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Playlists

All I Listen To Are Lady Voices

The past couple of months I have been OBSESSED with a particular genre of music that was popular in the 1990s and early 2000s. I am not exactly sure what to label it as, but the best way I can describe it is entrancing feminine voices layered over intelligent dance music (IDM) tracks.

If you appreciate chill electronic music and soothing feminine voices then this post is for you. Listed below is an hour’s worth of my favorite tracks from this genre.

  1. It’s a Fine Day” by Opus III – Mind Fruit (1992)
  2. Breathe” by Telepopmusik – Genetic World (2001)
  3. Edge of The Ocean” by Ivy – Long Distance (2001)
  4. Sweet Child Of Mine” by Akasha – Cinematique (2006)
  5. The Sea” by Morcheeba – Big Calm (1998)
  6. That Girl” by Esthero – Breath From Another (1998)
  7. I’m In Love With A German Film Star” by The Passions – I’m In Love With A German Film Star (2006)
  8. Autumn Leaves – Irresistible Force mix” by Coldcut – Ninja Tune Retrospect (No.1) (2008)
  9. Overcome” by Tricky – Maxinquaye (1995)
  10. Day for Night” by Moloko – Do You Like My Tight Sweater (1995)
  11. Blue Jeans” by Ladytron – Light & Magic (2002)

Click here to listen to my playlist on Spotify.

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Playlists

My Favorite Songs Under One Minute

Whether it be a reprise, interlude, or just a short track, I feel that songs under one minute are underrated. If you look at streaming numbers, they are often the least streamed part of an album. However, I adore a bite-sized track that serves its purpose.

The following are my favorite songs that clock in under (or just at) one minute long. And what better way to celebrate short songs than with a one-sentence descriptor?

“Variations On A Theme (Science Vs. Romance)” by Rilo Kiley

LENGTH: 0:36 

The eight track on “Takeoffs and Landings,” this short, sweet and enchanting instrumental track is a callback to the hit “Science Vs. Romance.” 

“(Can We Be Friends?)” by Conan Gray

LENGTH: 0:58

This dreamy and lullaby-esque track speaks on a ride-or-die friendship with an air of vulnerability and innocence.

“Smoke Signals (Reprise)” by Phoebe Bridgers

LENGTH: 0:34

The finale of Bridgers’ debut album “Stranger in the Alps,” she hums the melody of the first track, ending where she started.

“Fertilizer” by Frank Ocean

LENGTH: 0:40

Beginning with the sound of someone flipping the channels on a TV (in reference to the album title, “Channel Orange,”) the quippy lyrics make up a jingle for fertilizer, cutting off with a laugh track.

“Pet Cemetery” by Tierra Whack

LENGTH: 1:00

Whack sings about a rather sad subject (the death of a dog), contrasting it with an upbeat ambience creating a track that is bound to stay stuck in your head after listening to it even once.

“Sometimes…” by Tyler the Creator

LENGTH: 0:36

The third track on “Flower Boy,” “Survivor” contestant Shane Powers narrates this track, asking Tyler which song he wants to hear next, serving as the intro for “See You Again.”

“The Lovely Linda” by Paul McCartney

LENGTH: 0:42

Dedicated to his then-wife Linda McCartney, this is a sweet-as-honey love song that serves as the intro to his debut solo album, “McCartney.”

If you want to listen to these tracks, you can check out the playlist I made especially for you.

Until next time,

Caitlin

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Playlists

A Weird Hour in June

It’s been a weird month. I feel weird, my friends feel weird, and you probably feel weird, too. There must be something in the air (to take the place of COVID, I suppose). As a result, I have found myself listening to an odd combination of music to pass the time and get through the weirdness by simply adding to it.

Today, I share with you a near-hour playlist of songs I’ve been listening to this June that don’t necessarily go together. I’ve included some personal notes for each song. There’s something for everyone with this one.

1. “Cyan Hardcore” – Machine Girl
Fast and fun. Will make you think of Mario Kart.

2. “Turpentine” – Hole
She’s mad and so are you.

3. “Deeply” – bôa
Will get stuck in your head and make you think you can yodel.

4. “Runway H (2)” – Death Grips
Should be used in a movie montage scene of the cool variety.

5. “DR. BIRD’S” – Griselda
The ad-libs are excellent and overwhelmingly present.

6. “arsenic” – glaive
He’s sixteen.

