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Sunday Songs: 4/9/23

Happy Sunday, bibliophiles, and happy Easter for those celebrating! 🐣

I’m still riding the boygenius high, and I will most certainly be riding it for much longer (that is a threat), but I promise I’m listening to a few more songs…maybe…

Enjoy this week’s songs!


“Cool About It” – boygenius

Never in a million years would I have predicted having a song with banjo in it constantly on repeat, but life is full of surprises. All the better if said songs are delivered by the likes of boygenius.

I’ll surely be raving about boygenius’ recently released full-length debut the record for the next month, but this song, after their first four singles, is taking center stage in my head constantly. With a melody inspired by Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Boxer” and sparse, gentle instrumentation that lets each member of the supergroup bathe in the spotlight, it’s a quiet, introspective highlight. Julien Baker, Lucy Dacus, and Phoebe Bridgers take turns reflecting on the mixed emotions of painful, strained reunions with exes and old friends, hidden lyrics shine through in not-so-hidden lyricism—”I can walk you home and practice method acting/I’ll pretend that being with you doesn’t feel like drowning,” in Bridger’s final words. boygenius have let their joint talents meld together in a handful of different structures, but somehow, this neat, boxed-in sections where one singer takes the lead per verse make for a song that truly feels like all of them. And as gently as bubbling water in a creek, their harmonies rise as one for each chorus—my heart can’t help but leap a little when each of them harmonize to the final line of each verse: “even though we know it isn’t true…”

[fanning face] The power they have, I swear…

“You & I” – Graham Coxon

I’ve been meaning to get more into Graham Coxon’s solo work ever since my 2021 Blur frenzy, and through the nuggets of song titles that I seem to remember completely at random, I’m getting more and more excited about it. The only song of his that I know that isn’t a cover or from the soundtrack of The End of the F***ing World (which I still need to watch…), it’s an unadulterated dose of tight, anxious Britpop straight to the veins; even without Blur and all of the detriments that came with its fame, it’s clear that this is the kind of music that Coxon was meant to play. And he plays it well. Each punchy chord feels laid out on a precise grid, and from what I can gather about him, it seems like something he would do. “You & I” is a distinctly polished song—not in the way that an over-produced, Top 40 hit is, but polished in the way that every edge has been meticulously sanded down to perfection, not a note out of line. These nervous, uptight white guys know their stuff sometimes…

“Everybody Wants To Love You” – Japanese Breakfast

I’ve gotten bits and pieces of Japanese Breakfast over the years—I remember being in the car all the way back in middle school and hearing a piece of NPR about her debut album, Psychopomp, and being interested, but I don’t think I ever got around to listening to it then. With all the buzz around Jubilee and her acclaimed novel Crying in H-Mart, I figured I might get around to giving Michelle Zauner and company a listen. Like “You & I,” I remembered the title of this song at random, and I’m so glad I did!

“Everybody Wants To Love You” feels like the 2010’s, indie rock answer to a poppy love song of the 50’s or the 60’s. Everything about it feels cheery—the bright, practically glittering guitar tones, the sharp pep of Zauner’s voice, and the starry synths that seem to leave sparkling trails over every second of the song. Add a wonderfully catchy guitar riff and package it into the pop-standard 2 and a half minutes, and you’ve got something that feels like it could come out of any era. Well…maybe not any era—some of those lyrics definitely would not have flown in the mainstream before the 60’s, but that’s not the point. It’s just 2 and a half minutes of joy, purely and simply.

“A Quiet Life” – Teho Teardo & Blixa Bargeld

Over break, I went through the first season of Netflix’s Dark with my family, and ever since, I’ve ripped a solid half of the songs from that show and slapped them haphazardly into my music taste. Seems like that’s largely the case for a lot of the commenters on this video too (all of the Dark references have passed the vibe check with absolutely flying colors), and, among other things, Dark reminds me how good it feels to be so invested in every part of a show—not just the story itself, but every little detail that goes into it. Like the music.

I won’t go into how perfectly this song melds with the overall themes and the last episode of season 1 of Dark for fear of spoiling something so wonderfully intricate, but it’s chilling on its own as well. Blixa Bargeld boasts such a rich voice—it reminds me a lot of Jarvis Cocker, with that same rasp at the edges of the resonance you can feel in your chest. Just like Dark’s absolutely disturbing score, Bargeld’s vocals seem to buzz in moments, turning from something human into the hum of putting your ear next to a beehive. There’s a deeply poetic feel to everything in this song’s atmosphere, with the orchestral composition forming in the background and the gloom that seems to settle over every note like fog. It creeps along like frost, painted in the same grays as the album cover. What I’m trying to say here is this: whoever was in charge of the music direction for Dark—I SALUTE YOU. BLESS YOU.

“Demi Moore” – Phoebe Bridgers

Phoebe Bridgers is a distinctly 2020 artist in my musical canon. I first listened to Stranger in the Alps in the early months, before everything went…y’know, and Punisher came out that summer. But unlike Punisher, an album that’s a no-skip for me to this day, some of the songs on Stranger in the Alps didn’t do it for me on the first few listens. It’s understandable—Stranger was her debut, and with Punisher, she had more time to hone her craft and sound. But I’ve recently come back to some of those songs that I didn’t warm up to the first time; some of them still don’t impress me, but “Demi Moore,” along with the harrowing “Killer,” took a while to grow on me.

With a title borne from a misheard lyric (“I don’t wanna be stoned anymore” became “stone Demi Moore,” this song, like many of her others, lingers in the hazy, middle-of-the night lairs of vulnerability. Especially on Stranger, the instrumentals often take a backseat to Bridgers’ singing, letting the emotional side speak for itself amidst quiet synths that flicker like satellites in the night sky. Phoebe Bridgers’ voice floats along like misty fog over a creek, all at once thin and full of emotion.

And again—normally I can’t stand banjos, but these somehow work because of how…quiet they are? Sorry for the banjo slander here, but…I can’t help it, I’m sorry. I was forced to learn in 7th grade for school, but I didn’t enjoy much of it, save for trying to pluck out a rendition of “It’s A Wonderful Life” from memory. I’ll begrudgingly admit that it did help me get a bit of head start on playing guitar, but I still have a vendetta with the instrument. I digress.

Since this post consists entirely of songs, consider all of them to be today’s song.

That’s it for this week’s Sunday Songs! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!



book blogger, aspiring author, music nerd, comics fan, stargazer. ☆ she/her ☆ ISFJ ☆ bisexual ☆ spd ☆ art: @spacefacedraws pfp by @cybersoybean (picrew)

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