Monday, June 25, 2018

Summer 2018 Playlist: Annotated

It's finally summer, so the playlist is heeeeeere! The weather's been somewhat strange lately--lots of rain, the Midwest's very own monsoon season. The temperature keeps soaring into the 90s, then plunging back into the low 70s. I think this playlist reflects those highs and lows.

1. "Paint Yo'nails," White Mystery: Whenever summer rolls around, I'm always happy to listen to White Mystery, one of Chicago's finest garage rock bands. Thought I'd kick this playlist off with a straightforward retro jam.

2. "Plastic Skeletons," Jealous of the Birds: Found this song on my Spotify Discover Weekly playlist a few weeks ago, and I was obsessed. It also starts out with a garage vibe, but the chorus moves into more of a punk sound. 

3. "Out Of," Cuesta Loeb: This is an artist who keeps popping up for me on Spotify, and I always like her songs, but she only ever releases singles? Why no album?! Want!! I feel like this song would be on the Twin Peaks soundtrack if Twin Peaks were a sunny, happy show. It's like alternate universe Twin Peaks

4. "Cheated Hearts," Yeah Yeah Yeahs: I've been listening to lots of Yeah Yeah Yeahs while running lately, because apparently cardio exercise + gloomy weather = Yeah Yeah Yeahs in my brain. I decided to include this classic because it's endlessly magnificent. 

5. "Run to Your Mama," Goat: Last fall I listened to a great podcast about the mafia in Providence, Rhode Island called Crimetown. This was the theme song. At the time I thought to myself, "This song is going on my summer mix." I made it happen.

6. "Lifeboats (Freestyle)," Jorja Smith: I first encountered Jorja Smith on the Black Panther soundtrack, but this pretty little song is off her new album. Her voice is amazing. Cutest British accent ever.

7. "Pynk," Janelle MonaĆ© featuring Grimes: As many of you know, I am madly in love with Janelle MonaĆ©, and have been for years, and her new album is the best, and I'm putting songs from it on all of my playlists for the foreseeable future. Now go watch her Dirty Computer movie. I want to join the roving gang of Bowies.

8. "Be Careful," Cardi B: This is the summer of Cardi B, so I felt she ought to be included. Or maybe last summer was the summer of Cardi B? At any rate, it's the first summer after she dropped her full length album. I like this song.

9. "The Pact (I'll Be Your Fever)," Villagers: Because what goes better with Cardi B than Irish folk music? Initially I wanted this song to be a coda on the entire playlist, but I had to put the Mountain Goats at the end because SOME PEOPLE like to leave a whole minute of silence on the end of their recordings. I think it works here, though. Something about the bouncy bass part even seems to mimic the music in "Be Careful" to a certain extent.

10. "Big One," Madeline Kenney: This is another one that Spotify handed to me on a Discover Weekly playlist. The first line is "my other car is your face," so that means it's my new favorite song.

11. "Not Abel," Hop Along: The perfect song for when you want a folk punk waltz with a Bjork-esque vocal line that somehow ends in 4/4 time.

12. "If You Could Know," Shannon and The Clams: Bringing back the garage/surf vibe with one from Shannon and The Clams' latest album. I saw them once in Vegas on what was potentially a date? It was unclear.

13. "Cardboard Castles," Dengue Fever: I can't remember who it was, but someone pointed me to the band Dengue Fever when I was traveling around Cambodia, because their lead singer is Cambodian. Thanks, whoever it was! I like this band--another with the retro surf sound.

14. "Sticky," Ravyn Lenae: Ravyn Lenae is great and I'm going to see her at Pitchfork in July! I felt that the organ in this song followed the previous song well.

15. "deep end," Lykke Li: I was disappointed in Lykke Li's new album. It was nothing like her previous album, which was more like sad-sad-sad-pop-folk, and while I typically have no problem with artists experimenting, it was jarring in this case. However, I kind of like this one.

16. "Date Night," Father John Misty: Unlike Lykke Li, I am *so pleased* with Father John Misty's newest album! It reminds me more of his first. There were lots of good songs I could have picked, but this one seemed summery, and also bitter AF, as is his wont.

17. "Everything is Everything," Ms. Lauryn Hill: I am also going to see Ms. Lauryn Hill at Pitchfork! I'll get to relive my childhood! Assuming she shows up! This song is a classic. Duh.

18. "Nobody," Three Dog Night: This was a later addition to the playlist. I was listening to my dad's old copy of Golden Biscuits on vinyl (the 70s were a special time), and it just seemed to fit. So joyful.

19. "We All Die Young," The Decemberists: Though all the songs on I'll Be Your Girl sound like they belong on separate albums, they're still good songs individually, and this one is no exception. It's very glam, like The Decemberists do Gary Glitter. Minus the serious criminal charges, I hope.

20. "Absolute Lithops Effect," Mountain Goats: In May I was fortunate enough to see Mountain Goats perform an acoustic show at Old Town School of Folk music. I've seen them several times, but never so raw. It was delightful. I love this song because it's hopeful, and I think we all need a little hope this summer. 

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