The Digital Future Playlist - Vol. 4
Music for every season of the year so in other words, it's our largest playlist yet.
When I started putting this issue together I got a little emotional and a tad overwhelmed by the excitement of what was being created. Everything I love about sharing music is represented this week, It’s every bit romantic as it is functional and every bit niche as it is mainstream, or more simply put, extremely balanced. It’s just as pompous as much as it’s self-effacing. It’s everything I wanted Digital Future to be, for those of highbrow taste that also love to indulge in the filth of basic content.
If you’d like to contribute a playlist please fill out this >> form << and we will reach out to you with a theme.
The sharing or exchanging of playlists or mixtapes is such an amazing but lost form of romance and one of the most archaic forms of sharing music. We wanted to connect with our readers and attempt to bring back that feeling of intimacy between two or more people that has been lost within music sharing. We will release these once (maybe twice?) a week. Maybe we will put these on physical tapes? Seems like a good idea.
All newsletter posts are available on the Digital Future site
We’re still looking for contributions, send us an email, DM, smoke signal. Please just get ahold of us.
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This week’s playlist theme is ‘music for the seasons’ so we need to introduce four different people so instead of giving you all their information here, I will introduce them one by one with their playlists and words to follow.
Music that reminds you of spring - Paul Vuksanovich
Paul is the editor of Off The Surface and plays guitar in Magnitude and Fake Eyes. He is genuine, creative, and overall a solid playlist curator.
I’m not really a spring guy; my nose gets stuffy, the bugs come out, and worst of all, it gets harder to dress in layers. Harder, yes, but never impossible. With that said, I was given the theme “songs that remind you of spring” for my playlist. It was harder than I expected, and spring probably would have been the last season I would choose to make a playlist for but I thought it would be a fun exercise, even if some of my explanations are reaching a bit. I’ll admit, listening back, that I wish the songs were a bit more sonically diverse. But I wasn’t really trying to score any cool guy points with this, and I wanted to choose songs that are in relatively regular rotation for me. I at least tried to arrange them in an order that made sense. So, here it is.
Supercrush ‘I Don’t Want to Be Sad Anymore’
I feel like this song most blatantly reminds me of springtime—the first few weeks, especially. It seems to me that most people experience seasonal depression to some degree; so, when springtime comes around it can just feel like the icy grip of winter’s gloom just melts away. Aside from the generally upbeat vibe of this song (and most of Supercrush’s songs for that matter) and disregarding the fact that it was probably written about something else entirely, I’m especially reminded of the feeling of wanting to escape winter and enter into spring during the chorus. It’s just got that springtime vibe, man.
Webbed Wing ‘Bad for Me’
Maybe it’s just the birds tweeting at the beginning of this song that invoke that fresh-aired, joyful springtime feeling, but this was an obvious pick for me. Again, the music itself is upbeat and in a major key (this is a bit of a recurring theme throughout this playlist), but substantively it fits just as well. It seems that Taylor Madison is singing about feeling stuck in a hole of depression and lethargy to the point where it is affecting his relationships in the verses. Kind of depressing, I know…but I really feel like the chorus takes a slightly more optimistic turn. I don’t know, when he says “I’m on my way” I just feel he is talking about being on his way to getting out of it… Maybe I’m looking too far into it, but to me, that effectively describes how people generally feel coming out of the cold months and into spring, in one sense or another: looking at the person you’ve been the last few months and deciding to take control of what you can in your life. That sentiment perfectly transitions me into my next track.
Paramore ‘Rose-Colored Boy’
I’ll admit it, and I don’t care if I sound pessimistic: I think seeing something as cyclical as the New Year or the changing of the seasons as an “opportunity” to invoke change into your life is pretty arbitrary and shallow. With that said, I think “Rose-Colored Boy” sufficiently resembles the nauseating feeling I get watching people mechanically adopt whatever elixir health trends into their life that they think will fix them rather than doing the work themselves, something that can sometimes be tied to spring. It’s a bit more of a genuine example of how I feel during spring. After Laughter was also released in the spring of 2017 during my first trip to California and back with a band I played in for a little while, so a lot of that trip was spent listening to the singles as they came out on and the record as a whole.
