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James Paxton’s Ultimate Fall Playlist

The star of USA’s Eyewitness shares a handpicked selection of tunes for DuJour.com

Eyewitness, USA Network’s latest hit based on the Norwegian series Øyevitne, takes us through the twists following a triple-homicide. James Paxton plays Lukas Waldenbeck, one of the crime’s two key witnesses who, in his quest to do right by the law, also struggles with how to do right by his identity. Paxton’s passion for acting shows through Lukas’ layered character, but as most multifaceted talents go, his music project with hometown friend Jared McGill is where you can find him on his “time off.”

The pair formed Ayyuh-J, a “mood music” group that’s in a self-described transition from purely hip hop to something a little more undefinable, soon after Paxton discovered his love for the genre at camp. “I remember having a counselor at summer camp that was always playing these songs I’d never heard of,” he explained, “Especially hip hop, and it was like everything suddenly made sense, I had a soundtrack to my life.” Now well after connecting with McGill, Paxton’s experience with music continues to be a joint effort. “Jared and I will literally get on video chat with each other with our headphones in and play a new song we both haven’t heard at the exact same time and listen to it all the way through, and then start to dissect it and talk about it with each other.”

Music, to say the least, is an all-encompassing thing in Paxton’s life. From extending his industry circle to include his mentor, American rapper Murs, to making sure he fits it into his everyday routine because he “just need[s] a little taste daily,” the artist continues to deepen the connection he has with music, which began with his sister in the kitchen of their childhood home.

So plug in your headphones and enjoy the following playlist curated especially for DuJour.com. Wondering what to expect? Take a note from Paxton’s one liner: “Warning: Orgiastic rhythms inducing calming, yet intense ear and heart connections.”

1. “Fears” by MTNS – “Shouts to my homie Dayton for bringing this epic track to my attention. Drive around late at night blasting this.”

2. “I’m on Fire” by Chromatics – “This one’s for Elise, my partner in love. The ballad of all ballads.”

3. “Ghost Towns” by Radical Face – “I listened to this all summer in Ontario, Canada while shooting Eyewitness. Makes me feel like a badass gypsy.”

4. “Flash Flood” by Tigers Are Bad For Horses – “I call this ‘girl fire.’ I went to high school with the lead singer, had a crush but was too shy to ever talk to her.”

5. “Temporary Love” by The Brinks – “To me, this is one of those “this moment right now is all we have and let’s take a picture because it won’t last” kind of songs. One thing’s for sure though, I’m not ‘temporarily’ in love with this song.”

6. “Blue Boy” by Mac DeMarco – “Remember when everything’s cloudy and you’re happy about it?”

7. “Better Strange” by James Supercave – “Surfing on your back through a galaxy of floating starfish.”

8. “Rotten Love” by Levy – “This song has lyric that says ‘She said no I can’t, James.’ I felt like it was written for me.”

9. “Slide” by Luna – “Coronas at the beach, acid in the orange groves, and skateboarding in the sun.”

10. “Our Way To Fall” by Yo La Tengo “Shimmer, shimmer in the night sky. Enjoy your fall everybody!”


Main image by Josie Perez/JustOmar