Sunday, October 2

A mix for unrequited lovers

Disclaimer: I'm not suffering from unrequited love. The other day though, I had reading and work to do, and thus a form of procrastination was required. I felt like making a mix but I had no inspiration for a theme or concept, no grand life event (like moving countries) to occasion. I went for a run. One of the songs that came on shuffle was Robyn's Dancing On My Own, a pop song whose greatness I'll always defend. Immediately following came Future Islands' excellent I'll-still-be-listening-to-this-when-I'm-forty Seasons (Waiting On You), and there was the spark. Unrequited love!

This mix starts and ends with wanting. Except the first kind of want, Springsteen's Dylan cover, is sweeping, twinkling, lamenting; that bittersweet thing only really good songs do, when they straddle two opposing emotions simultaneously. You're resigned to sadness, but you're kind of enjoying it. Bowie's Heroes is another song that does this, and The National's Sorrow: 'it's in my honey, it's in my milk ... I don't wanna get over you'. I always think of the 'you' here as referring to sorrow itself, as well as an actual person.

The kind of wanting this mix ends on, Brandon Flowers' Still Want You, is more hopeful. Like, 'throw as much shit as you can at me, and I'll still be here, wanting you, and I know you'll probably end up wanting me back'. It reminds me of a quote from Tove Jansson's The Summer Book:

'"It's funny about love," Sophia said. "The more you love someone, the less he likes you back."
"That's very true," Grandmother observed. "And so what do you do?"
"You go on loving," said Sophia threateningly. "You love harder and harder."'

This mix will take you on a journey between those two kinds of want; a journey of tears, rain, dancing, desperation, anger, loneliness, glowing lights, and time. Enjoy.

And if there're any glaring omissions, or you just want to share your favourite songs of unrequited love, I'm all ears.

A mix for unrequited lovers

1. I Want You (Bob Dylan cover)  /  Bruce Springsteen

2. Seasons (Waiting On You)  /  Future Islands
3. I Can't Believe It  /  The Animals
4. Release Me  /  Oh Laura
5. There's No One Crying Over Me Either  /  American Wrestlers
6. Crying  /  Roy Orbison
7. Time Moves Slow (ft. Sam Herring)  /  BADBADNOTGOOD
8. Hard To Find  /  The National
9. Dancing On My Own  /  Robyn
10. Still Want You  /  Brandon Flowers

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