Whistling Wunderkind Molly Lewis Finds Safety in Her Wired Headphones

Molly Lewis

Photo courtesy of Molly Lewis.

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 from KenTheMan, Shygirl, and HOMESHAKE. This week, we spoke with Los Angeles-based musician Molly Lewis, known for her lounge show, Café Molly, and her olympic-level whistling skills. To watch Lewis live is to be transported as she takes the stage in a red Jessica Rabbit-esque dress, purses her lips, and immediately begins whistling so melodically that it’s hard to believe the notes are truly coming from her. Her routine is seductive, as sexy as it is funny, and also a bit camp. Her debut record, aptly titled On the Lips, is out now. So, for this week’s SOUND ADVICE, we enlisted Lewis to make us a playlist—“a mixture of beloved tunes, sealed with a kiss,” as she describes it—and answer our questionnaire, in which she demonstrates her passion for salsa dancing, Hall & Oates, and Carly Simon


Where do you dance? Any party that is playing disco or… salsa clubs! I am a very mediocre salsa dancer.

Bluetooth or wired headphones? I like the safety of wired, I like being physically connected. Bluetooth is never not a little bit fiddly.

What was your first concert? Gosh, maybe a piano recital with my mother.

Favorite cover track of all time: “I Can’t Go For That” – Nashville Rhythm Section. In general, I just love the song, “I Can’t Go for That.” There are a few good covers but Nashville Rhythm Section is the best. I once got kicked off of a DJ set because they said I was playing too many versions of “I Can’t Go For That.” Guess they couldn’t go for it? Never enough, in my opinion!

Who is your style icon? Gena Rowlands in the film Gloria. Or for stage—Dalida!

What song on this playlist makes you cry? “Coming Around Again” by Carly Simon. I put this song on the playlist because it’s the only one that comes to mind that I know will immediately make me fall apart. Even thinking about it is making my eyes start to well.

Dead or alive, who is your dream collaborator? ABBA! Benny and Bjorn… call me?!

Name a song that reminds you of your childhood: Patsy Cline – “Back in Baby’s Arms.”

The world is ending, what are you wearing? My camping vest that has about 350 pockets.

Best place to get food after a show in Hollywood? Taco Zone for the extra crispy veggie mulita.

Which city are you dying to play live? Tokyo!!!

Best movie soundtrack? Oh man, that’s an impossible question for me. Howard Shore’s score for Lord of the Rings is the one that changed my life as a 12-year-old… I even wrote him a very long letter. But now, I cannot possibly pick. John Barry, Bernard Hermann, Jerry Goldsmith, the Italians—Morricone, Umiliani, Piccioni!?

Collecting records: In or out for 2024? I just put a record out so…. IN!!! Collect it, please.

What drink are you ordering at Cafe Molly? Piña Colada with extra cherries and an umbrella.

Favorite jazz bar in LA? The Dresden, five years ago.