I've been adding to this one giant playlist over the last month that I have playing nonstop, so it's started to get layers of me from this week and me from last week and me from the week before. It started with the songs I put on every playlist that are my foundation songs and I add every random song I come across and fall in love with to it. I've found so many artists that are new to me lately whose stuff I've fallen in love with. I figure that with these posts, I'll just take a minute each week to pick a couple that stood out or were important for the week itself. Or just random ones that are my favorites of the moment.
So my two for this week are Harry Styles and Finneas. I also really want to talk about Sasha Sloan because I found her EP Self Portrait a few days ago and I'm obsessed with her lyrics, but I feel like they haven't sunk in deep enough yet. Next week.
I feel like Harry Styles has to be artist 1 of this week because I bought Fine Line tour tickets and there's been so much promo going on. The upcoming album has claimed a lot of my headspace because I'm really excited for it and so much is going on surrounding it. My podcast episode this week is about "Watermelon Sugar" and the first live performances of the Fine Line era. If you want to listen to that it's here: Episode 15
For the last month or so, I've fallen for the lyric on "Carolina". It echoes in my head quite a bit because it feels like the message I need for this weird part of my life: "She never saw herself as a West Coaster. Moved all the way cause her grandma told her Townes, "Better swim before you drown." I just keep telling myself when I get cold feet or doubt the paths that I'm choosing that I need to swim before I drown.
"From the Dining Table" is so haunting and full of images that I always have to stop and listen when it comes on in the shuffle. "Fell back asleep/I got drunk by noon/I've never felt less cool... Comfortable silence is so overrated/Why won't you ever be the first one to break/Even my phone misses your call/By the way." I mean it's so sad because it's self deprecating and just like... life when you're lonely. I love the phone line and the idea of the loneliness being shoved to a distance even though you still feel a lot.
I also go to Spotify specifically to listen to Harry's cover of "Girl Crush". It's so raw and real. I know it's not his song, but he brings it to a whole different level, and I'm still captivated by that song's imagery. It's heartbreaking and it plays with point of view in a way that fascinates me.
My two hopes for tour are that "Medicine" stays on the set list because that song is a vibe and that he'll sing "Just a Little Bit of Your Heart" because he wrote the song, and, as much as I love the Ariana version, Harry takes it to another level. That song might be the most heartbreaking one I've ever heard because it's so resigned-wanting someone so bad that you'll take any scrap they're willing to offer.
And I guess to wrap it up, "Lights Up" is still my favorite of the two on Fine Line. It's energy is incredible. The lyrics are simple but feel like they're boiling with meaning. It's everything I love about Harry. It's acceptance and self love and finding identity. "Lights up do you know who you are?" "I could but wouldn't stay" "It'd be so sweet if things just stayed the same" "Never coming back down". I did a whole podcast episode about the song which you can find here: Empathy Factor
I'm still in shock that I'll get to see Harry in August with my best friend in the whole world. Right now, I don't think there's a single concert I want to see more. I've seen so many YouTube videos of extraordinary moments, and I want to be there to witness it in real time. Trying to buy tickets has made me realize how insanely popular he is though, but the more I've gotten into the fandom, the more I love the fanbase and its sense of humor.
Finneas is artist 2 because I think his music has had the chance to really sink in this week. I found his EP a couple weeks ago and put it on shuffle. Just like with Harry's album, I don't love every song, but there are a couple I'm obsessed with. Also, I've been watching a lot of interviews that Finneas has done with and without his sister, Billie Eilish. At the start of the week, I came across a podcast episode he was a guest on with his girlfriend, Claudia, and he was hilarious and really insightful, so it sent me down an interview spiral, and then I watched a ton of Claudia's vlogs because she's really cool as well. I like the interviews that Billie does, and I think she's one of the most inventive people in music right now, but I think Finneas speaks to my inner music nerd. He does the production and knows the ins and outs and breaks down songs and can talk about all these fascinating intricacies of creating songs before changing the subject and telling a hilarious story about Taco Bell. He's done amazing production work and is a chameleon sound-wise but creates really interesting music as an artist himself that couldn't be more different than Billie's stuff. One thing I've found to be consistent through most of my musical taste is that to get super into someone's work, I have to really like them as a person too. It's almost impossible for me to really like an artist's work if I don't like them.
I'm not super into every track of Blood Harmony. I don't strongly dislike any of them, but there only two that I absolutely love. But those two are genius. First up is the song I'm most obsessed with at the moment I'm writing this, "Partners in Crime". He's said that outside of the outline of the first verse, the entire song is fictional, and I kind of love that. The imagery is so incredible, and the storytelling is on the next level. I appreciate that he's open enough to take the song where it wants to go instead of having it be strictly autobiographical or confining the concept. It's the weirdest love/break up/lingering feelings song I've ever heard. You have to hear it because the story and its creation are impossible to fully appreciate till you hear it, but it starts "I said you looked pretty/All strung out on coke/You said it's not funny/But it wasn't a joke/And you won't remember/But I carried you home/You sat in the shower/While I washed off your clothes." There's so much to unpack and so much communicated in a single, fairly short verse. That's something I aspire to be able to do as both a prose writer and a songwriter. All those actions create that real sense of intimacy, but you know the cracks from the start. I can't pull apart the whole song here, of course, but I have to mention the chorus too. "But isn't that what friends are for/Even if we used to be more/Like lovers or partners in crime/And you were still mine."
The second song is "I Lost a Friend". Songs, books, movies- they're almost all about romantic relationships and romantic love. It's always so refreshing and impressive when a song can pull all the same intense emotions talking about a different kind of relationship because they are just as powerful, really, but rarely tapped into. It's something I love about both Finneas and Billie's music. This song is about a friendship break up. The lyrics are so visually descriptive as well that it just comes alive in your mind, but my favorite lyric is "I lost my mind, and nobody believes me/Say, "I know that he don't need me/Cause he made a little too much money to be twenty and sad." It's just so profound and thought provoking. It's almost the blunt simplicity of it that makes you have to pause and unpack the lyric. There's so many artificial reasons that we think people will be fine that really aren't valid. I also love how so many of the metaphors and moments described in the song show how similar and intense a friend break up is to a romantic break up,
It makes me look forward to whatever songs he's planning on putting out as an artist in the future, and I've been a huge fan of him as a producer for a while, so I can't wait to see where that goes. I think these two tracks are my favorite from the EP because they have very similar musical vibes that are softer and more understated than most of the stuff on the record. Almost more folksy and definitely more similar to the Harry songs I like too.
Leave a comment with the songs that you're loving this week!