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  • Safiya Ratliff

Safiya's Spotify Wrapped

An overview of the songs on my Spotify Wrapped and why they are there.



Everything Hits at Once by Spoon

I got really into Spoon’s album Girls Can Tell this spring. I think I listened to it so much out of spite. Or maybe because it’s just fun. And recorded really well. And god, those drums... I don’t like it that much, though!


Believing is Art by Spoon

Just see above.


Got Shocked by Wednesday

I thought this was my favorite track on Rat Saw God when it came out. It is not anymore. I like the acceleration of the tempo. I could crash my car into this so well!


Equip Sunglasses by Hot Mulligan

This is just good old-fashioned family fun. Sometimes you just need to have fun.


A Dozen Roses by Braid

I was very into Braid’s album Frame and Canvas this year. I’m going to see them play through it later this month. I might cry!


Freight Train by Elizabeth Cotten

A remnant from my short-lived folk phase. I prefer to hear women’s voices, so I was listening to a bunch of folk albums by female musicians. This is one of them. This song gets stuck in my head, and I sing it to my babies at work sometimes. 


Give Me Back My Heart Attack by Land of Talk

This is the first of the Saddle Creek artists (I am actually not sure how many are on here; there might not be that many). I love pretty much anything that has even a slight connection to that label (shout out to Conor Oberst; I hope he’s doing okay). Anyway, Land of Talk released a new album this year, Performances, but I have yet to listen. I might soon, but I always say that. January may be my month of ‘things I have been meaning to listen to but, for some reason, have not.’ But this track is not on that album! It is from their 2008 album, Some Are Lakes! This song was crucial for me during hotel treadmill runs and long drives.


Ice Cream and Sunscreen by Martha

A snapshot of me in high school (nostalgia was a theme for me this year, both musically and as a person, maybe because I am going through it in the present, so I must look to the past to make it all seem okay). Martha is a band I quite like still... they are British (apologies), and their voices can start to annoy me a bit, but their albums Blisters in the Pit of My Heart and Courting Strong are still very good in my eyes!


Third Law by Peaer

God do I love this song; frankly, I just love this whole album (it is a self-titled album, so yeah, very me). I was very into Peaer circa 2020 through their album The Hands and Feet Turn Blue. This girl on TikTok (you know who you are) also loves their self-titled release (she stole my rizz), but musically, I often feel like me and her are the same person. Parasocial relationships go brrr! I think I am done here. The writing of the last couple of sentences has made me want to crawl into a hole for the amount of horrible Gen-Z language I have used.


Stars by Hum

This is such a goooooood car album. I spent a lot of time in the first half of 2023 in my car, on the Dan Ryan, in traffic, you know—the life of a suburb commuter. There will be a few more from You’d Prefer and Astronaut on this list.


Con Art by Smart Went Crazy

2023 was also the year of my getting very into Dischord Records. I think I like this album, Con Art, on the whole, but I haven’t really made my mind up on that yet. Regardless, this release has lots of solid tracks that I love. The transition from Immutable Beauty to Con Art has my whole heart! I went through and replayed it so many times this year. 


Hot Rotten Grass Smell by Wednesday

Another one from Rat Saw God. I don’t have much to say about this track… it is the first on the album. It’s pretty short. A good intro in my eyes. 


Wilson Rag by Elizabeth Cotten

More from the album Freight Train and Other North Carolina Folk Songs and Tunes (apt title). You go, Lizzy!


Another Bird Song by Acre Memos and Lomelda

This is the first track off of Acre Memo’s album A Collection of Bird Songs (another I have been meaning to listen to in its entirety). Quite a few of the songs feature Lomelda, my love, as does this track. It just sounds beautiful. What else can I say?!


The Pod by Hum

What did I say? You would be seeing more from this album. I find the delivery of the first verse of this song weirdly hot. I love to scream it in my car. That is all!


Bride by Joyce Manor

More good ol’ family fun (pop punk). I would really like to see Joyce Manor live again. They will be at Thalia Hall for New Year's Eve… hmm…


Bull Believer by Wednesday

I resonate with “finish him (x14)”. Hearing this live I cried!


