What’s Your Favorite Song to Wake Up to?

Themes and Variation
Themes and Variation

Whether you consider yourself a morning person or not, the first thing you listen to can sometimes set the tone for the rest of your day. So what kind of song do you prefer to wake up to — something with a strong backbeat to shake you from your slumber or a tune with a gentle build to ease the way between dreams and reality?

For the latest episode of Themes and Variation, Mahea and I sat down with Sarah Galdes, an incredible drummer and musical artist to discuss some songs that are perfect ways to start the day.

Our song selections included a jazz arrangement of a beloved classical piece, a tune by a group I’ve been wanting to talk about since we started the podcast, and possibly the most ideal wake up song of them all. Along the way, we chatted about so much — from technology built for drummers to unexpected harmonic moments to the undeniable awesomeness of a well-placed hemiola.

Listen to Episode 33 in its entirety right here:

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Episode 33 Highlights

1. The panelists take a moment to appreciate Yukimi Nagano’s beautiful vocal performance style.

Carter: “Every note is just delivered so perfectly and flawlessly, and I just can’t say enough good things. Like, that’s the kind of voice I want to wake up to, absolutely!”

Mahea: “There are certain voices that have that intimacy to them… there’s almost like a humility in the performance.”

2. Mahea shares some of the research she did and the ultimately, ignored.

Mahea: “So, the song should build. If it has lyrics, it should have a positive meaning. And it should have a strong beat that potentially makes you want to dance, with an emphasis on [beats] two and four. And they even said that the tempo should be between 100 and 130 beats per minute. My song doesn’t fit like any of that.”

3. Sarah marvels at Bill Withers’ ability to sing a legendary note in a laidback way.

Sarah: “He’s just so chill and the chorus like lifts. It feels uplifting, but he’s just kind of… He hasn’t really lifted in energy. He’s kind of just holding this note and it’s so cool. He’s just not making it an event.”

Join Our Collaborative Playlist

Every other week, and with every episode of Themes and Variation, we launch a new collaborative Spotify playlist that includes the songs mentioned in the episode and more, which you can add to and enjoy. Here’s this week’s collaborative Spotify playlist!

We’ll see you in a couple weeks with a new theme, new guests, and some new songs to break down. If you have any comments, questions, or theme suggestions, drops us a (bass) line at [email protected]!

Jlin: Rhythm, Variation, & Vulnerability

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