I am so thrilled to finally be posting this story. Amy has a started a ‘Playlist’ series that will run each Wednesday. We’ll ask people what they listen to while they work and offer up their ultimate playlists. We’d love to hear from you. What are you listening to? Cerentha
Writer Nichole Robertson has a thing for Paris—and fortunately for us, she documents her busy life shuttling between the City of Lights and her permanent home near NYC over at Little Brown Pen. Between crafting ad copy for brands like Amala Skincare, Espirit, and Real Simple, running a popular etsy shop all from her home office and running after two young sons, we asked her to whip up a cup of coffee (lots of cream; just a pinch of sugar), crank up the tunes, and tell us how music inspires her work.
What do you listen to while you work? Most days, it’s either the Smiths, Jeff Buckley, or Camera Obscura. I’ve been an obsessed Smiths fan since I was in high school. I never tire of Morissey’s delicious whining.
How do you listen? I do pretty much everything on the computer (I often wonder if there is an invisible chain), so usually it’s iTunes. I share a home office with my husband, Evan (who also works from home as a business development consultant) so sometimes he plays music through his super cool music geek speakers. My only beef is that they are not white, which violates my anal monochromatic office theme.
Do you have any favorite music websites/providers? I was obsessed with Pandora when it first came out. Since I rarely step out of my musical comfort zone (exhibit a: same favorite band since high school), Pandora is a way to break me out of my shell a bit. I’ve yet to commit to any of the songs or bands, but it’s nice to be able to maintain a consistent musical vibe throughout the day.
Does music influence your work? Do you have an example? Funny, but as I was pulling together a collection of gray photos I took in Paris, my husband noted that Morrissey would approve. I was listening to Girlfriend in a Coma. When I’m working, I rarely listen to newly released music. Most of it is at least 5 years old, and this is sometimes embarrassing.
Where do you find recommendations? Who influences your musical taste? My husband is also a guitarist, and has played in various bands in an NYC since he was 16 (his current band is called The Petersons). He has very strong opinions about good music, and when I do branch out of my tightly edited favorites, he’s usually responsible. He introduced me to Airborne Toxic Event, Ozomatli, Morphine, and Mike Doughty. As you can see, his tastes are on the dated side as well, but at least it’s dated and different.
What song or artist best represents the work you create? I often joke that Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” is my theme song. Not only was I that small town girl willing to take a train to anywhere, whenever I hear it I feel like I can do things like sell off my possessions and move to Paris. Steve Perry is likely responsible for all of the risk taking and rash decisions I’ve made so far in life.
READ ON FOR NICHOLE’S PLAYLIST
American Car, Mike Doughty
Last Goodbye, Jeff Buckley
Cut Chemist Suite, Ozomatli
French Navy, Camera Obscura
New Slang, The Shins
Only Living Boy in New York, Simon and Garfunkel
Pretty Good Year, Tori Amos
The Other End of the Telescope, Elvis Costello
No Surprises, Radiohead
Here’s Where the Story Ends, The Sundays