When I Get Home by Elizabeth Cotten

The latter half of 2023 was me getting really into God (in the western, protestant sense). This song is probably a small part of that. Once again, you go, Lizzy!


Morning Shower by Drunk Uncle

I discovered this 5th wave emo (kill me!) band from Texas this year. Their album, Look Up, is so good! I  listened to it on a loop while I was cleaning at work this summer. This song is by far my favorite, both lyrically and musically. “I love how eight hours of sleep makes you smell so human.” Like, okay, f*ck me.


Hot Karl by Ten In The Swear Jar

A product of the Spotify Discover page’s “top recommendations for you,” I thought I hated the album this track is off of, Accordion Solo!, the first time around. It is too long for my taste (coming in at 76 whole minutes!), but it is weird and has some enjoyable tracks. Clearly, I think this is one of them. The band itself is a prior form of Xiu Xiu (Jaime Stewart and Cory McCulloch), a band I am aware of and have vaguely listened to. I saw them live this year at Sleeping Village (Xiu Xiu, that is)! I should have worn earplugs.


Formula One by Wednesday

Another one off Rat Saw God! I love to sing this in the shower.

January 10th, 2014 by The World Is A Beautiful Place And I Am No Longer Afraid To Die

God, I don’t think I have ever written out TWIABP’s entire band name. I do love it, though. The drums on this track make me melt, and I love the story behind it as well! I found out about it when I was 19 through a man who was talking too much, so I will spare you. (You can look it up, of course.)


portal by saorise dream

This one is embarrassing. I appreciate their love for lowercase, as I am the same. This comes from the album everything*, I listened to it on a loop while thrifting. I do really like it but it’s not something I tend to share! I find it quite cringe-worthy at moments.


Say My Name by PACKS

A 2023 release I actually bothered to check out! I was happy I did; I do really enjoy this album. This track is my favorite from it. I saw them live with Geese at Lincoln Hall (I think... I am not bothering to fact-check myself on anything in this post just so everyone is aware), and it was very good. And I had not listened to Geese until I bought the tickets, so I was glad that they were able to introduce me to them (another 2023 release I actually bothered to listen to).


The Mule on the Plane by Beauty Pill

Some more Dischord Records. I want the Blue Period compilation on vinyl really badly (hint hint). This track originally comes from their EP, The Unsustainable Lifestyle. At some point this year, when the comp was released, they scrapped the OGs from Spotify and now only have them on Blue Period. A crime, I say! Give me the old album art, you fu*ckers.


Dedicated by The Amps

This is a product of my Discover weekly playlist. I find I dislike most of the things Spotify churns out to me on there; this one I didn’t. I recently found out that The Amps are a 4AD band when I listened to Geek the Girl by Lisa Germano (thank you, Sasha) for my album-a-day I am doing in December. Another label I will need to spend time parsing through.


Tin Man by feeble little horse

Maybe I did listen to an okay amount of 2023 releases! This track is off of feeble little horse’s second album, Girl with Fish. Shout out to more Saddle Creek artists! 


Wild Oats by Ewe Dew

I really, really love this album. I don't remember when I first listened, but it is definitely a part of that whole nostalgia thing I have been going through this year. I can find pretty much nothing on this guy, so if anyone has some information, I would love it. Not to say I’ve tried too hard. Anyway, stream Supine Butterfly and stan Ewe Dew.


Some Are Lakes by Land of Talk

And she’s right. Some are lakes. The title track of the album is more Saddle Creek. What can I say? I’m hooked.


Me And The Bean by Spoon

Embarassing! I don’t like Spoon that much. (a lie)


King’s Dominion by Black Eyes

I was actually listening to this vinyl when I started writing this post. Another from Dischord Records, this year I was more into the second Black Eyes release, Cough. Their self-titled (ha!) is quite good too. I mean, I spent money on a physical copy of it. Resonate very hard with “All I want is to come home to eat some food and have a beer.” Me too, girl!


Freak by feeble little horse

Another of their latest releases. This song is good for walking through Chinatown to pick up my lunch from Tasty Place. 


