in my early twenties, when local hifi dealer Omer Humayun (formerly of OZ Enterprises, now Unity Audio) lent me a Jolida tube integrated to take home. I bought a JD202 from him, along with a pair of Monitor Audio Silver S1s and haven't looked back since. Although I've upgraded everything except the Jolida, I have to say, my best upgrade in the past few years is a 9'x11' hand-woven Sarouk Mir Persian rug for the living room. Otherwise, I have two young kids so my quality listening time at home is, let's say, minimal, so I do most listening on a set of Grado SR80s at work.

Hope you enjoyed the list! Cheers and happy listening.

Share your Lovely Recordings with us!

deckeda's picture

Sometimes we just need to let our daughters suggest a title. I had only a very narrow window of appreciable influence over mine, it seems, by playing certain cuts on the stereo. And let me tell you, when the kids were born I did look forward to "educating" them on music.

Not so much. It's naive of course. A while back I offered to update her iPod. "No thanks, dad, I don't want any of that old man music."


It's interesting how kids pick up music today. Mine will come from school humming something because school buses today have car stereos on them. (The trick, when chaperoning a field trip, is to sit somewhere other than right underneath the roof-mounted 4" squawkers.) But it's cool to hear them all start signing when "their jam" comes on.

I'm familiar with a couple of these selections and you've given me more to consider. Thanks!

ogerestein's picture

Although I intended that pick to be more tongue-in-cheek than anything else, I agree with your comment about keeping an open mind about new sources of musical discovery and hoping that our kids will do the same! I have two young girls and also hope to transmit my love and knowledge of music down to them, but, like with so many other things, we do what we can and then let them develop their own interests and tastes...

deckeda's picture

Although that would be interesting as well.

jrhud's picture

Always enjoy discovering new music and you have given a few new ones to check out.

garysi's picture

Thank you Oliver, for the list. I hadn't listened to Yoshimi in a few years, but after seeing it on your list I pulled out my DVD-A 5.1 copy and popped it in. The everything but the kitchen sink surround mix is still dizzyingly lovely. If you have a chance to find a copy, one listen to Do You Realize, with the mix literally swirling around your head reminded me of how much fun the Lips must have had making this record.

ogerestein's picture

I also have Yoshimi on DVD-A, and I completely agree, it's a trippy experience! When I got it I was already very familiar with the stereo mix, so the differences with the multichannel were even more obvious. Both versions are great.

lestes's picture

If you get a chance, go see them in concert. I don't know of another band that has more fun on sage and pulls the audience into it.

Nice list. Looking forward to cuing each up for a listen.

ogerestein's picture

I have seen them live twice, although once was at a festival so not quite the same experience as the full show. It's a complete circus, unlike any other show I've ever seen! I'm very much looking forward to their next visit to Montreal.

garysi's picture

It is unlike anything you have seen, and it is all low budget and put together by Wayne, friends, and street teams they recruit along the way. It is so much fun and they draw you in so well, it is an epic religious experience. You must see them in a full show to appreciate it. Love them.