Listen to Ethel Cain’s Playlist of Melancholic Bangers
This is SOUND ADVICE, a weekly destination for playlists curated by Interview’s friends, enemies, and lovers. Over the past few weeks, we’ve gathered playlists by Daniel Fisher, a.k.a. Physical Therapy, The Papi Juice Collective, and Man on Man. This week’s installment is brought to you by none other than Ethel Cain, the Southern-gothic persona of singer-songwriter Hayden Silas Anhedönia. Heavily influenced by her roots in the Florida panhandle as the daughter of a Southern Baptist preacher, Cain’s music captures a certain heart-wrenching, all-American melodrama—just listen to her holler the line “Do you wanna see the west with me?” on the track “Thoroughfare,” the nine-minute magnum opus from her debut studio album Preacher’s Daughter. For Sound Advice, Cain crafted an equally brooding playlist—featuring Black Sabbath, Whiskeytown, and Electric Wizard—and answered our questionnaire, in which she tells us about her love for Jack Daniel’s and which tracks she loops while lying on her bedroom floor.
What’s on your bedroom playlist? Lots of ambient music. I keep blankets over all my windows and tornado footage looped on my TV 24/7 so I usually will put on “High Gravity” by Wulven and loop that for hours and lie on the floor.
Bluetooth or wired headphones? Wired headphones if I’m recording because I like to twirl the cord while I sing, but Apple AirPod Pros on noise cancellation if I’m listening to my 432 hz meditation videos.
What do you listen to before hitting the stage? Nothing.
What’s your favorite whiskey brand? Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey Whiskey.
Favorite on-the-road meal? Applesauce.
What was your first concert? Daughter at Terminal West in Atlanta, 2016.
What song on this playlist makes you cry? “American Tradition” by Nicole Dollanganger. It actually goes beyond crying, it makes my eyes glass over and I check out of reality until it’s over.
What’s the best song about the American South? Probably anything by Drive By Truckers. I could never pick just one.
What artist, dead or alive, would you most like to write a song about you? Nobody, that would be so embarrassing.
Name your favorite artist no one knows about: Bedlocked! I’d hate to say no one knows about them cause that seems harsh but they’re definitely underrated. One of the best albums of 2022 easily.
Do you play an instrument? Piano mostly. Also a little guitar and bass and I’m currently trying to master the theremin.
Where’s the afters? Under a tree, I can’t tell you which one.
What song do you have on repeat? At this very moment? “Heart on Chain” by Kevin Greenspon.
What do you listen to when you’re high? “Pedestal” by Vera Blue, lots of my demos, or a 10-hour loop of a Shepard Tone on youtube.
What’s your favorite album cover of all time? That’s insanely hard to answer. Maybe Maggot Brain? Or maybe All Thoughts Fly by Anna Von Hausswolff.
Who’s the queen of pop? Björk.
What’s your favorite movie needle-drop? Not really a movie but every time they play Led Zeppelin on Sharp Objects. Or “Tennessee Plates” in Thelma and Louise.