By Theressa Malone
I am writing in the final hours before we emerge from lockdown in New Zealand, a period in which my musical tastes have devolved and peaked and twisted in a graph shape that I am only glad the virus didn't follow.
I thought Milly could deal in time capsules.
Boring quarantunes: i am publishing myself: an over-curated playlist with commentary from the lockdown period-- my depressing journey from Oakland to Palmerston North
1. Trust, In Love - Anna Domino The bass in this song just drives big sexy circles around everything lucky enough to sit in your line of vision. And I'm a sucker for Anna's sweet-heart singing. I played this song in early march, taking the half empty train to work, not knowing it would be my last day. I avoided touching my face but was blissfully unaware that I didn't have American health insurance. "Trust in love indeed" I thought to myself, looking at mount Tam, the golden gate, my beloved Oakland closing in.
2. Happy In My Garden - Antena More sweet singing, but it's like Antena really live on a different planet. What a funny trick to play this during COVID-19. I put this on loudly in the café, I did feel happy in my garden until someone coughed near me. I felt happy in my garden of high quality ceramo-ware. I planted my oat milk flowers in the bowl-like mugs of my sickly customers.
3. A Cochabamba Me Voy - Victor Jara One of his cuter, funnier, and real revolutionary songs. Victor Jara is my idol, if you don't know what happened, you can look it up now and listen to El Derecho de Vivir en Paz :(
4. Stop Dat - Dizzee Rascal Boy In Da Corner is actually a legit album and this song has great synths. In the early virus days I would often play it after a latte wielding customer coughed near me
5. Intermezzo 03 - Denis Mpunga & Paul K But no one does synths cleaner and sweeter and more sincerely that Denis Mpunga IMHO. Intermezzo 03 is a great soundtrack to me finding out that day in early March that I don't have medical insurance and also don't have enough in my account to pay rent and fly home to New Zealand
6. Thizzle Dance - Mac Dre I listened to this in the airport to mourn all the future parties I will ever attend that won't kick off with East Bay dream Mac Dre :( Coronavirus marks the end of a truly disruptive American era for me. I don't even know what to say about it.
7. New Path - Essaie Pas Ok not to be a prick but I'm a junkie for just edgy enough electronic music with french lyrics. + I'm on a "New Path" en route to Auckland. It's March 5th and everyone around me is apparently going on holiday. "Are you visiting New Zealand for the first time?" my Canadian seat mate asks "No dude I'm going home... I'm trying to avoid the virus and I lost my American insurance etc etc". The only thing I consumed all-flight was a sip of green tea, but someone sneezed in the vicinity so I had to hold onto a nearly full cup until the attendant came along with a rubbish bag. During turbulence some spilled on my holidaying seat-mate
8. Marine Girls - Marine Girls Honestly if I can just listen to choruses of sickly sweet high pitched singing with minimal instruments for ever I will. I look out at the Pacific. I am a marine girl.
9. Baby Wants to Ride - Frankie Knuckles Frankie Knuckles is soooo sexy, too bad he was friends with Obama. A good song to listen to as I look out the plane window to see I'm nearing Palmerston North.
10. 30 Century Man - Scott Walker His iconic little ditty about saran wrap. Well in early March I got home to Gladwrap. Gingernuts! Moccona! At last.
11. Iodine - Leonard Cohen This song makes me feel like I'm a large saxophone being played very slowly and in reverse. Like an unbelievably old man reflecting on a disruptive American period of my life, unsure how to sit down, and that is correct.
12. Misfortunes are Cruel - Sweet Trip This song is like electronic and cute enough to feel absolutely WILD and trapping. I get the feeling I am a vector whenever I hear dad cough. My obsessive compulsive fear of destroying the fabric of my entire family through contaminated touch, it comes back. I don't leave the house
13. Curly Teeth (Youtube acoustic version) - Micachu & the Shapes Unavailable on Spotify
14. Situations - Freddie Gibbs Freddie Gibbs is really earnest and this song is fear and tear inducing with a crazy sample at the end that can barely snap you out of it
15. Summin' you up - SASSY009 Sometimes SASSY009 just makes you obey them with a strict and ambiguous kinda coppy voice. Thinking about it now, this would be a good song to turn on to get customers out of a store when you're about to close
16. Lara (feat Clairo) - SASSY009 Dream collab, and Clairo has the sweetest of sweet voices, like more sweet than "Cherry Coloured Funk" even.
17. Beach2k20 - Robyn We wish, Robyn. sweet voices continued...
18. Oh my my - Smerz Smerz is sooooooo cool they can sample a toilet flushing and make it sound sterile and a bit scary and bloody
19. Last Days Of Being A Wanker VIP - Lolina Dean Blunt did NOT make this list but Inga did. Good anthem for New Zealand finally going into Level 4
20. New Mexico - Oppenheimer Analysis More sweet voice hits. I hope I'm not boring. But also when my professor would talk about the Kantian experience of beauty as collective I would always think of this song as needing to be shared with everyone on the dot
21. Matter of Fact - John Maus ...He'll live forever
22. What's the Use - Tirzah When I show people this song they're like "yeah it's elevated but turn it down"
23. Sea, Sex, And Sun - Serge Gainsbourg My Jewish king, my most played artist on Spotify (one of my personality traits). He always knew how to make me not want to go to the beach. And Jane Birkin has the voice too
24. Room Mate - Lizzy Mercier Descloux I just really like her and this song has her name repeated heaps
25. Cambodia - Kim Wilde The synth LITERALLY describes what it's like to think 'i am doing this country a service by sitting on the couch all day long'
Theressa Malone is the founder-editor-designer of Milly, but also a writer who studied comparative literature and German language at UC Berkeley. You can read some of her work in Poetry New Zealand, the Daily Californian, and Picture this Post (where she also edits).