In our TYF Monthly Mixtape feature, our music writers share Spotify playlists of the songs – new and old – they’ve had on repeat for the last month. This column is back for 2020, and this time we’re sharing some of the songs we’ve loved in May.
This month’s playlist is all about trying to find moments of joy within all of the turmoil of today. I found myself dancing to a lot of the music in this playlist, even in some cases where everything felt dire. Dancing in the face of something unknown is an escape for me. These set of songs also serve as an introduction to the summer months. Even if we’re unable to go clubbing, the party doesn’t have to stop.
For this playlist, I figured I would just try to gather some songs that can offer some catharsis of any kind. The first half of the playlist is full of songs that always jolt me with energy like anything by WAAX and Talking Heads. I’m behind on a lot of new music but I have been enjoying a few new songs this month, in particular The Weeknd’s “In Your Eyes.” I do throw in a song that I love even though I first heard it in The Silence of the Lambs and you probably did too (sorry! It’s “Goodbye Horses”). The last third of the playlist is meant to calm you down, and it ends with a track from the miniseries “The Eddy.” This song is so good it made watching this so-so show very much worth it.
The first track on my playlist this month is by the London alt-metal/shoegazing band Loathe. “Two Way Mirror” captures all of the band’s strengths: Their wall of sound, their ambient breakdowns, and Kadeem France’s incredible, emotive but calm singing. They’ve been compared to Deftones a bunch, and if you like that band, I suggest you check out Loathe’s new I Let It In and It Took Everything right away. I also have my favorite track from Carly Rae Jepsen’s perfect new surprise album Dedicated Side B (after all, what is a Ryan Gibbs playlist without CRJ?), a great slice of jangle pop from Australia’s Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, a new cut from Aussie jazz-rock collective Bananagun, and one of my favorite classic songs from my hometown heroes Throwing Muses.
Little intro: This month I decided to delve into Fleetwood Mac’s discography as I’ve always known of the band and their greatest hits, but was curious about their other releases. I was delighted to learn that the band was originally a blues group, and “Albatross” has quickly become one of my favorite songs of the year. “Mermaid” by Alan Hackshaw is an oldie which calms me and continues the good vibes of “Albatross”. “Cherry-coloured Funk” is a song that’s dear to me because one of my best friends at school adores it, I’ve been missing my pals and the times we spent together – for now, listening to this song keeps the good times alive. Ravyn Lenae’s discography has been reviving me, giving me a much needed quarantine mood booster. I’ve also slipped back into a slight Kendrick phase (not mad about it) and I’m admiring his untitled unmastered. project. Lastly, Get It “Together” by Drake and Jorja Smith is an oldie but always a goodie.
We’re deep enough into quarantine that there’s no more time for lamenting. It’s May, and we’re ready for healthy relationships, rain-soaked liberation, and poppy electronica. Personal favorites here include “Street by Street” by my friend Laufey, a jazzy anthem about walking and getting over an ex, and “Golf on TV” by Lennon Stella: “I’m done with romanticizing / dysfunction and compromising.” Themes here: rain (Låpsley and Lady Gaga); new love (Mahalia, Sia, AURORA, Carly Rae, and Lennon Stella); the tiniest dose of snark from Avril Lavigne. This playlist is a little more poppy than my normal slew of sad indie rock songs. I’ve also included a bit of disco in the form of the theme song from “Fame.” Next month I return to melancholy, but in May we’re going to dance in the rain.