Editorials Saint Audio Selects

Michael Mason Shares The Songs That Inspired ‘Keep Me Alive’

Indie electronic artist Michael Mason released his first EP in five years—Keep Me Alive is an emotional collection of songs written in his New York City apartment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Touching on loss, love, and anxiety, Keep Me Alive is a moving memoir that will feel relatable to many. To celebrate the release of the EP, Michael Mason has selected a collection of tracks that directly inspired the writing of Keep Me Alive.

I wanted to try and accomplish two things with this playlist. First, I wanted to share my inspirations, the artists who made this EP possible. Second, I wanted to capture my own feelings while writing this project. We all went through the past year, and I don’t wish to dump my own personal struggle on you all, but I think this playlist captures my emotions in the eight or so months I spent writing. I hope you feel that when you listen, and please check out these other artists as well, they’re all fantastic.

“Set U Off” – underscores
Underscores has been a constant source of inspiration in terms of songwriting, and something about this song just scratches some weird itch in my brain. I cannot stop revisiting it and the vocals on Keep Me Alive were definitely inspired a lot by the production on this.

“How To Do Nothing” – Lido
Right as the pandemic began, I released my first song featuring my own vocals. It was a huge departure from my usual music, and I was nervous and scared of what people would think. Lido then played the song on an Instagram live, played piano and sang along with it. I still have the video saved and watch it whenever I need inspiration. This EP would not exist without him and this song.

“Movies” – Weyes Blood
I first heard this song in the bathroom at my job I was (unknowingly) about to be fired from. I left the bathroom, went outside for a walk and listened to it about six times on repeat. It’s such a special piece of music that captures both the whimsical wants and the dread of things not being how you thought they’d be. I love it

“Mr Blue” – Catherine Feeny
This is half about the song being great, and half about how deeply I love Bojack Horseman. I can’t believe I cried about a cartoon horse jeez get it together Michael.

“Shepherd” – Anais Mitchell
I feel like this is a masterclass in musical storytelling. I remember the first time I heard this album I was completely entranced. I also highly recommend Hadestown for anyone who can stomach some musical theatre!

“You & I” – Local Natives
You ever have a song you love incredibly deeply, but it’s tied to a painful memory? Welp, that’s this one for me. As if it wasn’t already sad enough. Still, I hold this song very close to my heart.

“Run Fast” – Billy Lemos
This is the song that made me start the EP. I was so shocked by the contrast in this one and I immediately got hit with a wave of inspiration when I heard it. I’m currently doing a stank face while listening to it right now.

“Slowly” – falcxne
I always really loved falcxne’s music, and this pandemic was kind enough to give us a chance to meet at a virtual festival. We immediately hit it off stylistically and got to work on “No More,” and he’s been nothing but a tremendously supportive friend. LISTEN TO HIM NOW NOW NOW.

“忘れっぽい天使” – Kaho Nakamura
I do not remember how I found this one, but hooooo boy am I glad I did. It feels like a warm hug and it makes me feel like the world is safe. I love it.

“When It Was Summer” – Jake Sherman
This track showed up in my recommended feed on Soundcloud back in 2012, right when I first started producing. I still listen to it ALL THE TIME. It makes me feel like I can do anything. It’s so joyful and nostalgic and honest. I also just realized he is still making music and that makes me incredibly happy 🙂 

Follow Michael Mason on Spotify.

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