Stephen's 'The Future Isn’t a Box' Playlist

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With everyone sequestered and self-quarantining due to the coronavirus, we’ve asked our favorite artists to come up with playlists that keep you entertained. Here’s Stephen:

Hey everyone. Given the times, I wanted to share some songs that remind me of my freedom. Every artist on here infiltrates my emotions while simultaneously breaking traditional arrangements and rules. True wizards. I hope you enjoy ?

Lido – “How to Do Nothing”
This song just melts my heart man. Pain, hope, gratitude… “thank you for teaching me how to do nothing. How to watch trains go by your bedroom window.” I mean.. cmon.

Peggy’s gotta be the rawest artist in the game. Every song from him feels like an unfiltered stream of consciousness. The man is just dripping with confidence and vision. This song hurts me it’s so free.

Grimes – “Delete Forever”
Grimes has been outside the box since day 1. Her recent album is really inspiring, and this song tastes like candy by a warm fire.

Kid Cudi – “Leader of the Delinquents”
Cudi had to be on this list. One of the most unique artists of our generation, and a massive inspiration of mine. Here’s his take on an old school rap vibe.

This song is for the wanderers. You’re welcome. BROCKHAMPTON changing the game.

FKA twigs – “home with you”
Boundless. A rollercoaster ride of emotion. FKA twigs is showing that music can be so much more than ABCABCDC. And she’s created a visual world and persona that adds such extra dimension to her songs.

Grace Ives – “Mirror”
This song feels so effortless and not over-thought. Honest and simple. So powerful and easy to listen to. REFRESHING…

Caroline Polacheck – “Pang”
Caroline’s one of my all-time favorite artists at the moment. Every single syllable, consonant and breath that comes out of her mouth is intentional and infinitely expressive. The music behind her is always phenomenal too. SO LIBERATED.

¿Teo? – “Palm Trees”
This man is king. I love his music so much. A paradisiacal journey with lots of blue and mahogany colors and an unprecedented amount of swagger and grace.

Tommy Genesis – “Tommy”
One of the hardest songs ever made. Makes me want to do things I’ll regret. Tommy’s delivery and vocal style is perfectly sloppy and seductive. The way all the parts interact into the distorted clipped mix is perfectly done. Totally her own.

IC3PEAK – “Грустная Сука”
This actually might be the hardest song ever made. I feel both dead and alive when I hear this.

Arca – “Piel”
This song sounds like an angel crying, watching a sinner’s soul enter the kingdom of hell.

Koda – “Parvenu”
I had to include Koda on this list. One of my favorite artists. Probably the greatest lyricist of our time.

Maverick Sabre – “Drifting”
I was tripping on acid on top of a very windy mountaintop, this song was on loop and all of my weight and baggage was being blown off of me. This song makes me so excited for whatever is next.

Flume, Toro y Moi – “The Difference”
Flume massively inspired my first album. This new song from him is absolute gold. So carefree.

Deb Never – “Out of Time”
Deb’s music has become an obsession of mine recently. So dead and empty, but so beautiful.

Caroline Polachek – “Ocean of Tears”
Another one from Caroline. Insane production and super percussive vocals. I would never in a million years write this chord progression I don’t know where this song came from.

Jon Hopkins – “Luminous Beings”
Let’s just say I communed with angels the first time I saw Jon Hopkins live. Every song from him sounds like a life’s work. He’s like a modern Beethoven. So much detail in his music.

Ninajirachi – “Arty Boy Remix”
This girl is so sick! I love this song. Could play it on just about any occasion, but it’s hard to not dance. Absolute ear candy. Minimal production creates the perfect bed for the vocal. SO MUCH SPACE.

070 Shake – “Morrow”
I honestly wasn’t sure which 070 Shake song to put on here. Her music is best listened to as a body of work. She’s one of my biggest influences at the moment. Her vocal delivery is so raw and honest. Insane vocal production and entrancing moods.

BANKS – “Alaska”
Banks is queen. This one was produced by Buddy Ross who’s done a lot of work with Frank Ocean. This album is awesome, and this song is an absolute masterpiece.

XXXTENTACION – “bad vibes forever”
Absolute gold. Sweet, sexy and boundless. RIP

Frank Ocean – “DHL”
Heavy mood. Stream of consciousness. Very playful delivery.

MARO, Ariza – “Why”
Maro has one of the coolest voices I’ve ever heard. Androgynous. And Ariza hypnotizes me with the musical bed for this one.

Miya Folick – “Thingamajig”
When you need a good cry. I gotchu.

Lykke Li – “hard rain”
“If you like the feeling of the hard rain falling/I have a sea full/I can give you an ocean.” Free. No box. Who needs the box of traditional arrangements when you are a Goddess. This music video directed by Anton Tammi is so good it hurts.

Big Red Machine – “Forest Green”
Justin Vernon. Must I say anymore?

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