Social Isolation Disco

PLAYLIST: 30 prime slices of escapist pop to soundtrack your quarantine party. Six feet apart, please!

Social Isolation Disco

PLAYLIST: 30 prime slices of escapist pop to soundtrack your quarantine party. 6 feet apart, please!

Within my personal friend group, I have gained a bit of a reputation for making playlists.  Now, of course, I get to victimize the entire internet with that particular skill.  Historically, though, my closest friends have had to bear the weight of my musical list-making.

Last week, one of my friends reached out to me to create a quarantine playlist for her so that she would, as she put it, “Listen to anything other than superhero soundtracks, please, for the love of god”.  Although I support listening to superhero soundtracks, I was happy to oblige.  There is a non-zero chance that she asked for a playlist just to mercifully give me something to do, but…. that’s a rabbit hole I am not willing to go down.

Cover design by Andrew Henderson

The thing is, I sort of think the playlist I made for her slaps.  It’s 30 songs of modern, escapist pop, ranging from absolute bangers like ‘Tantrum’ by Ashnikko to chill vibes like ‘Too Late’ by Washed Out.  In terms of cohesion, it shouldn’t work.  On paper, it doesn’t.  But in practice, I stand by it.  So, I’m sharing it here with the whole world.  Because the world needs escapist pop now more than ever, and also because I’m a hopeless narcissist when it comes to my taste in music.

Ashnikko
Washed Out

A few songs are specifically quarantine/social isolation themed: ‘claws’ by Charli XCX (who’s quarantine-themed album is out 5/15), ‘I’m Bored’ by Betta Lemme and ‘My House’ by Kitten.  But all are great slices of music that run the gamut of modern pop music.  I think it’s great.  I hope you do too.

So, enjoy this playlist, Social Isolation Disco, below.

Social Isolation Disco TrackList

  1. Joan of Arc on the Dance Floor – Aly & AJ Non-album single
  2. Malibu – Kim Petras Non-album single
  3. Love Again – Dua Lipa Future Nostalgia
  4. La vita nuova – Christine and the Queens feat. Caroline Polachek La vita nuova
  5. Over Yet – Hayley Williams Petals for Armor
  6. Super Duper Party People – Allie X Cape God
  7. Nonbinary – Arca KiCk i
  8. Gay Street Fighter – Keiynan Lonsdale Non-album single
  9. Tantrum – Ashnikko Non-album single
  10. claws – Charli XCX how i’m feeling now
  11. Damn Daniel – Bree Runway feat. Yung Baby Tate Non-album single
  12. Shoulda Known Better – Nasty Cherry Non-album single
  13. If You’re Too Shy (Let Me Know) – The 1975 Notes on a Conditional Form
  14. I Love Me (Travis Barker Remix) – Demi Lovato Non-album single
  15. Daydream – The Aces Non-album single
  16. On the Floor (Initial Talk Remix) – Perfume Genius Non-album single
  17. No Pude – Lido Pimienta Miss Colombia
  18. i like the devil – Purity Ring WOMB
  19. Guilty Conscience – 070 Shake Modus Vivendi
  20. I’m Bored – Betta Lemme Non-album single
  21. Sucker for Punishment – Alex Lahey Non-album single
  22. Ripe – Banoffee feat. CupcakKe Look at us Now, Dad
  23. Stay Tonight – CHUNG HA Non-album single
  24. Dare (AM) – Namasenda Non-album single
  25. Too Late – Washed out Non-album single
  26. My House – Kitten Non-album single
  27. Save a Kiss – Jessie Ware Non-album single
  28. Two Minute Noodles – Aria Wood Non-album single
  29. Take Yourself Home – Troye Sivan Non-album single
  30. Chosen Family – Rina Sawayama SAWAYAMA

Keiynan Lonsdale – Gay Street Fighter

TRACK REVIEW: Keiynan’s latest may not be an instant classic, but it is a great summer jam.

TRACK REVIEW: Keiynan's latest may not be an instant classic, but it is a great summer jam.

“Gay Street Fighter” is a lot of things you probably expected it to be.  It’s catchy, it’s about self-empowerment, its gay as fuck.  It’s also a few more surprising things.  Mainly, it’s dirty.  Like… really dirty.  I’m not sure if I wanted to hear “dick goo” rhymed with “hard for you” – but now that I have, I’m not mad at it.

