The music staff at the Young Folks loves to recommend their favorite music to our readers. In celebration of our love of music, we’re starting a new feature in which members of our staff share Spotify playlists of some of the songs they’ve had on repeat over the last month. Think of it as a successor to our old Newish Music Tuesdays column. For the inaugural edition of The TYF Monthly Mixtape, our writers have prepared playlists of their favorite songs, new and old, for March 2019.
My playlist for March is a little bit of every style of music I’ve been digging deeper into lately. I love listening to shoegazing and dream pop on early, foggy spring mornings, and the genres are represented here with tracks by All About Eve, Pale Saints, Lush, Beach House and Tamaryn. I also have a few early contenders for my year-end songs list from Jenny Lewis, Tacocat, Carly Rae Jepsen and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. I’m also playing catch-up with a few 2018 releases like The Beths’ Future Me Hates Me, which I really regret not getting around to until now. Lastly, I couldn’t wrap up my playlist without including something by Phish, and I picked a live version of “The Squirming Coil” from 1993, which acts as a great showcase for that band’s progressive rock chops.
This month I finally saw Russian Doll, and it was all I wanted it to be, so I had to start this playlist with (one of) the best songs featured in the series, Harry Nilsson’s “Gotta Get Up.” When making a playlist, to help me decide what to put in I like to think of a theme or a story and fit the songs to that. The first 10 to 12 songs here fit into one narrative I constructed pretty much around Solange’s “S McGregor” and the melodious way Debbie Allen says “I boarded a train, kissed all goodbye.” The narrative I made up is about a woman leaving somewhere, and the songs before “S McGregor” depict life before she leaves, while the tracks afterward are a dialogue between her and the man she left. A lot of these songs are pulled from various movies or shows I’ve been watching in the past month (“Georgy Girl” and “Lady Lady Lady”), or songs I was reminded of (“El Condor Pasa,” “Me and My Shadow”). A lot of these fit into a style I love a lot, which is the pop song that sounds sunny but is about complex and/or melancholic emotions. In the latter part of the playlist I had to include a Crazy Ex-Girlfriend song from its amazing final season, and it’s a fantastic Springsteen-riff to boot. The last six tracks are celebrating cool and/or dark and moody women, with a short Ennio Morricone track in there to really steep you in the dark, gothic mood that “Andromeda” and “Conceptual Romance” build. Then, to top it off I had to add another burst of energy with Bikini Kill’s “Demirep,” which I’ve been reintroduced to via PEN15 and the raucous girl energy in it.
Somewhat relieving Australia from its year long drought, March has been full of cold and rainy days. So what better way to feel cosy and embrace the weather those songs that play in your head, on a playlist that matches. For me, March has been full of days spent cuddled up inside, drinking a coffee and listening to my rainy tracks. Australia has also seen some emotionally and politically dark days, with school students marching for climate change and our country witnessing the disgusting hate attack in New Zealand, as well as the horrid aftermath of political reactions to these events. These songs almost feel like a celebration of the rain, although an obviously melancholy playlist, the rain is hope. Metaphorically reflective of my life at this point as well, all of this rain after months and months of heat and dryness, aligns with the stress and pressures of trying to find myself and the path in which I want to take. Finding a love in music writing and landing a job with it, graduating from my tertiary education with honours, and overall becoming a happier person- these songs reflect not the cliche sun after the shower, but the purifying and liberating rain after the drought.
March was a month spent with my eyes painfully glued to this screen, meaning I was logging more than my fair share of writing hours. While I’m confident that my music taste is eclectic, what I like is dictated by my mood. For writing? That means, it would appear, light dream pop and shoegaze. Imagine a folk artist wandering into the woods and coming across a synthesizer and thinking, “why the hell not?” before layering it into their soulful melodies and you’ve found my mood of the month perfectly.
Whenever considering songs for a monthly playlist, I always like to consider the general emotional state that the month puts me in. March was an interesting case because I felt extremely nomadic with nary a moment to myself. Whenever there is a sense of unbalance in my life, house and R&B always tends to mellow me out. Nothing compares to waking up to some Yaeji or Solange. It’s almost a ritual at this point. Because of that, I felt it prudent to include songs from Tame Impala, Peggy Gou, Channel Tres and, of course, the aforementioned Yaeji and Solange. Also, Playboi Carti because Die Lit is amazing.
Many of my long-time favorites have released new tracks recently, as well. Cage the Elephant dropped “House of Glass.” The Jonas Brothers, whom I’ve adored for ages, surprised the world with “Sucker” (and I’ve got my fingers crossed for a US tour). Foster the People, one of my top five bands, released “Style”; Irontom, whom I’ve followed since they opened for Finish Ticket in 2016, released “Black Cat.” Also on my playlist are songs from the soundtracks of some films I love (“Sarah” from Labyrinth and the theme from Suspiria), classics I enjoy (“Viva Las Vegas,” “Coney Island Baby”), and various alternative songs (“Cocoon” and “Leila”).