No artist bridges the organic and the digital like the UK’s Cosmo Sheldrake – a 25 year-old multi-instrumentalist musician, composer and producer. Known for his playful lyrics (songs about pelicans and tardigrades) as well as his uniquely rich sonic palettes, Sheldrake has quite the resume for his age. He’s spoken and performed at a TEDx event, composed music for film and theater, run a community choir, and taught music privately and in schools.

Sheldrake plays a dizzying number of instruments, including but not limited to: banjo, loop station, keyboards, double bass, drums, penny whistle, sousaphone, and accordion. His sound is delightfully singular, utilizing a lush array of samples and field recordings that Sheldrake collects himself on his travels. Don’t be surprised if you hear a cat’s purr, the breaking of Bulgarian slate rock, or the crunch of leaves underfoot while listening to his music.

Due to Sheldrake’s vast span of interests both sonically and lyrically, it only make sense that his favorite LPs of all time would be just as diverse as his own catalogue. Check out Cosmo Sheldrake’s list of Top 10 favorite records below, with his commentary and a corresponding Spotify playlist! And don’t miss Sheldrake’s performance of “Prefusify,” recorded live in a laundromat!

COSMO SHELDRAKE’S TOP 10 RECORDS.

10) SMITHSONIAN FOLKWAYS RECORDINGS–ANTHOLOGY OF AMERICAN FOLK MUSIC

“This record triggered a big learning curve for me.”

9) DR. JOHN–GRIS-GRIS

“A musical interpretation of a swamp! Huge Juju.”

8) THE BEATLES–MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR

“Just sooo good.”

7) CHARLIE MINGUS–THE BLACK SAINT & THE SINNER LADY

“One of the most evocative things I have ever heard. Bursting with life. Also some of the most vigorous playing and the best horn arrangements!”

6) THELONIOUS MONK–MONK’S DREAM

“I just love the clunky, thunky melodies – so much character!”

5) STUDIES OF TOM ZÉ–EXPLAINING THINGS SO I CAN CONFUSE YOU

“So diverse and exploratory – full of hidden gems.”

4) CAN–EGE BAMYASI

“Makes me want to play the drums in a band!”

3) MOONDOG–SAX PAX FOR A SAX

“Very inspiring, intricate, and imaginative.”

2) TOM WAITS–RAIN DOGS

“Such a vibe! A deep nostalgia for an imaginary time and place.”

1) MILES DAVIS–SKETCHES OF SPAIN

“I think this is one of my favorite records. The arrangements and dynamics and everything about it is mind blowing.”