Mostly, this feels like a growing-up moment for Keiynan.  Up until now, his discography consisted of mostly saccharine R&B boplets with titles like ‘Rainbow Dragon’.  Those songs weren’t bad by any means, but ‘Gay Street Fighter’ feels more like the embodiment of those tracks’ potential.

Keiynan Lonsdale. Photo by Clifford Prince King. Via Shore Fire Media.

Keiynan probably won’t ever be ranked among the world’s greatest vocalists, and that’s okay, but what he does have is style and swagger to spare.  The production work on this track by Louis Futon is great too, all bass and brass.  It feels simultaneously bouncy and badass.  And if the opening spoken-word segment is just a bit too reminiscent of the same section of Good Charlotte’s ‘Little Things’, my millennial ass will count that as a positive.

 ‘Gay Street Fighter’ may not be an instant classic, but it is a great summer jam for 2020.  And lord knows we need those right now.

Listen to ‘Gay Street Fighter’ below, and let us know what you think in the comments:

50 Bops

PLAYLIST: What 50 songs best define the idea of ‘The Bop’?​

PLAYLIST: What 50 songs best define the idea of 'The Bop'?​

For 50 Bops, I wanted to create a playlist that really encapsulated the idea and the aesthetic of The Bop.  Yes, I wanted songs that are timeless and iconic, but I was more interested in the sound and the feeling of each song rather than how popular or famous it is.  I wanted songs that were catchy, bouncy, danceable, and infectious.  I also knew I wanted a list of 50 tracks without any repeated artists.

In order to do this, I started with artists I felt had to be included.  The greats of modern pop music – Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Madonna etc., and then supplemented the list with lesser-known, but still deserving entries.  For each artist, I picked the song I felt was their truest Bop.  Not necessarily my favorite song by them, but the one that encapsulated that distinct Bop feeling better than any other.

So what's in it?

In some cases, that song was a career defining hit (like ‘TiK ToK’ by Kesha or ‘California Gurls’ by Katy Perry).  For some other artists, I picked something of a b-side.  For example, I chose ‘I Hate Boys’ by Christina Aguilera, from her criminally underrated Bionic album.  I’m sure some of my choices will be controversial, and I will probably regret some of them tomorrow.  But, overall, I am pleased with this list.

The track list is ordered in a way that I thought created a pleasant flow throughout the three-hour runtime.  It is not in any way ranked by quality (or boppiness).

Ultimately, I created this list to hopefully bring a smile to your face and to get you dancing around your apartment.  I know I’ve been dancing around mine.

Stream at the links below.

