Music We Dig! Our Quarterly Staff Playlist :)

Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.


Every quarter our team shares the songs that are on their minds and in their hearts. We’re all constantly collaborating on Slack as we are building the app, but we rarely get to collaborate musically. This playlist gives you a snapshot in time of our personal music tastes this Spring and what they sound like together. You can think of this playlist as the collective sound of 6 people from different parts of the country, born into different generations, with different personalities and styles, and outlooks on the world.

Ethan Clift – CEO, Co-Founder

The Cure – “Pictures of You”
When I met my wife in 2007 we were dating long-distance. I was living in Seattle and taking the bus to work at The Seattle Times and down to Belltown. It was always gray and misty and this song was 2 parts melancholic longing and 1 part hanging on to the belief that she was exactly how I knew her to be in her pictures and that I would find that out when I met up with her again on the bus, in the rain, the next time she came to visit me.

Sufjan Stevens – “Casimir Pulaski Day”
This is quite possibly the saddest song I’ve ever heard. I may have listened to it over 300 times. Each time it took me to a place where I could just sit in a giant vat of my own sadness. I’m generally a pretty sanguine personality. I tend to see the silver linings in all things. This song is my go-to for when I feel the need to just feel the feels instead of distracting myself by running to the next shiny, happy thing.

Allison Clift-Jennings – CTO, Co-Founder

Toro y Moi – “Liily”
This song is probably the closest I have heard recently to encapsulating the hope of a world opening up again, right as it becomes springtime in the US. The chorus is quintessential chillout on a Sunday afternoon, sitting in the grass at a park, sun on your face, watching dogs and people.  This is summer wrapped up in a song, and I love it.

Crumb – “So Tired”
If Lilly is the sunny Sunday afternoon song, So Tired is the summer evening version of that theme.  When the sun begins to set, and you’re moving into the night–maybe you’re heading over to a friend’s house for a backyard get-together around a fire, or out to a bar to catch that new band you’ve heard of.  It’s the sound of hot pavement hitting the cool evening air, and the smell of evening blossoms in the air, with the moon just about to rise.

Mike Jennings – COO, Co-Founder

Johnny Cash – “Hurt”
Hurt is one of the most genuine, passionate, and heartfelt covers ever recorded. The tone of this recording brings me into Johnny’s darkness and the loneliness he was experiencing with his recent loss of his wife, June. His toughness is peeled back in such a way that I can feel his pain and tenderness with every crackling word that leaves his lips.

Sabo & Goldcap – Live at the Kazbah, Burning Man 2019
Sabo and Goldcap, two DJs who come together to create the most amazing electronic syntheses for their fans on a dusty playa, is forever embedded in my heart and mind. Sabo is the DJ that I was mesmerized by when I met my partner, Ric, on the sandy PlayAlchemist dance floor in 2019 and is someone who enjoys creative electronica as much as me.

Ben Jennings – Software Engineer

The Lewis Brothers – “Sally Johnson”
This is one of my favorite fiddle tunes, it’s representative of a niche style of playing in the American South. This is the style that I like to emulate and play. A great, crunchy recording from Texas. It’s a G tune over an E chord most of the time, which is pretty cool and unusual.

System of a Down – “Darts”
I didn’t really like System of a Down until I listened to their early albums. This was the song that sold me on them. They didn’t take themselves seriously at all, yet they put out some sick songs.

Ava Z – User Experience

Marisa Anderson – “Austin, Eureka, and Ely”
Marisa’s guitar playing spans so much of the emotional spectrum…this song really hits me because of my time in Nevada this past winter, driving along Highway 50, the nation’s loneliest highway.

KOKOROKO – “Abusey Junction”
I’m into the instrumentals atm…this song hit me when I first heard it, and it was just on some recommended playlist. I didn’t spend any time looking into it at first, I just enjoyed it. But upon looking it up, I fell into a rabbit hole of afrobeat music, which is a cool genre I didn’t know about that shares a connection with the older West African disco I love so much.

Lauren Jennings – Customer Success

Of Monsters and Men – “King And Lionheart”
Has me reminiscing about past and good times…

The Marías – “Clueless”
It’s a boppy tune, really gives my vibes a boost. I used to love it when it’d come on when I was working boring hours at my old job.

What music are you vibing with these days? Leave a comment, tweet at us @tonicaudiolabs, or email us:

Tonic Audio is committed to helping bring more art and beauty into the world with our products. Check out our first project, Tonic, in beta-testing now.

By Ethan Clift

Ethan is Co-founder and CEO of Tonic Audio. His favorite things to do are sew quilts, take walks, make music, and his morning ritual of waking with Evie June, feeding the animals, coffee + a jaunt to the dog park with the pocket-sized Yorkies. His favorite tool is a Nintendo Wii controller Allison hacked for him to use to control a synth during live performances.