Pedal Baskets by Brittle Brian

I got quite into @ through their album Mind Palace Music early this year (another 2023 release I bothered to check out). Someone showed me this track because this is another project by Victoria Rose. I quite like it.


New Life by Do Nothing

It’s that whole British post-punk thing.


Is it Wednesday? Do you love me? By Sophia Corinne

I was lucky enough to find Sophia’s music through a show at Sappho’s Roadhouse. A very beautiful performance. I was feeling very awkward and left feeling very okay. This track is from her 2023 EP, Isabel (I am realizing I listen to more things than I think I do). I love to dance to this song in my kitchen and sing it in the shower. The violin on it really gets me. And her voice, gah!


Immutable Beauty by Smart Went Crazy

I think I pretty much said what I have to say about this one when talking about the song “Con Art." The opening line, “I walk on water when it freezes; that doesn’t make me Jesus,” gets me for some reason.


That’s Why You’re The G.O.A.T. / Descriptions of Disturbing Movies / I Had You by Combat Naps

From their album Overbite, which I first listened to earlier this year. My favorite track from that album! I have yet to listen to Tap In, their album released this year. I slack; what can I say? They were kind enough to mix and send me a CD of some of their tracks, but the radio was clean. I was playing that in my car for weeks, ha.


Jane, Jane by Tia Blake

My favorite album from my little folk phase this year. Her voice is just so gorgeous, and I love her rendition of the songs she has on this album, Folksongs & Ballads, so much. This one is maybe my favorite, but it’s a tough call. Maybe also slightly part of my whole God thing this year.


Glass by Catbath

I think the name of this album, It’s Bathtime, and the cover, just a bunch of cats, is so silly. I listened to it last year, a product of Spotify album recommendations. I was okay with it but didn’t like it too much. This year, I got really into this track as well as the opening track of the album, Law of Average. The opening of this song reminds me a bit of the stuff that Meow Meow was doing on their album Snow Gas Bones. 


The Feeling You Get When The Moon Is Gone And You Start To Wonder If It Was Ever Realy There by Fake English

(I am a bit bitter about this one.) I do really love this song. It was the first single released by Chicago band Fake English and is on their first EP, Vol. 24: Speaking Stones. That whole British post-punk thing... but American. Very good to run to. And yeah, Jack is a good lyricist. I think at least. Go see them live; they’re good!


Bath County by Wednesday

I have decided that this is my favorite track from Rat Saw God. I love to scream it in my car. “Every daughter of God has a little bad luck sometimes!!” You’re so right. I need to get this on vinyl! (hint hint)


I Don’t Like People by Girl Pusher

I really like Girl Pusher. This song is from Groceries EP 2, a release I got really into during the whole pandemic thing. I would listen to it while driving on 270 to my summer camp job that paid me $10 to be in charge of coming up with and administering 10 weeks of activities to children, as well as making sure they didn’t die. Missouri is crazy, but I was for sure the most interesting person on 270 every morning.


Little Dipper by Hum

More You’d prefer an astronaut. There is not much else to say.


Comfort Blanket by Options

Thanks for this one, Seth. God,  I love it. I saw them twice this year, once at Sleeping Village and once downstairs at SubT opening for Perspective, A Lovely Hand To Hold. Both times were great. 


Turkey Vultures by Wednesday

I made a playlist titled something along the lines of “songs I would crash my car to,” and this was the first one I added. That pretty much sums it up.


Bring Me to Silcence by Fievel Is Glauque

You know how Spotify will push out a certain artist, and all of a sudden all the people listening to music and being generally cool in major cities are listening to them? I feel like this was one of them, but maybe I was just out of the loop. From their compilation album, God’s Trashmen Sent to Right the Mess. 


Before Destruction by Spoon

At some point this year, I decided to branch out to other Spoon releases. Sadly, I had already listened to their best release! This one, Transference, was pretty good too. I would say this is my favorite Spoon song, but the numbers don’t lie I guess.


New Paint by Loudon Wainwright III

I just think he sounds like such a bottom on this track. (Shut up, Safiya.)


Chosen to Deserve by Wednesday

It makes me cry!


