Weekly Music: Harmony Mix

Much like I collect beautiful songs, a close companion to that collection is beautiful harmonies. A lot of things influenced that, namely being in choir for many years, but the biggest influence is my mother. My mom may have not passed down to me much traditional motherly-like knowledge, but I’m most grateful for the fact that she gave me the gift of song. I have vivid memories of sitting next to her in the car as a kid listening to her quickly find the harmony to any song you could ever think of. She passed that obsession onto me and I am such a sucker for a song with beautiful layers of voices – even if it’s outside of my usual genres. Digging through my music and collecting a few new favorites, I put together a collection of great harmonies to share – most on the slow, folk side, a plucking guitar theme running through most of them. Definitely let me know if there’s anyone out there I need to check out who would fit on my list.

  1. Buffalo Mountain Man
  2. Mexico The Staves*
  3. a swallow song mimi & richard fariña
  4. Funeral Beat Peggy Sue
  5. Burn That Broken Bed Iron and Wine | Calexico
  6. In the Morning First Aid Kit
  7. Kingdom Come The Civil Wars
  8. Undertow Warpaint
  9. Casimir Pulaski Day Sufjan Stevens
  10. Gold Interference
  11. Someone You’d Admire Fleet Foxes
  12. Worried Mind Blues Ida
  13. Love That Conquers The Swell Season
  14. Bleecker Street Simon & Garfunkel
  15. Plans (Grizzly Bear cover) Band of Horses
  16. 24-25 Kings Of Convenience
  17. Tomorrow Tomorrow Elliott Smith
  18. Guinnevere Crosby, Stills & Nash
* thank you Andrea for sending me The Staves – please check out there EP, it’s 3 magical songs. Can’t wait for a full album someday. The video is beautiful, too.

Harmony from shespeaksoceans on 8tracks.

photo from the NYPL Digital Gallery


  1. says

    Oh I’m the same way, such a sucker for layers upon layers of vocals. Being in a college a cappella intensified it. And in my own music, I’m always compelled to stack it with as many vocal layers and harmonies as possible, or else it just doesn’t feel complete. This is such a great mix, thank you! :) xo

  2. says

    Wow, what an amazing mix! I am a member of a Doukhobor choir (background info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doukhobor) and while I wasn’t raised in the Doukhobor community, the choir members who grew up singing the music could improvise harmony with enviable ease. There’s no written/sheet music in Doukhobor music as it’s all learned by ear, so this skill is pretty vital. Thanks so much for sharing this.

  3. Ali says

    Just so you know, you’re awesome. I needed some music to get in the mood to write a french paper and sure enough I could count on you. Merci :)

  4. says

    These are all so beautiful, thank you for sharing. I love so many of these artists and will be looking into the unknowns shortly. The only song I can’t listen to is Casimir Pulaski Day. I’ve never really been able to because it makes me bawl. This mix makes me take a lovely look at my life, though, and remember listening to Simon & Garfunkel, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young in the back of my parents’ car. Like you, I’m so thankful for their musical influence.

  5. says

    What a great collection of songs- my boyfriend is a huge fan of The Staves and he is eagerly anticipating the US release of their album in late May (it comes out in the UK this month).

    P.S.- I am a long time reader but never comment, so thanks for the consistently great content and voice you’ve put together on your little corner of the internet :)

  6. says

    I love this, thank you so much. I thought I was the only one who found singing along to the harmony parts the most fun (to the confusion of friends!).

    I think you might like The Dutchess and the Duke (por ejemplo “Scorpio” or “Hands”). Lucy Schwartz can really nail her harmonies (“I Know You,” “Gone Away”). The Chapin Sisters, La Sera, Tennis, Avett Brothers, Bowerbirds (“Beneath Your Tree”), Slow Club, and of course anything from the ’60s is my car-time sing-along jam! (I guess I’m a sucker for harmony-laden pop…) But I think you’ve nailed all the best ones. :)

  7. says

    i always find myself singing harmonies too! except then i start singing the harmonies, the guitar notes, and the synth notes (if they exist)…even the piano notes sometimes, which i’m sure complicates things exponentially. really, i kind of just want to make entire songs composed of vocal notes. i should get on that!

    anyway, i always love your mixes…you’re always combining such amazing bands/songs, and there’s always someone new to download after i listen to them. so…thanks! :)

  8. Beka says

    Also, consider exploring Storyhill, phenomenal harmony. Two samples: Boulder River (just guitar), Paradise Lost (fuller band)

  9. says

    Hey there, just wanted to say a big thank you for posting such awesome music and on a regular basis. Im starting to get a gross cold and I love that I can sit here with a cup of coffee wrapped in blankets and just click play, instead of having to look up songs individually on youtube! Good work X


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