7 albums for domestic hibernation by Jamison Isaak

Since 2010, Jamison Isaak has been creating music under a multitude of different aliases. Whether it’s the ambient-leaning synth pop sounds of Teen Daze, sun-drenched dance tracks of Pacific Coliseum, or the quiet and meditative folk songs as Two Bicycles, Jamison just never fails to set the mood with his melodic and atmospheric tracks.

For this mood list, Jamison gravitates towards a sentiment that hits close to home. He shares: “We’ve all been spending lots of time at home in the last months. I was already in a pretty deep domestic hibernation when the pandemic hit in March last year. My son was born just six months before everything shut down. This is a collection of some of the records we’ve been playing around the house over the last months.”

Pat Metheny – Watercolors

I’ve been in this ‘jazz phase’ for the last three or four years now, and this was a huge record for me when I first started digging into the ECM catalog. When I was young, I was exposed to very little jazz music, so it’s taken me quite a while to start discovering albums and artists that are considered to be staples. Anyways, this album is just so melodic and beautiful. It’s a great jumping off point for someone just starting to dip their toes into jazz music.

Bill Evans – You Must Believe In Spring

Another great gateway record for anyone new to the world of jazz music. This is one of the most serene records perfect for quiet mornings, afternoons or evenings. Like Metheny, there’s a lyricism to Bill Evans’ playing that makes it so easy to return to his records, again and again.

Sam Wilkes – Wilkes

In the first few weeks of my son being born, we listened to this song a lot. There’s something really beautiful about singing the repeated phrase “I love you, I’ll always love you, won’t stop” to a sleeping baby. What can I say, I’m a softy like that.

Herbie Hancock – Mr. Hands

I got really deep into Herbie’s discography the last months, and while it was really tough to pick just one record, this one (and this track specifically) seemed to stand out to me. It’s got the smoothness, the funkiness, and the incredible piano chops that define Herbie’s whole catalog. We try and keep a pretty mellow energy throughout the house, but it’s always nice to put on a record like this and get some deep grooves going.

John Carroll Kirby – My Garden

It’s almost embarrassing how much I’ve listened to this record in 2020. Though it has been a very heavy year that comes with lots of pain, this album really has been a bright light. Melodic, bright, playful, colourful. When I take my son out for walks to the park, we almost always listen to this record as our soundtrack.

Ahmad Jamal Trio – The Awakening

Since I first heard Herbie’s version of Dolphin Dance, I’ve been searching out other versions of the song (Grover Washington Jr’s version is also really beautiful), and this one is one of my favorites. Lots of depth and some incredible playing across this whole record. A perfect record for a sunny afternoon.

Albrecht La’brooy – Healesville

One of the most beautiful ambient records I’ve heard in a long time. This is the kind of record you can put on repeat and just leave playing through the house all day. Incredibly transportive and lush with really restrained and tasteful playing, as well.

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