Once as a child walking home I passed our house and decided to keep going. I had neglected some responsibility and didn't want to face the consequences. I left the neighborhood and walked onto a path that took me into the woods next to the lake. The water on the left glittered through the trees. Having made the decision I couldn't turn back and walked on, for an hour or so, until I reached town.
I found the song Tuesday by London based trio mary in the junkyard via a tiktok and it made me want to make a playlist. I love when the drums kick in and the intensity of the haunted vocal. The song takes you on a journey. "I feel like an alien here". Who doesn't?
Other songs seemed to fit. It isn't a happy playlist but I was imagining child me walking into the woods then, in the early 90s, as I walk in the woods here, next to another body of water, more and more leaves turning and piling up on the trail:
Beirut's new single The Tern is like a prayer or spell that Zach Condon says he improvised on the spot over a simple drum machine part. The song slowly grows with layers as Condon's voice reaches for something divine. I find it really affecting and vulnerable.
Jenn Champion is back with another cheerful album, The Last Night of Sadness, and I was already hooked on the single Good News Bad News (we're all gonna die) that dropped a few days before. It's catchy and timely: "what they say is true, we are all gonna die, sometimes it doesn't feel right to be alive". It's depressing as shit but it makes you want to dance at the same time.
I look forward to listening more to Champion's album and also Tre Burt's new release Traffic Fiction. The songs I've heard have been all really good but for this playlist I like All Things Right, that has alot going on, bluesy rock but at the same time something nostalgic and almost 80s in the chorus, with vocals that are loose and a groove that is addictive. Maybe not a complete fit for this playlist but I can imagine child me walking to it, kicking rocks.
Sufjan Stevens will likely be my most played artist this year because I keep putting on Javelin. I love it! Will Anybody Ever Love Me? Feels fitting for emo child me. Same for Hide Behind My Disguise by Cleffy. You should definitely check out Clean Sheets, Dirty Walls. I was torn between using Hide Behind My Disguise and Meet you at the Graveyard but I also have Graves by Black Polish and two grave songs seemed too much? Typing this out now it feels totally appropriate to have two grave songs, so check that out too.
And if Black Polish isn't on your radar she should be. Baby Tonight is such a fun pop punk song it will have you dancing in your despair. Graves should be on all your Halloween party playlists.
Another artist that showed up on tiktok: Veviter Long. Tiktok is a good source for music recs. His deep voice is interesting and Little Red Flower is a great song. The Christian Club sounds like something demonic is going on, and sometimes that's relatable. Like King Krule's sibling they had to send away. It's an alternative band from Bruges, Belgium.
Corrine Bailey Rae's Black Rainbows is one of the albums of the year and Put It Down is a 8 and a half minute masterpiece. If it went on for another 8 minutes I wouldn't complain. It felt like a perfect penultimate track on a walk through a forest. She released her self titled album featuring Put Your Records On in 2006 and Sarah Assbring released her first self titled studio album the same year as El Perro Del Mar, out of Gothenburg, Sweden. That was about the same time I left Gothenburg for the Americas. Her new single In Silence feels like a very sad Disney song:
Forever in your dreams
I’m bound to walk aimlessly alone
And on that note, I feel like apologizing, but I found comfort in a lot of these songs, and maybe you will too. Hug your loved ones.
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