I’m Overflow by Death Grips

I love to be a contrairan, and I am pretentious at times, so of course, Government Plates is my favorite Death Grips album. I like to listen to this when I drive on Lake Shore Drive. We’re halfway done!


Changes by Malice K

Another discover weekly victim! From the album Clean up on Aisle Heaven, which is a title I both like and find slightlylighly too much. I haven’t listened to the album, but I want to. Adding to the ever-growing pile.


Virginia Reel Around The Fountain by The Halo Benders

The Halo Benders are Dough Martch of Built to Spill and Calvin Johnson of Beat Happening. I like both bands, and I like this band. I have listened to this album, The Rebels Not In, in full, but I do feel I need to relisten. This is a good train song.


Butter of 69 by Butter 08

I don't recall if this was a 2022 or 2023 find, but it doesn’t matter too much. Another self-titled album (tee hee), and I quite like it. It’s silly and fun, and I need more music like that. I am always so melancholy.


Hawks by Jodi

Listened to Blue Heron, the album this track is on, for the first time this year. Nico Levine, a prior member of Pinegrove and a prior Chicago resident. I found Jodi through their EP Karaoke on Bandcamp when I was in high school. I actually recently got it on vinyl from Bric a Brac. Anyway, I like to sing this in the shower, or just anytime, really. 


Right In Time by Lucinda Williams

I was never big into Lucinda Williams, but I got Car Wheels On A Gravel Road on CD at Goodwill this year. I really like that album, and I really like this song. 


On Jet Lag by Pinegrove

I think we all got back into Pinegrove this year, and I am not exempt! Continuation of my nostalgia arc. I remember listening to this song on the bus to school in the mornings and yearning for who knows what. 


9MM by Butter 08

Another Butter 08 track; I actually think I like this one a bit more despite its lower placement.


Panic by thanks for coming

I loved this song when I first heard it, off of You Haven’t Missed Much. I sent it to some people, and they did not feel the same. I think they’re wrong! This is literally just what is going through my mind at all times, put into a song. It makes it pretty hard to get anything done, I’d say. I really love them. Thanks for coming; they are very me. I saw them perform at Color Club this year, and I felt bad for being there in a sense. It was a funny experience, though. Sometimes I get very disillusioned with music and art on the whole (it just starts to feel like a very white people for white people thing), and this was one of those times. Sometimes things just feel very performative, even though I know (I think) they are coming from a genuine place. Nothing to do with thanks for coming, really. Just thoughts. Anyway! We continue.


The Execution Of All Things by Rilo Kiley

Some more Saddle Creek! Many tracks by them that I love have yet to be heard on a full album. I am eyeing Take Offs And Landings, and of course the album this track is from is The Execution of All Things.


Recycling - Audiotree Live Version by Pinegrove

This version is better! More of the Pinegrove resurgence.


Sammy So-Sick by Grass is Green

Once more we have an album Spotify told me to listen to, and I obliged. This is the first track from the album Vacation Vinny, and I don’t think I liked anything else on it as much as this. That’s pretty common for me, I love an opening track.


Pennsylvania Dutch by Half Gringa

A Chicago gal! Another band that I saw perform at Sappho’s Roadhouse. I feel very lucky that I got to see them there. I really liked this album, Grunona, on the whole. Clearly, this was my favorite track.


Vamos (Pilgrim) by Pixies

Someone told me this was their favorite Pixies album. I disagree; Mine is Surfer Rosa (yeah, obvious pick). I, of course, had to relisten to see if they were for sure wrong. I don’t know; I think I get it. 


Do Nothing by Martha

More Martha! Also from Blisters in the Pit of My Heart, I feel this song on a spiritual level. I just wish it was shorter so I didn’t feel so bad playing it on my radio show. 7 minutes is a lot!


Joy by PJ Harvey

From my favorite PJ Harvey record, Is This Desire? (I need this on vinyl… hint hint!) This one is good for walking through the Jackson Tunnel. I love you, mother. 


Show Me What by A.G. Cook, Cecile Believe

There are tracks on this album, 7G, that I enjoy. This one is because of Marla.


