Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and that means a break from school, plenty of turkey and awkward family dinners. The vacation and food are both pretty nice, but traveling and family can be a little stressful. Here are a few songs to get you through the break stress free, cozy and a little nostalgic, so let’s dive in.
‘In My Hometown’ by Diners
I’ve always been a fan of Diners’ music because of how light and catchy it is. Borrowing song structures from classic retro pop and blending it with rock in a way that calls to memory early Beatles, Diners is simple yet perplexingly complex in the way that it hooks you in, in an unexpectedly expected kind of way. The title “In My Hometown” kind of gives away why it’s on the playlist. This song is warm and upbeat, kicking off with a cheery piano intro and leading into the sunniest pop song I’ve enjoyed in a while. If you’re not stoked about heading home, maybe this song can help.
‘Brite Boy’ by Alex G
A great deal of Alex G’s music is Thanksgiving-y to me. Often incorporating slow and easy guitars that have a good ol’ country music saunter mashed with a messy irreverence, Alex G crafts the off-kilter lo-fi pop you’ll need for all the self-reflection you’ll be doing this break.
‘Before the World Was Big’ by Girlpool
Girlpool’s vocals are always a little jarring at first — perhaps a little too shrill, perhaps they stand out too much against a minimal backdrop — but what makes this song so great are those jarring vocals: how they launch from sharp, angular and whiny into airy, circular melodies and back around again. So if you wanna think about the past a little bit and enjoy the rollercoaster dynamics of the holiday season, give it a listen.
‘Vacation’ by Florist
It’s another pretty obvious title, but I couldn’t leave this track behind. With its innocent, relatable verse reflecting on childhood and growing up, this song is corny in a necessary way. Growing up is corny, and reminiscing about your childhood is corny, and that’s exactly what will be on most college student’s minds at some point this week. As the song goes, “Cause I’ve got it all, got it all mistaken/ For meaningful life and a fun family vacation/ Like when I used to ride rollercoasters with my dad/ When a swimming pool in a hotel was a gift from God.” Go ahead and get a little corny and reflective this break, and do it while listening to this song.
‘Casimir Pulaski Day’ by Sufjan Stevens
Here we have a poignant ballad commemorating the death of a friend. A late winter holiday complete with gentle acoustic guitar and the dry notes of a banjo whip up a flurry of bittersweet memories in pure and perfect detail. All of Sufjan Steven’s music is capable of conjuring up a gut-wrenching sense of nostalgia, so if you wanna go there, go there with this album for sure.
‘Kindergarten’ by Old Table
This is your track for the Sunday that marks the end of the break. This project is kind of a mystery to me. I found this album on Bandcamp a few years ago, and it’s just stuck with me. The songs are casual and fuzzy, but it has the perfect, lazy, indie-rock airiness to propel you back into the homestretch of the semester. Listen to the lyrics if you want to get the joke.
Happy Thanksgiving from me and the rest of the 1190 family. Tune in to 1190 AM and 98.9 FM or online at radio1190.org.
Klefeker is Radio 1190’s music director. Read more reviews: coloradodaily.com/columnists