Shut Up & Shut-Eye: A Playlist

Something about the -ber months dampens people’s moods more than usual. Days are shorter; nights are longer. That means deadlines are looming, workload feels like a drag, and more caffeine is consumed. By the end of the day, we’re too exhausted. Even “happy hour” offers seem negligible because we are sucked into a vacuum of weariness and longing for extended weekends, vacation leaves, and non-working holidays. For those still in school, it’s no different, with exams and thesis deadlines impending. Relationship setbacks today? Sure.

We just want to get all these off our backs sometimes. Ultimately, we seek refuge or a quick escape—a trip to the higher grounds, devoid of the hustle and bustle of the city; a two-hour movie; or an after-work karaoke session. But these seem luxurious in the context of the hectic demands of life; so when your body aches for solitude, music becomes your fallback.

Quality surround speakers, a drag or a cold bottle of beer maybe, the perfect company of your cat or dog, and this playlist—put them together to enjoy a good nightcap. It won’t lull you to sleep fast, but it will ease your mind until it travels to dreamland.

Deathless Gods” by Tarsius

The Diego Mapa-Jay Gapasin duo kicks off your solo slumber party properly. Stretch and dance until the stress of the day burns off and vaporizes into thin air. You earned that right after you nailed that project, aced your finals, or heck, even just survived putting up with your catty boss today. As the thump builds up to a semi-industrial climax, take a swig of your favorite drink and make that well-deserved toast to yourself. The world is yours tonight.

Dreamboy” by Frills

Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own” has been an anthem of nightclub loneliness since its release—like the perfect oxymoron of misery. Frills (Candy Gamos), however, heeds you to channel your longing to a slow dance instead. There’s the forlorn piano loop, her voice pleading for freedom from someone’s ghost, and the thick bass lines seeping slowly through your consciousness. You are urged to surrender to your emotions; a phantom of a lover. Even just for less than three minutes, you allow yourself to be taken far away.

Storm & Sea” by A Problem Like Maria (feat. Ghost Night and Earthmover)

Here’s the perfect time to sit down and just breathe. Let the cool September air relax your muscles—you won’t even mind if the heavens unleash its rage tonight. The song is filled with vivid water metaphors; you can swim weightlessly in the sound. The supple melody of Maria’s lilting vocals fuse with your desire for calm and repose.

Undress” by Anj Florendo

We continue to pamper the weary flesh; this time, with a ballad. Unlike some people who flirt with bad songwriting and unjustifiable commercial appeal for commercial appeal’s sake, Anj Florendo’s kept her wits about her—singing songs pleasing to the ears and with a voice that complements her simple, yet great use of traditional instruments. It’s not technically a happy song, but still, “Undress” is one of those songs you want to listen to and take with you wherever you go, whether you’re on a hammock or sitting on cold concrete on a chilly night.

Natural High” by Bloodshot

Right smack dab in the middle of cool, this nippy hip-hop track sets the right groove towards the second half of the playlist, where things start to get heavier and deep-set. “Forget the parties,” as the line goes. Just the mere laid back nature of this song is enough to make you stay at home.

Coyki” by Ephesus

Like a midnight dip in the pool, the momentum built by “Coyki” in jolting in sparse moments; cold, colder, warm, and cold again. Every molecule in your body feels free. At this very moment, it’s like the world itself breathes life, and at the same time, claims it in due time. The larger-than-life ambient textures wrap you in its protective, sentient embrace.

Late Nite Telebabad” by Nights of Rizal

It’s purely coincidental that this track landed its way into this playlist, given its title. But as it suggests, this is the perfect soundtrack to have in the background while you’re engrossed in whatever late night habits and routines you thrive on. Making a midnight sandwich? Idling in a Skype conversation? Finishing a F. Sionil Jose book? Or maybe hunting for the new Grand Theft Auto online? Whatever it is, it’s just passing time and appreciating the noiselessness and absence of complicated people and their complicated emotions—just a “me, myself, and I” moment in a jaded night of solitude.

Infantil (Moki Mcfly remix)” by Similar Objects

Moki Mcfly’s remix of Similar Objects’ “Infantil” is bereft of the predictable trappings of spinning, but like a lot of gifted electronic artists in our country—particularly those who continue to mold IDM/EDM using brilliant methods—the unique sound is not so shocking anymore. Moki Mcfly did more than accentuate the original. He turned the glowing and brooding synths to percussive and glitchy surprises. We begin to wind down, closing in on the last few songs.

Two” by Earthmover

It’s hard to ignore the immense impact post-rock champion Earthmover makes every time they play music. Their first EP First Sighting navigates through the extraterrestrial, outside the bounds of the norm—and the music carries us with it. And when we come back, it’s like a clean slate—being reborn. Who doesn’t want that?

Under The Raintree Was Our Safe Place” by Threads

How it feels like: The world is our cradle; and dreams, our lullabies.

Cross-published in

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