Lifestyle’s weekly Spotify playlist #68


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By Northern Star Staff

Weekly Spotify playlist: 

Daija’s picks

  1. Sabrina Carpenter – “Nonsense”
  2. Lewis Watson – “fake plastic trees”
  3. Noah Kahan – “Growing Sideways” 

“Nonsense” is the ninth track off Sabrina Carpenter’s recent album “emails i can’t send.” Going along with the pop and R&B mix instrumental, Carpenter describes her feelings for someone she finds attractive, but she gets so nervous around them that she starts talking nonsense. This song is perfect for those late nights alone in your room and you want something to dance around to. “Nonsense” is just a pure, fun pop song that shines in its second verse with repetition and a reference to Bryson Tiller and Rihanna’s song “Wild Thoughts.” Carpenter was right when she said “This song catchier than chickenpox is.” 

“fake plastic trees” was released on Lewis Watson’s 2018 single “nineties, noughties, tennies.” The song may seem familiar, as it is a cover of the original song performed by Radiohead. While both versions are similar, both have an acoustic and indie vibe to them, Watson’s version is clearer in terms of sound quality, not just because it’s more recent, but his deep vocals pack more of an emotional punch. The guitar riff between the transition of the chorus to verse three is quite possibly the best part of the song. You hear the guitar start building up in the background, but it comes full force to complement the lyrics: “She looks like the real thing / She tastes like the real thing.” 

If I could recommend Noah Kahan’s entire album, I would; but for now, I will focus on “Growing Sideways,” the tenth track off “Stick Season.” Instead of exploring the feeling of growing up, Kahan describes the feeling of growing sideways and watching those around you do the growing up. It’s hard knowing everyone around you is exploring different life paths while you’re still behind and feeling like you haven’t reached your full potential yet. If you’re looking for a good cry or need some reassurance that uncertainty in your life is OK, this song is for you. 

Caleb’s picks

  1. Lil Nas X – “HOLIDAY” 
  2. Idina Menzel, Billy Porter – “I Got My Love to Keep Me Warm”
  3. Kacey Musgraves, Troye Sivan – “Glittery – From The Kacey Musgraves Christmas Show”

For this week’s song choices, I have decided to go with a gay holiday theme. What better way to kick off the season than with Lil Nas X’s “HOLIDAY,” first released in 2020 as a single. This song is a slow steady pop song, with a catchy beat that gets you head bopping throughout. It’s a nice song to relax while sitting by the fire and sipping some hot cocoa. I love how Lil Nas X sings about making it in the entertainment industry on his own and in his own way. One of my favorite things about Lil Nas X is he is unapologetically himself, in his music and his personality. “They tried to Next me, ayy, but I’m blessed see / Ayy no flex, but my checks givin’ vet tease.” I love how empowering and authentic these lyrics are. These lyrics highlight that sentiment perfectly. 

My next song choice is a sweet musical number to keep you nice and toasty on a cold winter’s night. Idina Menzel and Billy Porter team up in this delightful holiday treat. “I Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” is an upbeat jazzy number that is sure to put you in the holiday spirit. The song was released in 2019 as a part of Menzel’s album “Christmas: A Season of Love.” Originally this song was first composed in 1937 by Irving Berlin. Menzel and Porter do a wonderful job of performing this classic song. I love how the tone of the song really fills you with warmth and joy. Listening to this song, the beat just wants you to jump, jive and dance. 

For my last song, I chose “Glittery” by Kacey Musgraves and Troye Sivan, released in 2019 as a single from “The Kacey Musgraves Christmas Show.” This powerful pop ballad is a great way to get into the holiday spirit with a significant other or someone you’re interested in. “Every single kiss is like a gift to me / And I love the way you decorate my heart.” The lyrics are very powerful and sweet; they make you want to fall in love and share your heart with someone special. I’d definitely recommend serenading your partner with this one to help brighten up their day. 

Sarah’s picks

  1. Mac DeMarco – “Chamber of Reflection”
  2. Rachel Chinouriri – “So My Darling”
  3. Cigarettes After Sex – “Heavenly”

Mac DeMarco released his song “Chamber of Reflection” in 2014 as part of his “Salad Days” album. DeMarco elicits a lonely mood as he sings about reflecting on himself in this chamber. A chamber of reflection stands for a room where one can meditate and release their thoughts into the empty air of the closed room. I interpret the song as that you are taking some time alone to better yourself. The song has a sad, depressive feeling to it, as DeMarco is singing about how he’s ready to move on to a new, better life. 

