If you're engaged in any kind of creative pursuit, reflection is one of the greatest tools you can employ. And if you're working in a visual medium, that holds true both literally and figuratively. Our latest Featured Lightbox focuses on the beauty of being reflective, whether it's through creating actual mirror images or indulging in introspection — often enough, the two are perfect complements.
With this edition of Songs to Design By, we're getting equally reflective, providing the soundtrack for all this shimmering imagery, as well as your insightful artistic process. Listen to the full mix below (note: you need Spotify installed for it to play properly), explore the "Reflection" Lightbox, and check out previous volumes of Songs to Design By for even more great music and images.
Here's what our creative team had to say about each of the tracks selected for this mix:
"Reflections," Diana Ross & The Supremes - "The Supremes were the queens of taking a sad song and making it sound like a celebration. This may be a lament for lost love, but it's still one of the most uplifting tracks ever."
"(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay," Otis Redding - "When it comes to personal reflection, there's no better soundtrack than this essential song, recorded by Otis Redding just three days before his untimely death. Despite the tragedy and the numerous cover versions that followed, the original remains both timeless and transcendent."
"I'll Be Your Mirror," The Velvet Underground & Nico - "This talks about reflecting someone back at themself, to show them exactly how you see them. So influential, they named a whole music festival after it."
"Golden Light," Twin Shadow - "This song manages to be both haunting and dancey at the same time. The beats even seem to bounce back and forth when you listen through headphones."
"Smoke & Mirrors," Rjd2 - "When I listen to this song, I imagine that I'm running through the rain searching for my love/sunshine. When the woman's voice kicks in and the beat changes, instead of being reassured that I've found it, I wonder if it's a reflection of myself or just an illusion."
"Looking for Love (In the Hall of Mirrors)," The 6ths - "The 6ths are a really cool band where guest vocalists sing songs written by Stephin Merrit (of the Magnetic Fields). This track features vocals by Heavenly's lead singer, Amelia Fletcher. Overall, a brilliant combination!"
"Mirrors," Justin Timberlake - "This track has a great beat and a great message. JT knows how to make his lady feel like a queen, or a mirror, reflecting the power of their love. It's also a great karaoke jam."
"Face to Face," Daft Punk - "A chill song that makes me want to dance while I work. The lyrics and title make me wonder if it's about someone looking at someone else, or just someone reflecting on the person they are and trying to figure it out."
"These Streets Will Never Look the Same," Chromatics - "Chromatics' mix of dark, edgy disco and atmospheric tunes is perfect for reflection. I can listen to this song on repeat when I'm feeling particularly introspective."
"Break It Down Again," Tears for Fears - "This classic Tears for Fears track comes across like an ode to stopping and looking inward when things are all mixed up."
"Rise to the Sun," Alabama Shakes - "The singer is reflecting on her daily life, where she's at right now and how she knows she wants to strive for more. Something we can all understand."
"The More I See You," Sarah Vaughan - "I love listening to jazz while I work. These lyrics combined with Vaughan's passionate voice exemplify the turmoil of falling in love and wondering whether it will last."
"Man in the Mirror," Michael Jackson - "This timeless classic is both literally and metaphorically about reflection — and happens to be easy on the ears, too."
"Infinity," The XX - "A moving tune with echoey claps, snaps, and a beautiful hollow guitar sound. It has the ability to make you feel like you're in a peaceful, giant empty room."
"When I Was Your Man," Bruno Mars - "This is about a man reflecting on his past love and his regrets about not doing more to make her happy. It's a heartfelt anthem, crooned to perfection."
"Reflections," Killah Priest & Chief Kamachi - "Just had to represent Shaolin 10304 with this smooth flow by KP And Kamachi, which also happens to be called 'Reflections.'"