7. “Orange Appled” – Cocteau Twins
IYKYK.

8. “Weird Little Birthday Girl” – Happyness
My friend put this one on a mix CD for me a while ago and I love it. Thanks again, Molly.

9. “Guess My Crush” – OTTO
If you like ARTHUR, here’s OTTO.

10. “Min Dag” – Död Mark
Yes, it’s Yung Lean.

11. “Yea Aight” – Nickelus F
Underrated.

12. “24” – IDK
“She say she not a thot, she a nympho” is the stand-out line.

13. “E. Coli” – The Alchemist (feat. Earl Sweatshirt)
Seamless and soothing.

14. “Bloodhail” – Have A Nice Life
Makes me feel like someone I’m not.

15. “Apple” – Fox Academy
This song has been in my rotation since it came out.

Click here to listen to the playlist on Spotify.

Here’s to weird music mixes for weird months,

Silya Bennai

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Playlists

The Sounds of Shibuya-Kei

With the changing seasons and my re-emergence into the world post-COVID-19, I have found myself drawn to an entirely new genre of music, Shibuya-Kei. Shibuya-kei is a style of pop music that emerged in the Shibuya district of Tokyo in the late 90s. It was heavily influenced by 1960s pop music, American hip-hop, French Yé-yé and so much more. It is characterized by its electronic and jazzy, yet nostalgic sound.

Here are six of my all time favorite Shibuya-kei tracks:

painty pots” by 800 cherries – Romantico (1999)
“Romantico” by 800 cherries is a Shibuya-kei essential. The album is chock-full of sweet sounding hits with my all time favorite being “painty pots.” The lyrics are simple at first glance but upon closer inspection, they are about falling in love. Even on my toughest day, this track never fails to turn my mood around.

Afterglow” by Pine am – Pull the Rabbit Ears (2005)
While this album was released a few years after Shibyua-kei’s peak, “Pull the Rabbit Ears” fits into the genre through and through. “Afterglow” is another sweet sounding track; however unlike 800s cherries “painty pots” its lyrics are Japanese. Overall the track, is airy, light and something I would categorize as a “mood booster.”

Star Fruits Surf Rider” by Cornelius – Fantasma (1998)
Cornelius is one of the cornerstone artists in the Shibuya-kei music scene. His tracks vary across genres and never fail to keep the listener hooked. “Star Fruits Surf Rider” is no exception. From the get-go, this track grabs the listener’s attention and takes them on an electronic journey.

Moonchild” by Cibo Matto – Stereotype A (1999)
Cibo Matto is another group that ruled the Shibuya-kei music scene in the 90s. “Moonchild,” one of their more popular tracks, is one of my absolute favorites. It is jazzy, dreamy and simply a masterpiece.

LUV CONNECTION” by TOWA TEI – FUTURE LISTENING! (1994)
Like “Moonchild,” “LUV CONNECTION” falls into the more jazzy sub-category of Shibuya-kei. The track is upbeat and funky; however, it is contrasted with a sultry-sounding woman’s voice. This juxtaposition creates a truly delicious-sounding number.

come again” by m-flo – EXPO EXPO (2001)
I almost always follow “LUV CONNECTION” with “come again” by m-flo. Overall, the two tracks have a similar sound; however, “come again” has a much stronger hip-hop influence. Like “LUV CONNECTION,” it is funky and upbeat, but the track breaks ever so often for a rap cameo.

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Band/Artist Profile Playlists Short Stories

Death Grips: A Phenomenon of Embarrassment

The label “experimental hip-hop” seems to now extend to more artists in the industry than it used to, but there’s no denying Death Grips helped found the genre and still remain at its center. Though Zach Hill is often noted as the leading creative of the group, Stefan Burnett, better known as MC Ride, is the vocal star. His punk, industrial-inspired delivery feeds on noise and electronic styles and production to create an unmatched sound. With Andy Morin also on keyboard and production, the music trio has put out six studio albums, a mixtape and six other miscellaneous projects.

Death Grips formed in 2010 and I’ve been listening since 2015. Considerably late to the show, I still found myself among very few fans in my area during high school. That being said, I spent my teen years in Wake Forest, NC. Unbeknownst to me at the time, Death Grips’ internet and streaming popularity were stronger than ever and continuously growing. I was a proud, but delusional, DG fan. 

