Back again with more of the songs I listen to on repeat. But this time I return with a Spotify playlist of every song I write about, with more added with every post I write.
Freaks and Geeks – Childish Gambino
“The beat is witches brew but beware that shit is potent, E.E. cummin’ on her face now that’s poetry in motion”
I can’t overstate just how much I love Gambino. Yes he’s the “hipster” rapper, but there’s no-one that combines a solid beat, clever lyrics and laugh-out-loud wit like he does. He’s become one of those artists that friends have come to associate with me, just through the sheer amount I listen to and discuss him. Years of social anxiety has resulted in me naturally talking extremely fast. It’s a habit I’m working very hard on breaking, but it has its uses when singing along to songs like these. I’ve been listening to a lot of Gambino recently as a reminder of the times I have tried to teach other people to talk as fast as I do. I’ve tried to teach at least two people – my sister and my friend Bryonny – the lyrics and beat to this song, and although they never picked it up fully, the attempt was actually a lot of fun.
The Feud – The Front Bottoms
“She says you, you should admit it, but she knows I, I probably won’t, that he is the sound you want now, and I’m just the noise you don’t”
Yet another mention of this band in this recurring blog! Their angsty, introspective lyrics speak to my cynical, twenty-something lifestyle; but also the acoustic guitar based sound is incredibly catchy. These are songs to loudly sing along to. Yes this is a song about a break up, but when you’re belting it out as loud as you can (sorry neighbours) do you really care? I highlighted the lyric above because I really enjoy how it plays with language. You would consider “sound” and “noise” to be synonyms, but when directly compared their inherent meanings change. It’s an interesting way to look at the changes you face as you go through life. One day the sounds you enjoy may eventually turn into the buzzing noises that you don’t.
Damaged Goods – La Dispute
“My girl, you must understand that fear is not some product that I made, it crept unwelcome in my head the day they had her torn away”
Speaking of angsty music, I think it’s time to discuss my absolute favourite band of all time – La Dispute. This summer I am determined to get their rose logo tattooed somewhere. It’s a design I like I lot but it would act as a reminder of the friend who first introduced me to the band, who has been good to me over the years, but also my mother and sister who have Rose as their middle name. This song really stood out to me the first time I heard it, and continues to do so to this day. Increasingly, I think that society is getting better at discussing mental health issues and anxiety but I can’t think of many other songs that deal with masculinity, anxiety and fear in such a frank and honest way as this song. Mental health does affect the relationships, that’s just an unfortunate fact. This song then is a response to those who turn to you and tell you to “stop being sad for the sake of it”; it’s an attack on those who claimed they tried to help when they did nothing of the sort.
Corn on the Curb – Skepta
“Never been a punk never been a victim, wanna hate on me? Hate on Storm? Fuck that, let the kings in”
I’ve been on a bit of a grime wave recently. It’s a genre I’ve always been aware of but not necessarily paid enough respect to until recently. Also as someone who primarily listens to American skate-punk and folk-punk, it’s nice to listen to a genre that’s so intensely British. I chose this song specifically from Skepta’s latest album because it’s such a personal song. It’s all about how much work Skepta has had to put in to achieve success for himself and his label, BBK, and all the costs of prolonged exposure in the public eye.
Plateau – Nirvana
“There’s nothing up top but a bucket and a mop, and an illustrated book about birds”
This song may be a cover, but it shows just how innovative Nirvana could have been as a more acoustic/folk band had Kurt Cobain lived. Kurt’s voice carries this song. It’s so distinctive and sand paper raw. Just listen to the song and hear how he pronounces the word “birds” – it gives me goosebumps, and I’m not entirely sure why. This cover is quite a melancholic song. In my mind, it’s about the failings of a goal orientated culture. People try to scale these grand goals, but find no prize – just a “bucket and a mop”. So they throw themselves into the next goal, the next plateau, without ever realising that the true value is in the climb, not reaching the top.