Sometimes when I work in my studio, I like to work in quiet with only a subtle soundtrack of outdoor sounds of birds, kids playing, or garbage trucks rumbling by. Quite often, though, my work soundtrack is Radio Paradise, an internet radio station run by Bill and Rebecca Goldsmith from Paradise, California.
Bill is the voice of Radio Paradise. In a radio universe dominated by obnoxious voices, crude and disrespectful banter, and noise, Bill's soft-spoken and infrequent interjections are refreshing. He comes on air maybe twice an hour, just to let you know what songs you're hearing, and his commentary is limited if any. The focus is completely on the music. He takes thought and care in organizing the playlist, as it evolves sonically and thematically from one song to the next.
Rebecca manages the content of the playlist, combing through multitudes of albums and listener suggestions to bring interesting selections to the listeners. I absolutely love the variety and uniqueness that Radio Paradise offers. This is what I'll hear in a given day of listening: my favourite acts like U2, REM, Van Morrison, Arcade Fire and the Avett Brothers; classic artists from Duke Ellington and Al Green to The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and David Bowie; the good stuff to come out the '80s, like Talking Heads, Peter Gabriel, The Smiths and The Cure; folk, reggae, rock, classical, jazz and blues from all over the world; an array atmospheric and sonic experimentation music, like Sigur Ros, Hooverphonic and Thievery Corporation; and countless lesser-known but incredible artists who never get regular radio play. In fact Radio Paradise pretty much steers clear of the usual Top 40.
When I describe to people what kind of music Radio Paradise plays, I usually say that the unifying characteristic of their playlist is good and true songwriting. So, if you think of any great song writer (or even composer), Radio Paradise probably plays their music. I've been introduced to some wonderful artists by listening to Radio Paradise: Madeleine Peyroux, Elbow, Gomez, Anna Ternheim, Snow Patrol, Ray Lamontagne, and Antje Duvekot to name just a few. It has also helped me rediscover some of my forgotten favourites . . . too many to list. Some of these artists are well-known, but many I wouldn't likely have encountered (or re-encountered) had I not listened to Radio Paradise.
So if you need a break from the auto tuned, over-processed and hectic world of regular radio, give RP a listen.
p.s. My many hours of enjoying Radio Paradise are thanks to my friends Jonathan and Julie Hunse who introduced me to it.
Jane Hogeterp Koopman
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