When you find a new project as inventive as Death Grips, it feels like stumbling upon gold. I thought I was nearly alone in this discovery and it took time for me to realize they were incredibly popular. As years passed and their popularity still grew, I found myself listening to Death Grips as often as I used to, but now in private. There was a certain embarrassment of Death Grips for me, and since talking to friends, I’ve learned for others, too. The embarrassment, perhaps stemming from a sudden jump of feeling special to being just a cog in the DG machine, was polarizing. Older listeners retreated to their rooms to partake while newer listeners were outwardly experiencing their newfound feeling of uniqueness.

Death Grips, despite their ever-altering audience, continue to put out music and I’ve noticed, both in myself and the people around me, the former DG embarrassment lifting. As people come to terms with liking music simply because it’s good and putting less concern into whether or not it boosts their individuality complex, I find that Death Grips is getting more public love from their long-time listeners. 

As an ode to my lifted DG embarrassment, here’s a short list of some of my favorite Death Grips songs (in order of release):

1. “Full Moon (Death Classic)” – Full Moon (Death Classic) (2011)

2. “Guillotine” – Guillotine (2011)

3. “Lil Boy” – No Love Deep Web (2012)

4. “Deep Web” – No Love Deep Web (2012)

5. “Hacker” – The Money Store (2012)

6. “Birds” – Government Plates (2013)

7. “Feels Like a Wheel” – Government Plates (2013)

8. “I Break Mirrors With My Face In The United States” – The Powers That B (2015)

9. “Inanimate Sensation” – The Powers That B (2015)

10. “80808” – Bottomless Pit (2016)

11. “Bottomless Pit” – Bottomless Pit (2016)

12. “Hahaha” – Year Of The Snitch (2018)

Here’s to the fact that Robert Pattinson plays guitar on “Birds”,

Silya Bennai

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Playlists

New Moon Mix

The new moon is a time to reflect and set intentions for the month to come. This month I found so many new artists and it was an amazing time for new releases. I hope to continue to listen to great new music, but also go back and revisit old favorite artists and find new bangers. 

I made a mix of new releases to refresh your queue. There are some older songs sprinkled in to ground you, but I included a bunch of June releases (including new Lorde that just dropped) to kick start this new moon. 

The New Moon Mix

To highlight just a few on the playlist…

Paprika – Japanese Breakfast

JBrekkies’ new album “Jubilee” has been on my radar for a while with the singles “Be Sweet” and “Posing in Bondage”. The whole album is amazing but “Paprika” might be my favorite right now. Frontwoman Michelle’s vocals shine on this track. The big band instrumental lifts the entire song. This is something I will be listening to for the rest of the summer.

Moon – Bachelor (Jay Som and Palehound)

The brainchild of Jay Som and Palehound AKA Bachelor might be the best musical project to come out of 2021. Their album “Doomin’ Sun” is full of hits, with punk and garage influences. “Moon” is grungy with delicate vocals. This soft rock hit is a great driving song.

Hocus Pocus – Summer Salt

This new single from surf rock legends Summer Salt is giving me witchy energy. I love how tranquil the track is with heavenly vocals and chill guitar. “Hocus Pocus” is a perfect track to calm your mind. I’m looking forward to their whole album, “Sequoia Moon”. 

I hope your new moon is fulfilling and your queue never runs dry. 

Blessed Be, 

DJ lil witch

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Playlists

My Favorite Not-Just-Sad Elliott Smith Lyrics

I self-admittedly fell for Elliott Smith idolization when I was twelve years old. I remember hearing “Between the Bars” for the first time and thinking I understood true pain as I sat atop my IKEA loft bed after a long day of the seventh grade. I probably did know true pain then, as anyone who’s been alive for any length of time does, but the more I listen to Elliott (I can’t help but use his first name as if I knew him) and the older I grow, the more I understand that pain is not a lonely feeling. It is built upon loss or paired with hope or overwhelmed by joy.

Elliott Smith is a name most indie music listeners of any age would recognize, but I’ve found that he is all too often polarized within the sad song realm. Elliott Smith certainly knew how to write a melancholic and agonizingly sorrowful track, but he also knew how to do it with nuance. His lyricism and unmatched natural voice express the very duality I’m describing. His songs are never just sad; they exist as multiplicities.

Listed below are some of my favorite Elliott Smith lyrics that express some version of combined emotion:

Note: All interpretations are my own.

