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SM Sound: Jen Monroe

Jen Monroe is a Brooklyn-based chef, artist, and music curator whose food project, Bad Taste, is committed to exploring new ways of thinking about food and consumption, approaching food as fantasy and as a transportive medium. She writes the music blog Listen To This, which focuses on rare and out of print ambient, new age, and Japanese pop records. She also hosts the monthly series Getting Warmer on NTS Radio.
Shaina Mote — SM Sound: Jen Monroe

I took Shaina Mote’s clothing as an initial jumping off point for this playlist. My experience with her pieces is that they’re quite understated and seemingly simple, but upon closer inspection they’re made with extreme care and are very elegant. I’d call them “quietly beautiful,” which is how I think about many of these songs. I started with a few more minimal favorites, songs that have very high impact with relatively few gestures, and then built it out from there.

Jen wears the NIN TOP in Salt 

I also wanted to use a lot of textures that feel organic, and I use that word here not in the farming sense but in the “living thing” sense. Shaina’s pieces feels organic in several ways: they don’t seek to alter, reshape, or constrict the body, and they seem as if they’re constructed to feel good, to be lived with and lived in, almost more of an extension of the body rather than a shell for it. Their tones and textures are muted, restrained. That organic proclivity shows up in some of the more acoustic-oriented tracks on this playlist. I’ve recently been completely obsessed with private press folk releases from the 60s and 70s, music that was probably recorded in someone’s living room for $0 and was released without fanfare or distribution, and as a result feels like a really perfect anonymous sonic time capsule, so there’s a bit of that sensibility in here too.

Last I thought about what the life of somebody who wears Shaina Mote might look like these days. It’s hard to visualize it clearly, since everybody is living such discrete lives right now, but I imagine the Shaina Mote wearer spending time in very tastefully decorated minimalist interiors and going for walks in Central Park, I tried to soundtrack those spaces. I’ve always loved music that suggests autumn, I wanted to accompany the seasonal change with songs that feel golden, warm but dry, tinged with a bit of bittersweetness for the end of summer.

Jean wears the LOIRE TOP in Salt

This is a mix that I think is largely content to exist in the background: it doesn’t need to be a focal point but is happy to complement its surroundings. I hope you enjoy it.

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