You want the sound waves crashing inside your head, but you don’t know where to find that right mix of swerve, unreality, and the dusky wilderness of the soul. It’s ok, I do too, along with everyone else watching the summer fade past us beneath the light of Boyd’s illustrious designs.
When we see great creative works, we are necessarily inspired. Music and design underscore and inform each other. What would avant-garde décor be without future-seeking ambient sounds, or traditionalism without a blues scale, or mid-century modern without funkadelic grooves? Give me all please. Meanwhile, if you are looking for visual and audial inspiration for your summer adventures, here is the most current codex.
Electro-Sex Liquid LightSounds
Top Tracks – Waves, FLESH, Coffee (dude, all of them!)
If you haven’t heard Miguel’s new album, Wildheart, stop reading this and get on Spotify or download it on iTunes. If you need to dip a toe in first, wrap your ears around the track “Waves.” Sensuality, experimentation, surreality, a cacophony of otherworldy sounds sifting through funk, classic rock, R & B, and hip hop, this is future-soul at its weirdest and naughtiest. Think “Let’s Get it On” circa 2015. I thought that would sound blasphemous, but now that the words are out, it doesn’t read so.
Fiyel Levent, Alhambra Series
Top Styles – Table Lamp in Satin Brass (spin it 180 degrees and you’ve got a new design kids, ‘nuff said)
To cast light on the seductiveness of Wildheart, you’ll need Boyd Lighting’s latest, sultriest designs. The Alhambra Series mirrors Miguel’s latest with its kaleidoscope of influences: Islamic and Central Asian Architecture, post-modern materials, a design infused with classic, lacy, feminine delicacy. Fiyel Levent, the artist behind the Alhambra fixtures is herself a virtuoso across many media, paper goods, architectural screens, and of course, visionary lighting. Turn your table lamp on, lose yourself in the myriad shapes of the Alhambra’s polymer plates, turn up this record, and let the glowsounds fall all around you.
Future-World Starship GrooveBeams
Jamie xx, In Colour
Top Tracks – Loud Places, I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times), (again, all of them!)
If you’ve listened to the xx, you’ve had a taste of Britain’s best indiepop group. Distinctive production layered with emotive lyrics, the group’s quasi-producer preeminent soundmaker/spindoctor Jamie Smith has also ventured into the solo realm, and In Colour spares no corner of the auditory cortex. Dancehall, electronica, house, soul, trip hop sounds, this has it all in spades of every color. If you are new to the Jamie xx experience, get yourself started with “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)”, “Loud Places”, or “Far Nearer.” Whether gigging on the beach or watching landscapes float by, this is your soundtrack.
Windsor Smith, Solas Table Lamp
Top Styles – Blackened Brass, Base-Lit Only (we call this the neutron star…or I do at least)
Have you ever wondered what a table lamp would look like in the abodes of design aficionados in the year 3000? Go ahead and stop wondering, Windsor Smith’s vision beat you to it. Geometry meets ingenuity, lumens shine off of hexagonal brass plates, and components of the imagination take on their shape while considering the Solas Table Lamp’s place in the grand portrait of post-modern interior design. Speaking of the year 3000, Boyd Lighting’s top of the industry engineering makes millennia-old Table Lamps kind of plausible. The top draw here is Blackened Brass, top diffuser turned off, base lit only. New Year’s Eve 2999 kids, we’ll see you there.
Traditional Americana through the Handcrafted Looking Glass
Father John Misty, I Love You, Honeybear
Top Tracks – Chateau Lobby #4, Bored in the USA (say it with me folks, all of ‘em!)
Father John Misty has toured with Damien Jurado and drummed for Fleet Foxes, but he takes psychedelic folk music to a gnarly, cynical, and sweetly-sung land we haven’t seen since maybe Gene Clark (again we’re nearing the border of blasphemy but not crossing it). The sounds on Honeybear hearken back to traditional American folk, but look forward to modern American malaise. You can’t listen to this album without singing soulfully along, and then later wondering at the now-lovely now-disturbing lyrics. Josh Tillman (nom de actual of Father John Misty) has a pure, lilting voice, and his songwriting accompanies it well. If Chateau Lobby #4 doesn’t twang your heart, I don’t know what to tell you!
Alicia Cort, Marlowe Table Lamp
Top Styles – You want me to pick just one? Stop it. Okay, well I’ll narrow it down to two: Imperial Red, Satin Nickel, Jet Black with Gold Interior Shade, and give me that Dark Walnut, Satin Nickel and Warm White Silk Shade too, gotta have your morning and evening lighting.
Has any design ever brought to mind the combination of 1940’s Hollywood, Asian-Americana, high-luxury, and various Ancient Alien theories? Not a chance, and I’ll put money on it (just email me). The design of the metal cage itself is exceedingly unique, sharp angles, closed mazes and sections of a circle that echo Paleolithic creation myths. Beneath the breathtaking latticework you can select strikingly different wood finishes, Imperial Red for the Chinoiserie effect, Grey Cerused Oak for the understated nook overlooking the countryside, and Dark Walnut for sleek, modern interiors. Oooh, child. The many faces of the Marlowe, the dizzying array of Father John Misty’s lyrical adventures, yes, yes, YES!
No Fancy Lines, These Two Simply ROCK
Courtney Barnett, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
Top Tracks – Pedestrian at Best, Kim’s Caravan (…I wouldn’t be recommending these if every track wasn’t awesome!)
If you like Australian people, indie rock, and a musicality that has threads combining quirky, clever, heartwrenching, hilarious, and charming, then you need to be listening to Courtney Barnett. If you didn’t know better, you’d think her lyrics were freestyles. See the following last verse for Pedestrian at Best. “Erroneous, harmonious, I’m hardly sanctimonious/Dirty clothes, I suppose we all outgrow ourselves/I’m a fake, I’m a phoney, I’m awake, I’m alone/I’m homely, I’m a Scorpio.” If you want to try the brooding, beautiful side give Kim’s Caravan a listen, and ride a train.
Jamie Drake, Topanga Series
Top Styles – I’ll go with the Topanga Floor Lamp, Natural Maple and Satin Brass. Everyday.
You cannot have too much of a good thing. And the Topanga Series ventures to all genres in lighting, wall sconce, table lamp, chandelier, TWO TIER chandelier, floor lamp, Mothership laser. Okay, well Jamie’s still working on the last one, but forthcoming people! Boyd’s most recent launch, the Topanga Floor Lamp, shines the good light in interior spaces of all shapes and sizes. I personally enjoy the agility of this fixture. Rotate the central hub and move the lamp arm to the desired angle for your quiet reading area, chaotic office space, or secret Moon base operations room. It works in all of them, and did I mention the hub. Guys, you can get this in Peony Shagreen. PEONY! I’ll go ahead and pick up my previously dropped mic, dust it off, spout some Courtney Barnett lyrics, and drop it again. Peace.