🎵 IT027: Prom
✏️ Emily Salinas
🗓 22.03.19

Mixcloud / Spotify

Emily is a multi-disciplinary designer and drummer based in Liverpool.

Hi Emily. Can you tell us a little bit about your tape and your song selections?

My playlist “Prom” is inspired by a number of my favourite American cult teen TV series and films, including The Virgin Suicides, My So-Called Life, Napoleon Dynamite, Perks of Being a Wallflower and 13 Reasons Why.

Perhaps “Prom” is a misnomer as I’m always more interested in the stories of the underdogs and social outcasts. I’ve always loved cult American teen shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Freaks and Geeks. As a teen myself watching My So Called Life was hugely influential and important, seeing someone I could relate to having their story told. I was so enraptured I immediately dyed my hair red like Angela’s! 

Being a teenager is such a unique time in your life; at times super intense, discovering who you are as a person, falling in love/lust for the first time, all that stuff. So I wanted to put together a playlist that basically reflects being a teenager through the lens of these cultural reference points.

The playlist is mostly comprised of dreampop and synthy 80s vibes with some grungier vibes thrown in. I took one or two of the songs directly from the films/series that inspired the playlist but mostly these are original picks.

How did you go about the artwork?

Both the music and the artwork were inspired by the dreamy visuals of The Virgin Suicides. I knew I wanted to combine collage with some hand drawn elements as I felt that aesthetic fit with the music. I love using images from vintage storybooks, such as the image of the girl and boy used here, as they have this magical nostalgic quality.

What are your fave album covers, records with a great music and artwork combo, or musical projects with a visual component?

Aladdin Sane – David Bowie
1972, RCA
Photography/design: Brian Duffy

I love this cover so much I bought it on vinyl despite not owning a record player just so I could display it as a piece of art in my room. The photo is so iconic, it encapsulates everything amazing and inspiring about Bowie. It’s simple and stripped back but still infinitely captivating.

Arular – M.I.A.
2005, XL
Artwork: M.I.A / Steve Loveridge

I love most of M.I.A.’s artwork (Kala and Maya also have awesome album artwork), it was ahead of it’s time with its “ugly” design aesthetic. It captures her edginess, her contemporary take on traditional influences.

What did you listen to growing up?

At school I would alternate between Led Zeppelin and Spice Girls. Zeppelin because I raided my mum’s cassette collection and Spice Girls cos I wanted all of Geri’s dresses and cos they were girls with as much attitude as Oasis. I was also a proud member of the Queen fanclub and would spend any money I got at record fairs buying every bit of Queen merch I could get my hands on!

After Queen came Radiohead and early Manic Street Preachers before discovering metal when I hit 16, getting hugely into Deftones, Slipknot and Korn. Towards the end of college I discovered the Wu Tang Clan which was a game changer and got me quite heavily into hiphop for a couple of years. I’ve always had a soft spot for (decent) pop music though throughout my life and this playlist taps into that.

What’s happening in your creative world at the moment?

I’m actually taking this year off from briefs to improve my technical skills in sign painting and refine my style a bit more as I’ve tended to be quite stylistically fluid in the past! This is done on the weekends as I work as a graphic designer for a company in the week. I am hoping to add to my positive sign project though, having previously made a positive sign for women’s charity “Whisc” on Bold St Liverpool.

The idea behind the series is I wanted to contribute to balancing out all the negative messaging we receive on a regular basis from advertising and the media. I wanted people to be able to see positive messages around the city, and since sign painting is a method I use I decided to go with that! My next positive sign will be for News From Nowhere, an independent radical bookstore, also based on Bold Street Liverpool.

Where to find Emily:

︎ emilysalinas_


Wolf Alice - Heavenward / Sky Ferreira - Boys / Yazoo - Only You  / Bratmobile - Cherry Bomb / The Breeders - Saints / Best Coast - I Want To / Alvvays - Lollipop (Ode To Jim) / Pillow Queens - Rats / Sleigh Bells - Comeback Kid / Alvvays - Ones Who Love You / Grouplove - Slow / Roman Remains - Killing Moon / FKA twigs - Two Weeks / Beija Flo - One Of Those Things / Twin Shadow - Five Seconds / Lorde - The Louvre / M83 - We Own The Sky / HAERTS - Your Love / HALEY - Bratt / The Cure - Plainsong (Remastered) / Melissa Auf der Maur - Would If I Could / The Smashing Pumpkins - Thirty-Three (2012 Remaster) / David Bowie - Heroes (2017 Remaster) / Girls - Summertime / Interpol - NYC / Arcade Fire - Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) / When In Rome - The Promise / Bleachers - Nothing Is U  ︎