I was expecting that associate arts editor Sofía Torres would create a collection of songs for her iEdit playlist that are both classy and spunky, and of course, she did not disappoint. I was also expecting to at least recognize the names of a few songs.
I was in for a rude awakening.
Throughout the course of the semester, I had been picking up hints that Sofia and I had drastically different music tastes. Every now and then, she would throw shade at Taylor Swift. She planned to be Amy Winehouse for Halloween. The biggest giveaway was that Sofia tended to throw out names of artists I’d never heard of before in conversation.
Looking through Sofia’s playlist, I had only ever heard of Fiona Apple and Bob Dylan. But don’t ask me to give you any information about either of them—I was lucky to recognize their names. I thought arts editor Josie McNeill would have been much better equipped to review Sofia’s playlist, but I was determined to give the songs a chance.
She starts her playlist with “I’d Like to See the Bad Guys Win” by Margot Guryan. The song reminds me of music that would backdrop a montage of life sequences, maybe in the fall, or maybe it’s just that it’s fall right now. It was short and sweet, supported by a strong keyboard melody. Is Sofía trying to tell us that she’s the bad guy and that she’s winning? Only the rest of the playlist will tell.
The second song has a special place on Sofia’s playlist because I actually downloaded it after listening. “I Never Said I Was Deep” by Jarvis Cocker is a rare intersection of my and Sofia’s music tastes. The song’s instrumentals and vocals remind you of a noir film. I’m dying to see a live performance of it, complete with guitar, saxophone, and drums.
“I’m Your Man” by Leonard Cohen is a charged song about love with some mature metaphors and analogies. It was followed by Pulp’s “Can I Have My Balls Back, Please?” Pulp similarly talks about love from a more comedic perspective.
These two songs contrast lyrically from the first two, but musically sound similar.
“Here I Go,” by Syd Barrett, is a song about a girl who judges Barrett as he begins his solo career, but eventually falls in love with him. Is Torres using this song to tell us that her music taste is indeed sophisticated, taking more than just the average pop hit to earn a spot on her playlist?
“She said: ‘A big band is far better than you,’” Barrett sings. “She don’t rock’n’roll / She don’t like it / She don’t do the stroll.”
The next song was “Somebody That I Used To Know,” by Elliott Smith. No, it’s not the same banger by Gotye that controlled our radios in 2011, but I wouldn’t think Sofia would be jamming to 2010s pop. The song is still upbeat and conveys the same message, maybe in a more artistic manner.
“Vampire Empire” by Big Thief was up next. It was chaotic and stood out from the rest of the playlist. Where most songs of the playlist thus far had remained in a lower vocal range, “Vampire Empire” didn’t shy away from higher notes, but still fit the voguish playlist style.
Sofia’s story begins to wind down with Dylan’s “Simple Twist of Fate.” I had to appreciate the harmonica solo in the song, and I was glad that Sofia could appreciate it too. Dylan is followed by Keith Carradine’s “I’m Easy,” which almost sounded like there was a banjo lingering in the background.
Unlike the rest of the playlist, “Simple Twist of Fate” and “I’m Easy” leaned toward the country genre. Is Sofia telling us that she’s branching out into the country genre? Sofia could not be reached for comment on the matter.
The swan song of the playlist was fittingly “Why Try to Change Me Now” by Apple. Torres brings the listener back to the noir-esque aesthetic and captures the essence of the playlist with some of Apple’s lyrics.
“I sit and daydream, I’ve got daydreams galore,” Apple sings. “Cigarette ashes, there they go on the floor / Go away weekends, leave my keys in the door.”
With her playlist, Sofia proved that her music taste can back up the mysteriously sophisticated vibes that she gives off. I feel left with more questions than answers as to how she wound up with such a mature and complex taste in music. Lucky for me, I can ask her to explain at the arts desk during our next production.