Weekly Listens: Teenage Wildlife Edition


This week’s list is brought to you by St. Vincent and others who make me less stressed as first semester comes to a close and second semester begins. How do I make my lists? Songs just find me and I become attached to them. And they help me. It’s a good relationship. (Only one Bowie song this week, what!).

  1. FourFive Seconds, Rhianna, Kanye West, Paul McCartney

So I know this song came out, a year ago. My reasons for getting into it now are a)even thought I’m a High School teacher I don’t always know what the kids are into these days. (My kids talk to me at lunch about Lou Reed and Grimes, what do other people talk about in school?). b) I’m so entrenched in hipster indie land and I know this is a problem. I can’t always just think about avocados and listening to Sufjan Stevens while crying (Carrie and Lowell’s release was a darkly whimsical time in my life). But, on Time Crisis with Ezra Koenig, he mentioned that Dave Longstreth of the Dirty Projectors helped write it. And you can tell by the very Dirty Projectors way Rhianna sings the bridge. Rhianna is great on this track. Kanye continues to be the most ridiculous human to human but he is talented, I will give him that. Normally I think so many people working on a track can have a too many cooks effect but this song is stellar. More collabs from these people please.

And I know that you’re up tonight
Thinkin’ how could I be so selfish
But you called bout a thousand times wondering where I been
Now I know that you’re up tonight
Thinkin’ how could I be so reckless
But I just can’t apologize, I hope you can understand

2. Fool for Love, by Lord Huron

This is such a great folky jam. I had the pleasure of seeing this band at Lollapalooza over the summer. This band is based out of LA but I love that they still nod to the midwest with their name Lord Huron. The band founder used to vacation on Lake Huron as a kid and he took inspiration from it.

3. Teenage Wildlife, by David Bowie

From the underrated Scary Monsters and Super Creeps album, this song has a killer beat. It just goes on and on in a ballady 80s way we don’t usually see from Bowie except for maybe on the Heroes album. The lyrics are great too. I like to imagine this as the theme song to my 80s/90s sitcom parody tv show of my life as an English teacher. It features cheesy white font graphics of the actors names impose on freeze frames of them turning around and crossing their arms and smirking.


Something like this. 


Did you know he was on later seasons of Growing Pains? I did.


See like this except more smirking and irony.

3. Teenage Talk, by St. Vincent

St. Vincent, aka Annie Clark, got her start singing with Sufjan so I’m super inclined to like her. She does mellow and also does crazy electro-rock like on her 2014 self-title album. Her voice is just really beautiful and I love her so much. She recorded this song last year for Season 4 of Girls, which is ehhh I guess.

4. Cruel, by St. Vincent

Another great beat and some pretty vocals from St. Vincent.


She’s also a gorgeous curly head. 

5. Cheerleader, by St. Vincent

This song is so hypnotic and mesmerizing and I like it a lot better than that other cheerleader song that was so popular last summer. The chorus of IIIIIIIIIIIIIIII don’t wanna be your cheerleader no more, is so beautiful and I can’t get enough.

6. Marry Me, by St. Vincent

So this song is from her debut album and the title comes from Maeby Funke’s “Marry me!” line on Arrested Development. Which is a fun fact that adds to the greatness of a sweet romantic sounding song that’s actually about the narrator of the song having control over her partner, which is an interesting subversion.

7. What Me Worry? by St. Vincent

This song again has that strange hypnotically beautiful tone of a lot of St. Vincent’s early work. Her first album definitely has a Space Oddity vibe. This one particularly sounds like an old French crooner type song.

8. Peggy Gordon, Traditional. 

A traditional Irish tune, I’ve been listening to two different versions. One linked above, by the Corrs. The second is a rendition by The Chieftains with the Secret Sisters, from the Voice of Ages album. (Which I highly recommend). Basically the song is from the point of view of a guy who is annoyed that Peggy is friendzoning him. (Hate that term). Maybe she’s just not interested guy? But I really like both these versions, sung by women. I guess one of the things I really like about Irish songs is that they are really open to any gender singing them. It’s one of the few older cultures that had that whole men and women are equal thing down way before feminism was a thing. Thus the stereotype of the fiery Irish woman I guess.

Analysis? I’ve been listening to a lot of female powered bizarre love song, youth empowerment songs. Why? It’s just what soothes my soul this week, man.


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