It seems odd that last year’s playlist was only a few posts ago, but stupidly that was the only entry that survived the blogpocalypse.
Every year I create a playlist – a kind of soundtrack to the year if you will. It’s not just the songs I listened to most (although often they are on high rotation) – each is attached to a specific memory, acting as a conduit of sorts. Often once I finish the list I often can’t listen to it, but that there’s a kind of catharsis that happens via creation.
So. Here was my 2019 in song form.
1. Anaïs Mitchell – Anyway the Wind Blows
2. The 1975 – Love it If We Made it
Fresh hope. New plans. Which were just like the old plans but better.
3. Dido – Give You Up
Tearing up the new plans. Barefoot in midnight gutters, heart decimated. Not breathing. Raze it all to ground.
4. Florence and the Machine – Moderation
Rinse, repeat, replace. Invincibility rising. In four months time, I will come to know this as hypomania.
5. Sara Bareilles – Fire
No sleep. Cutting my feet on shells. Adrienne. Writing about wolves. Wondering how I ended up so far from home. Rites of passage.
6. Dermot Kennedy – Heartless
Regret. Rumination. Ground falling away. Rubber band snap. It hurts as long as you show up for it.
7. Kasey Chambers – You Ain’t Worth Suffering For
Uproot it, toss it on the pile. Wear your anger like a shield.
8. Anaïs Mitchell – Flowers (Eurydice’s Song)
No more colour. Descent into hell.
9. Hadestown Cast – Wait for Me
Keep on walking and you don’t look back / ‘Til you get to the bottomland
Anxiety. Side effects. Crossed wires. Stop running. Look it in the eye. Look at it.
10. Sara Bareilles – Orpheus
Hold me in the dark / and when the day appears
We’ll say / we did not give up on love today
11. Taron Egerton – Rocket Man
Childhood reimagined. And in December, Nathan Chen’s free skate. (Why does that always make this list?)
12. Josh Ritter – Dreams
Starting therapy. Words that keep coming and coming. Telling the story without stopping. If I breathe I’ll lose my nerve.
13. The Highwomen – The Chain
Diagnosis. Lithium. Surrender. Acceptance. Sleep.
14. Bat for Lashes – The Hunger
Redefining normalcy. Missing fire, hunger, light.
15. Angel City Chorale – A Thousand Beautiful Things
When in doubt, sing. Maybe it’s not too late.
16. Mama Kin Spender – Cold Rooftop
Nambour Civic Centre. Time stopped. Transcendent. Blue light. Vibrating; feeling every note as it left my body.
17. Mama Kin Spender – What’s Wrong with Me
Backstage, nausea, these lyrics, fuck. FUCK. Back in a January street, heart in hands, heart in mouth. Leave. Don’t leave. In her arms, can you feel what’s wrong with me.
18. Taylor Swift – The Archer
I jump from the train / I ride off alone.
19. Nakhane – You Will Not Die
Doubt. Minimisation. Pinprick light from the bottom of the ocean. Numb is the new black. Purgatory.
20. Michael Kinawuka – Piano Joint (This Kind of Love)
Time distortion. Waking in mid-air. Play it over (and over) again.
21. Francesca de Valence – The Seine
22. Ben Howard – Oats in the Water
Melancholy as a default state.
23. U2 – Love Rescue Me
In the arms of salvation. Learning harmonies for U2 gig. Fortifying. Learning to take the place I have denied myself for too long.
24. Jamie McDell – God is a Woman
Welcome to forty.
24. Adam Lambert – Ready to Run
Doubling down. Self-defence as self-care.
26. Taylor Swift – I Forgot that You Existed
It isn’t love, it isn’t hate, it’s just indifference.
27. Ben Platt – Ease My Mind
For the man who reads my drafts, and collects my dirty cups, reminds me to wear my glasses, lets me empty the contents of my restless mind and helps me put the pieces into piles.
For the man who let me go, and then let me come back.
For the man saw who I was, and stayed.
28. Anais Mitchell & Kate Stables – Woyaya
Old songs that become new songs.