For my current job, I have to be up and ready by 7A, clocked in and plugged up to the stupid phone system that they have chosen to use despite the fact it’s terrible. Like, Google Voice would be a better option at this point. So naturally, this means that I need to be awake and not angry before I have to interact with others. Early mornings are definitely going to be a major part of my life for the foreseeable future – hi, nursing school! – so it’s something I’m trying to get myself used to, even moreso than I have been. Back in college, I’d wake myself (and my disgruntled roommate) with something along the lines of the Stooges’ “TV Eye,”* but now that I’m older and crankier, I really don’t necessarily want to be scared shitless in order to get up. And being angry at how you’re woken up is not the best way to start the day, so I’ve started to rise from bed a bit earlier each day, gradually and peacefully coaxing myself to greet the sun – these songs are just a few of the ones I have introduced into my morning routine, and in all seriousness? They work pretty well.
1 – “REVERIE” ~ CLAUDE DEBUSSY
Debussy’s “Reverie” will forever be my favorite song. I kind of fell into playing it for my one and only piano recital back when I took lessons in middle/high school, and the only thing I remember about that recital was that I completely zoned out, feeling the music. My mom told me that I looked like I was in a trance, and I guess I was. It has such a beautifully dreamy quality, which … I mean, it fits. Why else would Debussy call it “Reverie?”
2 – “FIRESUITE” ~ DOVES
I unironically love the movie Blue Crush. Legitimately. It’s kind of like my unhealthy love for Center Stage: I know that the movies are technically objectively terrible, but they’re such a part of my young adulthood that I’m 100% okay with enjoying the hell out of them. And that’s how I was introduced to the Doves, through Blue Crush‘s soundtrack (which is honestly pretty great?).
3 – “SUNSETS” ~ ASO
“Sunsets” is pretty much a staple on my studying playlist for the last year, but I think it fits the “go for a quick morning walk and enjoy the relative stillness” theme, too. Also, I am so jealous of the first-time college students who have access to stuff like ChilledCow and its various cousins; it would have made studying and writing papers so much more pleasant.
4 – “WILD HORSES” ~ THE SUNDAYS
My favorite version of this song, hands down, and not just because it was in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The lead singer’s voice is just perfect for it, and the instrumentation behind her gives the song such a great, dreamlike quality that the Rolling Stone’s original didn’t have. And I’m saying this as a Stones fan.
5 – “DREAMGIRL” ~ DAVE MATTHEWS BAND
I will admit that it is super weird to see Julia Roberts in this video. Like, did she lose a bet? However, I will not be ashamed to say that I love Dave Matthews Band, and their album Stand Up got a lot more hate than it deserved. I’m not asking a lot from them: just get together and smoke some weed, jam for seven hours on like two songs, and let me be happy. I think I saw them three or four times back before Starwood went the way of the dodo, and that was the big draw of their concerts. Just feel the chill.
6 – “I HOPE YOU GET TO MEET YOUR HERO” ~ SKUNK ANANSIE
It’s only been a couple of years since I first heard Skunk Anansie, but I truly cannot remember who introduced me to them. I want to say it was some random one-date guy from right after I left the ex-husband? But that doesn’t sound right to me. Hell, maybe it was Spotify. I suppose it doesn’t really matter regardless, but I feel like it should have some fairly epic backstory. Oh, well. They are technically classified as Britrock, whatever that means, so this song supposedly a departure from their other, harder songs, but it does seem to always be playing when I’m deep in thought, walking around the neighborhood at 6:30 in the morning.
7 – “THE BLOWER’S DAUGHTER” ~ DAMIEN RICE
I probably should have used a different video because a) I’m not a huge fan of the movie Closer, b) it’s the second video that features Julia Roberts (I like her but like, not that much?), and c) Rice has a weird stalker vibe as he just stands in a field staring. But this song really is incredibly beautiful and really does have an early morning feel to it.
8 – “LULLABIES” ~ YUNA
Honestly, anything by Yuna could have gone on an early morning playlist. Her voice is just so airy and sweet
9 – “BLUEBIRD” ~ MIRANDA LAMBERT
Miranda Lambert is one of those country singers that is able to draw me in with every song she releases. From her first hit single, “Kerosene,” to this version of “Bluebird” (I like the original version, but the acoustic stands out to me), I feel like she writes exactly what I need to hear, whatever happens to be going on in my life at the time. The main tune of “Bluebird” is what really made me add it to this playlist, but you really should listen to it whatever time of the day it is.
10 – “THE MORNING FOG” ~ KATE BUSH
Kate Bush is quite possibly one of the most phenomenal artists that I have ever come across: experimental, feminist, genre-less … so many female artists have tried to emulate her, whether or not they realized it – from Lady Gaga to Regina Spektor to Lana Del Ray to, well, you get the picture – and although they’re successful in their own rights, they will never hold a candle to Kate Bush. I almost went with “Snowflake” from her 2011 album, but I mean, this is a spring playlist, and I don’t want to invite that type of weather back – and her music might be able to do that, honestly.
* Please don’t wake yourself up with this song. I still have residual angry feelings anytime I hear “TV Eye,” and it’s my own damn fault, really.