Monthly Playlist

February 2019 Playlist - Unconventional Love Songs


Valentines’s Day was last Thursday, which seems to be a holiday you either adore or hate. Most of the time, your feelings on Valentine’s comes down to whether or not you’re in a relationship.

I curated this playlist keeping the theme of love in mind. However, I wanted to appeal to everyone, not just people that either love or hate… well, love. While all of these songs have a romantic theme of some kind, they all have a factor that makes them unique. So, Regardless of if you’re in love or you just love music, I hope you enjoy these unorthodox sounds and atypical lyrics.

“Graves” - The Color and Sound

My Favorite Lyrics:
‘My rabid need for confidence has left me frothing at the mouth.’

What makes it unconventional:
For an upbeat song sounding like a blend between pop-punk and indie, Graves’ lyrics are somewhat dark.

"Ferris Wheel” - The Tide Rose

My Favorite Lyrics:
Scarred from the moment when I saw you leave
How will it feel if I break through the trees?

What makes it unconventional:
Ferris Wheel sounds like two people in love — however, if you listen to what’s being sung, it begins to sound more like a plea.

“American Love” - WILD

My Favorite Lyrics:
‘They say the lines in our hands hold our destiny
And when we line ours together they line up perfectly.’

What makes it unconventional:
American Love illustrates a picture almost all of us dream of — to be so in love that you’ll follow someone anywhere. Instead of simply saying this, though, WILD uses clever analogies to give the words depth.

“False Confidence” - Noah Kahan

My Favorite Lyrics:
‘And I wonder why I tear myself down
To be built back up again.’

What makes it unconventional:
Rather than spending the song blaming someone for his heartbreak, Noah Kahan bides his time mourning his past actions and bad habits.

“Dazzle” - Oh Wonder

My Favorite Lyrics:
In the mirror you’re a work of art
But this is real life, real life.’

What makes it unconventional:
Oh Wonder tells the tale of two Bonnie and Clyde-like lovers. Between distinct sounds and sharp lyrics, Dazzle is the auditory version of neon lights.  

“Breathing Oxygen” - Zayde Wolf

My Favorite Lyrics:
‘How deep is the love we think we know?’

What makes it unconventional:
Though Zayde Wolf’s Breathing Oxygen has the lyrics of a good love song, the song itself sounds more cinematic than any ordinary piece heard on the radio.

“End Credits” - Eden

My Favorite Lyrics:
‘Let's get away from here and live like the movies do.’

What makes it unconventional:
End Credits not only recounts a tale of young love, but the way it makes you feel and the things it makes you do. And, the entire time Eden recounts, there’s a lingering fear of the ending.

“Smother” - Daughter

My Favorite Lyrics:
In the darkness I will meet my creators
And they will all agree, that I'm a suffocator.

What makes it unconventional:
Instead of recalling one specific love story, Elena Tonra of Daughter uses her entire romantic history to write a breathless ballad. She ties each story together with a common theme: she gets too invested, and ultimately, it does more harm than good.

“Give Me Something” - Seafret

My Favorite Lyrics:
Search the past for redemption
Broken glass, no reflection.’

What makes it unconventional:
Instead of asking for the entirety — a part of his life, the person he loves, etc. — the lead singer pleads for just one thing, anything, to keep him going.

“Cringe” - Matt Maeson

My Favorite Lyrics:
She said my spirit doesn't move like it did before.

What makes it unconventional:
Many times, we hear love songs that reflect on an ended relationship. Very rarely though, we hear the singer acknowledge how the other party feels. Maeson manages to capture both his and his ex-lover’s feelings in this poetic piece.

you can listen to the playlist in full here.

Monthly Playlist - January 2019


Snow is piled high, but the road is clear. As you stare out the window, you see miles of evergreen trees, the tips of their pines painted with a white layer of frost. The world seems to get bigger rather than smaller the more you travel; the thick fog and cloud-covered sky seem endless. Like always, though, you make it to your destination. You step out of the car, and the cold air makes blood rise to your face. You pull your coat tighter around you as you walk inside.

It’s hours later now. The fire is stocked, helping the candles you lit earlier illuminate the room. With a warm drink in hand, you take a seat next to the window. As you wrap yourself in a blanket, you notice the snowflakes falling softly to the ground.

Quietly, in the background, these songs keep you company.

Track 1: Flume - Bon Iver

The first song off Bon Iver’s debut album — For Emma, Forever Ago — captures the hopefully melancholy feeling each winter brings. While Flume has a very gritty and distinct sound, the entire album manages to replicate light snowfall and cold hands on warm mugs through sound alone. Flume and every other song off For Emma was written in a Wisconsin hunting cabin over the winter of 2007, so the emotion it evokes is domestic and true.

Track 2: Vor í Vaglaskógi - Kaleo

Kaleo embodies the sound of ice in the Icelandic-written song, Vor í Vaglaskógi. Though the lyrics translate into a ballad dedicated to the season of Spring, the eighth track off of their album A/B is the perfect companion for a cold night.

Track 3: Polaroid & The Autumn Tree - Milo Greene

Though the 12th and 13th tracks of Milo Greene’s self-titled album are seperate, they blissfully lead into each other to create a longing and desperate sound. Beautiful harmonies and haunting instrumentals beg to be heard before the ground thaws.

Track 4: Flesh or Bone - Auralai

Setting desolate sounds aside while keeping the theme of bittersweet lyrics, Auralai uses cello and distinct vocals to capture the ear’s attention. The band is a fellow Wisconsin-native; the state is acknowledged in the chorus, which invites a sense of understanding to the listener. Flesh or Bone, in all of its cinematic glory, is the 1st track of Auralai’s self-titled EP.

Track 5: Dirty Paws - Of Monsters and Men

Dirty Paws is a story told through lyrics; the 1st song on My Head is an Animal paints a picture of triumph after hardship. Though the sound is as strong as a winter storm, it can be stripped down to only simple guitar chords reminiscent of a cold breeze on flushed cheeks.

Track 6: Drifting - ON AN ON

Listening to the 6th song on ON AN ON’s album And the Wave has Two Sides, ironically, makes you feel as though you’re drifting into oblivion. Between the strong percussion and distressed tone, Drifting paints a picture of low fog and winter heartbreak.

Track 7: The Night We Met - Lord Huron

Sharper than a record needle and more soothing than a drive in the dark, The Night We Met is a ballad and a lullaby wrapped into one. The instrumental surrounds and warms you, but the grounding lyrics leave you out in the cold. The song is — quite fittingly — the last song on the album Strange Trails, and tells a story most of us already know: goodbyes can be hard.

Track 8: Nina Cried Power - Hozier (ft. Mavis Staples)

Nina Cried Power — which shares a name with the EP it opens for — is a powerful tribute to the artists that came generations before us. Using powerful vocals and strong instrumentation, Hozier elicits enough strength to get us through the year.

Track 9: Alone and Made of Ice - Maldito

The title on its own describes the song that is Alone and Made of Ice; the song is lonely and frostbitten. The tempo and volume control is like spending hours in the snow only to step into warmth — you feel it build, freeze your fingers and toes, make your limbs feel heavy. Then, you feel… nothing.

Alone and Made of Ice is the conclusion to Maldito’s album titled Kingdom of Coldness.

Track 10: Repeat Until Death - Novo Amor

The calm and steady instrumental featured in Repeat Until Death is enough to both lull you to sleep and keep you up at night; while the sound is first soothing, it turns into a recount of regret, remorse, and eventually, realization. The second-to-last song on Novo Amor’s Birthplace is a reminder to embrace the snow, but to not let yourself be buried in it.

You can listen to the playlist in-full here.