We are a full week into the cmd+vent calendar, and the response has been nothing short of amazing. Thanks to all the fine comments and replies to this newsletter (which: did you know you could reply directly to this email and I will receive it in my inbox?). I’ve been passing along your high praises to the respective writers, and I assure you they’ve all been nothing but filled with gratitude for your kindness.
Today’s letter is brought to your by a beacon of light in my life named Hope. She lives in the land of sunshine and orange groves (and hurricanes and swamps), enjoys hockey, running, and pop music (this sounds like I’m writing out a dating profile. Jeez). Hope is shameless about the content she decides to devour, and I admire that greatly about her. She doesn’t half-ass her passion for anything–she dives headfirst, gives her undivided attention, and let me tell you, that energy is so great to have in a friendship.
For those looking to blow off some steam this week, Hope has kindly thrown together a playlist of jams to kick some literal and figurative ass to.
2017 was a year to be furious. It was a year to yell at the top of your lungs and dance your shoes down to nothing and donate all of your money and send passionate messages to your government representatives and get into screaming matches with anyone who didn’t see empathy as a priority. It was a year of rage, rage, rage, and a lot of long sleeps, and longer runs where you did nothing but listen to the same songs on a loop and try to send your head somewhere your feet couldn’t really take you.
If there’s anything my end of the year Spotify playlist tells me, it’s that I went on a lot of those runs--or, at least, spent a lot of mind-numbing, soul-cleansing time in the gym. There are so many days my body can feel like the haunted house I am trapped in. Training it to do just what I want is sometimes the only thing that keeps me breaking the windows and tearing the walls down, and packing myself off to whatever is left when we leave. And sometimes the most important motivation for getting up and lacing on my trainers and kicking my own ass is the perfect song. This list (of seven, not five--sorry!) is a peek into what 2017 had on offer to add to my list of favorite “if my country’s gonna burn so are my glutes and I’m gonna keep pushing until I’m jacked as hell and nothing can touch me” jams.
“Attention” - Charlie Puth | Not to be, like, really crude, but Charlie Puth seems like such a fun fuck. Like, wow, what a sensitive little bitch who lives for drama! Tell me what I’m up to in my freakum dress, Charles! Tell me you’re onto me, then sleep with me anyway and let me lick your eyebrow scar, you fuckin’ loser! I love it. I love this song. In the words of Agnes, “I love a walkable bassline!” And I do, too. And a walkable one is also one I can do push-ups to and silently agree with. Never get over me! Regret it forever! I’m the ONE, baby!
“I’m the One” - DJ Khaled | For the record: yes, I think I’m hilarious. This song, like the previous, also makes me think of Agnes: her revolving in the club at a resort or whatever, drink in one hand and the other waving freely to the beat. And this song, like Agnes, hypes me the hell up and makes me feel like I could do anything, you know? I’m your dream girl, I’ve got it all. It also makes me feel like I’m sipping a cocktail with an umbrella in it and have spent the perfect amount of time lounging in a hammock and my tan is fantastic, so that probably has a lot to do with it.
“Green Light” - Lorde | I could put the entire Melodrama album on this list. I could make this list Melodrama and nothing else, and it would still be absolutely accurate. Melodrama is, of course, my personal choice for album of the year, because I’m the most extra bitch alive, but also because it has this desperate energy that immediately makes me think: hungry. I love this song because, for me, it succeeds in calling up that yearning ache in your stomach when you want something so goddamn bad, and you’re just starting to see you might be able to get it, and you’re so overwhelmed by at it all you’re ready to dance yourself down the street with your headphones in, singing, and you’re not even drunk! You’re just in your own music video and life is impossible! There is absolutely nothing you need in your ears more when you’re hitting that 8 speed interval than Lorde singing I’M WAITING FOR IT, THAT GREEN LIGHT, I WANT IT.
“I Know a Place” - MUNA | I don’t think I really need to say anything about this, right? We’ve all listened to this? We’re all in love with MUNA? This song is a big mood. This song is healing. This song makes you feel like you could run for miles. This song makes me want to put on rollerskates. This song feels like a montage. This song kind of makes you feel like the music video for "Youth," by Troye Sivan, only we’re all a bit older and our idea of partying is us wearing fuzzy socks that speak to our personal style choices and scream-laughing at the game on television and playing trivia and drinking red wine instead of, like, doing ecstacy and making out in a ball pit, or whatever. Does that make sense? Not that we can’t do drugs and make out in a ball pit, if you wanna. We can fuckin’ do anything, because this song makes us feel we can.
“Bad 4 Us” - Superfruit | Superfruit is one of those groups I probably would’ve never listened to without them popping up on my Discover Weekly. They’re also one of those groups that turns out to be a delightful surprise. “Bad 4 Us” actually rolled around on my release radar a few months ago alongside a fabulous Kimbra track (INSERT ANNUAL KIMBRA IS SLEPT ON MESSAGE), and at first I wasn’t sure, but rather than skipping along to the next one I instantly hit replay. And I’ve been sliding through my house on my sock feet and dancing myself onto the porch ever since. Being bouncy, a little jazzy, with little goofy background asides, a cowbell?, and a line that sings put on some old school Britney, ‘cause baby you drive me crazy, this song makes me want to drink champagne and kiss people and makes me feel like I could probably, yeah, do another stupid rep, I guess. Good 4 Me. Ugh.
“Cave Me In” - Gallant | Gallant makes me feel all kinds of romantic and dreamy all of the time, but almost no song so much as “Cave Me In.” This is some slow-motion Airpod-commercial nonsense. And how deeply relatable is that feeling of wanting so badly not to have to say aloud what you want or what you need or what you mean, and wanting instead for someone to just know, to just reach into you and take it out? And this song is so smooth that the ache of it feels real good.
“Body Like A Back Road” - Sam Hunt | If this song doesn’t put you in an instant good mood, then I don’t really know what to tell you. It’s hilarious and cute and sexy and fun, and it’s insanely sing-a-long-able, and it makes me want to drink beer and push someone off a dock and join a drum circle. It’s maybe a little too relaxed for most people in the gym, but sometimes I just want to think about someone laying me out in the back of their dumb car and licking salt off of my newly carved abs, okay? I think I deserve that, especially when I’m very sweaty and my arms hurt.
You can work out your fury listening to all of Hope’s choice tunes in a single playlist right here
See the world through Hope’s eyes –which includes a bit of hockey commentary– via Twitter: @brdofthesmmr
Keep your ears open – day 8 of the cmd+vent calendar drops tomorrow!