This is The Mixtape Project. The goal of this project is simple, ask the people responsible for creating, facilitating, or just overall being involved with the music we love to share the music they love. This month, we’re looking at a collection of songs that helped in making Sheridan of Punk Talks the (awesome!) person she is today.
There are no words to describe my excitement when I was asked to make a playlist for this fantastic project. In my humble opinion, I happen to be the World’s Best Playlist Artist; others might (and probably do) disagree, but regardless, I am unreasonably excited to share the music that I love and that has shaped who I am! Rather than explain every song and what they mean to me, I will highlight my favorite line from each and only explain the songs that are especially significant in my life in the form of a track-by-track.
“The Light Is You” by Said the Whale
This is, in my opinion, a criminally underrated album and this song is the perfect example of that. I honestly cannot remember making a playlist for someone in the last 4 years that did not begin with this song. Short, sweet, and upbeat, this track is a perfect way to tell someone how much you care about them. Instant day-maker!
Favorite Line: When it’s so dark I can’t see the light, well, I close my eyes and I think of you.
“Jessie and My Whetstone” by Saves the Day
I have to give credit where credit is due: the man responsible for my love of emo and pop-punk (aside from the mainstream bands I could discover myself) is none other than my first ever high school boyfriend. Thanks to him, this song transports me to warm, long drives down Indiana country roads with the windows down blasting the voices of people who managed to describe my feelings infinitely better than I ever could. Shockingly, our young love was short-lived, but his musical influence has shaped my life. Here’s to you, Jimmy.
Favorite Line: And that was that: our one sweet night together.
“New Soul” by Yael Naim
Favorite Line: This is a happy end, come and give me your hand. I’ll take you far away.
“Spirit Desire” byTigers Jaw
I run a service that provides mental health assistance to musicians and industry professionals as well as spreading awareness about mental health and how we can work to end the stigma associated with treatment. A great way to do that is to talk about my own experiences with mental health, and this track nails it. I am all too familiar with the completely unfounded anxiety that someone will give up on you, regardless of their commitment to you and reassurance that they care. It is okay to allow yourself to be loved. This is something I consistently struggle with and I am learning. I hope you can learn with me.
Favorite Line: I get scared you’ll leave me soon even though we call each other every afternoon, it’s true.
“Re-Done” by Modern Baseball
Just keep going.
Favorite Line: And we’ve got callused hands, but these arms aren’t tired, at least not yet.
“A Praise Chorus” by Jimmy Eat World
Favorite Line: I’m on my feet, I’m on the floor, I’m good to go. Now all I need is just to hear a song I know.
“Constant Headache" by Joyce Manor
Self-loathing is so easy, isn’t it? It is almost comfortable to convince ourselves that we are nothing but a pain to those around us. When I am feeling that way, as I very frequently do, this song reminds me that I should revel in the love I am given, even when I don’t understand why I deserve it.
Favorite Line: Your love was foreign to me, it made me think maybe human’s not such a bad thing to be.
“Simple Song” by The Shins
Favorite Line: I know that things can really get rough when you go it alone, but don’t go thinking you gotta be tough and bleed like a stone.
“The Whole World and You” by Tally Hall
Favorite Line: I hope you’re happy now I’ve revealed the truth, I’ve even written this whole song about you and not about me and not about we.
“Don’t Carry It All” by The Decemberists
Though it seems like an odd choice, this band is my second favorite, falling of course behind Brand New. This song is a perfect reminder of self care: compassion is SO important, but you cannot serve from an empty vessel.
Favorite Line: You must bear your neighbors burden within reason.
“Housebroken” by The Hotelier
I work in child welfare, specifically with children who are victims of physical abuse and neglect. I was inspired to do this work because of my own background as a victim of abuse. This song really captures the way that abuse can feel from all sides: as a victim and from an objective helping standpoint, there is no easy way to approach or diffuse it. The effects of abuse are lasting and they shape the person you become long after the act itself ends. This song and its message are so important.
Favorite Line: And I’m just slightly nervous of what I might do if I were let loose, if I caught that mail car or ate garbage for food. So, as I bare all my teeth, I will ask of you please to just leave.
“Rhode Island” by The Front Bottoms
Favorite Line: You gotta promise not to break no matter how far you are bent.
“Cavanaugh Park” by Something Corporate
This song made my fifteen-year-old tortured soul feel like it was in a coming-of-age film (and it still does).
Favorite Line: You always said destiny would blow me away.
“The Only Thing” by Sufjan Stevens
Listen to this song with headphones on, walking, on a warm night. A beautiful and haunting portrayal of heartbreak and loss.
Favorite Line: Should I tear my heart out now? Everything I feel returns to you somehow.
“The Resolution” by Jack’s Mannequin
In October, my older sister lost her battle to colon cancer. Near the end, when things were getting scary, I sent her this song in an attempt to raise her spirits and give her hope. Whenever I feel overwhelmed or uninspired, I listen to this song. I think of my sweet sister and how insanely cool it is to be alive and how grateful I am for the opportunity to have shared my life with her for a time.
Favorite Line: I’m not looking for forgiveness and I just need light.
“Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters” by Elton John
My best friend from high school made me a mix cd for the drive as I moved to college and this was the first track. I feel so outrageously grateful for the people in my life and I am truly privileged to know them. I hope everyone in the whole world is reminded of how much I love them with this song.
Favorite Line: I thank the Lord for the people I have found.
If this playlist isn’t working, click here to listen in Spotify