Discover more from Herb Sundays
Herb Sundays Presents...
A new series focusing on genre. Our maiden voyage finds Michael Cina as your candy riverboat captain of Easy Listening.
Today is a bit of a detour or a tributary of sorts. The Herb Sundays Presents… series of playlists will focus on deeper genre studies. The Presents… entries have a few draft versions so far that you can search for, but I hope this is a clarion call for more of them. I’ve worked on some of these style-focused playlists, the most recent being Ambient (led by the gifted playlister Dave Sutton) with my Ghostly team and they are a lot of fun.
For this entry, we fall under the stewardship of Mr. Michael Cina (pronounced: Chee-na, btw), going deep on Easy Listening, a genre on possibly no one’s bingo card, I would assume. Michael, apart from dominating the look of Herb to date, has done two Herbs prior, Herb 02 in 2021, and the immaculate Herb 39 in the spring of this year that leaned into Gospel in its many forms.
Here’s Michael on his mix. Enjoy….
Easy listening is a music genre that was most popular during the 1950s to 1970s. It encompasses instrumental recordings, almost always “with strings” and pulls inspiration from all genres of music, characteristically on music from the 1940s and 1950s. Easy listening eventually snuck its way into every genre possible. It is often considered a sibling of genres like exotica and lounge music.
Growing up in the 70’s, the dying remains of the “easy listening” genre was strewn all around. I can’t remember where I heard it first but you would get tastes in old people’s houses, the dentist office, momentarily while changing the radio station to find something else…
Fast forward to the early 2000’s and getting a new car that had SiriusXM in it for three months for free. Like a kid in the candy store, I am skimming through the channels and stumble upon “Escape” on channel 69. The warm saccharine syrup fills the speakers and flows into the core of my being. It represents hardly anything I am about, yet somehow pulls me into its cosmos. It’s an otherworldly science fiction paperback read on silk sheets – living your best life imaginable and no desire to go anywhere else. I can’t if I tried, I am held captive.
There is 0% of irony, kitsch, or anything funny to me in this playlist, excluding the Hitchcock intro. This is as tight of a list as I can make clocking three hours. It’s important to show the full landscape of candy. Scoff if you want, I am drinking a piña colada without a care in the world.
Thanks for reading Herb Sundays! Subscribe for free to receive new posts.