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Brett Dennen: ‘My Secret Playlist’

We love the music of Oakdale, California singer-songwriter Brett Dennen, who has one of the finest voices in contemporary pop-folk. He’s touring Australia in September with shows in Brisbane (9th), Sydney (16th) and Melbourne (17th), in support of his beautiful new album, So Much More. With that in mind, we checked in with him to get his Secret Playlist — a rundown on what music he’s listening to right now: This Time Tomorrow by The Kinks. ‘I like this song because it inspires me to wonder what the future may bring. We never know who we will become. All we have is hope and dreams. It also makes me nostalgic for the past. It makes me feel sentimental’.

Zumbi/Jorge Ben.
‘This might be the most perfect music ever made. Incredible groove, crazy catchy melody, positive lyrics, and an overall good vibe. I am addicted to Jorge Ben’s music, and he is probably my biggest influence right now’.

Ambulance Blues/Neil Young.
‘On The Beach is my favorite Neil Young record. It is some of the most straight forward honest lyrics ever, and the production is bare and raw. Beyond that there is an overall vibe that only Neil can put across, that I can’t even put into words’.

‘Viva La Vida is getting all kinds of praise, and it is deserved. It’s a great album. This is my favorite song from it. It is humble, has a dope groove, and is something everyone can relate to. Feeling desperate, but not willing to give up’.

River Man/Nick Drake.
‘This song brings in the darkness, which is an important thing. You need the mystery and pain of his voice. We all need a little darkness to dwell in it makes the light that much brighter’.

One Sweet World/Dave Matthews Band.
‘Early Dave Matthews. I just love to sing the line, “Let us sleep outside tonight, lay down in our mother’s arms”. I miss the mountains from my childhood. It is crazy how one line can bring up tons of memories’.

Dire Wolf/Grateful Dead.
‘Jerry sings with so much soul on this track. It is a funny story about a poker game with a wolf, but I love when the chorus comes around. It is a good sing along. It makes me feel like a dirty rascal pleading for my life. Make sure you check out the acoustic version from the Reckoning album’.

Water Get No Enemy/Fela Kuti.
‘This song has to be the heaviest jam of all time. It gets me all fired up. You can dance to it, exercise to it, and clean house to it. It is always stuck in my head and there are hardly any lyrics’.


Brett Dennen’s album So Much More is out now on Downtown through Inertia.