The Great Comet’s Brittain Ashford recently returned from a February concert tour with her band, formerly known as Prairie Empire.
Best known for her achingly melancholic performance of “Sonya Alone” in Broadway’s Tony-nominated Best Musical, it turns out Ashford’s personal taste skews towards the somber.
“I admit, I've always leaned towards the melancholy variety of music, taking solace in the sad songs of those I felt really understood me,” says Ashford. “What better way to work through your own sorrows than to marinate in the emotional mess of those who have come before?”
We asked the artist to create a Playbill Mixtape, and the singer-songwriter has delivered. “This is a list of some of my all-time favorite songs, with a few of my own thrown in the mix.”
(For more playlists from Broadway stars and for Mixtapes to match your every mood, follow Playbill on Spotify.)
And while she admits she could write “an essay” about why she chose each track, suffice it to say Ashford remembers the first time she heard each of these artists. “These are all brief snapshots of where I was and what I needed at very specific times: in my parents’ basement, listening to the White Album on repeat; when I was 15, in a dirty venue in a dumpy part of Seattle, seeing the Softies; working at an art supply store my freshman year of college, hearing Iron & Wine's first album; Hedwig on repeat in my headphones my sophomore year of college.”
Ashford’s wish for listeners: “I hope that these songs find you the way they found me—in moments of despair and hope.”
BRITTAIN ASHFORD’S PLAYBILL MIXTAPE