Playlist: Bren Joy Sets The Scene With Songs That Feel Like Sunset

Bren Joy press photo

More than once during our recent Zoom interview, Bren Joy spoke of “worlds.” It wasn’t the cosmos he was talking about, but his creative process.

When the Nashville-raised twenty-something fleshes out a song idea, he’s thinking of multiple layers, of the overall effect, of how complete a musical experience he might be able to offer by playing with themes, tones, textures and plenty else.

It helps that he started out at Belmont studying to be a backup singer and vocal arranger; now he uses that technique to wrap his agile falsetto in his own prismatic harmonies. He’s also prone to leave some room for rumination in his songwriting, even when he gets flirtatious, swaggering or aspirational.

Joy didn’t come up in a music scene, but now that he’s released two different versions of his debut project Twenties — the second of those with label muscle behind it — and also dropped loosies, shot videos and booked his first tour, I asked what artists he’s come to identify with. In keeping with his mindset, he told me, “I look up to the people that create worlds.”

That’s reflected in the playlist he created for WNXP, titled “Songs That Feel Like Sunset.”

Here’s where his head was at when he chose these 10 immersive tracks:

“My favorite parts about the South right now are the fall leaves, the smell of bonfires everywhere, and the incredible sunsets. This playlist feels exactly how I feel at the moment creatively and emotionally, including some of my favorite rising artists that really push music forward, while offering a sense of crazy-ass songwriting.”