Welcome back to The Friday Download, T+L’s weekly roundup of articles, music, and internet culture that promise to carry you through the weekend, whether your itinerary is jam-packed with travel or you’re staying put, staycation style. This week: a must-follow illustrator on Instagram and more.

By Caroline Hallemann
May 15, 2015
Otto Kitsinger


Eilen Jewell
Singer-songwriter Eilen Jewell’s new album Sundown Over Ghost Town doesn’t officially drop until May 26, but if you’re in need of her easy-going Americana to serve as a soundtrack to your travels this weekend, look no further. "Some Things Weren't Meant to Be," a twang-y new track inspired by Jewell’s home state of Idaho, premieres below.

“I wrote Some Things Weren't Meant to Be in the mountains of Idaho, a couple hours north of Boise, where I'm from,” Jewell tells Travel + Leisure. “Idaho is full of ghost towns, old mining claims, and other remnants of the glory days of the Wild West. It seems like everywhere you look you see these faded reminders of a bygone world. Near the cabin where I did most of the writing for my new album, there was a rusted-out old truck, Depression-era, half sunk into the ground. When I wrote this song, I tried to capture the sad yet peaceful, almost resigned quality of that truck.”

Check out the exclusive track, here:


Illustrator Christoph Niemann has made something of a Sunday habit out of transforming everyday objects (think dirty socks, fallen leaves, tea bags) into cheeky cartoons—and sharing them on his Instagram account. Some favorites are below, but be sure to follow @abstractsunday for his weekly “Sunday Sketches” series paired with pen-and-ink drawings, commissioned prints, and simple animations.

View "undefined" on Storify


Have an hour or two to kill between flights? Test your geography knowhow with the BBC.com’s GeoGuessr game. The program drops you into Google Maps, and then it’s your job to figure out where you are by zooming in, “walking” down roads, and even looking at street signs. Consider it navigation practice for the vacation ahead.


The Artist Project
New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art houses over 2 million objects, a collection far too large to discover in an afternoon. So how should one go about planning a visit? Why not ask an artist for recommendations? The Met’s new digital project does just that, inviting contemporary artists “to choose individual works of art or galleries that spark their imaginations.” Season 1, which features names like Deborah Kass, Alexander Melamid, and Nick Cave, is live now.

The microsite is just one part of a larger digital initiative taking place at the museum right now. Writer Dillon Baker details the cultural institution’s transition into a media company over on Contently.

Caroline Hallemann is the associate digital editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @challemann.