Following on from last week's Break-up Tape, I thought we'd go back to the opposite end of a relationship. Actually, this is the point even before the relationship has officially begun. This 7-track playlist tracks the trajectory of emotions that comes with realising you have a crush on someone, and what you then feel as you try to get up the guts to ask them out. As ever, these are all songs I adore and I hope you will too. Here is the 'Oh my god I think I like you' tape.
Check out the Spotify playlist here.
01. Spoon - “Can I Sit Next To You?” (from Hot Thoughts, 2017)
It starts with a moment. A smile, a greeting, a glance across a room. Someone catches your eye and you can’t get them out of your head. Everywhere you go you find yourself thinking about them and you wonder why. “I’ve been down so long,” you realise; it’s been so long since anyone took your fancy that at first you didn’t even realise what this feeling was. It’s attraction. You have a crush. You can’t believe it. What do you do now? It starts with a simple question, a gesture, “can I sit next to you?” And you’ll take it from there.
02. Jenny Hval - “Conceptual Romance” (from Blood Bitch, 2016)
And now you’re in it. Deep in it. Now that you know you’re attracted to this person, you’ve made first contact, invested yourself in their life, you can see it all unfolding in front of you. At least you think you can, but even in a “Conceptual Romance” you can’t take anything for granted. You drive yourself mad thinking about the potential joy of this relationship - and the potential pain of course. Sometimes you wake up “high on madness.” You’re stuck in a “sexual holding pattern”. But it could all be so great. If only you could make it known to your crush just how great it could be… all it would take is for you to simply say “come with me I want to show you something…the original wound, the origin of the world.” A bit much? Nah, why not be ambitious about how far the conceptual romance could go?
03. Tame Impala - “Why Won’t They Talk To Me?” (from Lonerism, 2012)
It was all going so well, so picture perfectly - in your mind. Just when you thought that you were past the initial small talk stage and starting to get somewhere meaningful with this person you fancy, you find they’re nowhere to be seen. They’re sitting on the other side of the cafe, they’re hanging out with different people in the office, they just walked straight past you in the gym without even taking out their earbuds. What the hell? All you can ask yourself, miserably, is “why won’t they talk to me?” But no answer is forthcoming. You remain forlorn, try to forget about them. “I don’t even care about it anyway… they just talk about themselves all day,” you try to convince yourself. But it doesn’t work, you see them again the next day, across the room, and that little annoying voice pops up in your head again - “why won’t they talk to meeeeeee???”
04. Weezer - “Why Bother?” (from Pinkerton, 1996)
You’ve started pushing your way back into their lives, getting up the balls to go across the room and just start talking to them. Your relationship is definitely developing now, but with this newfound promise comes new stress. It’s an awful challenge to keep putting yourself out there, making it so obvious that you want to be with them, and not being so sure if they feel the same way. You reflect on it at night and wonder “why bother?” Even if you did manage to convince them to start a relationship with you, it’s going to end eventually. “It’s gonna hurt me, it’s gonna kill when you desert me,” you decide, huffing and rolling over in bed, trying to put thoughts of them out of your mind so you can get some sleep.
[Note: I really wanted to pick "El Scorcho" or "Falling For You" or pretty much anything from Pinkerton, but "Why Bother?" expresses a feeling not so pithily summed up by any other songs.]
05. Royal Headache - “High” (from High, 2015)
Days later and you’re still well in the midst of crushing over this person. But you’re not getting down about it anymore, you just want to be around them no matter what. Just being around them gets you high, you feel great when you’re with them, why wouldn’t you want to spend as much time with them as possible? You do everything to be with them, “Tried to get you on the phone because you get me high, couldn’t leave your name alone because you get me high.” Every time you’re around this person you’re absolutely glowing, and there’s no hiding your attraction anymore, so you might as well state it outright: “Now I wanna be with you. Come get me high.”
06. Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam - “A 1000 Times” (from I Had A Dream That You Were Mine, 2016)
This is it, the confession, the full admission to yourself of just how badly you need to be with this person. You’re still staying up at night thinking about them, but now the dreams are pleasant, “I had that dream a thousand times,” you think to yourself blissfully. Then the next day you go out and you’re ready to confess it all, “I walked from noon until night… I found your old house, I didn’t even try.” And when you get there you shout up to the window, get their attention, and when they stick their head out you tell them, blankly, “I had a dream that you were mine, I had that dream a thousand times.”
07. Camera Obscura - “Lloyd, I’m Ready To Be Heartbroken” (from Let’s Get Out Of This Country, 2006)
Your heartfelt appeal has won them over. They blush and admit they like you too. It’s all happening, your dreams are coming true! And you couldn’t be happier. You’re ready to rush headlong into this relationship, consequences be damned; “I’m ready to be heartbroken,” you tell yourself, while admitting the naivety of your gung-ho attitude; “I can’t see further than my own nose at this moment.” It really doesn’t matter though, all those tumultuous feelings you’ve had inside your belly since the moment you laid eyes on this person all those weeks ago have finally come into fruition. Your feelings are out, and what’s more they’ve been reciprocated. You feel indestructible. Here you go, hand in hand, into whatever the world can throw at you.