Nov 03

Top Albums for Designers

Written By: Scott Smith, Design Director for Digital Operative

As designers, we all constantly strive for the elusive “flow state”. A state where, much like sleeping, you are unaware you are in it until it is over. Then, also like sleeping, all you want is to be back in it. It is when the entire world outside of what is directly in front of you seems so small that it is negligible. The flow state is when we are our most creative selves and best way I have found to achieve this is through music.

The following are my favorite albums to assist in the transition and strengthen the ability to maintain the flow state. Some bands you have probably heard of, others, maybe not so much.


Tycho - Awake

Awake is by far my favorite and most effective album to assist with the flow state. The amazing song writing, emotional guitar playing and awe inspiring percussions of this album would only be hindered by vocals. This is an album that can be listened to on repeat without the knowledge of tracks ever ending and beginning. Some of my most thought out work has been done with this album in the background.


Tycho - Awake - Top Albums for Designers

Long Arm - The Branches

Possibly one of the only artist in the “Electronic Hip-Hop Jazz” category, The Branches by Long Arm is another album that is good for completely losing track of time. The slow jazzy horns are mixed with hip-hop riffs and beats which are all brought together with a dream-like piano. The Branches is a great album to get the creative muscles firing.


Long Arm - The Branches - Top Albums for Designers

ODESZA - In Return

Being described as “Sunny Electronic-Pop Fusion”, ODESZA’s album, In Return utilizes mildly comprehensible vocal arrangements as nothing more than another instrument. In Return takes the listener on a tour with many culturally influenced tracks. This is definitely an album worth throwing on when searching for some inspiration.


ODESZA - In Return - Top Albums for Designers

Khruangbin - The Universe Smiles Upon You

The Universe Smiles Upon You is an album that, initially comes off as a basic smooth guitar band. However, the more and more you listen to it, the more and more intricate it becomes. I would describe this album as a warm summer afternoon that is transitioning into dusk. This album is great for losing yourself in whatever project you are deep into.


Khruangbin - The Universe Smiles Upon You - Top Albums for Designers

Chilly Gonzales - Solo Piano II

Want to switch things up? Check out Chilly Gonzales, who is also known as the “Modern Day Mozart”. Classical music not your thing? Don’t worry, Solo Piano II takes classical music and adds a modern twist to it. It is an album I can listen to for hours upon hours without the knowledge that the song has even changed.


Chilly Gonzales - Solo Piano II - Top Albums for Designers

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