Thursday, April 2, 2020

Monthly Mix: March 2020

(1) Waxahatchee - "The Eye"

Saint Cloud is a perfect album, start to finish. I have listened to it at least once a day since it came out. I recommend you all do the same.

(2) HAIM - "The Steps"

We all remember when this song came out, back on March 3, which according to my calculations was six hundred years ago.

(3) Worriers - "End of the World"

It's fun that a song about the end of the world is obsolete by the time it comes out. Fire, earthquake, hurricane ... feels like you're missing one.

(4) Dixie Chicks - "Gaslighter"

You know those people who think they are being clever by pointing out that nothing in Alanis Morissette's "Ironic" is actually ironic. That's basically how I feel about the use of "gaslight" here. Still a great song, though.

(5) Dua Lipa - "Levitating"

It's such an accident of history that these are going to be the COVID-19 albums, forever. This is the music you will remember when thinking about this time period years from now. Future Nostalgia doesn't fit the prevailing mood in the slightest, but here it is. While we were all sitting at home trying to manage a sense of overwhelming dread, we had this perfectly weightless disco revival album. I don't get it either, but it's working.

(6) Fenne Lily - "Hypochondriac"

Perfect for the time and place. Even though I had heard this song before, I will always remember it as the first song from Phoebe Bridgers' isolation playlist.

(7) Bright Eyes - "Persona Non Grata"

Is this already my favorite song with bagpipes? Can't really think of what its competition would be.

(8) All Time Low - "Some Kind of Disaster"

As the world changes rapidly, it is a comfort to know that pop punk will remain exactly the same forever. It will outlive all of us.

(9) KennyHoopla - "how will i rest in peace if i'm buried by a highway?//"

If you're a black kid making rock music, it makes total sense to me that you would look to Bloc Party as a role model. This song is fighting for space on 100 Songs for 2020 and 100 Songs for 2005 at the same time.

(10) Dua Saleh - "mOth"

Such an inspiring story (non-binary Sudanese refugee living in Minnesota), probably will have to settle for being the second most famous Dua for the foreseeable future.

(11) Hayley Williams - "Roses/Lotus/Violet/Iris"

boygenius backing vocals!

(12) Waxahatchee - "Can't Do Much"

You know when a major pop star releases a new album and Spotify's New Music Friday playlist has like nine songs from the album interspersed throughout? That's what I want to do with this Waxahatchee record. Please just go listen to the whole thing. I know you have time.

(13) The Aces - "Daydream"

Since HAIM pushed their album release date back, can I interest you in Mormon HAIM in the interim?

(14) somegirlnamedanna - "hello i am"

So it turns out there are two people from rural Minnesota who think "Hide and Seek" by Imogen Heap is a perfect song.

(15) Carlie Hanson - "Daze Inn"

The only good trend of 2020 is pop songs with prominent electric guitar. More of that, less of everything else.

(16) KennyHoopla - "the world is flat and this is the edge//"

I did not know who this person was at the beginning of the month, and now I am anxiously awaiting new KennyHoopla material. It just checks all the boxes for me.

(17) Dogleg - "Kawasaki Backflip"

I've been reaching for calmer, quieter music lately, but if your quarantine response shades more toward restless energy and aggression with no place to put it, I highly recommend Dogleg.

(18) Bloods - "I Hate It"

Apparently directly inspired by the band watching 10 Things I Hate About You. Waiting to see if "retroactive soundtracks" becomes the new trend.

(19) Tove Lo - "I'm Coming"

This is good, but the original is probably ten times better.

(20) Dua Lipa - "Break My Heart"

A good song on its own, bonus points for reminding everyone that INXS were great too.

(21) Perfume Genius - "On the Floor"

Consistently great work from Perfume Genius, but I'm interested to know why he has also released radio edits for both of his first two singles. Is that an artistic decision or just an admission that the general public does not have the attention span for a five minute song?

(22) Laura Stevenson - "Time Bandits"

It's so easy to interpret all art in the light of our current emergency, but I think "Quit smoking baby, even though the world is ending" would be a great opening line in any era.

(23) Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit - "Only Children"

Most people probably shouldn't work with their significant others. Boundaries, creating a separate space for the personal and the professional, etc. The exception is Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires, who should keep harmonizing like this forever.

(24) Craig Finn - "All These Perfect Crosses"

I saw Craig with The Hold Steady in London on March 7. It is striking now how much that day belongs to the Before Time: international travel, three airports, frequent use of public transit in two cities, restaurants, bars, a large public gathering in a small space, a gathering where I was smashed up against multiple strangers at all times for hours. It all seems impossible now.

(25) Brian Fallon - "Hard Feelings"

Every Brian Fallon solo project will always come with a tinge of disappointment that it's not a Gaslight Anthem project. Unfair, sure, but it's there.

(26) Eerie Gates - "Saw You Through the Trees"

Tender instrumentals brought to you by the guy from Wild Pink. Comforting!

(27) Georgia Maq - "Cold Summer"

As with Brian Fallon, I would love to hear some new Camp Cope, but this will certainly work in the meantime.

(28) Susanne Sundfor - "When The Lord"

Maybe you're not really into god-damaged orchestral Scandinavian pop, and that's fine, but you're missing one of the great choruses of the year.

(29) Empty Country - "Swim"

Probably not that many Cymbals Eat Guitars fans in the audience tonight, but since they broke up this is what Joseph D’Agostino has been up to. A lot more pedal steel, which is probably what I would do with my first solo album, too.

(30) Christian Lee Hutson - "Talk"

Key player in the greatest podcast episode ever. Just listen, I know you have time.

(31) Margo Price - "Twinkle Twinkle"

Co-produced by Sturgill Simpson, which you could have guessed based on ... literally everything about it.

(32) Muncie Girls - "Blankets"

Every band should follow Muncie Girls' lead and just start throwing their old b-sides out there. We need them now, even if they're not that good, it's fine!

(33) Sjowgren - "What Goes Around"

Always keeping an eye on the Bay Area music scene, pleasantly surprised that there still is one.

(34) U.S. Girls - "4 American Dollars"

Spoiler Alert: You cannot actually do all that much with four American dollars.

(35) ELIO - "My Friends Online"

Born in Wales, raised in Canada is a pretty solid pop pedigree. And, as literally every review of this song has mentioned, timely since all of our friends are now online.

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