Friday Playlist: Songs to listen to while you’re alone in your room at night
Admit it, summers are boring. The season may be something to look forward to at the end of the school year, but when summer actually comes around, your friends are gone, it’s too hot outside and there’s hardly anything fun to do. For those patiently waiting on things to pick up again, here’s a handful of songs to listen to while you spend another night alone in your room.
“Computer Love” – Kraftwerk
The German electronic group Kraftwerk was often way ahead of its time. The pleasant and approachable “Computer Love,” taken from the band’s 1981 album “Computer World,” deals with themes of mass media, computer culture and postmodern isolation. The song’s simple lyrics — “Another lonely night/Stare at the TV screen/I don’t know what to do/I need a rendezvous” — are biting, and perhaps too real. It’s hard to imagine this one was written nearly 40 years ago, way before both Netflix and Tinder.
“Sometimes” – My Bloody Valentine
“Sometimes,” the moodiest track on My Bloody Valentine’s seminal sophomore release “Loveless,” is held up by Kevin Shields’ simple yet heavily-textured guitar. The song’s lack of drumming helps move the sound away from MBV’s tendency towards noise rock and into something both calming and melancholic. The track’s rich production also works well for headphone listening.
“Night Falls on Hoboken” – Yo La Tengo
This 17-minute Yo La Tengo track, “Night Falls on Hoboken,” is anything but grandiose. Instead, the band chooses to develop things slowly, easing into the nighttime with acoustic guitar, light drums and a softly sung melody. The song builds with a bit more energy in its latter half, just before washing into a pure, ambient bliss in the end with spacey textures and a mellow organ sound. Given its mood, the song is probably best enjoyed in the quiet hours approaching midnight.
“Don’t Let Our Youth Go to Waste” – Galaxie 500
Built around a bare-bones Jonathan Richman melody, “Don’t Let Our Youth Go to Waste” functions as a centerpiece to Galaxie 500’s groundbreaking 1988 debut, “Today.” Over the course of seven minutes, this droning anthem works its source material into something hypnotic and fully-realized. Dean Wareham’s reverberated guitar playing is the focus here, working towards the song’s emotional climax.
“A Rainbow in Curved Air” – Terry Riley
“A Rainbow in Curved Air” is one of the most famous works of minimalist composer Terry Riley. Released in 1969, the track takes advantage of both electronic instruments and overdubbing techniques to create a largely improvisational piece that is absolutely euphoric. This experimental oddity would foreshadow various elements of progressive rock, new age and electronic music that would develop in the decades following its release. But even by contemporary standards, Riley’s piece remains vibrant and spirited.
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