Waking soundtrack, vol. 4

black cassette tape on top of red and yellow surface

Music is so powerful! It can transport you forward or backward in time. It can change your mood in an instant. We don’t deserve music.

I often wake up with music going through my head. This isn’t just in the morning; my nocturnal stumbles to the bathroom are often soundtracked by some tune that I forget as soon as my head hits the pillow again. For my own amusement, I’ve kept track of the tracks (I see what I did there) I’ve woken up to playing in my mind – when I can remember them. Now, I’d like to share them with you.

This is my waking soundtrack for the week of August 17 – August 22.

August 17

Wishing Well / The Airborne Toxic Event

When I heard my first TATE song – the heart-wrenching “Sometime Around Midnight” – in a movie theatre bathroom I became an instant fan. This track, the opener from their self-titled debut (affiliate, and below), packs just as much of an emotional punch as that hit single. Every single lyric in this song resonates with me, especially: “You screamed, you cried / You thought suicide was an alibi / But you were always a mess / You were always aloof / Yeah, it’s awful, I guess / But it’s the awful truth.”

I know it’s become a cliche at this point, but this song hits differently in 2020.


Up is Down / Hans Zimmer

The score from Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End accompanied me on my mid-night stumble to fill my water bottle, and let me tell you, it was an epic stumble.

Barlights / fun.

I woke with my alarm and promptly went back to sleep. Hours later, this was going through my head as I opened my eyes for good. I’m enjoying the presence of fun. in the forefront of my brain, and if you haven’t listened to their first album, this is a good representation.

But I don’t need to be reminded a change is gonna come / I can feel it on the tip of your tongue.


Geronimo / Sheppard

Here’s another song that I haven’t listened to or thought about in probably half a decade. Whatever happened to this Aussie band?


Sugar, Sugar / The Archies

Strap yourself in, music lovers, there were three (!) prominent songs racing through my head today. This delightful ditty from 1969 may be the oldest song I’ve had in my head so far (and the only one recorded by a cartoon band). I woke in the middle of the night from a dream where I was playing this song on my ukulele at a camp while toddlers did gymnastics.

I don’t know, either.

This video needs more Jughead
Jocasta / Noah and the Whale

I was doing my morning affirmations and this song quite literally popped up in my head, specifically the bridge that starts at 1:55. When I discovered these guys back in ’09, namedropping them totes boosted my indie hipster cred. I don’t care about that so much anymore; now I just like the music I like, and I’m sad they aren’t make music together anymore. I suppose there’s always Laura Marling’s solo stuff, but you have to be in a mood for that. Like cold-winter-nights-sipping-tea kinda mood. And speaking of singers named Laura…

Gloria / Laura Branigan

I took a nap while I waited for the sun to get right for this video, and I had another dream that featured music! This song was being sung at some talent show by a Paula Abdul-type, and not an Italian man with a mullet. I woke just before a high school dance troupe took stage. My subconscious must miss dancing as much as I do.


Shape Of My Heart / Noah and the Whale

I dashed to the bathroom as I woke from a dream where I was going to the bathroom. It was terrifying, but this lil tune (the second by NATW) made it more enjoyable. The horns really make this song, and just look at this qUiRkY music video!

We Anderson has entered the chat
Rill Rill / Sleigh Bells

I revisited this duo at the beginning of summer (which seems like both a long time ago and not at all long ago). This song – which samples Funkadelic’s “Can You Get to That” – was my introduction to this band. I remember at the time I didn’t have internet at my apartment so I would walk to a nearby McDonald’s and load a bunch of tabs with songs so I could listen to them later. This was one that was always open.

This is another song from the latter part of the last decade. I wonder what my subconscious DJ is trying to tell me by playing these songs?

Of all the weird shit my brain does, this is one thing I like the most. Now, if I could permanently shut down all the negative self-talk we’d be golden.

I hope you got some new music reccs, dear reader, or this reminded you of some old faves. What songs were playing in your head this week? What do you think I should name the DJ in my subconscious (I’m leaning toward DJ ID)? Let me know in the comments below!

Have a wonderful Sunday, and remember: Be kind. Be well. Be yourself.

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