Let’s give it up for the accounting department: as soon as Rob Woodbridge, Herman Miller’s Financial Controller for the UK and Middle East, sent us a Playlist, we knew we’d have to post it immediately. Check out his diverse list of songs—a nod to what’s hot on the UK and European music scene at the moment. Thanks, Rob!
What do you listen to while you work? Being an accountant, the need to concentrate is obviously very important. Loud, upbeat music is therefore a definite no-no when I am at work. Some of my tasks need complete focus and I use music such as Cat Power, Federico Aubele, or The XX to help me get in the zone and block out office distractions. I then save the more upbeat music such as Two Door Cinema Club or Vampire Weekend for my journey home.
How do you listen? I use my standard-issue Apple headphones at my desk listening either through Spotify on my computer or my iPod. At home, I stream music through my Marantz stereo or listen through my iPod docking station if we’re outside entertaining in the summer months.
Do you have any favorite music websites/providers? Spotify is my favorite method of streaming music. The “similar artists” feature is especially good for discovering new bands. My wife and I have two young children and their toys are slowly taking over our house. To help declutter, I’ve started buying MP3s instead of vinyl or CD format (something I never thought I would give up). Pitchfork is probably my most visited music website, although I’m always on the hunt—swedesplease.net is one recent find featuring the best in Scandinavian alternative music. US radio stations KCRW and KEXP also get their fair share of airtime.
Does music influence your work? I wouldn’t say that music influences my work, but certainly it can provide a good soundtrack and this is often dependant on the season. Summer evenings I will drive home listening to something from the record labels of Joe Gibbs or Studio One. In the winter, I normally resort to more familiar friends—Elliott Smith, Libertines, or The Walkmen often find themselves on the playlist.
Where do you find music recommendations? Who influences your musical taste? As well as hunting for music myself, I’ve always been surrounded by people with similar tastes in music or those opening my eyes to new sounds. Live music has been a passion and I have been going to festivals and gigs since I was a kid—indie, Scando pop, jazz, roots, hip-hop, bossa nova—anything goes, really. Being exposed to these diverse music tastes has meant my collection has become quite eclectic and there is a sound that suits all moods. I grew up in a house playing the likes of Johnny Cash and therefore the singer-songwriter has always been of significant appeal. I was lucky enough to see my all-time musical hero Elliott Smith play live in London a year or so before he died and I continue to follow musicians in the same vein such as Willy Mason, Ben Kweller, or Norwegian favorite Little Hands of Asphalt.
If your work was a song or a musician, what or who would it be? Wow—that’s a tough question. My work doesn’t really have a creative angle, but I would like to consider my outlook in the office as upbeat and optimistic. I would therefore chose something like Sweet Tides by Thievery Corporation or Mr. Guy by Sharon Bengamin. Both are guaranteed to lighten even the most heavy-going of days!
I Can Talk, Two Door Cinema Club
VCR, The XX
Oslo, Little Hands of Asphalt
En Cada Lugar, Federico Aubele
Mr. Guy, Sharon Bengamin
Boy with the Arab Strap, Belle & Sebastian
Emily’s Heart, Jamie T
Don’t Look Back in to the Sun, The Libertines
We’re from Barcelona, I’m from Barcelona
Images: Rob Woodbridge