MK Bailey: SOUND

"Auditory Memory is a playlist dedicated to the music that has been with me throughout my life - music I either have a specific memory attached to or that reminds me of a time/place," states MK Bailey. "The tracks are organized chronologically, you’ll find a wide range of genres - this-wave, post-that, insert-subgenre-here-pop, etc. - so the best strategy is to shuffle play and get inside my head for a bit." 

I have some musical gaps compared to other people born in the 90’s. My early exposure to music was whatever my parents played on the radio while driving, which for my mom was classical and old country music and for my dad was 70’s rock.

My first real independent musical taste was David Bowie. After seeing him in Labyrinth for the first time, I went through my parents CD’s and found a single David Bowie album, which I begged them to play. It was definitely a learned taste, but my love persisted and you can see the David Bowie poster in one of my drawings.

Middle School
Most of my musical tastes as a pre-teen came from my self-identified emo friend and iTunes’s free single of the day.  I was not allowed to have a Myspace, so sitting in the back of the bus and sharing earbuds while my friend scrolled through their latest tracks was one of the few ways I could hear new music. My first foray into adolescent rebellion was listening to the songs that had been marked *explicit* on my friend’s pink iPod mini.

Teenagers - My Chemical Romance
Time to Pretend - MGMT
Sleepyhead - Passion Pit

High School
I branched out more in high school when I got an iPod of my own. Lots of Kanye’s Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and Bon Iver.  I was still influenced quite a bit by the people around me, like my bff’s older sister who would blast dubstep everyday when she drove us home from school and let us stay with her in her NYC dorm room spring break of our senior year. She was (and still is) the coolest.

Scary Spirits and Nice Sprites - Skrillex
Gorgeous - Kanye West
We Are Your Friends - Justice, Simian

College/young adult
There are several musicians and groups that I started to listen to during my 20’s whom I admire for their lyricism and how beautifully they express their chosen themes. When I was starting out in school I was more concerned with the technique and compositional elements of my painting, and less with narrative development. Listening to music with strong, poetic lyrics taught me the value of using narrative devices in my work to more deeply express the themes I’m exploring.

Lana del Rey is one of my big influences from this time (my drawing “Video Games” is a nod to her song of the same title), and more recently I’ve gotten into Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Cave is a prolific singer and songwriter, so their discography is quite large with tons of lyrical fodder for inspiration. Everywhere by Fleetwood Mac inspired my drawing, “Ooo, I wanna be with you everywhere (Nostalgia Daydream).” To me, the glitteriness of the intro feels like the auditory embodiment of that initial warm and fuzzy feeling nostalgia creates. 

Video Games - Lana del Rey
Swept Inside - Future Islands
Blind - Hercules & Love Affair
Drew Barrymore - SZA
You’ll miss me when I’m not around - Grimes
I let love in - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds


Listen to MK Bailey's Spotify playlist, and browse through her FlatFile works here