We’re longtime fans of Texan artist Bradley Kerl. His still lifes are little portals into his own life, gathering bits and bobs together, and there’s always a bunch of calming plants featured too. A couple of weeks ago we published an interview with Parquet Courts’ A.Savage where the artist and musician told us that coincidentally he and Bradley were old pals, they studied painting together and were even a band for a number of years called Teenage Cool Kids.
Now “in the know” that Bradley has a long-term history with music we asked him to curate a mix for us this week and he did not disappoint! Over to the man himself.
It’s Nice That: Why have you picked these songs?
Bradley Kerl: Here in Houston, it’s already starting to get really hot (like 90+ degrees), so I’ve got the impending drag of summer on my mind. This mixtape is all about nostalgia and/or that good old-fashioned summer feeling. I’m calling it ‘Gold Sounds,’ after the Pavement song of a similar name.
A lot of these songs remind me of days gone by – aimlessly riding my bicycle around during the summer break as a kid, long drives in my rock band touring days, hazy golden afternoons at the beach – and they make me feel a bit happy and a bit sad at the same time.
INT: When or where should this mixtape be listened to?
BK: Listen to this mixtape after a long day in the sun. Ideally, you should be sun-drained or maybe just a little bit drunk. Either way, these songs will help ease you into the evening hours.
INT: Are there certain albums you listen to during the different parts of your creative process?
BK: What I’m listening to in the studio varies greatly depending on what I’m working on, my mood, the weather, etc. Typically, I’ll switch the radio on straight away and listen to a bit of news, which hasn’t been the best way to start the day lately. As I’m segueing into painting, I’ll put on something that’ll get my energy up and in a positive direction, before settling into a long playlist so that I don’t have to think about too much. It’s all about getting into the zone.
In heavy rotation lately: the new Amen Dunes, Bonny Dune, Gun Outfit, Yo La Tengo, and Parquet Courts.
INT: What records did you listen to as a teenager?
BK: The most memorable records from my formative teenage years that have stuck with me (and aren’t completely embarrassing are: Radiohead’s Kid A, Pinkerton by Weezer, Frame & Canvas by Braid, The Microphones’ The Glow pt.2 and Something to Write Home About. Pretty typical stuff really.
INT: If a feature film about your life was to be made, what song would be on the trailer and why?
BK: This is a really tough question, _but _I’m going to go BIG and say A Day In The Life by a band called The Beatles. I have no idea what a film about my life would look like, so in a practical sense, I would want the filmmakers to have as many options as possible, and this song has it all –– guitar, piano, orchestration, cacophony, John _and_ Paul, plus that weird thing at the end. Also, can you imagine how much it would cost to get the publishing rights?
About the Author
Lucy joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in July 2016 after graduating from Chelsea College of Art. In October 2016 she became a staff writer on the editorial team and in January 2019 was made It’s Nice That’s deputy editor. Feel free to get in contact with Lucy about new and upcoming creative projects or editorial ideas for the site.