It was raining in my heart, I had the blinds shut (screen glare begone!) and Lana Del Rey shuffled on the stereo. As I bashed away at the keyboard, a cloying sense of nostalgia wafted through the room. Suddenly it felt like every summer I remember.
I had flashbacks to all those endless days spent on AIM and ICQ, chatting to new far-flung friends from the internet. Conversations about music led me down rabbit holes on Napster. Despite my perma-grimace, there was joy in that isolation, listening to The Cure and PJ Harvey. Quite literally, nothing else mattered.
Those summers are not that different to those that came before the internet (I was a sickly child that binge watched Elvis movies and Quantum Leap) or many of the ones since. It's not that I fear my pasty white skin burning, it's just that I like it indoors and there isn't always a good excuse to loiter outside a shopping centre. Nowadays, when I'm not working, it's a bit weird to sit outside a pub at 11am just because it's sunny out, so instead I do what I've always done and find songs that help that inner greyness feel like it has a subtle splash of colour. Although, to be fair, most of the time I tend to marinate in the misery with some heavy-hearted anthems...
Inspired by these confused pangs of melancholy that Lana sent me tumbling toward, I decided to put together a playlist songs for summer spent in the shade, with a broken heart, chewing on the end of your cocktail straw. It isn't in the least bit goth(!), I mean, there's everything from Roy Orbison to The Walkmen via Cat Power, Azure Ray, and my current stuck on repeat anthem from The Mynabirds.
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Related: Wonderfully Miserable Songs playlist.