Whiskey & Bananas Presents: “Saudade: Preparing for Winter,” A Playlist by Kelly Puleio

Music selections from the San Francisco-based photographer of The Orwells’ album cover, featuring Sia, Weezer, Otis Redding & more

Images provided by Kelly Puleio

Listen to “Saudade: Preparing for Winter” on Spotify


As we wind down a year of guest-curated playlists, we knew we had to reach out to photographer Kelly Puleio for her music selections. We worked with the accomplished and versatile San Francisco-based photographer last year as we developed the album cover for rock band The Orwells’ Terrible Human Beings. The band had been drawn to Kelly’s mysterious and provocative style based on a series of motel room portraits she had done, which she recreated for their cover, in addition to shooting the band’s press photos around Chicago.

Kelly shooting The Orwells at home in Chicago, September 2016. Photo by Katie Ingegneri.

The Orwells’ unique cover was but one facet of Kelly’s varied work, where she documents everything from high-end cocktails and fashion to natural landscapes and luxurious interiors.

According to her official biography, Kelly Puleio is a San Francisco-based photographer, by way of New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia, and Berlin. You can most often find her, camera in hand, scouring for the next best cocktail or unusual adventure. Her roots in fine art carry deeply into her commercial work. Puleio is a graduate of the Art Institute of Philadelphia and California College of the Arts. She is published and has exhibited nationally and internationally.

Kelly reflects on the themes that inspired this collection of songs:

I recently moved my brother cross-country from LA to Alabama to continue chasing his dreams, just as he has always supported me to do. My inspiration for this playlist sits with the feeling of Saudade, a Portuguese word for that intangible “deep emotional state of nostalgic or profound melancholic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves.” There isn’t a word in English that quite grasps the elusive feeling, and that’s where music steps in.
The passing of time and space. Intangible longing. How growth and light can be so so beautiful, while also burning a hole in your heart. How two souls can feel so deeply connected.

These Arms of Mine—Otis Redding

Makes you stop in your tracks, grab your wife, and slow dance in the kitchen.

Georgia — Vance Joy

The kind of love that devours you.

Southland in the Springtime — Indigo Girls

Taking that drive, away from everything you have known and loved.

Either Way — Guster

Guster is a band that carried me through my first love, my first drive cross country, and into adulting. This song was where it all began.

Jacked Up — Weezer

Because every playlist should have a Weezer song, always.

Tether — CHVRCHES

Letting go.

California — Delta Spirit

Moving from the east coast, heading for California with a girl I didn’t love.

Wake Me — Bleachers

The song my wife quietly sings to me in the car that makes the rest of the world melt away.

Waking Up and Walking Out — Margot & The Nuclear So and So’s

My best friend (and music guru) introduced me to this song and I listened to it on repeat for months.

Bird Set Free — Sia

Sia makes me remember what the fight is for, and to sing at the top of your lungs.