A Playlist For No One

夢 中 人 – Faye Wong

You liked Chungking Express, didn’t you?

Have I told you that Chungking is among my favorite films of all time? Why, you ask? Maybe it’s the actors, the fact that I find them both very attractive. Maybe it’s the little details too, the fact I now associate canned pineapples and broken plumbing pipes with longing and loneliness.

Or, hmm, maybe it’s just because of that “Dreams” song, that Cranberries cover which I dearly love, and which I’m guessing you love too — do you? Or are my clairvoyant powers failing me again, huh?

いい時間 – EVISBEATS

Have you watched Garden State by any chance?

There’s a cute scene in that film, the one in which Andrew asks Sam what music she’s listening to and Sam says, “The Shins, do you know them?”

“No,” says Andrew, prompting Sam to offer him her headphones. “You got to hear this one song, it will change your life, I swear.”

Andrew then listens to the song and they exchange stares and smiles while “New Slang” plays in the background — cute stuff, isn’t it? Only that scene took place in the lobby of a mental health clinic, but that’s beside the point.  

If you were to live that scene, what do you think would be your hey-stranger-you-have-to-listen-to-this song? I think mine would be EVISBEATS’ “いい時間”.

Rindu – Everybody Loves Irene

Have you ever met a person from Indonesia?

I’ve met a few, and every time I meet a person who tells me that they have at some point lived in Indonesia, I always tell them that I love the band Everybody Loves Irene. I also always eagerly say “the band’s from Indonesia!” but they almost always reply with, “no sorry I don’t know them.”

Eventually I realized that Irene is probably a small band, a band that plays to a small crowd of hip college students, which was pretty much the same demographic I belonged to some 10 years ago when I first heard “Rindu” and felt like I just discovered magic. Unfortunately none of my friends shared the same fondness for it as much as I did — I guess not everybody loves Irene, ‘no?

Just Once – Shura

Do you sometimes wish you were a different person? Or maybe not completely different, like you still want to be you but only a little better, like a little taller perhaps, or maybe a little more driven to always go the extra mile? No? Not really?

I guess I barely know you then.

I sometimes wish I were another person, which is why some people call me Jolens, which is why “Just Once” feels so close to home.

Manahimik, Managinip – Dirty Kitchen

You rarely remember your dreams, don’t you? I almost always remember mine.

I started keeping a dream log when I was a kid. In high school I encouraged some of my friends to keep a dream diary too, just because I think our subconscious — or collective unconscious, as Jung would say — could be a good source for creative stories. I’m not very creative myself, but my dreams have crafted narratives that I otherwise wouldn’t have imagined in my lucid state.

I’ve also been thinking if I should share this with you or not, but — chances are you won’t read this anyway, so, um, you show up in my dreams more often than you think. Sometimes I wonder if I pop up in your thoughts too, but I probably don’t and that’s all good.

Ulan – Driftwood Sessions

Every now and then I go back to this song and drown in its simplicity — the rawness of the audio, the sincerity of the words, and the serenity it brings me when the world outside freezes and I cannot help but yield to lethargy.

Recently this song has been reminding me of you. I sort of want to tell you: Listen to this, dear; I think it will remind you of her.

But I never told you that, have I? Maybe it’s because I just want to keep this simple song to myself — yes, sure, maybe that’s why.

Meteor Chase – Pandelic

Sometimes I wish I could run far and away, like the guy in that Shirley music video or those unlikely lovers in that manananggal film.

Sometimes I wonder what song I should play when I finally decide to leave, and sometimes I listen to this song and I imagine what it would be like to escape, to leave everything behind, to float as close to the stars and to soar as high as I can.

Sometimes music as beautiful as this reminds me of how lucky I am to be alive.

Backpacking Around Europe – Yuna

Have you ever met a person and thought, wow, they’re cool, I really want to get to know them more? I’m sure you have.

Have you ever been to Europe? I don’t think you have, but I could be wrong. Which countries have you visited anyway? Would you travel alone again? What constellations do you recognize when you look up at the sky? Can you say “hello” in other languages? Which languages?

If only we can talk about these things and more. I really want to get to know you more.

16 Ft. – Soft Pillow Kisses

There are words and phrases in song lyrics that stand out to me, even if they’re not necessarily quote brilliant unquote.

In Aaliyah’s “At Your Best” she describes a lover as a “positive motivating force”, which to me seems like a few metaphors away from philosophizing torque, a.k.a moment. Outkast also has the line “real guys go for real down-to-Mars girls”, which I never understood but it stuck with me anyway.

And then there’s the words “shades of cynicism” and “fucked-up syllogisms” in “16 Ft.”, which is one of the few songs that I immediately fell in love with right at the very first riff.

Sunday Slowdown – BEE EYES

Do you still remember that night, that one night when we bumped into each other in an art exhibit on the fourth floor of a mall and we went to a bar in Makati soon after the show? I knew it: you only approached me that night because I was with a very pretty friend.

Do you remember how you talked to her the entire time while I was watching BEE EYES play their set? I was bummed because “Sunday Slowdown” was not part of their list, and I was ready to leave after that gig but you asked me to stay, remember that? Somehow the night ended at your place where we drank some more and you made fun of my tendency to speak English and my predilection for songs in languages I don’t understand.

Do you remember how I got home the following morning? You joined me in the bus ride back to QC and you borrowed my iPod during the trip and you called me “cool” for the first time because you saw Led Zeppelin on my playlist. We both got off at Philcoa where we decided to part ways, I to my place in Maginhawa and you to the campus where you said you would meet up with your best friend J.

You remember absolutely none of this, don’t you?

I didn’t think so.#


This post started as a list of songs that I wish were on Spotify and evolved into whatever this is, hehehe.

Have a great week ahead, everyone! And thanks again for all the kind words in the comments and the DM’s. I appreciate you all.

4 thoughts on “A Playlist For No One”

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