Sckrpnch by Melaina Kol

I consider this Alex G worship derogatory. Hypocritical because I love this song. They played a show in my basement. I was sadly too f*cking dizzy and had to go outside before they played. It was so hot in there! This is from a split they did in 2018 with waveform*. I have not listened to a full album by them, but I like some tracks off Black Bile, so I will start there. Adding to the pile of shit I need to listen to! The bigger it gets, the less likely it is that I will ever touch anything on there.


Why Can’t I Have You by Gloria Laing

I have no idea where I found this one. I sent it to a friend sometime this year when they asked for something sad to listen to. I sent them Carissa by Sun Kil Moon; I think that was a bit much even for me. It’s not particularly accessible (I feel so disgusted describing music in that way). Anyway, they liked this a lot more. I'm not sure where I stand on the two; it’s hard to compare.


For What Reason by Death Cab For Cutie

Near the end of 2020, I got very into The Photo Album because I had the CD in my car. I would skip class and drive around New York State and listen to it and cry. This album, We Have the Facts, and We’re Voting Yes, she did a similar thing for me this year. Except I was just on the train going to and from work. Same root feeling though, I think.


Star Game by @ 

I mentioned them earlier when talking about Brittle Brian. Her voice is magical, and I like this album a lot!


Movie Star by King Kong

Another rare moment where I really like something from the Discover Weekly playlist. I listened to this on a loop in the parking lot of the Chipotle on Clinton. This year, I got really into... weird sh*t from the 90s. I love to thrift a weird 90s CD. This is similar, but don’t have the CD.


White Light Doorway by Florist

Florist is a high school thing—at least this album, The Birds Outside Sang. And their EP Holiday. I want to make music that sounds like this. It’s perfect for me. I snuck away from my post at Pitchfork Festival to go see them play, heh.


Seein* Starz by Jessica Lea Mayfield

I don’t know much about this, so I don’t have much to say. I listened to it a lot for a month and then never really again.


Knight Fork by Feed Me Jack

I did listen to this whole EP, Anatolia. I liked it, but with time I found that people with tastes that I tend to not like also like it so now I like it less. Maybe it’s just the 2015 of it all. I’m not mean, I promise! “I don’t require you to step outside yourself." Yeah.


Yuppy Flu by Land of Talk

With this many tracks from Land of Talk on here, I am shocked they were not in my top 5 artists for the year. I made a playlist called “down bad” and put this on it. Only this. And then I listened on a loop. So yeah!


I Inside the Old I Dying by PJ Harvey

I love this track, but I’m not sure I loved the album. I need to relisten while not in my car, because this is for sure not a car album. Perhaps whilst lying on my sofa, drinking the cheapest wine from Aldi. We will see!


Love Minus Zero by Bob Dylan

I <3 Bobby! This was a train song for me for a while. Whenever I listen to it, I like to sing along with a very exaggerated Bob Dylan impression.


Dishes by Mom Rock

(I’m bitter about this one as well.) "Well, I’d say I’m lucky to wash the dishes in your sink." And I fell more than I care to admit to myself. " I get it, I like it.


Ya’ll Boots Hats? (Die Angry) by Glocca Morra

More good-ol family fun! I will call this pop punk; it’s not really (no, but it is). That whole 4th wave (kill me) 'midwest emo’ debacle that is only seemingly an issue to me. Anyway! This song is fun, and I like to scream to it. 


Love Leaves Its Abusers by Songs: Ohia

I got more into the album Axxess & Ace this year. Crying song! Crying album, really. The cover is also very pretty; it feels very me.


Killing A Camera by Braid

This one has a little album name drop; that’s fun! I think I like this track more than A Dozen Roses, but maybe that’s because I have played A Dozen Roses to f*cking death. I am so excited to scream “a dream for the teens and in-betweens and twenties yet unseen” when I see them later this month.


Shut Up by Butter 08

Well, I guess I really liked this album. There are so many tracks from it. I like the end (unintelligible screaming).


Monkey Gone To Heaven by Pixies

I just really like to sing along with “got killed by ten million pounds of sludge from New York and New Jersey.”


