RS (rainbowstevie) wrote,
RS
rainbowstevie

The Music of 2020: Quarter 2

Furloughed from both jobs this quarter, I have spent much less time driving or being on the computer, and as a result I have not been listening to music nearly as much as usual. Barely 10 new standalone songs, plus one album. But onward we forge!

APRIL
18. Julia Morrison Summers – Not Alone
Riding down the road, this is my story
Seeing where I go, what might be for me


There are 2 good things about the movie Sun Dogs. One is Melissa Benoist and the other is this sweet and optimistic folk song that plays over the end credits.

19. Taylor Swift – Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince
It's you and me, that's my whole world
They whisper in the hallway, "She's a bad, bad girl"


As of April I was not ready to listen to the full album yet, but I saw some lyrics pasted over a Reid/Cat Adams gifset and I am sorry but that is all I ever want to think about re: this song. (also, the music is fantastic, and separately, I also really love the lyric “you play stupid games, you win stupid prizes”)

20. Natalie is Freezing – Pillar of Garbage
Amputated hearts are never whole

IT FINALLY GOT ME, OKAY. It's not even 2 minutes long but it's got lyrics and as soon as I actually looked up the full version on YouTube it went from “pleasing background song on Community I would like to look up” to "my jam."

MAY
21. Lo Mass Republic – Cold Rain
Bobby's down at the label
Making sure that the boss stays calm
Making sure that the numbers stay strong


I heard a clip of this in the background of a terrible movie and spent the next 15 minutes furiously scouring the internet until I found out what it was, only to be DEVASTATED that 90 seconds in, it suddenly doubles in volume as the electric guitar chords and other noise come crashing in. Still...it's so rare that I instantly take to sound from a Guy Band. Let's pretend there is an acoustic version that maintains the calm, subdued sound of the verses.

Next: hop on the Discover Weekly ride, because my song count is way too low for this point in the year, even accounting for the extra songs from album discoveries in January.

22. Anais Mitchell/Kate Stables – Woyaya
It will be hard, we know
And the road will be muddy and rough
But we’ll get there
Heaven knows how we will get there
But we know we will


A dreamily swaying-type folk song, not dissimilar to a slowed down version of Not Alone, but even better.

23. Cimorelli – The Night We Met (Lord Huron cover)
I had all and then most of you
Some and now none of you


I love the low, almost eerie way this opens on vocals until it morphs into beautiful female harmonies before the verses begin. In related news, THIS IS MY NEW FAVORITE FAMILY GROUP. Hanson who.

24. Lisa Cimorelli - Unloved
I skip my dinner, I paint my face
He picks me up, we stay out late
I close the door, I've lost my way
So I drown myself in pain


Not a lot of good life choices being made in this song, but the music caught me first.

25. Cimorelli - Before October's Gone
Maybe sometimes things just have to end
Maybe sometimes there's just no explaining it


Listen I swear I'm not going through anything, these just happened to be the songs Spotify picked out as examples to show me. They must have happy songs too! Somewhere! However, this one has more of a country sound than the other two and I respond to that sometimes. Today is one of those times.

(Side note: this group – as well as its individuals – appears to have roughly a million songs to listen to, and I'm so overwhelmed by my options that I can't focus on any more yet, but I look forward to unlocking this treasure chest later on. It would be easier if I could check a CD out from the library, but I'll get there. ♫Heaven knows how I will get there, but I know I will♫)

26. Lucy Wainwright Roche – Soft Line
One smile is a lot to ask
From a city known for glass
And for all of the trains that pass
Five for every hour


I could swear I have heard this name before, possibly without the Roche, but not until Discover Weekly sat me down and force-streamed me some gorgeous sound straight off a contemporary Irish soundtrack could I get myself to pay attention. Apparently she is actually American, born and raised, and her genre would be classed as folk rather than Celtic, but you could have fooled me, though on second listen I guess it is missing some key instrumentation for the latter. Also, I have no idea what this song is about. It's just very pretty.

June
CD Rec: Taylor Swift, "Lover" (2019)
It's exactly what I knew it would be, I just had to put it in time-out for 10 months first to make up for The Album That Shall Not Be Named. See my first impressions of the full track list here if you missed it; highlights (or...top 2/3rds) below, but you should know the only songs I actually skip are the title track and False God. This album makes me very happy and it's perfect for summer.

It's certainly perfect for June, considering I found almost zero other new music this month.

