What kind of playlist do we need at a time like this? Should The Ghost rely on tried and true favorites, or venture into the territory of new releases and undiscovered artists? Should the message in these songs be one of hope that we need, or the despair so many of us feel? There is no clear cut right or wrong answer to these questions. As a result, the songs selected range from musical comfort food to artists that are in need of attention more than ever. In my comments, you’ll find everything from serious introspection to somewhat dark humor. My simple hope, though, is that these songs will bring some joy into these days.
- The Crystal Furs, “Too Kind to be Cruel”
I realize I just promoted this track mere days ago. Still, I figured a little power-pop is a fun way to start of the Monday Mixteen. Besides, I like the idea of favoring kindness over cruelty.
- Josh And The Jet Noise, “What Could Go Wrong”
I can think of plenty of current and recent situations befitting of this title: “People self-isolating together, what could go wrong?”, “Spring breakers partying in Cancun, what could go wrong?”, or “Cut all the non-essential workers, what could go wrong?” Unlike those scenarios, however, things feel like they’re going right while listening to this straight forward rocker.
- Sorta, “Sweet Little Bay”
This is one of the many examples in this playlist of me selecting some personal “musical comfort food.” Sorta’s Little Bay just might be my all-time favorite local album; this semi-title track is probably the most immediately accessible track of the bunch. It is album that is best appreciated not on an individual track by track basis, but rather as the sum of all the tracks listen straight through from beginning to end. An let’s be honest; you’ve got some time to kill.
- Ellen Once Again, “I Need a Sign”
While the majority of Ellen Once Again’s catalog is undeniably optimistic, I have found it’s her tracks that hold an air of sadness and uncertainty that ring strongest in my heart. During this time of uncertainty, the message in this song will undoubtedly also ring strongly in the hearts of many others. Ellen’s vocals combine the perfect blend of beauty with sadness, making this new song feel like the comforting hand of an old friend.
- Sub-Sahara, “Berry”
Pre-Coronavirus, it seemed that there was a live Sub-Sahara show around every corner. Most bands who would play so frequently would burn out their audience, but Sub-Sahara’s live sets rocked so hard and engaged the crowd so intensely that they never seemed to suffer for a crowd. For now, the band can no longer rely on crowd energy, though they did do a Facebook Live performance yesterday. When the clubs open again, and Sub-Sahara returns to the stage, expect the audience to go absolutely ballistic. I would also recommend that those who hate mosh pits go to the back of the club, because it will be a pit like none seen since the 1990’s.
- Remy Reilly, “Little Things (Jay Sustain 12″ Remix)”
Remy Reilly has always been able to write a great song, but now thanks to Jay Sustain, you can now dance to her music. Go ahead, dance. No one’s looking. I mean, really, it’s not like you’re out in public around a bunch of people. And if you are, go home and help flatten that curve!
- Sunny Disposition, “Rooftops”
Sunny Disposition can result in a sunny disposition. No, this isn’t some weird zen thing; this band can help make you feel good.
- Manal, “Praying”
Whatever your religious beliefs may or may not be, I hope we can agree that a few thoughts and prayers (as long as they’re backed up with appropriate actions) can never hurt matters. Oh, and once this whole thing is over, expect a show announcement involving this exceptionally talented young lady.
- Old 97’s, “Barrier Reef”
During this time of change, it’s nice to know some things do not change. Yes, Rhett Miller will be performing a show online, so it will lack the same over the top energy of a live Old 97’s set. He will, however, be performing Too Far to Care in its entirity. So while the method of transmission has changed, at least he’ll still be singing about drinking and women. Like I said, it’s nice to know some things don’t change.
- Bayleigh Cheek, “Tale of an Immortal”
The timing of the release of Ms. Cheek’s EP Immortals seems a little ironic, as this disease is forcing us to examine our mortality as a society. It doesn’t make her music any less impressive, however.
- Itchy Richie and the Burning Sensations, “Isolation”
This Isolation song is far more enjoyable than this social isolation stuff. And on a separate note, I’d still recommend you call a doctor if that burning sensation continues.
- Frenchie’s Blues Destroyers, “I Long to Come Home”
While I am in the most literal sense isolating at home, I do long to return to my other homes of the lovely venues of the DFW metroplex, as I know the rest of you do as well.
- Charley Crockett, “Trinity River”
Buddy Guy once said “the funny thing about the blues is you play ’em cause you got ’em, but when you play ’em, you lose ’em.” I think the same can be said about listening to the blues, so perhaps we can drown our blues in that dirty little river of ours with a little help from Mr. Crockett.
- Calliope Musicals, “Echo of the Whoos”
This song is really happy, yet never crosses the line into fake and annoying happiness.
- Sunbuzzed, “Sci-Fi Hi”
Sometimes it feels like our lives are surrounded by noise. Now would be a good time to step back from the wrong noise that causes us emotional distress, and focus on the right kind of noise. I mean, yeah, Sunbuzzed is seriously noisy, but this is the kind of noise I will gladly embrace in my life.
- Salim Nourallah, “Stranger in My Own Skin”
My favorite lines from any Salim song can be found right here. “We spend our whole lives never knowing anybody/Don’t spend your whole life never knowing anybody.” If there is one good thing to come out of this situation, it’s that people are seeking deep connection with others far more than ever. Let’s take some time to know people, to care, to love.