What I’m Listening To: October 2021

            October was a unique kind of exhausting, but music—in so many forms—kept me going. The month seemed to stretch on and pass by so quickly. Other than a few notable releases and discoveries, much of it was spent listening to favorite playlists (like my OcTerror Pumpkin Songs) and singles. This led to narrowing it down from 38 new tracks in my Likes on Spotify and choosing from my usual albums on rotation. We’ve got a wide variety in terms of genres and a few that definitely fit the fall vibes of the season.

            Let’s reference the rules: no more than 20 songs per month, no more than 1 song per artist (not counting features), and no more than 3 songs per compilation album. At the end of the year, only songs from each of these monthly lists will be eligible for the Best Of list. My music, as always, is culminated from Spotify, recommendations from friends, other music platforms (such as YouTube), and devotion to some of my favorite artists and the content they put out.

            Chill into October with these songs:

  1. “Easy on Me” by Adele ~ I changed who I was to put you both first
  2. “Meet Me At Our Spot” by THE ANXIETY, WILLOW, and Tyler Cole ~ I just wanna hold you all night (all night)
  3. “Halloweenie IV: Innards” by Ashnikko ~ I contort my body into something that you’d like
  4. “Getting Older” by Billie Eilish ~ Things I once enjoyed (ah-ah) / Just keep me employed now
  5. “Nellie” by Dr. Dog ~ Oh to hold her, so happy just to know her
  6. “One Day” by EXES and Jome ~ The way you smile and greet the rising moon
  7. “girls girls girls” by FLETCHER ~ You were in the corner / Hanging like a masterpiece
  8. “I am not a woman, I’m a god” by Halsey ~ Maybe I could be a different human in a new place
  9. “Sway” by Hey Violet ~ I don’t say things I don’t wanna say so
  10. “The Shower Scene” by Ice Nine Kills ~ Now under the pressure, we’re drowning together
  11. “Cruel Willie” by James Reams & The Barnstormers ~ Then he leaned a little bit closer for to kiss her / And she stuck him in the belly with a knife
  12.  “Our Word” by Jessie Shelton from 36 Questions ~ I saw my parents hearing the news/ “Your only daughter drowned today”
  13. “breadwinner” by Kacey Musgraves ~ You’re gonna give it all and give it all
  14.  “Diet Coke” by Leanna Firestone ~ But then I found out / Being loved and being small/ Feel synonymous
  15. “doomsday” by Lizzie McAlpine ~ And the funny thing is I would’ve married you
  16. “The Red Means I Love You” by Madds Buckley ~ And I’ve always heard it’s what’s inside that counts
  17. “No Children” by The Mountain Goats ~ And I’d hope that if I found the strength to walk out / You’d stay the hell out of my way
  18. “That Funny Feeling” by Phoebe Bridgers ~ A gift shop at the gun range, a mass shooting at the mall
  19. “marjorie” by Taylor Swift ~ I should’ve asked you questions / I should’ve asked you how to be
  20. “Tell Mama (Killing Eve)” by Unloved ~ ‘I hurt’ / That you feel anything at all is life

In addition to the songs here, I’ve also found a newfound addiction to certain kinds of ambiance videos on YouTube. Notably, some that includes film scores (like Jurassic Park or Narnia) with a background that captures the feel of the setting. Or sometimes—stretching our definition of sound/music—videos of rain, crackling fires, wind, and more. It’s relaxing and perfect background. I’ve also been listening to a local classical/jazz radio station, KNCJ (a service of KUNR), on a lot of my drives but I can never remember most of the compositions or composers but enjoy pretty much all of them. Did I imagine I’d get into classical at this point in my life? Nope. Am I liking it? Yes. Welcome to Horrorwood: The Silver Scream 2 by Ice Nine Kills was my most repeated album of October, both because it fit the spooky mood of the month and was a highly anticipated release. I also listened to the podcast musical 36 Questions which, if you haven’t checked out, I highly recommend as a cool experience and good, dramatic story.

For November, I’m imagining slow vocal jazz that perfectly captures the mood of an almost wintery morning or acoustic indie. We have new releases from Adele and Taylor Swift so you know I’ll be a big mess about those for the next few months. Otherwise, I’m probably going to transition to Christmas music a little earlier than usual. We need some cheer.

Until then, happy listening and good vibes.

You can find the playlist for 2021’s What I’m Listening To here.