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Since its first appearance in The Panel almost five years ago, “The Playlist of the Issue” has become a customary article for the publication. Not only does “Playlist of the Issue” expose students to new music genres, but it provides Panel and Banner staffers with a great opportunity to write about their favorite songs. For this joint issue with Winsor’s Banner, Isabelle F. ’23 and Gigi C. ’23 have joined Henry Moses ‘21 and Jalen Walker ‘21, as we share a few songs that we’ve recently been listening to on repeat.
Izzy and Gigi
She Tastes Like Summer – Spilt Milk Society (Izzy)
From the very beginning of this song, Spilt Milk Society engulfs the listener in the resonant plucks of the guitar strings and the raw warmth of the vocals. The lazy start perfectly captures the feeling of the hot hazy air that sits stagnant over everything in the late months of summertime. About a minute and a half into the song, the instrumentals pound faster and faster, finally cascading into sweeping waves of nostalgia. She Tastes Like Summer possesses the purest, unfiltered form of nostalgia to me, by virtue of the electric strums that add a sense of the synthetic quality that often shadows the knowledge that nostalgia is a liar.
80’s Films – Jon Bellion (Izzy)
Much like its name suggests, this song reflects the character of an 80’s film, merged with certain aspects of modern disarray. The unconventionally scattered beat of the drums lend to the aspect of the bright pop culture that defined the decade, and the chords almost seem like fragments of sky that culminate into an expanse of infinite blue. Everything about this song conveys the easiness of cruising along in a car, enveloped in leisurely warmth, and the prospect of existing in the present while hurtling towards the future. Something about it makes you feel like you’re almost there, sitting in the passenger seat as the melody slips warm and unforeign into your mind with the familiarity of your own memories.
Big Black Car – Gregory Alan Isakov (Gigi)
Big Black Car is quite like the dreamy dark gray of the sky after a storm. Like many of his songs, Isakov’s lines of pure poetry unfold the hidden sentiments of memories we’ve never had and the unknown experiences in places we’ve never been. Against the instrumentals, Isakov’s silvery voice is clear beside the thick guitar picking, a fragile balance creating the song’s beautiful melody of stillness. The harmonious blend of music is perfect for window-gazing on a rainy day, or for when you’re up late writing those English papers and casually pondering the great mysteries of the night.
Listen to the Music – The Doobie Brothers (Gigi)
“Oh oh oh, listen to the music!” Some wise words here from The Doobie Brothers. The groovy tune, catchy rhythm, and delectable lyrics are just impeccable, and soon you’ll be singing along and strumming that makeshift guitar. In an interview with “Songfacts”, lead vocalist Tom Johnston shared the motives behind the lyrics, which was created to spread peace in the midst of war and hate. With an inspiring and uplifting message complementing this neat song, the music just gets better each time you listen to it!
Paint – The Paper Kites (Izzy and Gigi)
Listening to Paint is like taking a deep breath of crisp air during a walk in the woods, or a warm cup of tea by a crackling fireplace (yes, very sappy we know). The vocals contain both the feeling of hollowness and the sense of being filled up as liquid gold pools into the bottom of your stomach. Its magic is the serenity of rest, hearty and content, yet the lyrics sing of the monotonous redundancy of life: “I only eat to fill me up… I only sleep to rest.” This song is a familiar smell, old and comforting, like visiting a forgotten memory as it delves into the reminiscent past of a love that once was.
J Walk and Mosey
Mad – Solange [feat. Lil Wayne] (J Walk)
Yup, Solange, I certainly got a lot to be mad about as well. But, one thing I’m mad at myself for is letting your 2016 project, A Seat at the Table, float out of relevancy for me in 2020 after it was one of my favorite albums for four years prior. That album is a masterpiece, and this song is incredible. The instrumentation on this piece and Solange’s seamless ability to weave her voice within it makes Mad truly stick out to me. Every time I listen to this song, I’d say there’s a 95% chance I stop it at the one-minute mark and restart it just to hear the superior Knowles sister softly and soulfully sing to me. And Lil Wayne with a great, personal, and reflective verse. I got a lot to be mad about! Damn straight, Solange!!!!
Willow Tree – Tash Sultana [feat. Jerome Farah] (J Walk)
Tash Sultana. That’s it, that’s the review. Kidding, of course. But no, seriously, her new album Terra Firma is beautiful. I waited patiently for this follow-up to her 2018 album, Flow State, and I was delighted with what she provided on this project. This track stood out to me on first listen, and understandably it’s been on repeat ever since that moment. Tash has an incredible voice, and she’s crazy gifted musically (watch her NPR Tiny Desk ASAP), so I hope you’ll all give her a listen. She also collaborated with Fender a few months ago on an electric guitar which I know I want to purchase one day, although I simply cannot play guitar.
Long Road Home – Oneohtrix Point Never [feat. Caroline Polachek] (Mosey)
The song sounds insane—an amalgamation of beep–boops that come together immaculately. Immaculate is a good word because there is a spiritual vibe to the whole thing. An extended version of this track is what I hear after I meditate under a tree for 6 hours and reach a full awareness of myself, when my spirit leaves my body and I look at myself from the outside. Then, in a sense, listening to this three minute track is like micro-dosing that kind of experience, which I see as a good thing.
Do Nothing – The Specials (Mosey)
I’m no social anthropologist, but it is of my pseudo-scholarly opinion that the heyday of two-tone ska exists as the most essential example of the necessity of a culture which dissents. Essential how? The entire genre was a reaction to Thatcher-era Britain, a time of incredible setbacks for marginalized peoples and economic destruction. Two-tone ska, through both its artistry and its surrounding scene, protested against the government’s violence. It brought in everyone: immigrants, punks, the unemployed. The songs spoke of the effects of government violence on the individual. “Do Nothing” might be my favorite two-tone song, and it reminds me that we need a revival of the energy of the scene.
Instant Crush – Daft Punk [feat. Julian Casablancas] (J Walk and Mosey)
On February 22, 2021, the world suffered a great loss. Daft Punk disbanded. In some ways (a lot of ways), we are in a similar situation right now: this is our last playlist of the issue. It is time to hang up our helmets and walk away, and the world will grieve (lol). But, we’re not just walking away. We’re riding off into the sunset with Instant Crush playing on the stereo.
*henry pulls up to jalen’s horse and squishes his cheek, blows a kiss*
> so long, brother.
> So long, brother. *daps him up, blows a kiss. Wipes a tear, trying to maintain a stoic face*
The Panel thanks Jalen Walker and Henry Moses for their commitment to the Playlist of the Issue. We hope that our readers have enjoyed listening to their new and amazing song selections. Good Luck Henry Moses and Jalen Walker!