Friday, April 10, 2015

This Weekend's Playlist

This Friday night, I'm going to see Guster, my favorite band since a friend gave me Keep It Together for my sixteenth birthday. They always put on a great show, plus a couple of friends are joining Eric and me, so it will be a great night.

In the past year, I've noticed that Guster makes up a large portion of the music I know, and I haven't changed up what I listen to significantly in a few years. My friends in college would recommend bands and share albums, but as a history major I spent most of my time reading and writing. If I listened to music, it was either soothing instrumentals (often the Io Non Ho Paura soundtrack, with its haunting string quartets) or high-energy pop music (I wrote a large chunk of my thesis to the Glee version of "Teenage Dream," no shame) so I could mostly ignore it and focus on my work.

My exposure to new songs via my roommates' party mixes coupled with my reluctance to buy music if I'm not sure I'll love it means that I've purchased maybe a handful of full albums and a couple dozen singles in the past five years. Recently, a friend has been recommending lots of music for me to listen to and I've found myself connecting with new bands. Finally I'm listening to something in addition to Guster. Here's a sample:

Colleen Green - I Want to Grow Up
Listening to the album for the first time, I heard the line "Because I'm shitty and I'm lame and I'm dumb and I'm a bore and if you get to know me you won't love me anymore" on "Deeper Than Love." Oh, wow, I thought. Yes. Her lyrics resonate with me in a way I didn't expect. From "Pay Attention" ("Talk so small you need a microscope to discern much at all") to "Whatever I Want" ("I've got a mind of my own and I know it's a good one so I don't take advice from fools"), her songs articulate thoughts I've had and hadn't seen expressed elsewhere in this way. Aside from the openness of this album, the transition from Things That Are Bad For Me Pt. 1 to Things That Are Bad For Me Pt. 2 is incredible.

Jazmine Sullivan - Reality Show
Again, my friend recommended this knowing I would love it, especially the last song, "If You Dare." How could I not? It features the line "Let's dress up fancy and drink wine." The rest of the album is excellent as well, from the humorous critique of an ungrateful boyfriend in "Stanley" ("Maybe take a bitch to dinner") to the frustration over a cheating guy in "Dumb" ("If you're gonna lie, then at least be good"). I bought this within an hour of first listening.

Guster - Evermotion
I said other music in addition to Guster! Their newest album is great. Guster continues to produce songs that I can't get out of my head. "Simple Machine" has been a regular feature of my train ride to work ("Ever after, I get further, who will still be waiting?"), as has "Endlessly," another of Guster's excellent, upbeat songs about difficult relationships ("So come on, love, we can make this right, if you want love, then come back inside").

  Additionally, I have a couple of other songs I can't get out of my head:

Hamilton Leithauser - 11 O'Clock Friday Night
This is my favorite way to start my mornings.

Cloud Nothings - I'm Not Part of Me
I've had this on repeat all week.

I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

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