27. I Forgot That You Existed
It isn't love, it isn't hate, it's just indifference

This was exactly the right song to open the CD, something casually upbeat/cheerful and 1989-esque to make me crack open the door to my heart again.
-
28. Cruel Summer
I don't want to keep secrets just to keep you

Pretty sure this is about a trash man and a dumbass girl, but WHOOPS, that's what happens when you let the music come in and do its thing without vetting all the lyrics first. Regardless, I like so many parts of this, especially the sound of "devils roll the dice, angels roll their eyes."
-
29. The Man
They'd say I hustled, put in the work
They wouldn't shake their heads
And question how much of this I deserve


IT IS EXTREMELY CATCH.
-
30. The Archer
Who could ever leave me, darling
But who could stay?

Quoting my original post again: this couplet feels like the most tragically on-point description of her life ever. Perhaps my favorite slow song of hers since All Too Well? There are just a LOT of really good lyrics. ("all of my heroes die all alone" and "all of my enemies started out friends," for starters, and more with every listen. I never grew up, it's getting so old is a contender for Lyric That Sums Up My Year)

31. I Think He Knows
Lyrical smile, indigo eyes, hand on my thigh
We could follow the sparks, I'll drive


Late insertion because it's my list and I can do what I want, and because over the course of a few extra-long walks with earbuds in, this sneakily shot so high up in my favorites list it actually passed a few that originally made the list along the way, and while I'm comfortable leaving the rest off, this one deserves acknowledgement. I really love the sound of both the above bridge and the skippin' down 16th Avenue! parts.

32. Cornelia Street
I hope I never lose you, hope it never ends
I'd never walk Cornelia Street again

This song contains some of my favorite lyrics on the CD. The ones above are the ones that make my heart sing the most when I hear them, but there are many more beautiful and more complex ones throughout. Climbing rapidly up the ranks, it is now easily in my top 3-5 from this set and a possible future contender for outright favorite.
-
33. Death by a Thousand Cuts
I see you everywhere
The only thing we share is this small town


This wasn't an instant hit, but it took root and managed to eclipse a lot of others along the way. I love all the lyrics. May or may not have been influenced by the backstory of it being inspired by Netflix movie Something Great (now on my TBW list), which was itself inspired by her song Clean.

34. Soon You'll Get Better (ft. The Dixie Chicks)
In doctor's office lighting, I didn't tell you I was scared
That was the first time we were there


An absolutely beautiful lullaby that is very hard to listen to, once you know the lyrics, without crying. And I haven't even dealt with anything similar in my own life. I can't imagine how hard it hits when you have.

35. ME!
You're the only one of you
Baby, that's the fun of you


I hate so much about the things my brain chooses to be, but this one FINALLY got in the door. Later than every other track I've chosen to highlight, and also one or two I did not, but now I am kind of obsessed with its nonsense. It helped that I finally deleted the "featuring ___" part of the title on my computer copy, and then played it enough times on shuffle that I forgot which dude I was hearing. He's just Some Guy Voice now.

36. It's Nice to Have A Friend
Church bells ring, carry me home
Rice on the ground, looks like snow

Despite its absolutely horrible is-this-for-preschoolers title, the song itself sounds like it got lost off a recent Vanessa Carlton album. And that's just the best. I mean, the words are very much Taylor, but the music is all Vanessa.
-
37. Daylight
I once believed love would be burning red
But it's golden


Quoting myself one last time: a lovely closer; I like the chimes and the echoing repetition on the chorus. [and the reference to 3 albums ago in the above lyric!]

38. Cimorelli - Hope For It
You're with me in the fight, with me in the war
You're the one who lifts me when my knees hit the floor


30 hours before post deadline, YouTube succeeds in throwing a more uplifting song from this group at me. One I likely would not have found on my own, because it's off their Christian album, and while that's obviously never a dealbreaker for me, it's also never the first place I go if there's a secular option.

List Extra: Laura Scott - This Love (Taylor Swift cover)
This love is good, this love is bad, this love is alive, back from the dead

I like the original, whch made The Music List in 2017, but this richer-voiced and piano-based version makes it more gorgeous than I could ever have imagined. Also the reason I found it is that I tripped over it in a Barbie/Julia fanvid and oh my god, I am so happy I can finally apply it in a fandom context. That's mostly down to the video clips being perfectly matched to the words, but it might also be one of those infinite-feedback-loops-of-joy thing.

-------------
UPDATE: The Music of 2020 will return at the end of the year with Q3 and Q4 rolled together, because I literally only found 3-5 songs over the subsequent 3 months and I'm still deciding how many of them I actually love. (But October alone is already more fruitful, so that bodes well.)
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