With the ending of Phase 3 and the beginning of town exploration, I decided to at least try to make a playlist accurately describe the insanity of walking up and down hills on campus to amuse yourself, and to celebrate the very strange beginning of a semester that we’ve all had. The Spotify link can be found here.
1. Satan, Luella, and I (HMLTD)
This song is about someone trying to explain everything terrible in the world to a naïve stranger, which I found fitting for these times. After all, when all you can do is watch the world go to shit from a bubble, it does feel a little hopeless.
2. Road to Nowhere (Talking Heads)
The apocalypse, but from a different perspective than HMLTD—David Byrne provides an almost optimistic outlook on the end of the world, basically saying, “If there’s no paradise, we might as well enjoy the trip into hell.”
3. Nobody Really Cares If You Don’t Go To The Party (Courtney Barnett)
This is one of my favorite introvert songs, and now it doubles as a reminder to continue to be careful with your interactions! There’s really nothing else you could ask for from a song.
4. Lampshades on Fire (Modest Mouse)
In this song, Modest Mouse tries to describe humanity’s love of destruction and chaos in the name of Having A Good Time, which, if I’m being honest, makes me think of the current state of the world even more, and also makes me feel a little bit bad about all the property I have damaged.
5. Crumble (Dinosaur Jr)
This addition is more about energy than the specificities of the lyrics themselves. It makes me think of wishing you were anywhere other than where you are, sitting in an empty room and thinking of all the places you’ve been, and how they all led you to missing them.
6. No Exit (Tennis)
Tennis actually wrote this song intending for it to be a refreshing contrast against “forever young” party songs and intended for it to include a bit of morbidity and worry (“We could die tonight/Oh my god, I feel like I’m dying”). It makes me feel calmer in the same way as “Road to Nowhere,” like some sort of comforting passage into life-or-death mode.
7. 7 Days Til Sunday (TV Girl)
Something about the countdown feeling of this song makes me feel so calm inside; it’s like the waiting room of songs, eternally waiting through weeks, counting down the days until the next to start it all over again.
8. Garden Song (Phoebe Bridgers)
Phoebe Bridgers said that she wrote this song about dreams—dreams of all the good things you could become as well as the dreams of what can go wrong. It feels like a turning point song, when you’re in the mood to be thinking of yourself as a blank canvas and to be daydreaming about all the lives ahead of you and all the new versions of yourself that the world hasn’t seen yet. I’ve been thinking about that a lot, maybe due to quarantine, or to college. It feels like nostalgia for the future.
9. Insomniac (Memo Boy)
You can barely hear the lyrics to this song, which is what makes it so great. You feel like you’re awake, watching yourself fall asleep running through the day you’ve had. Whether it was empty or insane, you’re calm now.
10. Asleep (The Smiths)
After all, would it really be a quarantine playlist without a song by The Smiths?
Erin Keener is a contributor to The Weekly Cad.