Sara Watkins was only eight years old when she began performing alongside her brother, guitarist Sean Watkins, and their childhood friend, mandolinist Chris Thile, in the SoCal-born progressive bluegrass band Nickel Creek. By the time she was 22, they’d won a Grammy Award for their fourth album, This Side. Now, at 35, she’s got three solo albums under her belt—the third of which, Young In All The Wrong Ways, was released today.
Unlike 2009’s self-titled debut and 2012’s Sun Midnight Sun, all of the songs on Young In All The Wrong Ways were either written or co-written by the artist herself, which is a welcome first; From the ethereal, melancholic melodies of “The One That Got Away” to the upbeat string-band arrangement in “One Last Time,” Watkins’s latest puts the full spectrum of her creativity on display. Catch her in concert with A Prairie Home Companion’s Garrison Keillor at the Hollywood Bowl July 1, or head to Largo at the Coronet for her record release on July 7, but first, open up your Spotify app: Here, Watkins shares her essential playlist for passing the time in Los Angeles traffic.