“And it’s okay, I knew exactly what you meant/ When you said you were an accident” – “Drive All Over Town”

Compassion vs. Distraction: Individual trauma combined with mutual understanding creates a space for growth or destruction. It’s hard, but important, to pursue the former.

“And for all you know, you’re the only one who finds it strange” – “Satellite”

A Certain Loneliness: Individuality can be scary and forlorn at times, but it’s imperative to remember the freedom it brings.

“I can sit wondering what in world you think about/ I don’t think I’m ever gonna figure it out” – “I Don’t Think I’m Ever Gonna Figure It Out”

The Hard Truth: We all have that one person we could sit around for hours impossibly attempting to grasp at their inner thoughts, but recognizing that we’ll never know is both a loss and a relief.

“We broke up a month ago/ And I grew up, I didn’t know/ I’d be around the morning after” – “Say Yes”

Pain Comes and Goes: Heartbreak is like nothing else. Actually, sometimes it feels like someone died. Those first few days, weeks, or months are the absolute worst, but it’s worth knowing, you’ll make it to the next morning.

“I’ll tell you why I don’t want to know where you are/ I got a joke I’ve been dying to tell you” – “Pitseleh”

Wanting What You Know You Shouldn’t: Sometimes we want and put much of our thought into things we can’t and shouldn’t have. Knowing your boundaries, as much as they may contradict your desires, is difficult but perhaps worth it.

“A lot of hours to occupy, it was easy when I didn’t know you yet/ Things I’d have to forget/ But I better be quiet now/ I’m tired of wasting my breath/ Carrying on and getting upset” – “Better Be Quiet Now”

A Box In the Attic Labeled “Forget Me”: Change is incredibly hard. Going from one reality to another, especially when it happens quickly, can be all-consuming. At some point, however, putting that person or thing behind you is easier than wasting your energy on old memories or an empty space.

“Haven’t laughed this hard in a long time/ I better stop now before I start crying” – “Twilight”

Comfort In Being Sad: There is both fear and hope in moving from sadness to joy. The change is usually worth it.

“Waiting to start/ Waiting to light/ Waiting until dark” – “New Disaster”

Elliott, even in his saddest and most regretful songs, knew to wait it out. Whether it be good or bad, he knew exactly how to express that there’s always something coming next.

My interpretations don’t just reflect Elliott’s lyrical combination of emotions, but my own combination of clichés and personal experiences. I wish he could explain these songs to me, but I can’t know what I can’t be told, so perhaps these explanations will do for now. I have a feeling they will change as I do.

Here’s to changes,

Silya Bennai

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Playlists

She’s A “Hole” Girl On Her Own: Birthday Party Picks

Courtney Love. Eric Erlandson. Patty Schemel. Kristen Pfaff and Melissa Auf der Maur. One of the most iconic rock bands of all time, and arguably the most iconic with a female front (Sorry, Bikini Kill), Hole is a pure glimpse into the grunge music scene of the nineties. With three studio albums released between 1991 and 1998, Love and her bandmates produced timeless hits such as “Teenage Whore,” “Violet” and “Dying”. 

While their album “Pretty On The Inside” is scratchy and angry and “Celebrity Skin” is clever and powerful, Hole’s 1994 album “Live Through This” is my absolute favorite. It’s a no-skip thirty-eight minute listen that will make you scream, cry, laugh, and drive a little too fast. 

I’m turning nineteen this month and I’ve decided to throw a (vaccinated) girls-only, Hole-themed birthday party. Listed below are my top four favorite tracks from “Live Through This” that I plan to play at my party:

“Doll Parts”

Toxic desire and reclamation are at the heart of this song. Essentially, you can’t own anyone and they can’t own you. 

Favorite Lyric: “I love him so much, it just turns to hate”

“Credit In The Straight World”

A cover of Young Marble Giants’ song by the same name, Love serves up a far harsher and faster version which I easily prefer. Money or drug-driven, either way it all ends the same. 

Favorite Lyric: “Leave your money when you die”

“She Walks On Me”

This song reeks of girl and it’s perfect. It touches on forced female self-image, suicide and comparison in about three minutes and thirty seconds. 

Favorite Lyric: “We look the same, we talk the same”

“Gutless”

Digging at a false revolution that promised female empowerment but never materialized and left many women in the punk scene isolated, Love screams at those gutless leaders.

