Sounds for the End of Summer—and Beyond

Curt Janka, Isaac Wyatt, and Noelle Daley contributed to this post.

The New Relic marketing department works on the 10th floor of our World HQ in San Francisco. In casual conversation, employees on other floors occasionally refer to 10 as the “fun floor,” partly because we host The Greek, our event space, as well as Snack Alley, just what it sounds like, and Nerdvana, our in-house coffee bar. And there’s another reason, too: Marketing is the only part of the company that consistently plays music during the workday.

shutterstock_164356169_saxophone

A shared Mac Mini runs a streaming music account that pours out from speakers hung from the ceiling throughout the marketing area. Creating a soundtrack to the workday helps to create energy and build a shared experience, not to mention fomenting an endless amount of discussion about various songs, playlists, and genres among a diverse set of workers.

Tunes we like

Of course, all that raises the eternal question of what to play? No tune can satisfy everyone all the time, so the playlists change regularly—and unpredictable—depending on who’s controlling the station. And that leads to some wildly divergent sounds being shared.

For example, here’s a partial list of some of the streaming “stations” that have tickled our eardrums recently:

  • Santigold Radio
  • Little Dragon Radio
  • Best Coast Radio
  • Cinco De Mayo Radio
  • The Whitest Boy Alive Radio
  • Kodomo Radio
  • Motown Radio
  • Stornoway Radio
  • Drop the Bass
  • Hotel Costes Radio
  • Slightly Stoopid Radio
  • The Avett Brothers Radio
  • Grateful Dead Radio
  • Queen Radio
  • Jurassic 5 Radio
  • Everything But the Girl Radio
  • Johnny Cash Radio
  • The Beatles Radio
  • St. Patrick’s Day Radio
  • Irish Pub Rock Radio
  • Fur Coat & Solomun Radio
  • Rolling Stones Radio
  • Led Zeppelin Radio
  • Tom Petty Radio
  • Steel Pulse Radio
  • Chronixx Radio
  • Vybz Kartel & Spice Radio
  • Bonobo Radio
  • De La Soul Radio
  • 80s Love Songs Radio
  • St Lucia Radio
  • The National Radio
  • Daughter Radio
  • Stormae Radio
  • Disclosure Radio

 

Audio suggestions

That kind of variety works for us, but what if you want to listen to music in your office, especially now as Labor Day marks the unofficial end of Summer? We asked some of our in-house music mavens to suggest tracks and playlists that celebrate waning days of summer:

Classic by The Knocks (feat. Powers): Just-released song about meeting in the summertime.

Summer by Calvin Harris: A pretty big hit this season.

Summer Is Over (rework) by Anoraak: A great recently released redo of the original 2013 track for realists who know the fun can’t last forever.

Want something more classic? Try Pandora’s Summer hits of the 80s Radio, featuring old-school crowd pleasers like Your Love, Don’t Stop Believin’, Don’t You (Forget About Me), Jessie’s Girl, and Every Breath You Take. It’s like eating cotton candy at the County Fair.

Missing your New Relic connection? Listen to Relics, by Faded Paper Figures. Don’t miss Not the End of the World (Even As We Know It), which alludes to the similarly named REM classic. (If you didn’t know, New Relic employees are usually referred to as “Relics.”) And of course, we wouldn’t be bona fide data nerds if we didn’t mention Dangerous by Big Data. It’s an awesome song getting thumbs up from the cool kids.

Finally, what about when you find yourself back at work and not in the mood for summer songs any more? Well, there’s Soma.FM’s Groove Salad Station: Ambient electronica great for keeping you jazzed without being distracted. If you just want to mask distracting sounds, check out Simply Noise to “block distractions” and “increase focus.” Or you could visit Coffitivity, which “recreates the ambient sounds of a cafe to boost your creativity and help you work better.” And if that’s not enough, apparently the Times of London is set to play the sounds of old-fashioned typewriters in its newsroom, even boosting the volume as deadlines approach.

Saxophone image courtesy Shutterstock.com.

fredric@newrelic.com'

Fredric Paul (aka The Freditor) is Editor in Chief for New Relic. He's an award-winning writer, editor, and content strategist who has held senior editorial positions at ReadWrite, AllBusiness.com, InformationWeek, CNET, Electronic Entertainment, PC World, and PC|Computing. His writing has appeared in MIT Technology Review, Omni, Conde Nast Traveler, and Newsweek, among other places. View posts by .

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