Playlist: Boundaries

by Josephine Wood

I am usually not a “lyric person.” I could listen to a song 100 times and still wouldn’t be able to tell you what it’s about, so it’s pretty serendipitous that the top 5 songs I’ve been playing to welcome the new year reflect this month’s GROOVE theme: boundaries. This playlist sheds light on all kinds of blurred lines between relationships, self care, anxiety, and letting go.

1. Funeral Pyre by Julien Baker

Julien Baker, who writes the best songs if you’re looking for a nice cry, has done it again. Her new release, Funeral Pyre, is about relationship boundaries and doing what’s best for you while recognizing the unhealthy habits within yourself. “But I would have stayed, if you had asked me to / Stood outside until my lips turned blue, but I wouldn’t have blamed you / For leaving me there on the porch.” It’s as if she’s witnessing herself and regretfully detailing the decisions she’s made, but knows she shouldn’t. I’m looking forward to a new release from her in 2017.

2. Eagle by Weaves

On a lighter note, Toronto based Weaves isn’t stressing about outcomes in Eagle. “Hey my little children, little children of mine / I’ve been thinking about how you might feel about the universe / Everything ain’t always gotta be everything / So snap your fingers and do it with me.” Releasing your expectations, a very wise mother once told me, is the key to happiness.

3. Borderline (An Ode to Self Care) by Solange

Praise be to the Knowles sisters for stepping in and intervening in the mess of 2016. Solange’s Borderline (An Ode to Self Care) is a post-election, dystopian American anthem for the woke. She sings about disengaging with the things happening in the world in the name of self care, relating it to staying inside the borderline. “Because the last thing I want / Is thinking that it’s time that I leave the borderline / Baby, You know you’re tired / Know I’m tired / Let’s take it off tonight / Break it off tonight / Baby it’s war outside these walls.” Disengage to stay sane. Got it, Solange.

4. Not What I Needed by Car Seat Headrest

The name draws boundaries from the get-go. The matter-of-factness on Not What I Needed is like your best friend saying “shhhh… it’ll be okay,” in the form of practical advice. “Get a job, eat an apple, it’ll work itself out / It’s a phase / It’s chemistry / It’s your own fault.” Will Toledo’s deadpan delivery gives the whole song a sarcastic feel, a reminder that we’re all just humans trying find meaning and feel fulfilled… or whatever.

5. Stuck in the South by Adia Victoria

Adia Victoria is a Nashville based, bluesy, vintage country artist, with most of her songs focusing on dark tales in the South. In Stuck in the South, Adia Victoria begrudges geographical boundaries. “I don’t know nothin’ ‘bout Southern belles / But, I can tell you something ‘bout Southern hell.” This anti-southern belle sings about her love-hate relationship with the south and dreams of escaping a place where she’s lived for oh, so (too) long.

by Josephine Wood

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