Lifestyle’s weekly Spotify playlist #72


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By Northern Star Staff

Spotify playlist: 

Nick’s picks

  1. Men At Work – “Overkill”
  2. MF DOOM – “Rhymes Like Dimes”
  3. LOONY – “either side”

Men At Work’s “Overkill” is an ‘80s classic. The Australian New Wave group is led by vocalist and guitarist Colin Hay. From their second album “Cargo,” “Overkill” is a song about anxiety and the looping thought processes that come about when anxiety kicks in. The opening lines of “I can’t get to sleep / I think about the implications / Of diving in too deep” illustrate Hay’s feelings of anxiety. If you know Men At Work and are a fan of them, I implore you to check out Hay’s solo work. As the primary song-writer for Men At Work, Hay takes these upbeat pop songs with more downtrodden lyrics and makes them acoustic which emphasizes the emotional aspect of them. 

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t mourn the passing of the masked MC MF DOOM. Though he had a 20-year career that spanned great albums such as “Operation: Doomsday” and “Madvillainy,” I can’t help but feel that when he died, a chasm came about in the hip-hop sphere. His imaginative and intricate lyricism combined with his relaxed, charismatic delivery create the ultimate example of hip-hop skill. “Rhymes Like Dimes” was the first song I heard by DOOM. Its smooth and flowing beat by DJ Cucumber Slice pairs well with DOOM’s voice. Anytime I want to remember DOOM or anytime I start feeling down, I put on “Rhymes Like Dimes” and I start to feel alright again.  

Canadian musician LOONY creates some of the funkiest music I’ve heard in a while. “either side” is no exception to that rule. LOONY’s voice is strong and full of power. While her voice is exceptional, it’s the instrumentals to her tracks that go above and beyond. The simple drums have a perfectly mixed bass drum that breaks through and makes the song incredibly danceable. The synths and vocal pads on “either side” are phenomenal. They meld together into an aura that surrounds the listener’s head, transfixing them into the smooth suave mood that epitomize LOONY’s work. 

Brynn’s picks

  1. Lana Del Rey – “Pretty When You Cry”
  2. Japanese Breakfast – “Boyish”
  3. The Velvet Underground – “Who Loves the Sun”

“Pretty When You Cry” is a heart wrenching song about a relationship where one person cares far more than the other does. Del Rey describes how she is fully in love with her partner and invested in their relationship. In contrast, her partner seems not to care and continuously lets her down. Del Rey complains about this by saying “You leave and you leave again.” Despite this fact, Del Rey stays in the relationship because she loves her partner so much. The song contains a slow guitar riff that repeats throughout the song. Del Rey’s haunting vocals layered over the guitar set the depressing and eerie atmosphere of the song.

“Boyish” by Japanese Breakfast, headed by lead singer Michelle Zauner, is a dreamy song also about being in a seemingly one-sided relationship. In this song, the singer’s partner is not loyal, and his eyes always drift to other women. This leads the singer to become insecure within the relationship. Zauner’s slow, melancholy and desperate vocals set the tone for this song and allow the listener to feel the emotion of not being enough in a relationship.

“Who Loves the Sun” has a cheerful melody but its lyrics are also about heartbreak. Since getting their heart broken, the narrator does not seem to care about anything and acts apathetic toward the world. Things that have in the past seemed beautiful, such as the sun, wind and rain, now seem pointless. The song’s repetitive lyrics show that this heartbreak is all the narrator can think of. Despite this depressing meaning, the song still has a fun, more upbeat tone. This is complimented by peppier vocals and lighthearted guitar strumming, although this directly contrasts the songs meaning, it doesn’t clash and turns it into a more fun song.

