The music getting me through January

I do not like January. I'm not a fan of winter in general, but January is particularly cruel. All the major holidays are over, I'm financially stressed because of said holidays, and it's dark and cold. Why does it have to be so dark and cold?? 

To be fair, it's particularly warm in New York City today, but it's still not no-socks-and-no-jacket weather, which is my favorite. 

I find that January (and winter in general) is also the hardest time for my brain to think creatively. It's a struggle to write or be funny and I'd much rather consume entertainment than create it. So I'm letting myself do that, to some extent (obviously, I'm creating this blog post right now for the hopeful entertainment of others right). I'm giving in to weekend afternoons of Netflix or hours of reading. (I read about two-thirds of Roxane Gay's Hunger over the course of three hours last weekend and it was glorious.)

I'm also letting myself get lost in music. I do most of my listening at work, with headphones, while editing and writing technical stuff, but I also get immersed when I'm in transit and when I'm home at night. Lately, when I find a song that really clicks for me, I listen to it on repeat a few times, which I don't think I've done since I was teenager. 

(Side note: have I ever talked about how when I was twelve I loved Spacehog's "In the Meantime" so, so intensely? The only "copy" I had of it was a cassette recording from the radio, so I'd rewind and rewind back to the spot right before the song so I could listen to it over and over. Somehow, that tape never broke. Oh wait, I have discussed this. ANYWAY.)

Here are some jams I'm really into lately, which I'm linking to on Spotify so you can easily click that loop button and listen on repeat if you're feeling them too:

"Misery Business" - Paramore
What am I, fourteen? I can't explain it either. I was listening to a NY Times Popcast episode about their latest album (which is excellent) and was compelled to explore their earlier stuff. I can't get 100% behind their emo-pop-punk vibe, but I have a weakness for big, musical-theater-esque voices and Hayley Williams is blessed with one. Maybe I just need to be fourteen and angsty sometimes.

"Dark Red" - Steve Lacy
I think I also discovered this one from a podcast. I was aware of The Internet, and briefly had a listening-on-repeat fling with "Gabby," so I was excited to find out this Internet member's solo EP is so good. You feel that bass, right? FEEL IT.

"Tomboy" - Princess Nokia
Really, this whole album is stellar, but there's a reason this song is #1 on her Spotify charts. Mayyyybe because she makes a hook out of spitting "my little titties and my fat belly." Maybe. (Close runner-up from this album: "G.O.A.T")

"Twist of Fate" - Olivia Newton John
Wild card! This one came back on my radar in November, when it was part of the Stranger Things soundtrack, but it's been a good motivating song when things are feeling extra-January (yes, "January" is an adjective now). I put this on repeat when I need to get pumped at 4pm on a Tuesday, or when I need to motivate myself to make breakfast on a Sunday. 

Only five days until February, folks. Stay strong!