This month’s mix comes from my friend Lucas Ballasy. He is a thinker, creator, designer, and musician. Also, he has a new puppy.
Lucas is a curious and contemplative person. He always seems to be exploring some new hobby or idea. Motorcycles. 🏍 Powerlifting. 🏋🏻♀️ Adopting a dog. 🐶
Then, every week, he reflects upon these experiences in his newsletter that shares one borrowed idea, one thing learned, and one thought starter. Naturally, it is titled Borrowed, Learned, & Thought—or BL&T. It has nothing to do with the sandwich. 🥪
Den is his take on a “cabin in the woods” mixtape. In fact, it opens with perhaps the most quintessential “cabin in the woods” song from the most quintessential “cabin in the woods” artist.
But this is not a quintessential “cabin in the woods” mix.
Instead of being a quiet, bleak, and joyless frozen-over acoustic self-indulgence, Den has a warm buoyancy. It sustains not only momentum throughout, but some honest-to-goodness pep, too. Its blood is decidedly flowing. And it’s a thoughtful reminder that just because you’re snowed in, doesn’t mean you have to be snowed in alone.
▶︎ Listen to Den and read Lucas’s liner notes below.
Listen → Den by Lucas Ballasy
Blood Bank - Bon Iver
Go Out On My Own - Griffin House
Careful Where You Stand - Coldplay
Great Indoors - John Mayer
Invisible Pallette - Obie Hans
(No One Knows Me) Like the Piano - Sampha
Sleep On Needles - Sondre Lerche
Older Chests - Damien Rice
The Love Is Over - Ray Lamontagne with The Pariah Dogs
Coffee and Cigarettes - Augustana
Filatelie - Felbm
Homesick - Kings of Convenience
Show Me - John Legend
War of My Life - John Mayer
Call Me When You Land - Old Sea Brigade and Luke Sital-Singh
Liner Notes by Lucas
After nearly a decade, my wife Dana and I traded in the hustle and bustle of New York City for a home quietly nestled among the trees in Pennsylvania. This winter was the first in our new home.
Once the cold weather set in, we'd spend many nights gathering around our wood stove, gazing at the stillness of the frozen trees. Sometimes, we’d get lost in a book, or I’d write. But often, just sitting together with the view was enough.
While I would not necessarily call myself a fan of Winter, there’s something unique about the highs and lows of the season. There’s the joy in warming up with loved ones or the sudden surprise of a “hot” day contrasted by the gloom of the bitter cold and dwindling sunlight.
This playlist began as a soundtrack to our time by the fire. Looking back, it's a reflection of how last winter felt for me.
▶︎ Listen to Den on Spotify.
Thanks to Lucas for putting this mix together. Make sure to check out his newsletter and music, both of which are executed with as much thought and detail as this mixtape.
If you enjoyed this mix, check out:
In My Room by Dan Svizeny
when the road calls by Dans Karagannis
Until next time…
Stay safe. Stay sane.
Lucas - nice playlist! Specifically, which geographically region is this inspirational cabin in the woods? Are we talking Poconos, Catskills, Montana, Norway? Is it an A-Frame or Micro-cabin? I assume John Mayer is the cabin owner and AirBNB-ing out but please confirm.