Go Away, Come Closer: A Playlist

By Maddie Farr ’18

Over the summer, I had the privilege of taking a short writing class with the talented poet Anna Ziering, which centered on the theme of “go away, come closer.” The desires for intimacy and distance, and how they fight each other in our bodies. That resonated with me, so I made a playlist about it. I hope it resonates with you.

Left Alone – Fiona Apple (The Idler Wheel…)

“How can I ask anyone to love me, when all I do is beg to be left alone?” Really, what else is there to say?

On The Lips – Frankie Cosmos (Next Thing)

One time David Blaine retweeted Frankie Cosmos, so there’s that.

don’t go away ahumpf acgroomf – free cake for every creatue (“pretty good”)

Don’t you ever want to just be a hermit who lives in her own head and reads Virginia Woolf all day? “You know that’s not true.”

Pops – Angel Olsen (MY WOMAN)

To me, this is a song about reconciling the life of an artist with the need for real intimacy. What happens when you write a song, when you make a whole album about the way something felt – what happens to the person you’re writing about? Are you writing about them, or an idea of them? What happens to love when it becomes art? And what happens when you’re the one still singing about a love, a feeling, a world, long after it’s gone?

Once More To See You – Mitski (Puberty 2)

Mitski is everything. Mitski is both the pain and the answer to the pain – the distance and the crossing of it.

Do You Need My Love – Weyes Blood (Front Row Seat to Earth)

Weyes Blood’s new album is dropping October 21st, and from this single already I am so excited. “Do You Need My Love” is an aggressively anxious and generous song that posits that passion can cross any distances.

Never Is A Promise – Fiona Apple (Tidal)

This is a heartbreaking song about trying to explain trauma/mental illness/depression to a loved one who will never understand. It’s a song about wishing to cross a distance, but knowing that it’s impossible.

Love Comes Back – Arthur Russell (Love Is Overtaking Me)

“Love comes back / being sad is not a crime.” This song is the closest thing I have to a prayer right now.

Black Candy – Waxahatchee (Early Recordings)

Merge Records reissued this old Waxahatchee album over the summer, but I like this live youtube version of “Black Candy” the best. The sound is clearer than on the album, but moreover, I love the glimpse this video gives us of who Katie Crutchfield was at the beginning of her career – that haircut! that guitar! This song is as much about friendship as it is about any sort of romantic relationship, and it breaks my heart.

Untitled – Addie Pray (Remember This EP)

I love Carmen Perry’s (Kenyon grad of 2015!) solo project, Addie Pray. 🙂 This whole album is summer blues and confused intimacies, and I love it. “Untitled” moves from distance to closeness and back again with stilting but honest gestures that ache with the uncertainty of new warmth.

Fool – Frankie Cosmos (Next Thing)

“You make me feel like a fool / waiting for you.” Greta captures what it feels like to be made a total fool for love of someone who can’t love you back the way you need them to.

With Arms Outstretched – Rilo Kiley (The Execution of All Things)

My sister showed me this song over the summer with the simple explanation: this is the Rilo Kiley song that makes me cry. This song will make you cry, but but in the way that makes you feel really good and mortal.

Goodbye Stranger – Supertramp (Breakfast in America)

Just a jam, honestly.

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