Richmond Duo Lean Year Share Cosmopolitan Playlist

Richmond, Virginia duo Lean Year released their stirring, self-titled debut on Western Vinyl last week. It's a somber, amorphous rock record that plays like a cathartic cry, hitting on folk, jazz and ambient art pop. We asked vocalist Emilie Rex and filmmaker/musician Rick Alverson to make a playlist of some of their favorite songs as of late. True to their record's wayward nature, the band's playlist contains some cosmopolitan selections–Ethiopian jazz for solo piano by Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guébrou, Brazilian Tropicália sensation Tom Zé, Mexican national treasure Pedro Infante, Grammy-winning Malian musician Oumou Sangaré and more. Check it out below, and catch Lean Year at Alphaville this Friday 10/27!

Paul Simon – "Slip S lidin' Away"

So heartbreaking when he sings, “A good day is when I lie in bed and think of things that might have been.”


Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guébrou – "The Homeless Wanderer" 

Such a fragile thing—there’s this delicate certainty to her music. 

Tom Zé – "Dói"  

It's hard to pick a favorite song on Estudando o Samba, but Emilie fantasizes about singing backup on this one some day.

John Cale – "Hanky Panky Nohow" 

“Memories of planing lakes" and "the cows that agriculture won't allow." What more needs to be said?

Pedro Infante – "Cien Años"
So much longing in one song. 

Oumou Sangaré – "Saa Magni" 

Sangaré's voice is so melancholic, but powerful when she sings, "Oh death, oh death. Death is too hard. Death is too cruel." It slays us every time.

Harold Budd – "Let Us Go into the House of the Lord/Butterfly Sunday"

We always listen to this record in the late evening…gives us permission to go to bed and try again tomorrow.

Solange – "Cranes in the Sky" 

Required listening for all USians.  

Leonard Cohen – "Famous Blue Raincoat"

We always come back to Cohen's long poem song. 

Listen to Lean Year's newly released self-titled debut.