“On the day it actually came out, I described it as it's like waking up on your birthday but not getting to see your friends yet,” Celeste says about releasing her debut album Not Your Muse during a global pandemic. “You know it's an occasion, you know it's special, but it's like all the things that you've been trained to think are part of the celebration aren't actually happening.” Despite the unceremonious nature of the album’s release, the American-born British singer-songwriter is excited to finally unveil a body of work she’s proud of—something she feels wouldn’t have happened had she not taken the time to carve out some much-needed personal space during lockdown. For Apple Music's At Home With series, Celeste also shared an eclectic, genre-bending playlist she curated herself. Check out some of her picks below.
Moses Sumney, “Plastic”
“When I first ever heard it, it became one of those songs where it was like, ‘I want to write a song like this.’ And when I wrote ‘Not Your Muse,’ this was the song that I listened to the most. I could identify with it because it was like something in me saying, ‘I'm not the hero you think I am, I'm not the hero you expect me to be. I have these flaws, which means that I don't have superhuman capabilities.’ I liked that concept running parallel to some of the concepts I had for that song.”
Lauren Auder, “The Baptist”
“It's funny because even if it is a bit gory, I just see blood. It's kind of intense, but that's what I see when I listen to this song. And Lauren has this beautiful, alabaster, porcelain skin, almost vampire-esque—and such sort of strong imagery in that pre-Raphaelite sort of era. And again, this was one of those songs that kind of set a precedent for me in like, ‘This is the kind of song I want to write one day,’ just because it's so strong in many ways. It makes you really feel something inside.”
Jacques Brel, “Ne me quitte pas”
“It joins quite a lot of things together for me, especially that era of French music, and how in the UK, in the ’50s and ’60s, we then covered a lot of those songs. It captures the drama that I want and I sort of indulge in my own music and in the process of making music. There's a theatrical nature to which I'm really attracted to. It allows you to create a character and elaborate further what that part is in you, but kind of magnifying it.”