Ahead of the release of ‘GLOW,’ the polymath artist curates a transportive and transformative playlist of tracks that elicit memories, and form new ones of their own

Wesley Joseph is preoccupied with feeling—particularly, with the ability sound has to capture, escalate, or alter emotion. The polymath artist’s 2021 debut, ULTRAMARINE, saw that fixation distilled down to a collection of tracks that embodied the distinct atmosphere of London, textured by his collaborators—including A.K. Paul, Dave Okumu, Joy Orbison, Leon Vynehall, Lexxx, Loyle Carner, and his childhood friend Jorja Smith.

On his sophomore release, that sentiment is carried. GLOW treats each song as a cinematic experience. And over the course of the album, Joseph treats tracks as character studies in which he moves seamlessly between the characters he embodies, from supervillain to hedonistic hero. This latest project, which launches on February 17 via Secretly Canadian, tells stories likewise built from a feeling: love, loss, anxiety, joy. For Document, the artist shares a playlist of songs that have that same capacity for expression—the transportive and transformative, tracks that elicit memories, and form moments of their own.

“2 Fast” by Sonder
“I really appreciate the simplistic but powerful idea of living too fast. The soundscape is somber, but there’s a sense of hopefulness that creates a feeling of being in the present, and a reminder to keep going. It’s therapeutic—a song you really live with.”

“Long Time – Intro” by Playboi Carti
“This song has an electric energy to it, and a feeling of realizing how far you’ve come. Every time I listen, it makes me feel empowered, hopeful, and appreciative of the place I’ve got to.”

“Last Year” by Toro y Moi
“This one feels like the beginning of something, and features such a warm and enriching use of instrumentation. I like how it doesn’t feel overtly happy, but is layered in a way that still gives you that feeling. It’s the sound of the sunrise.”

“Cleveland Is The Reason” by Kid Cudi
“This song is about where Kid Cudi is from, and the sentiment is one I can connect with. I used to play this song when I was younger, driving around with friends at night. It has gritty, real, and raw energy—the feeling of youth.”

“Save the Children” by Gil Scott-Heron
“I find the progression of this one unique. Its poetry and powerful message grounds me. Its unapologetic nature has me in awe, and the tonality of Scott-Heron’s voice feel timeless.“

“dancing” by NEIL FRANCES
“It sounds like magic—a nostalgic, euphoric escape. This song puts you in nature, and feels beautiful, warm, and psychedelic. Its space and texture just take me away.”

“On The Level” by Mac DeMarco
“This isn’t a heavily-layered song, but it speaks volumes in its attention to detail, knowing exactly what instruments to use and when. It’s a beautiful escape, and feels really true to itself.”

“Plastic 100°C” by Sampha
“It’s an absolute masterpiece, one of my favorite songs of all time. Everything in it feels so beautiful and unique: the metaphors, the use of texture, the bass, synths, arpeggiators, harp. It all sounds exactly how it should, but [unlike] anything else. It’s like Dr. Pepper—you don’t know what it is, but you know that taste. It’s got me through good times and bad times; it reflects however you’re feeling, and you can either find its hope, or wallow in its sadness.”