Lifestyle’s weekly Spotify playlist #64

Weekly Spotify playlist: 

Daija’s picks

  1. Sabrina Carpenter – “emails i can’t send”
  2. Taylor Swift – “Lavender Haze”
  3. American Football, Hayley Williams – “Uncomfortably Numb (feat. Hayley Williams)”

“emails i can’t send” is from Sabrina Carpenter’s 2022 album of the same name. With the song being the opening track on the album, Carpenter really comes in with a gut punch by detailing her experience finding out her dad cheated on her mom. In “emails i can’t send,” Carpenter explains to her dad how she feels about him cheating when she sings “were you lyin’ to me and the family? / There’s no ‘us’ in us when I’m lackin’ trust.” The simple piano ballad and Carpenter’s raw vocals really help the message of the song shine – infidelity can affect the whole family, not just those involved.

“Lavender Haze” is the opening track from Taylor Swift’s recent album “Midnights.” Right off the bat, the pulsating and electric beat is what gets the song going. This is the type of song you would want to come on when you’re out partying with friends and having a good time. Swift describes the honeymoon phase in a relationship, how it’s full of fun and passion, and wanting to stay in that “Lavender Haze” forever. 

“Uncomfortably Numb” was released in 2019 on American Football’s album “American Football (LP3).” The song opens with Mike Kinsella, the lead singer, describing how he blamed his father for being an alcoholic; but now, grown up and a father himself, he realizes there’s no one to blame but the alcohol. Kinsella and Hayley Williams, lead singer from the band Paramore, continue the rest of the song harmonizing, reflecting on their youth and describing how confusing and hard life can be when you’re an adult. 

Caleb’s picks

  1. Gabbie Hanna – “Monster”    
  2. Machine Gun Kelly – “bloody valentine” 
  3. Lil Nas X, Jack Harlow – “INDUSTRY BABY”

Broken hearts and broken dreams, these are what tears are made of. Released as a single in 2018, “Monster” explores the powerful emotions of losing friends and being alone. In the song, Gabbie Hanna laments about not being able to keep people in her life. “What if I’m the monster that’s been here all along?” Hanna sings. This line describes how I’ve felt at the worst moments in my life. In an interview with Genius, Hanna described herself feeling like any kind of relationship just leads to being left alone and bullied. She said she was able to move past that feeling eventually, but it was hard. I definitely relate to this sentiment. 

“bloody valentine” was released in 2020 as part of Machine Gun Kelly’s “Tickets To My Downfall” album. The song has a pop-punk beat and sound which I really enjoy. The song’s lyrics are very powerful as Kelly sings about being disillusioned with love. It’s very poignant, and the lyrics “let’s play pretend / And treat this night like it’ll happen again” makes me think of sad moments and how sometimes maybe no one will find love. Despite the sad lyrics, the beats of “bloody valentine”  provide a more uplifting feeling. 

Lastly, I chose Lil Nas X’s “INDUSTRY BABY,” featuring Jack Harlow, which was released in 2021 as a part of Lil Nas X’s album “MONTERO”. This song has strong pop beats that really flow well. Lines like “You was never really rootin’ for me anyway” and “When I’m back up at the top I wanna hear you say” are something I can relate to. The lyrics discuss issues of fame, success and how rough the entertainment and music industry is. Lil Nas X sings about not clearing up rumors and turning haters into people willing to buy his products. I really vibe with the song and think it’s great for getting pumped up. I also really like hearing a male singer be open about being gay in his music. Lil Nas X is unapologetic about his sexuality and refuses to be anything but his authentic self, and that’s a message I can get behind. 