Pre Amp by D+

My little pretentious *ss loveeeees knowing things other people don’t. This is one of them! Clearly, Phil Elvrum once you listen, is paired with Bret Lunsford from Beat Happening. The album this track is from, Dandelion Seeds, is quite good. I recommend you listen! (But not too many of you; I need to keep my under 1,000 monthly listeners rizz).


Spill It Out by Merce Lemon

Merce Lemon is a remnant of my time being depressed on the east coast. I wanted to go see her so badly when she was at Space up in Evanston, but I had RSV! She makes me feel good about sucking at the guitar.

Gone Sugaring by Mirah

This song is short and sweet; I listened to it a lot in the car when I was commuting to UIC. It’s a Discover Weekly track heh.


Suicide Machine by Hum

The title of this song just feels so angsty, and so am I! 


You’re Not Standing Like You Used To by Kate Wolf

One more album from my folk phase. Her voice is so pretty. As of late, I have been singing this song to my babies while at work. They seem to like it. They have good taste!


Green Glass by Jawbox

More dischord, but more so stems from my love of Deftones when I was in high school (god, I was annoying about that one). Deftones covered their song Savory, which is why I listen now. This track is better than Savory, in my opinion. I should relisten to the whole album, For Your Own Special Sweetheart, again soon. I loved it in high school. 


Apistat Commander by Xiu Xiu

When I said I vaguely listen to Xiu Xiu, I meant this song. This is the only song I really know by them. 


Convenient Parking by Modest Mouse

I ended last year by seeing Modest Mouse play through The Lonesome Crowded West at The Riv. That has since been spoiled for me. I will forever love this song, though. It is good for when I am doing the dishes.


Club Music by We Are the City

This is my favorite band. That is a definitive statement, I know. At this moment, they are at least (if we don’t count Hop Along because I have yet to hear anything that makes me feel the way they do). This is for sure part of the God sh*t I’ve been on as of late. Not this song per se, but this band as a whole. Although “Supply me with the tools, all the tools, and all I need” sounds a little worshipful to me! And I love it! And I will worship! The tears will still come!


Empty by Metric

This is a car song, that is all.


been thinkin’ by Hikes

Is this math rock? I think so. If not, whatever it is, I love it. I got into this album, Mahal Kita, shortly after it came out in 2019. I think I had used this song in a playlist or something, so I started listening to it a lot again. It’s so pretty!


Reclamation by Fugazi

I don’t really listen to Fugazi, despite the whole ‘I love Dischord Records’ thing I’ve got goin’ on. I like this song, though!


Terminal Paradise by Big Thief

Big Thief was my third-top artist for 2023, knocking down two whole spots from 2022. The newness of Dragon new Warm Moutain I Believe in You has worn off, and now I honestly don’t like that record that much anymore. I was out here saying crazy sh*t about it too. I do still have crazy things to say about Big Thief as a band, but I need to somehow keep up my contrarian streak. Anyway, UFOF is the best Big Thief album, and I will not argue; I am just correct. I will take not as an answer as well, if it’s defended well. Anyway, back to the song; it’s just so beautiful. I also love the version of it on Adrienne Lenker’s solo album abysskiss. I like the UFOF version more, though. I wish I could play it!


Submarine #3 by Starlight Mints

This one is just fun; I don’t know much about the album or the band, so not much to say. 


New Year’s Kiss by Casiotone For The Painfully Alone

This song has such a good vibe to it—good to yearn for. Good for the train. Good for lying in bed. Good for lying drunk on my sofa. I want this album on vinyl (hint hint).


Waffles by Whatever, Dad

This album is so good! This song is silly! It’s a good walking song, and god, did I play the sh*t out of it last year? This year too, I guess. I want to learn to play it; I’ve been thinking of getting a bass. And f*ck, the drums are on it. I love drums!


Talkin’ Like You (Two Tall Moutains)

Everyone got into Connie Converse this year, it seems! I heard snippets of an NPR segment on this album, How Sad, How Lovely, on NPR sometime this year. I love rediscovered media; her voice and songwriting is to die for, so yeah, this is a track I love.


That was the last one. See you next year! :-)

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