01 Oct September Playlist: Songs I’ve Had On Repeat
It’s safe to say I get my money’s worth out of my Spotify subscription. Whether it’s checking in to my Discover Weekly or sifting through my (sometimes very questionable) recommendations – I’m happiest when I have a playlist to turn to, packed with songs I love. One of my little joys in life is excitedly stockpiling newly discovered songs.
I’ve written before about my belief in the power of a good playlist. At the start of every year I make a new one. Nothing revolutionary, but it’s a tradition I love because I end the year with a soundtrack to reflect back on it all. I’ve been archiving my life through formative songs since 2012.
Since it’s been a lucrative month for discovering new music I love, I’ve been feeling inspired to start putting together a new thang on the blog – a monthly playlist. It’s something I’ve been mulling over for a while and I decided to finally just give it a go. Whenever I discover a song I love, I’m always bursting to tell someone and now I have an outlet! And who knows, maybe someone out there will discover a couple of new faves to add to their own playlists.
Destroyed by Hippie Powers – Car Seat Headrest
These guys are honestly one of my favourite bands at the moment. I have had “Teens of Denial” playing non-stop this month. Obviously, I was immediately in love with Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales but I have to say, my favourite off the album is Destroyed by Hippie Powers. Will Toledo’s millennial on the edge, life crisis vibes are like a deranged friend I turn to for assurance that I’m not alone in my darkest moments of feeling utterly lost. I just love how goddamn heavy this song is both in instrumentals and lyrics. That opening guitar riff? Mmm, delicious.
“I am freaking out in my mind… in a house that isn’t mine. My end goal isn’t clear… should not have had that last beer.”
These pared down lyrics capture that anxiety, self loathing and existential questioning that creep up on you at 3.45am at some bizarre house party. This song mulls over the contrast yet simultaneous close proximity between fun and feeling like a piece of shit. That turning point when party vibes change to something suddenly strange and wrong as the reality of the impending hangover sets in. You suddenly have a deep-seated need for the comforting and the familiar. “Tell my mother I’m coming home, I’ve been destroyed by hippie powers…”
(They’re a bit out of tune in the video unfortunately, still great but you can find the audio version in the playlist at the bottom)
Up All Night – Beck
It’s been a while since I’ve found a song so immediately appealing. Usually, I need to have a few listens before I’m truly invested but with Beck’s new single I was on board before that opening, insanely catchy guitar riff had closed.
In stark contrast with the preceding number on this playlist, Up All Night is all about them party vibes. This is the song you start your night off with then Destroyed by Hippie Powers is a representation of the harsh realities of actually taking inspiration from Beck and attempting to stay up partying all night. A nice idea but will ultimately destroy physically, spiritually and psychologically.
Slip Away – Perfume Genius
I’ve been listening to Perfume Genius a lot since I caught his shimmering performance at Electric Picnic. I’ve become so enamoured with his music that I impulse bought tickets to go see him again in Dublin. CAN’T WAIT.
I know I said the songs in this playlist aren’t in any order but if they were… Slip Away would be at the top.
I’m someone who spends an inordinate amount of time worrying about what others think of me and self criticising. This song makes me super emotional because for me it’s a musical representation of someone just dropping all that worry and self consciousness and emerging the eclectic, brilliant person they are beneath it all, with no concern for what anyone thinks.
You’re The Best Thing About Me – U2
Yeah, I did include U2 on the list, are you affronted? An unpopular choice but I’m sticking to my guns.
I just don’t subscribe to U2 being the band we love to hate. The cynical dismissal of them kinda grates me. I mean, I get why people love to hate U2 – Bono is a bit of a dick, the Edge could do with removing that beanie hat from time to time and lets not forget that whole Apple collaboration of pre-loading their last album on to the newest iPhone at the time – BUT STILL, they’re Irish treasures. (I’m probably just a bit biased though since I’ve been pretty much listening to them since birth thanks to my dad being the biggest U2 fan around.)
Even he didn’t like this new song though. I don’t think it’s doing massively well but I really like it on a very simplistic level. It’s not groundbreaking stuff, especially with lyrics like “You’re the best thing about me, you’re the best thing that ever happened a boy” but it’s incredibly catchy, fun and lighthearted. It manages to gauge modern pop influences while maintaining those signature guitar melodies that are so intrinsically U2.
See The Moon – Bob Skeleton
I caught these guys at Electric Picnic and I thought they were GREAT – I just wish I had more of their music to listen to. There’s only a few songs on Spotify/Bandcamp/YouTube – no album yet. Judging from the little material I could find on them online (I couldn’t find a Youtube video for this song), they’re a pretty small time band from Galway.
See The Moon blends brooding melancholia with forthright angst and confusion about a romantic interest. Languid guitar riffs and an undeniably catchy chorus round this song off into a very substantial start for a small time band. You wouldn’t think they were Irish though – vocals have a Blossoms-esque, Mancunian tinge.
Glue – Bicep
Indie/Alternative is my immediate preference when it comes to music but I’m pretty open to other genres. So, when Bicep’s debut album appeared in the new releases on Spotify I decided to give it a go. I don’t listen to a great deal of electronic/dance/house music but I seriously love this album. I loved it even more when I heard on Radio 6 that the duo who comprise Bicep are from Belfast!
Glue starts out with some introductory beats that are somewhat reminiscent of the 90’s hit Everything But The Girl – Missing. This layers nicely with the trance delights of that central rhythmic melody. There’s an energy in this song that makes it quite stirring to listen to, an infectious quality to the rhythms that you can feel in your bones as you start tapping your fingers in time, unbeknownst to yourself.
Bike Dream – Rostam
I discovered this song in an episode of the podcast Song Exploder. It was interesting to hear the process behind how this song came together. Rostam is the solo project of Vampire Weekend band member Rostam Batmanglij. He talked about how he wanted to channel groovy Marc Bolan 70’s guitar vibes with modern synth. I’m partial to synth AND Marc Bolan and I think these sounds work together well producing what I feel is a pretty memorable end product. The synth gives it a very dream-like, ethereal quality while the guitar chorus ensures it doesn’t feel too sickly sweet.