Play It Again

Lauren Bucherie, director of music at the endlessly cool Hotel Van Zandt and its vaunted restaurant Geraldine’s, shares her top listening picks to help you prep for this year’s ACL Music Fest lineup.

By Victoria Stowe

For the past eight years, she’s become an expert in navigating her way through crowded live-music performances and concert halls. As the director of music at Hotel Van Zandt, Lauren Bucherie has a pretty sweet, although often stressful, job of working with both up-and-coming and established musicians. In addition to coordinating live performances for Geraldine’s and curating playlists for Hotel Van Zandt, the Austin-based 31-year-old has made a career out of creating outlets for these musicians to disperse their art to new audiences.

“I was always intrigued by how emotional music made me feel, whether it be excited or sad or calm,” Bucherie says. “I’ve always been interested in [viewing music] as a pathway to people’s wants and desires. I am genuinely in awe of how much influence music can have on our mood. I love the power it holds and I like thinking about new and different ways to use that power.”

Fortunately for us, she decided to use that power for good. Before the mania of Austin’s music-festival season starts, Bucherie sat down to sift through the hundreds of artists performing at this year’s Austin City Limits Music Festival. What she distilled was a playlist of applause-worthy proportions.  

1. Keeper

Genre: synth soul
Her favorite song: “Dock”
Chorus: “Maybe I’m meant to be yours / Maybe I’ll fill the space in you / You never know / It couldn’t hurt to stick around and find out”

2. Jai Malano

Genre: roots blues/blues rock
Her favorite song: “You Made Me Love Me”
Chorus: “You made me love you / Now you’re my one and only / Put no one before you / ’Cause you made me love you”

3. Chris Stapleton

Genre: country/Southern rock
Her favorite song: “Tennessee Whiskey”
Chorus: “You’re as smooth as Tennessee whiskey / You’re as sweet as strawberry wine / You’re as warm as a glass of brandy / And honey, I stay stoned on your love all the time”

4. Local Natives

Genre: indie rock
Her favorite song: “Airplanes”
Chorus: “I love it all / So much I call / I want you back, back, back / You back”

5. Chairlift

Genre: indie pop/synth pop
Her favorite song: “I Belong in Your Arms”
Chorus: “’Cause the world goes on without us / It doesn’t matter what we do / All silhouettes with no regrets / When I’m melting into you / I belong in your arms / I belong in your arms”

6. Andra Day

Genre: soul/jazz/blues/R&B/disco
Her favorite song: “Forever Mine”
Chorus: “I just want you to be forever mine / Be forever mine”

1. Photo by Drew DeGennaro. 2. Photo by Kevin Brice Garner. 3. Photo by Becky Fluke. 4. Photo by Renata Raksha. 5. Photo courtesy of Chairlift. 6. Photo by Myriam Santos.


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