P.S. After Laughter is by far the best Paramore record.
Hop Along ‘Waitress’
“Waitress” and the record it’s on, Painted Shut, came at the perfect time in my life. It was spring of 2015, I had just graduated high school (I graduated a semester early, so I had been out for a few months by then) and I was at a point in my life where I was able to constantly take in lots and lots of new music that actually ended up sticking around for me. That period of time was a lot of fun for me, especially that spring. Then, with a much more refined and straight-forward approach to their songwriting than on previous material, Hop Along’s Painted Shut came and struck me as a quirky and impactful batch of indie rock songs that carried an underlying sense of freedom and liberation. Being my first spring as an adult out of high school, it was the soundtrack of that era and my favorite record of 2015. “Waitress” is an exemplary track for me.
Prayer Chain ‘Come See’
What happened to Prayer Chain? They were awesome. I really just added them because I wanted to remind people that they were a band and because this 3-song EP also reminds me of the same feeling as the era of my life I described for “Waitress”, despite the fact that it came out that fall. With no attempt to extract some deep meaning out of it, the vibe of these songs, especially “Come See”, are ultimately springtime, if I have to tie it to a season. More specifically, the guitar solo in this song; makes me smile and get stoked. What’s more spring than that?
Oasis ‘Live Forever’
Oh, come on, it’s the “how your garden grows” song!
Project Kate ‘Simon Says’
Anyone who knows me knows I’m kind of obsessed with this record. “Simon Says” is the kind of song I want to play sitting up in a tree in the woods in the middle of spring. The lyrics are really cute (“you like babies and puppies” is literally a line in this song) and put a smile on my face, and I think that’s enough of a reason to include it.
Music that reminds you of summer - Keyra Ramos
Keyra is a Phoenix-based chef and baker. Keyra has contributed to Just Like Heaven in the past and has impeccable music taste. Please show their Instagram some love and commission an item. (They made my birthday cake last year and it was incredible)
There are a handful of things summer has always reminded me of: driving down a highway at 1 am trying to feel a shred of cool wind, convoluted feelings of wanting to be in love, and the need for a cold shower.
Music that reminds you of fall - Michi Tsai
Michi is the admin and founder of one of the most exclusive and tasteful music Discord servers in existence so their inclusion in our series was a no-brainer. Get in contact with Michi if you’d like to put in a request for an invite to the server but please keep in mind the waiting list is quite long.
To me, a fall playlist should make you feel like you’re a character in Twin Peaks and Jennifer’s Body simultaneously. It should include familiar songs from familiar artists that make you feel nostalgic but nostalgic to the point of delusion - what I imagine the hangover after a high school reunion feels like. Did I actually have a good time with these people or did all these years apart just glamorize my memories? I picture the bad boy in every 90s rom-com appearing through the fog speeding through a school zone to make it to the homecoming dance that he publicly denounced but privately romanticized. What’s he listening to? What’s his guilty pleasure? That’s the scene for this playlist. You’re the bad boy! Let’s go!
John Maus ‘Bennington’
In college, I listened to John Maus a lot with my ex but didn’t completely understand the appeal until I saw him live at MoMa PS1. Coming from the Midwest, the idea that I could pay $20 and see performances by John Maus, Daphni, SOPHIE, Smerz, and Jacques Greene on the same day from 3 pm to 9 pm completely blew me away, so I spent a dumb amount of time alone at PS1 during my first NYC summer. A fan-made music video for this track is composed of cut-up scenes from Vanilla Ice’s movie, Cool As Ice. The actual movie is trash, but Bennington makes this movie look like a cult classic, which goes to show the power of a well-made song.
Futurisk is probably the coolest thing to ever come out of South Florida. They released two albums before disbanding in 1984, but James Murphy found a vinyl of theirs at an NYC record shop in 2002 and re-released their track “Push Me, Pull You” through the French store Collette. That brought about a resurgence of interest in their sound and led to a re-release of their albums, but they never made any new material. Something about 80s synths and Halloween just makes total sense.
