My Mixtape Monday – January 25, 2016

First Name: Leah
Twitter: @leahquinn2
Sex: Female
Age: 22

Occupation: Marketing Coordinator/Writer

Mixtape Name: Saturday’s Uniform

Side A

1) Stonehands by Balance and Composure (links in email)
I have to admit, choosing the first song for this mixtape was more challenging than it probably needed to be. Still, this has been a consistently played song on my Spotify history so I figured I’d go with something solid. It’s a song that sneaks up on you and eerily reminds you of all your past regrets. Plus, I think “stonehands” is a great piece of imagery. “I know you’ve got hands of stone, crush everything I’ve ever known.”
2) Above the Clouds of Pompeii by Bear’s Den
OK, this song is a little heavy. And the music video is completely depressing, sorry about that. But my favorite line is when he repeats, “I was too young to understand, I was too young to understand,” because I like to wonder at what age we’re not too young to understand. It gets a little more upbeat as the song barrels on, “hold your head up high, she would want you to.” Bear’s Den is a really cool band– great at portraying emotion.
3) The Light by The Album Leaf
This is a must-have for my “Putting Pen to Paper” playlist on Spotify. Sometimes I just need a quiet, repetitive, wordless song to write to. Also, I feel like I should mention I’ve never seen Scandal, but apparently it’s their flagship song. Whether you’re a Shonda Rhimes fan or not, it’s a great, reflective song.
4) 7 Layers by Dotan
“I was a stranger in my own skin. Seven layers I’ve been hiding in.” I don’t know much about Dotan, but I was immediately attracted to these lines– and sometimes that’s enough.
5) Gooey by Glass Animals
This song. It threw me way off when I first heard it, and I barely know what to say about it. When I first heard phrases like “icky, gooey womb” and “peanut butter vibes” my knee-jerk reaction was to switch songs… but then I couldn’t. It draws you in. YouTube comments range from “this song calms down my wailing toddler,” and “I think this song is devil worship.” And when two opinions about one song are that polarized, you know it’s gotta be good.
6) Earth Angel by Death Cab for Cutie
Ah, the sweet sounds from the ’50s, sung by hipsters from the 2000s. I’m a huge Back to the Future fan and I shamelessly love this song. It takes me right back to that Enchantment Under the Sea dance scene.

Side B

7) Will You Smile Again for Me by …And You Will Know Us by The Trail of Dead
OK, before I begin, I should mention a good friend introduced Trail of Dead to me just recently. I feel a little ashamed, like I should have known them a long time ago. The song is so dynamic, and I love that trumpet part at 1:30 — at least, I’m assuming it’s a trumpet, I won’t pretend to be a brass instrument expert. Here are the best lines: “The paper’s your soul and your blood’s the pen” and “just how long did it take for you to understand where your feelings stopped and writing began.” They remind me that it’s like you sign an unbreakable contract when you decide you want to be a writer.
8) Caroline by Jon Foreman
“Caroline, the middle-finger queen of the never mind.” I like this song because it paints a picture of someone we all know in just the first line. We all have Carolines in our life. “It feels like what you find your pleasure in are the things that are bringing you down.”
9) Real People by Dresses
I have to be honest about something. This song is the reason why I bought a ukulele. I don’t think the original song was performed with one, but the Blue Microphones version was, as well as the live version. I had never heard of them about 2 or 3 years ago when my roommates and I saw them at the tiniest venue above a bar in Pittsburgh– shout-out to the Smiling Moose. We stood in the front and were so close to the musicians that when they heard me turn to my friend and say, “this is my song,” Timothy replied “well, this one’s for you, then.”
10) State Hospital by Frightened Rabbit
Alright, so we’re back to another dark song. Actually, curating this mixtape has me realizing that it seems to be a theme in the bulk of my music. Not sure what that says about me, but I’ll make sure to ask my therapist next week. If you can get past the very emotional themes, this song boasts some genius lyrics: “Her blood is thicker than concrete, forced to be brave she was born into a grave,” “A slipped disc in the spine of community,” and “Brought home to keep warm in the arms of a plumber, ruddy and balding / who just needs a spine to dig into, a chest for the head and a hand for the holding.” They’re just so powerful, and cut like a knife.
11) The Luckiest by Ben Folds
I could have picked 12 Ben Folds songs, but I went with the one that has made the most sense to me since I first heard it when I was just a kid. Something just clicked when I heard the last verse:
Next door there’s an old man who lived to his nineties and one day
Passed away in his sleep,
And his wife, she stayed for a couple of days, and passed away
I’m sorry, I know that’s a strange way to tell you,
that I know we belong
That I know that I am the luckiest.
12) Landslide by Fleetwood Mac/Stevie Nicks
Look, I know we’ve all heard this one before– probably in the background of the corner diner, in line at the bank, or waiting for the dentist to see us next. Sometimes the most meaningful songs are chosen to be the soundtrack of the most mundane parts of our life. I loved this song when I was young because my Mom loved it, and that seemed like a good enough reason. When I heard, “Well, I’ve been afraid of changing / Cause I’ve built my life around you / But time makes you bolder, even children get older / I’m getting older too” I thought of her as the one afraid of change, and as myself as the child. But now as I listen to it, I feel myself align with the one who’s made bolder with time. I love finding songs like this that seem to grow up with you.

Spotify Playlist Link: Saturday’s Uniform

YouTube Playlist Link: Saturday’s Uniform

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