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Top Ten Albums To Edit To

January 14 2011

You know that guy who’s always talking about music in your Twitter or Facebook feed?  Yah.  That guy is Josh Solar, in our world, so we asked him to share some musical goodness for you all.  Because we love editing — but new tunes to edit to are never a bad thing.

I’m a music geek. My music tastes are all over the place. There is a perfect album/song for every situation, and it’ll drive me up a wall until I find that perfect track to match my mood or whatever activity I’m doing.

A good soundtrack can make or break your day. It can definitely make editing more enjoyable, which is why I’m making a list of my favorite albums to edit to.

Some are fun, upbeat & happy tunes. Some are a little slower, music that you can FEEL deep inside. Hopefully you’ll find something new to help please those eardrums while performing a sometimes tedious but necessary task.

Note: I’ve linked to Amazon MP3 where I could. It’s usually cheaper if you buy your music there, and you can still import into iTunes (the best way to organize your digital collection).

Second Note: This list originally started out as my top 5 albums to edit to, then it quickly grew to 10 because I suck at narrowing anything down (that’s why my wife does the culling of images), and then I had to include a list of honorable mentions because they were just too good to not mention honorably.

Third Note: While making this list I wasn’t even listening to any of the albums mentioned, I was listening to Joey Ryan. See, I can’t help but share more music. I am in fact a super music geek.


  1. Rabbit! - Connect the Dots This album has been on non-stop rotation in the Solar household for quite some time now. It’s just downright fun & happy. I have yet to meet someone who can listen to this album and not smile. Since I’m a wedding photographer, and weddings are fun, it fits perfectly into the images we capture. Which is why it gets played over and over and over again. Fav tracks – Pea, 1-4-3, Fall Into Love

  2. Alexi Murdoch – Time Without Consequence Beautiful melodies, wonderful voice. An album that I’ll listen to straight through. With a digital library of over 30,000 songs, not many albums can garner a straight through no skipping policy, but Time Without Consequence does, and it never get old. Fav tracks – All My Days, Song for You, Orange Sky

  3. Jónsi - Go Jónsi is better known as the frontman for the Icelandic band, Sigur Ros. Again, a beautiful voice that just sucks you right in. Also a voice that drives my wife up a wall, but to each their own, right? Go is the first time that Jónsi recorded any songs in English, and the wait was worth it. With lyrics like “You will survive we´ll never stop wonders. You and sunrise will never fall under. We should always know that we can do anything. Go do!” (from the song Go Do) tied to a fast beat, you’ll be sure to knock out some post processing. Fav tracks – Go Do, Boy Lilikoi, Animal Arithmetic

  4. Orba Squara – Sunshyness You’re a photographer, chances are you have an iPhone. I first heard Orba Squara’s song “Perfect Timing (This Morning)” on the first iPhone commercial. It was simple, catchy, and put me in a good mood. Much like the rest of this album. Lots of simple, stripped down, happy tunes. His other album, The Trouble with Flying is equally as good and could have easily been placed in the #4 spot as well. Fav tracks – The Only Thing, Gravel, Sunshine

  5. Anything by Amy Seeley I had the pleasure of witnessing Amy play in the middle of nowhere on an old, broken down piano out under the stars earlier this year. Just her voice, the piano, her bootstomps against the ground and the cicadas. The passion she plays with is just…indescribable. It fits well with the passion we put into our art. Deeply personal & moving. Fav tracks – Beloved (from Eight Belles), Surprisingly So, Evelyn Cameron (from Plum Coulee)

  6. Matt & Kim – Sidewalks Most people prefer their Grand album, but dangit, Sidewalks has a lot more layers to it. Catchy as all get-up, you will probably find yourself dancing more than editing, and when you do finally sit back down at your computer, your head will still keep on bobbing along with those awesome beats. Fav tracks – Good for Great, Block After Block, Silver Tiles, Cameras

  7. Emilie Mover – Le Pop Fantastique A pleasant mix of soothing vocals & upbeat melodies. This album is full of love songs that will fit nicely with those happy portraits you’re editing. Fav tracks – I Got Love, A You’re Adorable, Made For Each Other

  8. The Album Leaf – Into the Blue Again Mostly instrumental. This album makes you feel, it’s great for when you need to focus, although if you’re tired, it might put you to sleep. Not that it’s boring, it’s just…ahhhhhhhh. Relaxing, a breath of fresh air, wonderful. Fav tracks – Broken Arrow, Into the Sea, Red-Eye

  9. Sufjan Stevens – The Avalanche More beautiful melodies. Layers upon layers of sound. Wonderful sound. Another artist who drives my wife nuts. I listen to at least one of Sufjan’s albums on a weekly basis. Great, great editing tunes. Fav tracks – The Perpetual Self, or “What Would Saul Alinsky Do?”, Adlai Stevenson, The Henney Buggy Band

  10. S. Carey – All We Grow Better known as the drummer from Bon Iver, I prefer Sean Carey’s album because it’s very pleasing on my ears, not that Bon Iver’s isn’t, it’s just my preference. Easy to listen to, and easy to get lost in. You can get into that editing rhythm with this album playing in the background for sure. Fav tracks – In The Dirt, We Fell, Mothers

Honorable Mention

Sigur Ros – Med Sud I Eyrum vid Spilum Endalaust

Arcade Fire – The Suburbs

Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros – s/t

Mumford & Sons – Sigh No More

The XX – s/t

Milosh – iii

Great Lake Swimmers – Ongiara

Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago

The Welcome Wagon – Welcome to the Welcome Wagon

Freelance Whales – Weathervanes

The Beatles – The White Album (any good music list should include something by the Beatles)

Jay-Z – The Hits Collection (tell me you don’t get pumped when Empire State of Mind comes on, I dare you)

Whew. That was one of the hardest things I’ve done in 2011 so far. I hope you heard something you like and I’m wishing all of you a wonderful year shooting whatever it is you shoot. Much love, Josh.

Go on and add your personal editing album faves to the list — there are never too many suggestions for the working photographer!  Oh, and please leave Josh some love — isn’t this list incredible?

You might also like The Soundtrack Of Totally Rad.

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