Zella Day's 'The Dream Police' 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. This edition features rising singer-songwriter Zella Day:

Hello from California! I don’t know about you but I’ve been very emotionally exhausted from the world caving in around us. I’ve been reading articles about quarantine dreams and how there have been a lot of reports of vivid dreaming as a result of lockdown. The idea of entering new worlds in a dream state is very comforting to me, it’s a reminder that we are more than our bodies; we can experience freedom from within. For my playlist, I’ve chosen songs that take me on a journey without having to open the front door. Art has been there for you and it is here for you now asking that you dream bigger. Enjoy. Xx.

“Suzanne” – Leonard Cohen
I’ve always enjoyed imagining Suzanne dancing on the river bank drinking tea and eating oranges. Cohen takes your hand and leads you through the mysterious waves of intimacy.

“Ladyfingers” – Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass
“Ladyfingers” is on an album called Whipped Cream & Other Delights and it has one of my favorite album covers of all time. A woman sits in front of a hazy green backdrop covered head to toe in whip cream that has been shaped into a gown. When I listen to this song I can taste the sugar.

“Les Fleurs” – Minnie Riperton
This song is chock full of imagery with lyrics like “Kiss my petals,” “Will a lady pin me in her hair”, “Inside every man lives the seed of a flower.” If I could choose a color for this song it would be magenta.

“September in the Rain” – Dinah Washington
I’ve always loved singing this song while driving in the car with the windows down. Even in the middle of April, I still like thinking of myself getting caught in September rain.

“It Is So Nice to Get Stoned” – Ted Lucas
This song is dedicated to laying on the living room floor during golden hour with my sister puffing on a joint and telling each other about our day.

“Is That All There Is?” – Peggy Lee, Robert Norberg
Get ready to smile as you throw your head back with a loud “HA!!!”

“Fruits of My Labor” – Lucinda Williams
This one takes me back to every drive I took after a breakup thinking to myself “I’m okay I’ve got myself and that’s a lot”.

“Going to California” – Led Zeppelin
Shining with the spirit of California, Robert is gonna make you understand.

“Boylife in America” – Cody Chesnutt
Cody’s anthem for the boys in the neighborhood, we all know them. Like flipping through a high school yearbook.

“Camarillo Brillo” – Frank Zappa, The Mothers
Mendocino bean-o. She had a snake for a pet. I urge you to take this trip.

“Tonight” – Sibylle Baier
I love the way Sibylle sings about buttering bread and playing her guitar. It sounds like she’s reading a journal entry from one of the many of Monday nights that all look and feel the same.

“Scarlet Begonias” – Grateful Dead
I used to know a girl named Billie and she was Scarlet Begonia, queen of the Dead Heads. When I listen to this song I imagine the dust that is kicked up at a music festival that coats your teeth and eyelashes.

“The Dream Police” – David Byrne
An appropriate title for this playlist. Thank you, David Byrne, for everything you do.

“The Ballad of Dorothy Parker” – Prince
I’ve always been obsessed with the lyrics in this song. Prince! The man himself taking a bubble bath with his clothes on and drinking a fruit cocktail.

“Smoke Rings” Les Paul, Mary
Les Paul and Mary fly me into a dream through smoke rings. It’s blue. Oh so blue.

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