My November Playlist Favorites!

This is long overdue, but of course, I need to give you a rundown of my favorite songs from my ’11.20’ playlist on Spotify (which are still great to listen to two months later).

 

my tears ricochet by Taylor Swift

The song’s introduction alone, with high melancholy vocals echoing all-around, sets up the mellow tone to the song. To give the meaning of the song the justice it deserves, here is a direct quote from the artist’s Instagram: “my tears ricochet is about an embittered tormentor showing up at the funeral of his fallen object of obsession.” The beauty behind her songwriting lies in her ability to tell a story without addressing the elephant in the room. Her words explicitly skirt around the funeral theme, yet her attention to detail in setting up the scene perfectly gives us that visual. In the opening line alone, the listener knows the setting: “We gather here, we line up, weepin’ in a sunlit room.” The initial simple instrumentation supporting Swift’s voice forces the listener to focus on these words. We also sense the overall seriousness and lingering pain of the song through the humble underlying synths and pulsing kick brushing under Swift’s stacks of delicate harmonies.

 

Holiday by Drax Project

Despite the song title, this is not a holiday song! The singer, who now lives in Los Angeles to pursue a career (we presume music-related), yearns to be with their significant other. They wish pursuing their career didn’t come at the expense of being so distant from their lover. Long-distance relationships are never easy, and this song encapsulates the incessant desire to be with your loved one while you’re away from them. For the singer, being in L.A. is not a break away from their lover or a vacation to seek more enjoyment. Hence, the singer assures their lover that staying in L.A. is not a holiday. The main vocalist opens the song, followed by a bouncy electric guitar that grabs your ears. The song builds up with several soft percussive hits that amount to a comprehensive beat that keeps you light on your feet.

 

This City by Sam Fischer

The beauty behind songwriting is in the interpretation, and this song often resonates with people in relationships or those who recently got out of one. As a matter of fact, the eeriness and disillusionment Fischer felt at an L.A. music industry party inspired the concept of this song. Fischer is never sure whether he loves the city, and worse, whether the city loves him back. He’s chasing after his dreams, but in L.A., will the chase ever end? It’s an internal dilemma Fischer faces, and the song beautifully articulates that notion with stripped production—electric guitar, piano, hand claps, and finger snaps.

 

BONUS: There’s No Way (feat. Julia Michaels) by Lauv, Julia Michaels

This song is not on my November playlist, but I wanted to include it because I recently rediscovered this song, and I forgot how much I love it. ‘There’s No Way’ immediately introduces short, hurried notes that swoop into the song. Though very subtle, this trill plays throughout the song, and I infer that the trill is a musical translation of the feeling of your heart being stirred, which sets up the emotional picture of the track. Two people, having just met, feel an instant connection with each other, but circumstances don’t align, and they try to deny their feelings. They won’t pursue each other, but they know, internally, they “just keep on dancing right into each other.” The higher frequency kick and snare and consecutive synth pulses in the background rest more on top of the sound, and it imitates the butterflies in your chest and sense of hopeless hope. The song depicts the classic ‘right person, wrong timing’ trope, if you believe it’s a true concept, that is.

 

I always love interpreting songs and relating the integration of the musical production with the lyrics. I hope this was another enjoyable musical analysis and that you have new songs to add on your playlist!