• Hilary Kelley

Where I'm humming from

When I'm working, whether that be at my desk in the studio or on the iPad, I've usually got some kind of something playing in the background. I'm home alone for a great bulk of my time and things can get...weird if I'm left to my own devices. The cats and dog don't talk back, you get it. Here's some of my favorite media of late:

Music (Oh hey, I made a little playlist of songs I can't stop listening to)

I go through spells where I only listen to one artist for months until something new finally catches my ear. This year that artist has been Lucy Dacus. I heard Night Shift back in November and it was really a slow burn; I listened to it an actual billion times.

I was really surprised (not surprised) by how much I like Billie Eilish. I'm so impressed with the depth of sound and mood she and her brother are able to make between just the two of them. It's dramatic and catchy as hell.

When I'm really trying to focus, I love listening to Bonobo and Rhye. They're smooth and cool and sound to me how Wicked Game looked, you know? Rhye's newest album is more piano-heavy, so I recommend beginning with Blood.

A friend told me that a lot of the music I post is sad, which is.....fair. I like dark stuff. I prefer to think that my favorite music is moody and atmospheric, so of course I listen to the Westworld soundtrack all the time.

I found so many great bands while watching Letterkenny, including Karkwa, U.S. Girls, and Malachai.


I finished out the spring with Educated by Tara Westover, which was...phew. We share similar fundamentalist upbringings but hers was more extreme by leaps and bounds. Certain parts of it felt like reading a horror novel wherein you could see the killer coming around the corner. I cringed a lot.

I spent the cooler months with Lauren Groff, first with Florida and then her earlier work, Delicate Edible Birds. I really enjoyed both but could definitely see the growth in writing.

Currently: I'm making my way through How People Change by Allen Wheelis. Sort of kind of a self-help book but not really? It's mostly an elegant little look at society, published in the 70's. Reminds me a lot of the thousand-yard-stare of Kundera, but certainly less fatalist. The jury's still out.


I am surprisingly not a huge podcast person, but when I do listen I'm often listening to Off Camera with Sam Jones (and I'm more likely to listen to podcasts in the shower? Good acoustics?). He's got one of the best interview styles, and it's not just your run-of-the-mill actor/director/musician question and answer. Sam has a really nice voice, and gets down to what drives them through the creative process, and I find it endlessly interesting.


I watch so much TV, it's absolutely unhealthy. It's a great way for me to zone out, especially when I'm working intently on a drawing or painting.

I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson There's a reason why everyone is posting clips of this. I really love sketch comedy, and especially sketch comedy with full commitment to absurdity, and this is all of that. It reminded me of the dryer offerings from The State, with much more satisfying payoffs.

Fleabag, Season 2 Full disclosure: I couldn't get into Season 1, and I didn't finish it (it's ok, you can do that!). But I heard and read so many good things about Season 2 from trusted sources that I went ahead and watched the whole thing (it wasn't too hard to figure out what happened in the season I skipped) and holy moly--what a knockout. I left feeling eviscerated but can't wait to try it again. It's dry, and funny, and completely heartbreaking in a way that never feels cloying or pandering.

Tuca & Bertie I love Bojack Horseman, so I was excited to see that Lisa Hanawalt was producing another animated series. This one is different in that it's not quite so existentially devastating, and has a Rocko's Modern Life kind of zaniness that works fantastically well, even with some heavy material.

Dead to Me Did you know Christina Applegate is a national treasure? This show is so well-written, with delicious reveals all the way to the end.

Jane the Virgin There are so many good things about this show. It can get super annoying, but it does clever work with the telenovela format, highlights social issues in impactful ways, and is often very funny. The best part is the narrator is continually catching you up with the story so no matter how zonked I am on a painting I always know what's happening in the plot.

I could go on for a while, but I'll save more for next time.

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