Friday Mixtape: Molly Fairhurst's mix for illustrators having a fight with the page

12 January 2018

This week’s mixtape is a playlist full of jittery and joyful songs to draw to by illustrator Molly Fairhurst.

Since we were introduced to Molly’s work as one of our It’s Nice That Graduates we’ve been sneakily spying on her excellent music taste, so it is no surprise that this mixtape is a real treat. Over to Molly!

Why have you picked these songs?

I’m always trying to make pictures that feel as close to dancing as I can. So while this isn’t a mix of dance music, I made a selection of songs full of movement and jitteriness that I hope will translate to the page – it’s frequently the kind of thing I’ll be listening to, but very condensed. What’s in my ears, chewed down. I call it Ten Songs For Shaking.

When or where should this mixtape be listened to?

Before and during a fight (with the page).

Are there certain albums you listen to during the different parts of your creative process?

Not specifically! Just whatever feeds the motion of the piece, and/or what I’m into at the time. Something you can feel a movement in for sure. My big big go to is Warpaint. Softer, smooth sounds like Beach House, Toro Y Moi and Yasuaki Shimizu’s Kakashi are always reliable. 

But right now I’m drawing something skittish and jittery, so I listen to things a bit like this playlist – Minutemen and Diagram Brothers, some of The Fall, scratchier Parquet Courts… Yikes, a lot of yelling men. But that gets me too wired and I’ll have to sit down and a have a brew and listen to Pavement or something. That’s my current cycle. If you catch me jittering down the street that’s why. 

What records did you listen to when you were a teenager?

Funny you should ask, because I was brutally shy about talking about music when I was younger. Like a lot of British teens in 2008 I was big into the indie/ nu-rave music of the time, your Pigeon Detectives, Arctic Monkeys, Killers… your Klaxons, CSS, Ladyhawke, the Kitsuné Maison gang… Somehow I missed out on emo which I’m actually quite sad about, retrospectively. I think that’s the reason I started listening to Sonic Youth now at the age of 22.

I was also getting deep into what I describe as ethereal electronic women… big love for Bat For Lashes, Goldfrapp and I think I cottoned on to Fever Ray, The Knife and iamamiwhoami when I was about 16. I was and continue to be down for anyone dancing around in the woods. I remember when my dad showed me the video for Bat For Lashes’ What’s A Girl To Do, the one with Natasha Khan cycling down a country road in the middle of the night followed by some animal masked hoodie bikers. That was a pivotal moment in my musical and visual taste making for sure. Life changing.

If a feature film about your life was to be made, what song would be on the trailer?

Bizarre Love Triangle by New Order. There’s something about the chord progressions that feels melancholy but always looking forward, like the ideal anime theme song. Bizarre Love Triangle is my anime theme song? Yeah! Maybe it’s more of a closing credit?

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About the Author

Lucy Bourton

Lucy (she/her) joined It’s Nice That as a staff writer in July 2016 after graduating from Chelsea College of Art. In January 2019 she was made deputy editor and in November 2021, became a senior editor predominantly working on It’s Nice That's partnerships. Feel free to get in contact with Lucy about creative projects for the site or potential partnerships.

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