Here is just a bunch of songs that I listened to heavily while making my forthcoming album, (tentatively titled, "Exceptionalism"). You can hear that they're all pretty relaxed, but with a certain dark edge. I am very uninterested in loud, aggressive music at this point in my career, and even less interested in the chaotic, over reverbed beat music that seems to be all the rage.
Almost every single one of these songs is on an incredible full length album. So, I encourage everyone to check out the full lengths if anything catches your ear. (Except maybe the Gong record...that singer is not cutting it) I tried to keep everything fairly smooth, the most abrupt transition is going from the Jun Miyake to the Raphael Saadiq record, but I thought the eventual tuba basslines tied everything together.