Sarah’s picks

  1. Sufjan Stevens – “Futile Devices (Doveman Remix)”
  2. Pink Floyd – “Comfortably Numb”
  3. The Weeknd, Gesaffelstein – “I Was Never There”

Sufjan Stevens released the song “Futile Devices” on his 2010 album “The Age of Adz.” Stevens’ song was then remixed in 2017 for the film “Call Me by Your Name.” The song takes a soft approach to what it feels like to be in love. Stevens describes how mesmerized he is by someone, describing their face and hands when they perform acts such as crocheting or playing the guitar. The song ends with the lyric “And words are futile devices” to clarify that even though Stevens is describing how he feels to be in love with this person, words are not enough, and he’s unable to physically tell them that. “Futile Devices (Doveman Remix)” is short but sweet, with melodic instrumentals that carry the meaning of the song to the same extent that the lyrics do. 

“Comfortably Numb” by Pink Floyd is the nineteenth track off their 1979 album “The Wall.” David Gilmour and Roger Waters sing about how it feels to be in the state between consciousness and unconsciousness when being on drugs. The guitar solo and background bass mimic what it’s like to drift further away from reality. Waters sings the lyrics “I hear you’re feeling down / Well, I can ease your pain” to indicate that a drug is being injected into him to ease the pain and loneliness he’s feeling. He is receding from that pain and going toward a state of peace. 

The Weeknd, also known as Abel Tesfaye, sings about his past breakups in “I Was Never There.” The song, featuring Gesaffelstein, is the fourth track off of Abel’s 2018 album “My Dear Melancholy.” Abel sings about a breakup and how he starts to contemplate suicide, saying “it won’t matter”. The song could either be about Bella Hadid or Selena Gomez, both of which he dated and broke up with in 2016 and 2017, respectively. It’s well known that Abel references both Hadid and Gomez in a lot of his songs. The bridge “You’d rather something toxic / So, I poison myself again, again / ‘Til I feel nothing” implies that Abel is using drugs to cope with his breakup in hopes of his depression going away. The song is a cross between R&B and techno which will have listeners bobbing their heads to its stately tempo. 

Nick’s picks

  1. boygenius – “Stay Down”
  2. Katie Gregson-MacLeod – “complex”
  3. Clairo – “Blouse”

boygenius’ “Stay Down” is an ode to modern heartbreak. The trio, made up of Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus, is a group full of stars. The members are master songwriters, specifically when it comes to sad songs. Bridgers is known for her songs about her issues with her father, Baker for her songs about the complex nature of her relationship with religion, and Dacus for her songs about her mental illnesses. This track is off of their only release together, their 2018 EP. The only vocals on the track are those of Baker. Her soft voice gives off a dejected and saddened sound. The lyrics, “I had better learn to lean into the punch / So it don’t hurt as bad when they leave” sits in the listener’s ear as Baker all but whispers it. This quiet start morphs into the final lines where she repeatedly yells into the abyss “So I stay down” again and again.

Katie Gregson-MacLeod broke out after going viral on TikTok with her 2022 single “complex.” The song details a complex relationship that declines over the course of its four-minute run time. Gregson-MacLeod is known for her chorus of the song which starts “I’m wearing his boxers, I’m being a good wife.” These lines are not the ones that stand out the most. The two lines that punch the listener in the gut the most are “I need him like water” and “It’s complex / It’s a complex.” This final line breaks down two meanings of the word complex. This relationship could be an intricate and difficult relationship to understand, or it could be a mental fixation that causes the writer to repeat her traumas. Either way, the song certainly is complex.

Clairo is known for her upbeat and fun bedroom-pop songs. When she released her 2021 album “Sling” it threw the music scene for a whirl. The perfect encapsulation of Clairo’s turn is the song “Blouse.” Centered around a soft acoustic guitar with string accents, Clairo’s songwriting and vocal prowess stand out far more on this song than ever before. Here, Clairo realizes that she can make the chorus rise above the rest of the song. It is focused around the lyric “If touch could make them hear, then touch me now.” But, the beginning is where one of the greater lines are penned. Clairo asks, “Why do I tell you how I feel / When you’re just looking down the blouse?” Heartbreaking and basic, this line is all any listener needs to hear to figure out exactly what is going on in the relationship.