Lifestyle’s weekly Spotify playlist #67

By Northern Star Staff

Weekly Spotify playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6iK7tkB3wylUscZYZlsPt7?si=eebc0841b83344b7 

Daija’s picks

  1. Cat Burns – “sleep at night”
  2. Madi Sipes & The Painted Blue – “Mystery Novels”
  3. Clairo – “Feel Something”

“sleep at night” was released in October as part of Cat Burns’ single “people pleaser / sleep at night.” Burns is an English singer-songwriter who gained a following from posting videos of her singing on TikTok during the early days of the pandemic. In “sleep at night,” Burns masters the perfect mix between indie-pop, fast-paced and guitar-led instrumental and R&B with her soulful, almost gospel-like vocals. In the song, Burns is frustrated that the breakup doesn’t seem to affect her ex as much as it affected her. The ex gets to move on and sleep peacefully at night; meanwhile, she’s still hurting and trying to move on. 

“Mystery Novels” was released on Madi Sipes & The Painted Blue’s 2019 album “Privacy.” This song is a short one with very few lyrics but beautifully tells the story of wanting someone to open up. Sipes, the lead singer, expresses gratitude to a partner for coming into their life, but the partner is “a silent film that I’ve been trying to decode.” Sipes isn’t sure why this person entered their life and is grateful they did, but they have an inkling that “all the authors write their mystery novels about you.” 

“Feel Something” was released on Clairo’s debut album “Immunity.” In the song, Clairo longs for her failing relationship to return to its original state even though deep down she knows it’s over. She doesn’t want to let go of the relationship because she “don’t wanna be alone / When I am so far from my home.” The combination of a wistful ballad, a thumping instrumental, nostalgic lyrics and Clairo’s clear but soft vocals makes for a heartbreaking break-up song. 

Sarah’s picks

  1. Mazzy Star – “Fade Into You”
  2. Wafia – “Heartburn”
  3. Men I Trust – “Show Me How”

Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You” is a 1993 alternative folk song with a soft, slow melody. The pop band Mazzy Star released the song as the first track on their album “So Tonight That I Might See.” Hope Sandoval, the lead singer, captivates listeners with her hypnotizing voice as she sings about losing someone who never loved her. The chorus, “Fade into you / Strange you never knew / Fade into you / I think it’s strange you never knew,” expresses how the person Sandoval loves never saw her love, and that she was sort of a stranger to this person. “Fade Into You” combines the guitar and tambourines to create a repetitive, despondent tune.

Wafia Al-Rikabi, known professionally as Wafia, released “Heartburn” on her 2015 EP “XXIX.” In the song, Wafia sings about the aftermath of a breakup where her ex betrayed and lied to her before eventually leaving her. Wakia is singing about how she knew she was going to get hurt from the beginning but was still upset about it. This is relatable because some people know that a relationship isn’t going to end well but still stick with it anyway because of love. 

“Show Me How” by Men I Trust was released as a single in 2018. The Canadian band is comprised of three members with Emmanuelle Proulx as the lead singer. In the song, Proulx daydreams about a person who she is falling in love with. The chorus lyrics “But then I understand / The friend I’m dreaming of is far away / And doesn’t feel my love / But I do, I do” suggest Proulx is imagining either a platonic or romantic love with her friend. Either way, she knows she shouldn’t pursue her feelings because that person doesn’t love her back. 

Brynn’s picks

  1. Deftones – “Rosemary”
  2. Heatmiser – “Why Did I Decide to Stay?”
  3. Radiohead – “Blow Out”

Beginning with a long instrumental, Deftones’ “Rosemary” is an eerie, edgy song. It features drums, electric guitar and haunting vocals from lead singer Chino Moreno. Its eerie sound is something that can be found in most of Deftones’ discography. Classified as alternative metal, Deftones adds a different side to the genre, not just hardcore, but beautiful. The song describes transcending in a dreamlike state, and it makes the listener feel as though they’re transcending as well. “Rosemary” is a song unique in its balance of both instrumentals and vocals setting its tone.

“Why Did I Decide to Stay?” is a chill song that also falls under the alternative genre. It features drums, electric guitar and vocals by Neil Gust and Elliott Smith, the band’s lead guitarists and vocalists. The song follows a person in an unhappy relationship, wondering why they stayed in it. The singer recollects how the relationship could sometimes feel like a chore with the lyric, “When I put my arm around you / I had to hold my hand in place.” Something as basic as physical affection was hard because he didn’t truly love his partner. The singer doesn’t enjoy the relationship and is staying because he is unsure how to end it.

The last track on Radiohead’s 1993 album “Pablo Honey,” “Blow Out” is an upbeat but melancholic song. It begins with a funky guitar riff that continues throughout the whole song. While the song starts more down to earth, it then picks up an edgier sound around the 1:20 mark. The vocals transition to be more strained as lead singer Thom Yorke packs more passion into his lyrics. The electric guitar also picks up for a more screeching sound. While edgier in some places, the song is still not difficult to listen to. Its latter half may make it unable to be played in a coffee shop, but it would still be enjoyable for those who aren’t necessarily fans of edgy metal music.

Nick’s picks

  1. Gil Scott-Heron – “Pieces of a Man”
  2. Gladys Knight & The Pips – “Midnight Train to Georgia”
  3. The Dip – “Atlas”

Gil Scott-Heron’s “Pieces of a Man” feels like an intro to a great hip-hop album. Of course, it is not. Hip-hop had not come to fruition yet when Scott-Heron’s album “Pieces of a Man” came out in 1971. The song features a jazz piano bouncing between chords and an upright bass melodically playing along. This track is more vocally intense than others on Scott-Heron’s record. His music has a bit of a revolutionary twinge as well. Scott-Heron’s poetry, groove and emphasis on his life’s reality were some of the firestarters of hip-hop. Listening to this song makes the listener feel cool and hip, but also makes them look forward to what is to come musically. 

Gladys Knight & The Pips’ “Midnight Train to Georgia” is a standard in my household. The 1973 release, though made popular by Knight and her crew, was actually first penned by Jim Weatherly. Weatherly’s version is soft and acoustic, a stark contrast to Knight’s version. Knight starts with a horn line and then quickly builds into an R&B chorus that makes one smile and dance to the groove. The song is made by one aspect and one aspect alone: the vocal ad-libs by The Pips are what make the song the piece of art that it is. The standout ad-lib is after Knight sings the line “He kept dreaming (Dreamin) / Ooh that someday he’d be a star.” The Pips follow up not with something basic, but instead with the line “a superstar, but he didn’t get far.” The rhythmic feel of their words along with the subversion of the typical backing vocals’ simplicity makes this song exciting, fun and supremely danceable. 

“Atlas” by The Dip is an interesting mix of classic pop and down-south soul. Led by the line “Don’t put the world on your shoulders / Cause you know it ain’t your load to bear,” the song is uplifting. Based on the Greek myth of Atlas, a titan punished to hold up the sky forever, this song is cute and kitschy. The track takes this cautionary tale and sad story of Atlas and turns it on its head. The trumpets and other brass instruments make the track bounce and feel like a song made for dancing. The guitar at the start of the song sets the mood for a melody that spins and whirls. The soulful singing pulls all the song’s sections together. “Atlas” will lift some of the weight off your shoulders just listening to it.