Playlist Poetry

Like many people, I take a lot of pride in my playlists.  It’s a great feeling when you find songs that sound delightful together, despite them being pretty different.  It’s like finding two puzzle pieces from different puzzles that somehow match up perfectly.  While I’m a total believer in listening to albums in their entirety, I also think there’s a beauty in strolling home from class listening to a combination of different sounds that you curated, kind of like your own personal life soundtrack.  So, naturally, when I was trying to think of what to write about today, I turned to my new playlist.  Its a very short, 5 song playlist, but I thought I would walk you through it, and share some new and old songs that I have completely fallen in love with.


To start off, I have a song that has been in my favorites since this summer called “Dog Years” by Maggie Rogers.  Ok, I admit, the only reason I initially listened to this song was because she has the same first name as me.  Sorry, I guess I’m vain!  But, she has become one of my new favorite artists.  Her songs blend electronic and folky sounds, two things that would not seem to fit, but somehow in her music it makes perfect sense.  I fell in love with this song initially by watching the music video.  Anyone who has spent time Up North in Michigan will totally connect with this video as she walks by lakes and through forests.  This song achieves the paradigm of being peaceful yet so incredibly free spirited at the same time.


Next, we go to a full on folk song (my jam to say the least).  I was so excited when I found this song, because I feel like I’ve spent my whole life looking for a modern Joni Mitchell type.  She’s my absolute favorite, and it seems there are very few like her today.  But the song “30” by the Weather Station perfectly encapsulated that style.  The lead singer, Tamara Lindeman, has a high and soft tone that Mitchell is so famous for, as well as her amazing ability to pack what seems like a million poetic words into a song and still not have it sound rushed or too jammed.  They are not identical to Mitchell though, they do they’re own spin on the style, and definitely differ from her with the amount of electric guitar they use.


Of course, we always need an oldie in a playlist.  I chose Simon and Garfunkel’s “A Most Peculiar Man”, the 1967 live from New York version.  I chose the live version because I lover hearing Paul Simon talk about it in the beginning; I’ve listened to it so many times that I know the words he speaks before hand as if they were lyrics in the song.  This song is just perfectly sweet and melancholy. There’s beautiful guitars and harmonies, and Simon’s lyrics are completely enticing, as always.  Enough said!


José González has been a favorite of mine for a long time, and when I realized he had a new EP out this year, I was ecstatic.  The song “Afterglow (with the Brite Lites)” is my favorite of his new songs.  All of his music, especially on this new EP, is incredibly rich and layered, with many guitar and singing tracks that create beautifully haunting harmonies.  Its hard to describe why I love his music so much, but I just feel like it has a heavenly aura that I absolutely love.


I always like to finish it off with an instrumental.  So lastly, we have “Sunflower River Blues” by John Fahey.  I really have no idea how I came across this song, but it is perfection.  I just love the simplicity of a person and their guitar, and how just that can make a complex song.

If you would like to listen to this playlist click the link below and enjoy.  Or, take a good 30 minutes to make your own playlist that is the musical definition of you.


Maggie Abell

Maggie is a sophomore at Stamps School of Art and Design. She hopes to do a lot of things with her life ... at some point. She loves singing, movies, and most of all, her dog, Winifred.

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