Robyn ‘Send to Robin Immediately’
Alright, bad boy, who’s your guilty pleasure? It’s Robyn! I wanted to include a pop song on this playlist and to me, no greater transition track has ever been written than Robyn’s “Send to Robin Immediately”. Robyn talks about taking things a step further with a summer fling and perfectly captures the coy little tiptoe of a budding relationship. She’s hopeful but doesn’t want to jinx it. And the production of this song! It’s really something.
The Cocteau Twins ‘Cherry-Coloured Funk’
Any fall playlist is incomplete without the Cocteau Twins. For the fourth track, I went with the artist’s most popular song even though I was trying so hard not to give into the obvious choices. Sue me! But this track feels so comfortably autumnal that I felt justified in my decision. Great karaoke choice - unforgettable lyrics.
Squarepusher ‘Iambic 5 Poetry’
A bad boy walks into Panera Bread. He orders a U Pick Two with the frontega chicken sandwich and the broccoli cheddar soup in a bread bowl. His side? More bread. He’s there to work on his college applications. What’s he listening to focus on? Squarepusher’s “Iambic 5 Poetry”. Maybe. The delicate, chiming core of this song appears first at 2:04 and again repeatedly after 3:18. I grew up figure skating competitively and randomly came across this track soon after I discovered artists such as him and Aphex Twin, and would constantly get in trouble for skating around with my headphones hidden under my hoodie gliding to songs I couldn’t explain to my coaches.
*Editor’s note: This is exactly what I order from Panera so I feel personally attacked.
Ryuichi Sakamoto & David Sylvian ‘Bamboo Houses’
I first heard this track when I was on a plane and immediately fell in love with the somber marimba and the way the song revealed its full composition around the introductory downbeat chords. Initially, I disliked Sylvian’s vocals and would restart the song after the first minute like a little psychopath, but with more listens have grown to accept the song in its full form.
Virna Lindt ‘Underwater Boy’
“Underwater Boy” is an exceptional track from an otherwise gimmicky album. I found it years ago and hadn’t heard it in quite some time until it came up on shuffle. There’s a real touch of poisoned nostalgia that floats in right before the song reaches its third minute, and by the time it’s over, you realize you’ve never heard a track quite like this.
Connan Mockasin ‘Nothing Lasts Forever’
Connan writes music for the fall. I could have chosen any one of his songs and honestly don’t really know why I chose this one in particular. There’s not a whole lot to the song - it kind of feels like scraps he had left over and liked as is so he threw it on the album - but the song doesn’t need a lot to get its idea across. His hazy guitar and strung out vocals lend themselves to fall mode big time. :thumbsup:
Sweet Trip ‘Misfortunes are Cruel’
The first time I listened to Sweet Trip, I felt confident I would have been a waaaay cooler person if I had discovered them in high school. I had a terribly hard time only choosing one of their tracks to include in this playlist often, but I went with this one because of the beautiful balance between the wistful video-game peppiness of the synths, the modernity of the drums, and the later swagger of the electric guitar. Not to mention the lyrics are dead on about my late discovery - no one to blame but you!
Oneohtrix Point Never ‘Long Road Home’
OPN released this track when I was back home in Michigan earlier this year, and I think I listened to it 100 times the first week of its release. Long Road Home is the perfect song to listen to while driving around watching blurs of red orange yellow warp across the hood of your car.
Time for Michi to wrap up the story…
Well bad boy it looks like we’ve made it just in time for the high school dance! Stomp out your cigarette, grab a piece of gum, and find your crush on the dancefloor. Tell ‘em there’s better music in your car! B)
Music that reminds you of winter - Bryanna Bennett
Bryanna is a multidisciplinary artist currently living in Philadelphia. Possessing a keen eye and interest in traditional film photographer, Bryanna also does vocals in the band Buggin’, and contributes to Digital Future.
*Editor’s note: Bryanna didn’t provide any words but instead let the playlist speak for itself and spoiler alert: it’s really good.
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That’s it for this week! Please hit subscribe to receive all future newsletters. Peace and love.