Charly Bliss’ Teenage Kicks playlist
We have a bet for you. When you load up Spotify, a great big chunk of the time you can’t think what to play, right? Overwhelmed by pretty much all the music ever, you default back to your old favourites, those albums and songs you played on repeat when you first discovered you could make them yours. They’re often a bit crap really, and probably nothing like what you listen to now, but by god are they good. This isn’t about guilty pleasures; it’s about those songs you’ll still be listening to when you’re old and in your rocking chair. So, enter Teenage Kicks – a new playlist series that sees bands running through the music they listened to in their formative years.
I’m really glad that the assignment wasn’t to make a playlist of my favourite songs from middle school, because there would be a significant Panic! at the Disco increase and I might never be able to show my face again (without a top-hat and eyeliner). All of these songs were picked because at one time or another I used their lyrics as Away Messages on AIM.
I also picked songs that remind me of my bandmates and growing up with them! ‘Nonpareil of Favor’ is mine and Dan’s friendship song, I remember Dan playing it for me a month or so after he came out and feeling like it described our relationship perfectly – “there ain’t no sucka in the world that’s a threat to us, we’ve become material.” We had recently been through a lot together, and it felt so fun to scream this song at each other all summer driving around in his VW bug. I remember memorizing the lyrics to ‘The Humpty Dance’ by Digital Underground because Sam used to play it in the car when he would pick me up from play practice and I wanted him to think I was cool. Also, he always plays piano to ‘Zak and Sara’ by Ben Folds while my mom and I sing along and dance like maniacs in our living room. I went to see Dr. Dog more times in high school than I could count, and I think Spencer was with me every time. Also, of course, I put Tokyo Police Club and Harlem Shakes on because I met Spencer at their show in 2012!
Rilo Kiley was and has always been the greatest musical love of my life. I can’t think of any other band that has had as much of an impact on me, and high school was when I started to listen to more of their music aside from just the hits. BUT — I had to put ‘Portions for Foxes’ on this because it was both my ringtone AND my ringback tone all through high school.
Another section of this playlist would be “songs I often cried to in high school” which would include ‘When You Were Young’ by The Killers, ‘Pocket’ by Arms, ‘Landlocked Blues’ by Bright Eyes, and ‘Scientist Studies’ by Death Cab for Cutie. Incidentally, Death Cab would be the only band that I was (almost) equally as obsessed with in high school. Also, I like to cry a lot, so these songs were in heavy rotation.
Hannah Montana and Tally Hall definitely go out to my best friends from high school, who I spent every single weekend with playing Fuzion Frenzy in my basement and… often, watching Hannah Montana. Every once in awhile we would steal one single Corona from my parents and split it amongst the five or six of us. We were *very* popular.
‘You Are What You Love’ by Jenny Lewis, ‘Kissing the Lipless’ by The Shins, and ‘For The Actor’ by Mates of State fall under the “songs that my mom approved of” category. She has great taste in music, but she’s also a tough critic and definitely isn’t afraid to tell me when she thinks the music I like is boring or a ripoff.
She always tells the story of the time I had some crazy dental surgery and emerged totally drugged out. I put on ‘I Can’t Win’ by The Strokes and screamed/danced along to it in our Honda minivan with gauze/blood spilling out of my mouth. Also, I got in my first and only car accident because, as I told my parents later, “It was a rainy day and I needed to look at my iPod to turn on The Strokes.” That guy came out of nowhere!!!!!!
Catch Charly Bliss on tour:
12 Cardiff, Clwb iFor Bach
13 London, The Old Blue Last
14 London, The Garage
15 Liverpool, Studio 2
16 Leeds, Headrow House
17 Glasgow, Hug & Pint
19 Manchester, The Eagle Inn
20 Birmingham, The Sunflower Lounge