This year saw my highest personal mixtape output, prompted in part by the procurement of a tape deck for my 2000 Suzuki Esteem wagon (RIP), the introduction of a boom box to Distant Castle’s downstairs bathroom, a greater resolution in maintaining penpal correspondence, and the termination of 7-or-so years of long term monogamous engagements. It’s a wild place to be.
Hopefully you’ve already got a Rolodex of classics for usurping the tracklists of discarded greatest hits cassettes, but what’s a millennial wooer’s mixtape without some mildly tangible self-doubt and anxiety peppered atop something that is otherwise feel-good and agreeable? Here are a few examples from 2014 that saw some heavy dubbing. Consider this my personal mix just for you.
But we should probably only be friends.
GRANNY FROST – Golden Opportunities (from Blown Cleen)
Worcester homie by way of Chicago by way of Bloomington pushes lo-fi, Anticon-inspired tracks, often laced with euphemisms for ejaculate and its myriad procurements. This one, as far as I can tell, is no exception but has a peppy air about it that often boosts this gem to Opening Track status. Bonus points for the emphatic delivery of the word “booty”.
SPACEMEN SATURDAY NIGHT – Gross Luv (from Baby Tape)
Ok, so this Nashville duo’s track is a real ripper on any old mix, and though the theme may seem not only counterintuitive to any sort of courting routine (e.g. “tell him I got laundry and I can’t find my wallet”), but antithetical to the entire idea of dating, remember that nothing sparks a bond like commiseration.
CRABE – Tchuss (from ANTI-VAGUE)
It’s in French. What else needs to be said? I went to Montreal and fell in love with everyone. I’m not alone in this experience. Unfortunately, only 1/2 of this duo came through the states this year as a member of Leamers who are now resting in a scrap yard not unlike the one in which my beloved imported wagon now resides.
LVL UP – Total Loss (from Hoodwink’d)
There’s a real great line about holding hands under a drug rug.
GNARWHAL – My Waterfall Delight (from Shinerboy Tour 2013 Cool)
I really want you to hear this song. I do. It’s a standout acoustic gem in the oeuvre of this otherwise #mathy & percussive Nashville duo (there’s a tangent to my tastes). It’s cheesy-sweet and the only words spoken are an audible title card, “This song’s called ‘My Waterfall Delight.’”. But as far as I know, it exists on only a few tour demo tapes. Just hang tight, a proper LP is on the way. For now, here’s a track from their new split with Ovlov, Ex-Breathers, and Woozy.
HOT TIP: TAKE IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL
Two tracks from two of Providence’s ex-Worcester outputters that you may want to sit on until you’ve really found someone special. Everyone’s so happy for you.
JOE DEGEORGE: SAX MACHINE – Made To Be Lovin’
JACOB BERENDES – Hot Stuff