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Ted When’s ‘Social Listening’ Playlist

A few years ago I accidentally took a break from listening to music. It wasn’t deliberate, but I found myself listening to NPR in the car and books on tape while I exercising. For some reason, listening to music started to annoy me. I found myself analyzing and critiquing instead of enjoying and escaping. For me, maybe the best thing to come out of the COVID-19 craziness is the rediscovery of the joy of listening to music. To get out of the house, I started going on long bike rides through the country and listening to playlists without thinking. Now I’m constantly digging for new music again and feeling inspired instead of annoyed.

So, here’s a playlist of some songs that don’t annoy me…

“Find A Way” – Duckwrth, Alex Mali, Radio Alee
I’m not sure what to say about this song besides I love everything about it. From the chant at the beginning, the driving bass line, the rhythmic ad-libs and everything else; I just love it all.

“Cattails” – Big Thief
Love the build and the classic bluegrass/folk repetition of this song. Always been a sucker for songs with the name Caroline. The imagery transports me to Northern Michigan watching a sunset in a lawn chair.

“Deserter” – Matthew Dear
Carried this song with me for a while. This song makes me feel both happy and sad at once. The no-frills percussion puts me in a trance and gets me out of my head for four minutes.

“We’re Not Just Friends” – Parks, Squares and Alleys
Really like the synth tone at the top; love the oscillation. I appreciate the absence of tune correction in the vocals; it’s refreshing and blends well with the lead synth.

“Chinese New Year” – SALES
First heard this song on a viral video and have been hooked since. I love listening to it while cooking which has become an important way to pass the time while in quarantine.

“The One to Wait” – CCFX
The guitar is raw and perfectly out of tune. The breakbeat reminds me of the song “Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth with Money in My Hand” by Primitive Radio Gods which is an under-rated song and deserves another listen. This song makes me want to skateboard… I don’t know how to skateboard.

“Circle The Drain” – Soccer Mommy
This song is full of ’90s nostalgic vibes. Reminds me of a song I would discover at a Sam Goody headphone station and save up my money to buy the CD. The entire album is solid.

“Cheer Up, My Brother” – HNNY
This track starts each bike ride. The perfect song to put you in the right headspace for the day. The sample is from “Farther Along” by Josh Garrels.

“When Am I Gonna Lose You” – Local Natives
Love the harmonies in the verse. The chorus is climactic and catchy as hell.

“Breathing” – Ben Böhmer, Nils Hoffmann, Malou
Love the production of this record and Mailou’s voice is amazing. I originally thought the lyric was “one swipe to find” and thought it was about Tinder lol.

“Silver Coin” – Julia & Angus Stone
This is driving music The song makes me want to take a road trip. I love the simple lyric of the chorus: “Cause I’ll miss you when you’re gone.” Sometimes just saying exactly the way you feel resonates more than any metaphor.

“Black Dog” – Arlo Parks
“Let’s go to the corner store and buy some fruit. I would do anything to get you out your room.” The lyrics describe depression and the concern of a caring friend. I feel like so many of us have been on both ends of this song and the importance of connection and friendship hit differently in the time of Covid-19.

“Vacuum” – Elohim
This song makes me a little dizzy in a good way. Love the hyperactive beat paired with the soft sound of her voice.

“CALI LOVE” – India Shawn
this track makes me want to go swimming in the ocean; I miss California now. Love India’s voice and the chorus ride out the section of this record.