Favorite Lyric: “I don’t really miss God/ But I sure miss Santa Claus”

Here’s to Hole-themed gatherings, nineties slip dresses, and some of music history’s coolest band branding,

Silya Bennai

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Playlists

Songs of the Summer

Every year, a bunch of artists come out of the woodwork claiming they have “the song of the summer.” This is an overwhelming premise to me, as I just love so much music, so here are my songs (plural) of the summer. Many of these are not current, but it’s never too late to fall in love with a song, no matter how old it is. Without further ado, here are some summer tunes for you.

“Folding Chair” – Regina Spektor

A feel-good song about self-love, and the beach. With Spektor’s melodic and soft voice singing these sincere lyrics, you can’t help but smile.

Favorite Lyric: “I’ve got a perfect body, though sometimes I forget / I’ve got a perfect body ’cause my eyelashes catch my sweat”

“Stop Making This Hurt” – Bleachers

An almost overly-grandiose Bleachers song with melancholic lyrics released right as summers starting? Sign me up.

Favorite Lyric: “But if we take the sadness out of Saturday night / I wonder what we’ll be left with, anything worth the fight?”

“You Don’t Do Laundry” – Dev Lemons and Stevie Powers

A song with lyrics detailing complaints of someone unaware of their own wealth and privilege, it’s also just insanely catchy.

Favorite Lyric: “Just so you know, no matter how rich I get (How rich I get) / I’d never talk to a dog the way you talk to your private chef”

“Goodbye Earl” – The Chicks

A country classic that I believe is the older sister to newer vengeful country songs like “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood and “no body, no crime” by Taylor Swift.

Favorite Lyric: “Well the weeks went by and / Spring turned to summer / And summer faded into fall”

“So Alright, Cool, Whatever” – The Happy Fits

An unapologetic love song (only bashful in the title), this is a track you can’t help but sing along to.

Favorite Lyric: “I wanna be dancing, dreaming, bawling and weeping / Over you all of my life”

“I Am Sunshine” – The Magic Gang

A somewhat kitschy but inevitably happy listening experience, The Magic Gang delivers a bright and happy track that made its way directly onto my summer playlist.

Favorite Lyric: “I am sunshine / In the August / Looking forward to the future”

As always, I’ve compiled these tunes into a playlist just for you. I’ll also give you my more extensive summer playlist, which I’ll be updating through August.

Until next time,

Caitlin

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Playlists

My Ideal Chillout Room Soundtrack

My recent obsession with ’90s rave culture has sent me down many musical rabbit holes, with my favorite being the sound of the chillout room. The chillout room started as a place for ravers to cool down from the high temperature of the rave itself. However, this room became far more than just a place for ravers to catch their breath. Ultimately, it became the birthplace of an entirely new style of electronic music. Here I have listed six of my all-time favorite chillout room tracks.

Dance PM” by Hiroshi Yoshimura – Music for Nine Postcards (2017)
This track has an upbeat and overall positive sound to it. It is sweet, soothing and absolutely perfect for anyone stepping out of the sensory overload that is a rave. To put it simply, this track is grounding.

2/1 – Remastered 2004” by Brian Eno – Ambient 1/Music for Airports (1978)
While Brian Eno was making music long before 90s raves, his ambient tracks are a chillout room essential. They do an excellent job of fluctuating to and from the foreground, putting the mind in an almost meditative state.

#6” by Aphex Twin – Selected Ambient Works Volume II (1994)
Aphex Twin was one of the artists essential in the creation of the chillout room and its sound. His second album which this track is on captures, the essence of the chillout room perfectly. For the most part, it is beat-less and trance-like. “#6”, my favorite on the album, is comprised of a repetitive vocaloid sound that takes the listener deeper into their Brian-Eno-induced meditative state.

Tommib” by Squarepusher – Go Plastic (2001)
Squarepusher, like Aphex Twin, was essential in the formation of the chillout room. This track is slightly more upbeat and engaging than the previous two in an attempt to pull the raver from their stupor.

La femme d’argent” by Air – Moon Safari (1998)
This track by Air serves to fully bring the listener back to their senses. It is jazzy yet still electronic in true chillout room fashion.

Breathe” by Telepopmusik – Genetic World (2001)
Lastly, “Breathe,” an electronic track with soothing vocals overtop serves to energize the listener before reentering the rave. While it is soothing, the beat is almost energetic enough to dance to making it the perfect transition song.