In our new feature TYF Monthly Mixtape our music writers share Spotify playlists of the songs – new and old – they’ve had on repeat for the last month.
Think of it as a successor to our old Newish Music Tuesdays column. Here’s what we loved in May 2019.
I literally have 20 songs that I added to my spotify in May, which made my job way easier. My collection contains some songs from the Michael OMPS when I reignited my love for the soundtrack, some random takes that I’ve Shazamed, pulled from a movie or songs I forgot were #bangers, and some songs from AURORA after seeing her at the beginning of the month (well, last day of April technically). Most of the songs I’ve added by AURORA are those that are most relevant to the world at this time; her perspective of the world and ability to voice these hardships is incredible and insanely seamless- AURORA is a treasure and an icon of the industry. Thanks for coming to my TED talk.
Often times I refer to the month of May as the “gatekeeper of summer”. May is tricky because it’s the last barrier between the smoldering heat of June, but still retains the last remnants of the torrential downpours of April. The songs on this playlist are a mix of early-summer jams, downtrodden rainy ballads, and late-night contemplative vibes.
Here is a monthly playlist from our film editor Allyson Johnson
I don’t really have a theme this month other than 20 songs I played a bunch in May. Black Midi’s stunning fourth single “Talking Heads” was the highlight of the month for me. The British four-piece have kept a low profile for such a buzzworthy band, letting their music – the four singles they’ve put out since late last year – speak for themselves. “Talking Heads”, a jittery, musically complex math rock song is the best of the four singles, and sets the stage nicely for their upcoming debut album. Some of the other music I loved this month include the icy retro new wave of Drab Majesty, the feminist synthpop of Pixx, and the offbeat art rock Alaskalaska. Of Monsters of Men – a band I previously had no real opinion on positive or negative – released their best single yet, “Alligator”, in which the Icelandic collective exchanges the folk rock of their previous hits for fuzzed out shoegaze.
In May, a good deal of my song choices were influenced by the films I watched. I saw Requiem for a Dream for the first time and was enthralled by the score, so “Cleaning Apartment” appears on this playlist. I also watched American Satan, Ash Avildsen’s rock and roll Faust adaptation, whose soundtrack included a mix of classic and modern rock songs; thus, “18 and Life” and “Make a Shadow” made the cut. A trip to California motivated me to listen to all my favorite California-inspired songs, so “California Dreamin’” and “California” (the OC theme song) are included. I also found myself listening to some spring releases, such as Irontom’s “Grace,” Lana Del Rey’s “Doin’ Time,” and Catfish and the Bottlemen’s “Longshot.”
For May’s playlist, I included mostly new music. There was a lot of music released in May, so I wanted to include them all to try and get a snapshot of this big month in music. I’ve got two Vampire Weekend songs that I like – “Bambina” especially has grown on me unexpectedly – and two Tacocat songs that stick out to me from their latest album. “Crystal Ball” especially contains some of my favorite lyrics on this playlist. The tracks from Kevin Morby, Charly Bliss, Honeyblood and Carly Rae Jepsen were all from albums I reviewed this month, and some of my favorite moments of those records. I wish I could include more Bash Brothers (I mean, the Lonely Island) but the song that fit best is the Sia-rific jam “Oakland Nights.” The rest of the songs were ones which I kept coming back to this month, for various reasons, as well as a new single by Katy Perry. I don’t normally actively listen to her stuff, but I’m trying to be less of a Pop Snob and just admit when a song is great, and this one is dammit!