Eli’s picks

  1. Matthew Sweet – “I’ve Been Waiting”
  2. Ryan Adams – “When the Stars Go Blue”
  3. Dooley Wilson – “As Time Goes By”

“I’ve Been Waiting” exudes the purest joy I’ve ever heard in a song. Featuring Richard Lloyd of Television on lead guitar, the song is reminiscent of a “Help” era Beatles single. The bright, jangly guitars and Matthew Sweet’s overwhelmingly positive lyrics make “I’ve Been Waiting” one of the most underappreciated songs of the ‘90s. The lyrics tell the story of finally finding true love and Sweet’s band do a great job of expressing that joy through the song’s upbeat instrumentation.

Ryan Adams’ “When the Stars Go Blue” has become something of a modern-day standard, having been covered by everyone from Bono to Tim McGraw. The chorus, “Where do you go when you’re lonely / Where do you go when you’re blue / Where do you go when you’re lonely / I’ll follow you” shows a melancholic side to unconditional love. The narrator wants the person he loves to know that they aren’t alone but struggles to get through to them. This heart-wrenching ballad contains many complex emotions that slowly wash over the listener.

“As Time Goes By” from “Casablanca” has been immortalized as one of the most iconic songs in film history. It’s a simple and genuine song about eternal love and is a great song on its own, even without the context of the film. Dooley Wilson, who played Sam in the film, performs it with gentle, delicate emotion accompanied only by his piano. “As Time Goes By” eventually became a part of the Great American Songbook and was covered by a multitude of singers, but Wilson’s stripped-down, bare-bones performance will always be the definitive version of the song.

Madelaine’s picks

  1. Fleetwood Mac – “Everywhere”
  2. The Cardigans – “Lovefool”
  3. The Beatles – “I Will”

“Everywhere” by Fleetwood Mac is a sweet love song where Stevie Nicks sings about wanting to be with her lover everywhere they go. The lyrics to this song describe the feeling you have when first falling in love with someone, as Nicks sings, “You know that I’m falling / And I don’t know what to say.” Nicks also sings about her friends telling her she’s been acting peculiarly, addressing the excitement one has when beginning to fall for someone else.

This song is a forever bop and I stand by that. “Lovefool” was pop perfection when it was released in 1996 and still is to this day. If you hear it during the day, chances are you’ll have it stuck in your head all night – and for good reason. In this song, The Cardigans are pleading and begging with the person they are interested in to tell them that they love them, want them and need them.

The lyrics to “I Will” are about a deep love for someone, and how no matter how long they have to wait to be with them, they’re willing to wait, singing: “Who knows how long I’ve loved you / You know I love you still / Will I wait a lonely lifetime / If you want me to, I will.” This song is incredibly calming, with The Beatles singing over gentle strums on an acoustic guitar accompanied by soft drums.

Sarah’s picks

  1. Wallows – “Just Like A Movie”
  2. SZA – “Special”
  3. Corrine Bailey Rae – “Put Your Records On”

“Just Like A Movie” is an indie pop song that paints the picture of somebody trying to fit in. Singers Braeden Lemasters and Dylan Minnette go back and forth singing about two people trying to reach each other in the midst of a scene that’s “just like a movie.” The song portrays a relatable situation underneath the electric rock beat. Introverts who want to fit into a large crowd will resonate with Wallows’ lyrics the most.

Individuality and self esteem are big themes in SZA’s 2022 song “Special.” SZA points out the “flaws” in her body, and wishes she was more like the women she sees in the media. The chorus “I wish I was special / I gave all my special / away to a loser” indicates that she changed how she looks for her partner, to please them, and that she now regrets it. This song is written from an honest place, and once again, SZA speaks an all-too-knowing melody for some listeners. 

“Put Your Records On” is a carefree bop that feels as if it’s reminiscing about the summer. Although it has a spring/summer vibe, it can be jammed out to all year long. The soft acoustic background adds to Rae’s light, gentle voice. The opening lyrics “Three little birds sat on my window / And they told me I don’t need to worry” can be recognized from Bob Marley’s 1977 song “Three Little Birds” which was sampled by Rae.