One more playlist before the year ends. It feels a little emotionally heavy in spots and raucous in others, but that just seems to be where we all are right now. As it worked out, I believe these are all new songs from the year, but not a best of the year or year-end list.
Here’s the iTunes link.
And if anyone makes it on Spotify, I’ll share that here.
Playlist for December 2018, track list and commentary:
1. “Birthday” by Gia Margaret. This is the sound of longing. The strangeness and melancholy of it all expressed beautifully.
2. “Salt in the Wound” by boygenius. If the Traveling Wilbury’s were competent 20-something females, this is what we’d get. This song is wrecking ball heavy.
3. “Labour like I Do” by Doe. Ah, the one-sided relationship. Straightforward lyrics: “I’ll breathe for both us / and you’ll let me / because you don’t have the guts.”
4. “Grow Into a Ghost” by Swearin’. We’ve all watched people turn into ghosts. I love how this song layers (to make a verb out of it). Notice how different instruments drop in and out to build up, break down, open up and highlight parts.
5. “Future Me Hates Me” by The Beths. The sound of love-based anxiety, “Future heart break, future headaches / wide-eyed night’s late lying awake / with future cold shakes from stupid mistakes / future me hates me for / hates me for.”
6. “Lady Matador” by Gabi Garbutt. Sometimes you wonder what happened to the “Come on Eileen” band and then you find something like this.
7. “Nearer My God” by Foxing. Who hasn’t shouted “do you want me at all” into the cold, dark sky?
8. “Tints (Feat. Kendrick Lamar)” by Anderson .Paak. We all need tints. Can’t let everybody just look on in.
9. “Uproar (Feat. Swizz Beats)” by Lil Wayne. So I’m a sucker for beats like this. What can I say? I love this song.
10. “Tik Boom” by Leikeli47. And I love this girl. “You nah waan test whose badder than who.” Plus, that distorted bass-driven bridge is mosh-pit worthy.
11. “If You Know You Know” by Pusha T. This led off one of my favorite albums of the year. They say he’s one dimensional, and he is, but he’s just so good at what he does. He’s the Sherlock Holmes of cocaine hustling.
12. “Potato Salad” by Tyler, The Creator and A$AP Rocky. Make it conversational. And tell us how you really feel about mumble rappers.
13. “The Man Who Has Everything” by Chance the Rapper. New hit Christmas song? Probably not. Chance succeeding in hitting a nerve? Absolutely.
14. “Ivy” by Mabel. R&B is alive and well.
15. “1950” by King Princess. One of the best pop songs of the year. It’s self-aware, unpretentious, and honest. Not to propagate a 1950s relationship ideal, but just to state that something makes her happy is brave.
16. “Fallingwater” by Maggie Rogers. Another poetic pop song. Her full length comes out in 2019 and will need a deep listen.
17. “No One Changes” by Conor Oberst. He still keeps showing up and writing lyrics like this: “they say you’ve got to love yourself first, that’s a trip / I’ve been hating myself since I was a little kid / I know it’s sad that the games rained out / and all the bleachers emptied out and the turnstiles spin / all the good ones in the world they keep dropping dead / everybody’s got a bullet flying at their head / I seen it coming, man, I seen it coming…”
18. “I Know What It’s Like” by Jeff Tweedy. Damn that opening verse, “far away / from the fireworks display / quiet and bright / I know what it’s like… to not feel love.”
19. “Agt” by Mountain Man. I’m entranced by them for whatever reason, like sirens out of a dream. This seems like an appropriately quiet finish to the year.