Upon the release of ‘OXYGEN,’ the artist provides a list of readings for introspection—from a monk’s musings to a fantasy epic

On the surface, Brendan Angelides’s oeuvre is disjointed: He co-scored Darren Aronofsky’s immersive sci-fi production Postcard from Earth and scored the action-adventure video game Assassin’s Creed Mirage; soundtracked hedge-fund drama Billions, teenage tragedy 13 Reasons Why, and twisted thriller Echoes; collaborated with pop stars, producing a cover of Yazoo’s “Only You” with Selena Gomez; and co-founded the Echo Society, a collective dedicated to fusing electronic and orchestral sounds. This, all on top of making his own music—formerly under the moniker ESKMO, and now with his own name.

A closer look exposes the connective tissue; Angelides’s music is toned by the weight of uncertainty. It embodies the all-consuming feeling of traversing a new landscape—physical or digital, and always emotional. His newest album OXYGEN stays true to form, but trades collective cultural unease for personal reckonings. It sees the artist grappling with the simultaneous joys and fears that come with fatherhood, reflecting on the birth of his twins, and his daughter’s diagnosis of cerebral palsy. “Stepping into parenthood for anyone is chaotic, and Lou’s condition was another foreign, unknown place,” Angelides says in the album’s release. “We just had to take one minute at a time and dance with the process. Writing OXYGEN out of that place was an embodiment of ‘life is messy,’ distilling it into something that felt good to me, and that I want to share with people on the outside.”

Where his music provides context on-screen and in life, Angelides seeks something similar in words. Upon the release of OXYGEN, he shares a reading list that inspires introspection.

True Love by Thich Nhat Hanh
“Thich Nhat Hanh is an inspiration to me. I’ve visited the Plum Village Monastery in France and the Deer Park Monastery in California, [and was] deeply impacted by each visit: walking, stopping for the bell, eating with the monks in silence. I’m looking forward to bringing my kids when they are ready.”

The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk
“A book I’ve recommended time and time again. I’ve bought copies and given them to friends. An in-depth yet remarkably accessible study on how our bodies remember and hold onto trauma, large and small, in a way that is separate from the mind. [Both] solution- and science-based, it’s truly a remarkable book.”

The Lakota Way by Joseph M. Marshall
“I’ve been very lucky to have visited Hopi, Navajo, and Lakota reservations. I met strong, beautiful families with deep histories. Joseph M. Marshall has a wonderful collection of books he has written [about Native American culture]. All valuable and full of wisdom.”

The Way Of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
Mistborn was my introduction to Sanderson, and the Stormlight archive series is above and beyond. Masterful world-building, digestible, forward-moving—everything I love about epic fantasy.”

Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake
“Fascinating. Layers of depth. Written in such an engaging and thought-provoking way. How could you not be intrigued? Highly endorsed.”