Weekly Mixtape: Mercury, Debt, Death, and Taxes

As you may know (and sorry if you don’t know, and this spoils your day), we are in the final retrograde period of the year; you may not believe much in this hippie, astrological shite, but just go with me on this. Mercury Retrograde is basically a time when life just utterly sucks, and because it’s in Scorpio, that means you should be aware of your money (or in my case, how little I have), and not make big decisions or plans.

What does that have to do with this mixtape, you might ask? Being that we are in one of the worst periods of the year I figured, what better way to lighten spirits than with a fiery, fun-fueled mixtape that you can dance to—after spending hours (or in my case, days) commiserating. Let’s get it on, shall we?

Gaptooth – “Post-Patriarchy Disco”

Of course, I’m going to kick off this playlist with the track that inspired it in the first place. What do you think I am, an animal? Gaptooth is the moniker of Hannah Lucy, a feminist activist, PhD student and electro-pop artist. The East London-based artist is part of the Loud Women collective (which Cady, we still need to do something in NYC) and has released this banger of a tune, “Post-Patriarchy Disco.”

’Post-Patriarchy Disco’ is a tribute to some of the incredible, unstoppable feminist activists I’ve had the honour of organising with. I wanted to capture the sense of empowerment and solidarity that comes from working together to achieve radical political goals.

The song channels all kinds of Shiny Toy Guns and Yelle—it’s a feminist anthem that is strong in its lyrics and also undeniably dancey. Overthrowing the patriarchy is supposed to be fun and enjoyable, right?

Tokyo Tea Room – “Things are Changing”

Admittedly, this track “Things are Changing” by Tokyo Tea Room is a tad bit slower than the first track that kicked off this playlist. But its vibes are still right, the band is also British (so there’s a little tie-in?) and the track is damn good. So, really, what other reason do we need?

I’m not sure if it’s the fact that the track includes the word “changing” or if I just have Tame Impala on my brain, but the tune lyrically and instrumentally reminds me a lot of their track “Yes I’m Changing” —with a more bedroom-pop layer, and vocals that are nothing short of angelic.

Tokyo Tea Room is the lovechild of Daniel Elliott and Ben Marshall, where melodic bass lines, hypnotic guitar riffs, and dreamy synths form a unique sound with a soulful personality. Listen to the ethereal tune below.

The Florets – “Five Foot Vice”

It’s safe to say at this point that whatever The Florets release, I will like. I will share it. I will play it while showering, walking, running, eating. I will bathe in it. I will become The Florets. Just you wait.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery; it also might be a plausible way of evading debt companies.

The Melbourne-based group breathes life into their tracks with through driving bass and guitar melodies and vocalist Nick Dawes’ rich, and unique vocals. You want to put the band in the indie-rock box, but it sometimes crosses into indie-folk territory, and who really needs boxes anyway? Listen to “Five Foot Vice” below x

Scuba Dvala – “Mumble”

Follow the silence of my voice / Don’t be shy / Leave the commotion, take it slow

Sweden’s Scuba Dvala’s new track “Mumble” should admittedly be on our make up/breakup playlist (I’ll add it later), but it’s also such good vibes that it belongs here as well. It’s one of those sexy, slightly-psychedelic disco tracks that would be played around 3 a.m. at Studio 54 in New York, if it was still around. At the chorus, you would see Bianca Jagger ride a white horse (no, literally) around the room, and from there, the night would easily lead you well into the morning.

Scuba Dvala’s smooth vocals are reassuring, giving you an aural hug of connection amid subtle omniscience: the tune let’s you know you’re not alone, if only for just the night. “Mumble” is thoughtfully constructed, making you feel as though every synth note and every word has been carefully placed. It was made for you. And me. And definitely Bianca Jagger. Groove to it below x

Rex Hudson – “Divide”

The grooves on this tune “Divide” from Rex Hudson is that much-needed end-of-weekend reprieve that I’m guessing we all have been in search of. Mercury in Retrograde is doing nothing but killing every good vibe in my body and thanks to Rex Hudson (and the others listed on this playlist), I’m starting to feel A LOT more like myself.

Equal parts chillwave and lo-fi psychedelia, Rex Hudson gives us some catchy synthpop that I literally can’t stop dancing to. The track “Divide” details the insecurities of being in a relationship, which if you know anything about me, you know that I know this feeling all too well.

“Divide” is an ethereal yet energetic lo-fi psychedelic pop track that utilizes an array of lush synth textures on top of a dense bass and drum rhythm.

This is the third single from his debut LP Persona. Listen to the tune below.

Verbrasco- “ontrack”

Let’s get those vibes up, shall we? Part of their DIY Debut EP, Verbrasco, I’m convinced, are teenage superstars. The duo is made up of 19-year-old uni students from Melbourne, Australia—and, to be clear, when I was 19, I wasn’t making tracks like this one. To be fair, I’m 31, and still not making tracks that sound like this.

The dreamy track is a simple story about leaving a nightclub to get some food and then getting lost; but with gorgeous vocal layers, and infectious guitars, the tune “ontrack” is a journey all its own.

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