50 Bops TrackList

  1. G.U.Y. – Lady Gaga ARTPOP

  2. Can’t Be Tamed – Miley Cyrus Can’t Be Tamed

  3. Stronger – Britney Spears Oops… I Did It Again

  4. Girls Night Out – Charli XCX Non-album single

  5. I Don’t Want It At All – Kim Petras Non-album single

  6. Greedy – Ariana Grande Dangerous Woman

  7. TiK ToK – Kesha Animal

  8. Boy Problems – Carly Rae Jepsen Emotion

  9. Tearin’ Up My Heart – *NSYNC *NSYNC

  10. Get Outta My Way – Kylie Minogue Aphrodite

  11. Irresistable – Jessica Simpson Irresistable

  12. Ba$$in – Yelle Complètement Fou

  13. Intuition – Jewel 0304

  14. Hi High – LOONA [+ +]

  15. American Boy – Estelle featuring Kanye West Shine

  16. Hung Up – Madonna Confessions on a Dance Floor

  17. Juice – Lizzo Cuz I Love You

  18. Waiting for Tonight – Jennifer Lopez On the 6

  19. Fembot – Robyn Body Talk

  20. We Run the Night – Havana Brown featuring Pitbull Flashing Lights

  21. Sparks – Hilary Duff Breathe In. Breathe Out.

  22. Demons – Hayley Kiyoko I’m Too Sensitive for this Shit

  23. Are We Good – G.R.L. Non-album single

  24. Larger Than Life – Backstreet Boys Millennium

  25. California Gurls – Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg Teenage Dream

  26. There You Go – P!nk Can’t Take Me Home

  27. That’s My Girl – Fifth Harmony 7/27

  28. Casanova – Allie X CollXtion II

  29. I Hate Boys – Christina Aguilera Bionic

  30. Physical – Dua Lipa Future Nostalgia

  31. Play – Betta Lemme Non-album single

  32. Rich Girl – Gwen Stefani featuring Eve Angel. Music. Baby.

  33. Fluids – Michael Medrano Non-album single

  34. Pandemonium – LIZ Non-album single

  35. Turn Me On – David Guetta featuring Nicki Minaj Nothing But the Beat

  36. What Do I Tell My Friends? – Bree Runway Non-album single

  37. Anna Wintour – Azealia Banks Non-album single

  38. One, Two Step – Ciara featuring Missy Elliott Goodies

  39. Crazy in Love – Beyoncé featuring Jay-Z Dangerously in Love

  40. Primadonna – MARINA Electra Heart

  41. Rumors – Lindsay Lohan Speak

  42. Boss Bitch – Doja Cat Birds of Prey: The Album

  43. Mine – Slayyyter Slayyyter

  44. SOS – Rihanna A Girl Like Me

  45. Damaged – Danity Kane Welcome to the Dollhouse

  46. Gimme – Ralph A Good Girl

  47. Blinding Lights – The Weeknd After Hours

  48. Saxobeat – Alexandra Stan Saxobeats

  49. Be Good to Me – Ashley Tisdale Headstrong

  50. Comme Des Garçons (Like the Boys) – Rina Sawayama SAWAYAMA

After you listen to my list (enjoy!), head on down to the comment section and let me know what your all-time favorite bops are.

Better Late Than Never: 2018

PLAYLIST: Before I look at the best songs of 2019, here’s a look back at what I missed last year.

PLAYLIST: Before I look at the best songs of 2019, here's a look back at what I missed last year.

As 2019 comes to an end, I will be publishing my list of my top 101 tracks of the year.  I did the same at the end of last year (you can view my ‘101 Top Tracks: 2018’ playlist here). But before we all dive into the 2019 list, I thought I would take a quick look back at 2018, and the songs that I’ve come to love and appreciate over the course of the last twelve months that didn’t make that initial list.  This list, then, is 21 songs that I didn’t include in my top 101 tracks of 2018 list – but in hindsight, I would.  This playlist is available to stream on Apple Music, Spotify and YouTube, as are all of my playlists.  Click the links below to listen now.

Some quick notes about this list:

I got very into pcmusic and their style of futuristic hyperpop in 2019, so there is a lot of that in this playlist. I was starting to get into it at the end of 2018 (‘Super Duper Nova‘ by LIZ is probably the most direct example of it on the original list), but there is a lot more of it here. The songs by EASYFUN, Yung Titties, umru, Slayyyter and SOPHIE all come from that new obsession.

I included Crush’ by Allan Rayman, ‘The Prawn Song’ by Superorganism, ‘Annihilation Song’ by Rubblebucket and ‘Between the Lines’ by Robyn on this list, even though other songs from their respective albums were included on the original list. I still love ‘Peach‘, ‘Everybody Wants to be Famous‘, ‘Fruity‘ and ‘Because It’s in the Music‘ a lot, but over the course of the year, I’ve come to prefer these other offerings.

The rest are songs that I either almost included in the list but didn’t (Beth Orton’s cover of ‘I Never Asked to Be Your Mountain’) or that I discovered later (Theia’s ‘Bye Bye’).

Not including Christine and the Queens and Joji on the original list are mistakes I will regret for the rest of my life.

Anyway, enjoy the music, and I will see you soon with my 101 Top Tracks of 2019.

Better Late than Never: 2018 TrackList

  1. Crush – Allan Rayman

  2. Sometimes People Suck – Ashe

  3. I Never Asked to Be Your Mountain – Beth Orton and The Chemical Brothers

  4. Girlfriend – Christine and the Queens feat. Dâm-Funk

  5. Be Your USA – EASYFUN feat. Iiris

  6. Started Out – Georgia

  7. Anxious – Holy Ghost!

  8. Real Love – Jax Anderson

  9. Void – Kilo Kish

  10. After the Load is Blown – Louis Cole

  11. Tsunami (BAZOKA Remix) – Yung Titties feat. COBRAH

  12. Bad Ones – Matthew Dear feat. Tegan & Sara

  13. Sticky – umru and Ravenna Golden

  14. Between the Lines – Robyn

  15. Annihilation Song – Rubblebucket

  16. Alone – Slayyyter

  17. Immaterial – SOPHIE

  18. The Prawn Song – Superorganism

  19. Ordinary Pleasure – Toro y Moi

  20. Bye Bye – Theia

  21. SLOW DANCING IN THE DARK – Joji

Postnote:  ‘Immaterial’ by SOPHIE is included erroneously, as it was actualy released in 2017.