Survivor Man

I’ve recently seen several articles about artists that are battling assorted types of loss pop up on my radar. I think I’m most looking forward to Richard Edwards’ new solo album, Lemon Cotton Candy Sunset. The first single, “Disappeared Planets,” paints a pretty accurate picture of the massive feelings that are associated with losing something; in Edwards’ case it’s a relationship. But feelings of loss translate to and permeate other types of loss, which is why I think I’m particularly drawn to it as a theme in songs.

Begrudgingly, I am not a musician. I don’t have a catalog of songs that speak my own emotions, but I like to think that I’m pretty well-equipped to carve out paths for myself in other musicians’ works. I think the same can be said of any music lover.

This playlist is something that I’ve been working on for the past five months and some change. It is simultaneously personal and impersonal in that only a few songs speak directly to the subject of my own grief. I sort of couldn’t bare to include artists or songs that were too relevant. The rest of the songs speak only to me – they quantify the huge emotions that I have felt in this last near-half a year of my life. I guess the criteria for this collection was any song that thematically or in a single line shook me to my very core, made me think, Yeah, they get it. If it seems like the entire thing is a tribute to Sam Phillips, well, I can only say, she gets it.

I don’t usually configure playlists in a specific order, but I’ve tried to achieve some sort of narrative here that covers all of the major waves: confusion, dissatisfaction, anger, sadness. It covers emotional black holes like being jilted, misguided elation, facing an impasse, feeling forced to reinvent the wheel. It twists and turns and loops back around to the beginning, because surviving loss is as much a process as it is a journey.


“Survivor Man” is:

  1. Hole in My Pocket – Sam Phillips
  2. Kicking Roses – Benjamin Francis Leftwich
  3. Unfucktheworld – Angel Olsen
  4. Okkervil River R.I.P. – Okkervil River
  5. The Industry – Okkervil River
  6. Broken Stones – Paul Weller
  7. One Less Bell to Answer – The 5th Dimension
  8.  I’m Not a Part of Me – Cloud Nothings
  9. I Did Something Weird Last Night – Jeff Rosenstock
  10. I Love You, What Are You? – Gene
  11. Working Titles – Damien Jurado
  12. Murder of Crows – Jamie T
  13. For What Reason – Death Cab For Cutie
  14. Keep Yourself Warm – Frightened Rabbit
  15. Your Graduation – Modern Baseball
  16. Fuck You, It’s Over – Glasvegas
  17. How Do You Sleep – The Stone Roses
  18. When it Rains – Paramore
  19. Gone for Good – The Shins
  20. The Lost Sky – Jesca Hoop
  21. We Don’t Talk Anymore – Charlie Puth, Selena Gomez
  22. Do You Miss Me at All – Bridgit Mendler
  23. One Day Late – Sam Phillips
  24. All to Myself – Amber Coffman
  25. Since I Left You – The Avalanches
  26. Peace of Mind – The Killers
  27. Girl Sailor – The Shins
  28. Done This One Before – Iron & Wine, Ben Bridwell
  29. Jackie and Wilson – Hozier
  30. I Never Want an Easy Life if Me & He Were Ever To Get There – The Charlatans
  31. Diazepam – Turnover
  32. Peeling off the Bark – Pinegrove
  33. Speak to me Someone – Gene
  34. Living My Life – Deerhunter
  35. Reflecting Light – Sam Phillips
  36. Modern Man – Arcade Fire
  37. Cinnamon Candies – Mesita
  38. If I Could Write – Sam Phillips
  39. Misguided Ghosts – Paramore
  40. The Frames that Used to Greet Me – Into It. Over It.
  41. In the New Year – The Walkmen
  42. The New Saint Jude – Andrew Bird

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