Traveling immerses us in the world, but sometimes in the less eventful moments in between destinations, we just need to escape. “The Layover” is a weekly roundup of books, music, podcasts, and other forms of entertainment brought to you by your favorite world travelers.
This week, we reached out to Forrest Smith, a travel and commercial photographer based out of Salem, Oregon. Today, he discusses the entertainment he turns to during travel’s quieter moments.
“Light Upon the Lake: Demo Recordings” by Whitney
This album in particular ignites my imagination. As a person who draws inspiration from new experiences and landscapes, being in the right state of mind to capture them is an essential part of my creative process. I first listened to this album while on a trip through Arizona and southern Utah, and every time I’ve listened to it since, I picture the vast and expansive landscapes that I encountered on that trip. The nostalgic, yet energetic vibe of Whitney’s music makes you feel like you’re going somewhere old and familiar. Whether I’m driving, working, shooting, or just relaxing, this album never fails to inspire me to create.
“4 Track EP” by Litany
Litany brings a certain energy to the music they make. Their electric instrumentals paired with their haunting lyrics bring you up, down, and everywhere in between. Perfect for editing photographs on layovers or vibing out to on long drives, this album is a must-listen when you travel. Introspective and fresh, it’s the perfect soundtrack for experiencing new places. Just sit back, enjoy the emotional ride, and let it take you to your next destination.
“The Dharma Bums” by Jack Kerouac
There’s no doubt that Jack Kerouac played an instrumental role in inspiring a contemporary nomadic culture throughout much of the United States. Books such as “On the Road” encouraged my father’s generation (and my father as well) to stick it to the man and hit the road with little aside from the clothing on their backs. When I was young, my father’s stories of hitch-hiking across the U.S. inspired me, igniting a desire to see more and find myself through travel. This book had a similar effect. Exploring existential topics such as religion and one’s relationship with the outdoors, it digs deep while still reminding you that simplicity is key. “The Dharma Bums” is the perfect read while you’re getting out and seeing new things, reminding one of the value that can be found in travel, connection, and new experiences.
“Dissect” takes your favorite albums and literally breaks them down song by song, lyric by lyric. They’ve covered Kanye West’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp a Butterfly,” and many songs by Frank Ocean. Each episode focuses both on the artists themselves and on the complexity of their music. “Dissect” is perfect for long travel days, as it allows you to get lost in the intricacies of some of pop culture’s most well-known tunes.