Playlist: Last of its kind | Varyer

Last of Its Kind

A collaborative playlist ➰

In the order in which our contributions appear below, the Varyer team made a baton-passing playlist in the style of a game of telephone. Almost done in a day, with the only rule being that the next song has to relate to the last, somehow. Connect the dots and listen to the whole playlist in sequence here.

Jack

Starting with this. Taylor, you are next! Remember, you can add any track you'd like for any reason, but briefly mention its relation to the track before it.

Taylor

My pick! I love so much Penguin Cafe Orchestra and the bright colors and illustration of the album cover of Jack's pick, plus something about the song itself made me think of this album/song.

Bianca

My song with my best friend Beto, from when we were both pursuing love with colonizer men.

I think the lo-fi keyboards and the narrative pace hers had, I hear a lot of that in Devandra's music. Also, this was the only one of my options that had a pastel-painted gouache cover lol.

Jazz

It's giving me sorta jangly, very easygoing, with a mildly apologetic tone -

Kelly

Guitar has a similar quality as Jazz's choice, but this also feels like the more upbeat version! Especially speaking of time, where Jazz's talks about always being too late, this song makes me think of slowing down, taking my time, and enjoying little things.

Becca

Has a similar early morning sunshine feel to Kelly's track, also has shared lyrics about being down/not letting things get you down! While both songs have really crushing, wall of sound-y instrumentals, this song follows the high energy/high impact of Kelly's choice with a meandering, almost sleepy vibe.

Alyssa

Strip away the crescendos, simplify the structure, amplify the sleepy, but for the love of all things, keep the saxophone.

Chris

Sometimes you eat the vibe, sometimes the vibe eats you. Alyssa’s selection, both in name and in execution, embodies the feeling of the beauty that lies in subtlety. And while I felt the urge to bring things up a notch, it’s just too nice here to leave. So dropped a bean bag on the floor and kept it sleepy, in the flow, and eminently comfortable. Cass has always found that balance of beauty and misty-eyed melancholy—never going all the way to anywhere, keeping things in that wobbly state of wonder, questioning if what goes up always needs to come down...at least all the way.

Jeremiah

Brighter Days has a similar slow energy as CK's but I brought it into a more ethereal space. I think the soft vocals and pacing complement each other well and are a nice evolution in tone.

Mike

Oh hold up PRESENT. Maria just did a great remix of this track, from one of my favorite albums of last year, Westerman's Your Hero Is Not Dead. Felt appropriately sequenced after the last few tracks, and how could this not be the choice with a title like this / following Jeremiah?

Jack

This song, like the last, evokes a sense of transportation or travel via memory. Where Westerman's track asks in hopeful reprise if "maybe we should stay for one more drop of something," as if to revisit a fleeting past, Angel Bat Dawid's ethereal intro to her 2019 album reveals that the past we are searching for is already far behind us, and we have, in fact, already reached our destination. TIME IS TRIPPY.

Taylor

Jack's song had me all about FEELING and then you wrap time into it... this is the song that I immediately think of when I think of feeling and in the best possible way. It makes me feel the most and it's always attached to a heavy (but in the lightest possible way!!!) sense of time (obviously!)- it's, like, memories and a present moment with someone(s) and then the future being open-ended plus there's some sense of finality to it????? I dunno, like I said, all in my FEELS :) Plus both have beautiful layers of sounds that wrap you up.

Bianca

Loving the time theme going on, also in my FEELINGS listening to Taylor's, the 70's orchestral sounds definitely inspired my choice.

This song is about a very specific plea: a husband asking his wife Bebete to please stop samba dancing and come home with him. They went to this party together but now the sun is coming up, the rooster is singing and Bebete is still dancing. Then he goes on to play with words and expressions to make his point like "I'm yours, you're mine, but our child needs to feed", and how his new manager isn't his buddy so he can't be late again, and if he loses his job how can they possibly afford new sandals for her to dance with?

So it's just a very vibrant song about a situation that seems to happen in real-time. This sweet narrative of love intersecting with real-life problems and responsibilities, and how he circles back to samba at the end, a reminder that there's more fun later, that we'll be here dancing all night again soon.

Jazz

Big sounds, passion, and urgency. The call and response that fools me into believing I'm fluent in a foreign language gets me (moving) every time.

Kelly

Ah, so good. Jazz's choice transported me to walking through an Hélio Oiticica exhibit at the AIC a few years back. His work was vibrant and immersive and transported you from Chicago in February to Summer in Brazil. Probably his most famous work was called Tropicália, a name that was borrowed by Caetano Veloso - which is my choice.

Becca

Tropicalia and Zamrock as musical movements have a ton in common and I recommend this mini documentary about the latter, but the truth is that I have selected this song to follow Kelly's because it is so good and shares a few chord progressions

Alyssa

These tunes share a strong psych energy, but this one tilts it towards the avant-garde.

Chris

Man that Can song just immediately just makes me of this song. the whole record, Drums Not Dead, was recorded in Berlin--which is obviously a touchpoint for can but not the reason why. To me, Can always has felt like that balance of beauty and anxiety--pounding drums and copious tension alongside positive energy and deep soul. With this song by Liars, it exists directly in the middle of those two feel-zones both in the context of the record it exists within and in how it follows up Pinch-- a song/band that embodies being that same flow/anxiety journey.

The song itself, in context (to me perhaps), is from the POV of one of the album's two main characters, Drum, who kinda embodies the melody, the beauty, the calmer and confident creative energy we all need. But throughout the entire record, it wrestles and tangles with the other character, Mt. Heart Attack!, which is equally beautiful but really driven more by anxiety, intensity, pounding rhythm, and omnipresent self-doubt. In this instance, they're coming together in a way that finds some essential balance and harmony, akin to that reprieve you feel once the anxiety has subsided, even if temporarily.

Jeremiah

Chris' song feels very elongated and the song I chose is stretched in its own way but more upbeat. The drums are more pronounced throughout Duet with a solid repetitive drum beat which brings the "Drum" out of Chris' song title alive.

Mike

Knee-jerk thought from Jeremiah's choice was that it sounds like if a Yves Tumor track took a step back on the tempo and clarified through the cough syrup coating.