Some playlists are for shuffling, but this one follows a narrative to help guide the constant flux of emotional confusion I've been experiencing.

plastic beach cover art
From Gorillaz' "Plastic Beach"

[Note--While we're all on shut down, we're going to provide weekly playlists from My Spilt Milk contributors; this week's playlist comes from Marisa.]

Playlists are storytelling. Sometimes they’re focused in a certain genre, sometimes around a particular theme. There’s something I find particularly communal about this form of storytelling. You are telling a story with borrowed voices, weaving together personal associations and the unknown associations of anyone who listens. 

For me, they’re therapeutic, in more ways than one. It’s a puzzle of sorts. It’s a way of creating story and order without having to write the words myself. Once it’s done, it feels like I’ve completed something, like I have been productive in some way. It also gives me a way to lend some sort of comfort to others. Not everyone enjoys spending hours organizing and ordering the music they listen to, but I do, and then the work is done for other people to listen to.

For this, I dug through my library and dumped as many relevant songs into a new playlist as I could. Then I began organizing. This playlist isn’t bound by genre, which is my favorite kind of playlist to organize because it’s more difficult to make flow properly, and I love a challenge. I wanted to try and track a particular trajectory of emotions that I’ve been feeling in waves.

I started with “Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach,” from one of my all time favorite albums Plastic Beach by Gorillaz. This was the first thing I knew. It’s one of the best intros I know, and introduces us to a world of modern ruin over a very cool, psychedelic beat, with the line “The revolution will be televised” that feels especially pertinent. Then I moved into “All We Got” and “Good Morning,” which are both welcoming songs, inviting us to just listen and enjoy. 

From here, I moved into the dance section of the playlist. This goes from “Dance Apocalyptic” through “Bad Girls - Switch Remix.” Here, it’s about saying “fuck it” and dancing. I included one of my favorite OutKast songs “Last Call,” and also “Big Titties” by EarthGang, because sometimes, you just wanna shake some ass and sing about big titties. 

After this, I started to ease back into the weight of the world. “Existential Crisis Hour!” by Kilo Kish comes to interrupt with, exactly what it sounds like, existential panic, and the songs that follow are focused on dancing through sadness. Then next turn happens with “Help” by Weaves, and I find this cover to get to the heart of the song’s meaning a lot more than the original. It’s distorted and sounds more desperate, begging for help from anyone, anywhere. The songs that follow are more directly tied thematically to the feelings I’ve been experiencing: sadness, frustration, anger, confusion, and figuring how to keep putting one foot in front of another. I end this section with Lana Del Rey’s “hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have - but I have it,” for obvious reasons. 

Next is Phoebe Bridgers' new single, “Garden Song,” which I recently wrote about more extensively, and has been helping me a lot in this time in seeing the possible light at the end of a lot of dark. The rest of the playlist is softer, happier, and includes some classics that are easily recognizable to mostly everyone. I end the playlist with “Here Comes the Sun,” because I’m trying really hard to see the sun right now. I hope this playlist is useful to you.