“So My Darling” by Rachel Chinouriri professes a love for a crush Chinouriri had. Released as a single in 2018, Chinouriri sings about loving her best friend who she hopes will love her back. In a DIY Magazine interview, Chinouriri said that life on earth can be fleeting for some people, which is why we should profess our love for someone before our time is done. It’s a song full of passion and emotion with a sense of longing for the innocent experience of being in love.

Cigarettes After Sex released “Heavenly” as the third track on their 2019 album “Cry.” Greg Gonzalez, the lead singer, sings about an intimate time with his lover when he was feeling all the emotions of wanting more of this person – emotionally and physically. The chorus “‘Cause this is where / I wanna be / Where it’s so sweet / And heavenly” describes how this person is the most beautiful, heavenly, almost unearthly thing Gonzalez has ever seen. 

Brynn’s picks

  1. PUP – “Guilt Trip”
  2. Pixies – “All I Think About Now”
  3. Nirvana – “Dumb”

“Guilt Trip” is the first song off of PUP’s self-titled debut album. The song has an edgy sound with electric guitar, drums and gritty vocals creating an angry tone. The song describes a person who has just gotten out of a toxic relationship. While the narrator is recollecting the negative parts of the relationship, they still wish to go back. The narrator does not feel fond of this relationship, yet still misses their ex-partner.

“All I Think About Now” is a fairly recent release from the Pixies. While the Pixies gained their fame in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, this song comes from their album “Head Carrier” released in 2016. It features a repeating strained guitar rift throughout the whole song, which sets an edgy tone despite the lighter feminine vocals. It is another song recollecting a past relationship. Unlike “Guilt Trip” though, the narrator is looking back on the relationship fondly. She thinks about how the relationship went wrong and how she could have potentially fixed it. She says, “I remember we were happy / That’s all I think about now.” We as the listener don’t know if the relationship was truly a good one, or if the narrator is just looking at it through rose-tinted glasses. 

Nirvana’s “Dumb” is about someone who knows they may not be the best person, but still has a positive outlook on life. The lyrics follow a pattern, saying that something is wrong with the narrator and then saying how they can mend that. There is the repeating lyric “I think i’m dumb / or maybe just happy.” These melancholy but hopeful lyrics pair well with Nirvana’s classic grunge sound and lead singer Kurt Cobain’s raspy vocals.

Nick’s picks

  1. Simon & Garfunkel – “The Boxer”
  2. Action Bronson – “Imported Goods”
  3. Donna Summer – “Love is in Control (Finger on the Trigger)”

“The Boxer” by Simon & Garfunkel is a go-to snowy day song. The song was the lead single off the duo’s final album “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” The central narrative of “The Boxer” centers around a boxer who lives a life of squalor, misery and pain. The story evolves so that as the boxer grows old, his life does not change. The song says that “he cried out in his anger and his shame / ‘I am leaving, I am leaving,’ but the fighter still remains.” The song represents hope in a world where we are often without hope, its simple guitar and unique but mild backing pair well with a booming drum hit. This sound meshes together the constant sadness of this song with the ability to carry on that the titular character of the boxer has. “The Boxer” gives me hope that whatever I face, I can, at the minimum, stand back up and take another punch.

Action Bronson’s “Imported Goods” starts with a cough and some smooth strings. This first second perfectly captures Bronson’s personality. His flow is smooth and needlessly filled with swagger and game yet still misses any real meaning. Bronson’s bars may as well be a cough – there one minute, and gone the next. Yet, somehow the song is so appealing and fun. Bronson’s braggadocious tone and the basic beat he raps over are entrancing and relaxing. Sure, there is no bigger meaning here, but sometimes there doesn’t have to be. This track is the embodiment of hedonistic fun. Every now and then, we all have to try to have some fun.

Speaking of hedonistic fun, let’s listen to some disco. Donna Summer’s “Love is in Control (Finger on the Trigger)” is straight from the discotheque, featuring the characteristic four-on-the-floor drums and emphasis throughout the track on rhythmic groove. The chorus of “I’ve got my finger on the trigger / Love is in control” shows the origin of disco culture. Starting as an underground continuation of ‘60s hippie culture, disco took in love of all kinds. The screaming horns and the choir resembling a church choir in the chorus add a sort of lightness and danceability to the track. The song is made for people too focused on their lives to drop it all and have fun.