Welcome to The Soundtrack, a column where we plumb the depths of our musical knowledge to bring you the best* (subjective) music to listen to for very specific life situations. This week, we help you walk home alone at night with a touch more confidence.
There’s really nothing quite like a solo stroll. Calming, good for the environment and introspective – even cathartic – we wholeheartedly endorse walking as a mode of personal transportation. However, walking alone at night can bring its own set of issues. Of course, violence can occur at any time of day, and let’s dispel the myth of “a stranger hiding in the bushes” being the primary cause of it right off the bat. But that doesn’t mean that most of us don’t feel a little uneasy when trotting home under cover of darkness by ourselves. That goes double for those who identify as women/non-binary/LGBTQ. I’m not saying we’re fragile lil kittens who need constant reassurance we’re going to be okay (altho that does sound pretty nice tbh), but the reality is that these groups are by and large the most targeted by this particular brand of assailant. Of course, listening to music isn’t going to assure physical safety, but what it can do is provide a much needed confidence boost when you’re thinking about recent incidents in your area and flinching at every shadow or cicada noise. We gotchu.
friendships – When I Feel Like Killing, I Murder
I’ve always felt unreservedly intrigued by friendships. The Melbourne duo are more of an art project than a band, pairing Nic’s audio with Mischa’s visual to hypnotic effect. This cut, driven by dark, skittering synths and a monster-esque pitched-down vocal, is positively horror movie worthy. BUT you’re the one listening to it, so guess who the big bad wolf is that everyone within five suburbs should be terrified of? You. You’re a force to be reckoned with, and friendships are gonna make sure you don’t forget it. Ignore every passerby with a steely glare. They scatter to the sides of the pathway as you cleave through the streets to your dwelling with only one thing on your mind: that really great book you’ve been reading and a cup of herbal tea.
Sleigh Bells – Rule Number One
Pretty much any song in Sleigh Bells’ discography would be right at home on this week’s The Soundtrack. But this track – which I’ve already sung the praises of – honestly takes the cake. Pop rocks and coke make your head explode, according to Alexis Krauss, but we beg to differ. It’s this song that really puts you in danger of cranial combustion. And we mean that in the best way possible. Rule Number One marks the part of your journey were you really start to get your strut on; the strut of a person who could burn their enemies to the ground with a snap of their fingers. Nobody is a match for you and your immense power. May god have mercy on the souls of all who’ve wronged you, because you won’t. You’ll just unhinge your jaw, eat their souls, and launch them into the sun.
Grimes – Kill V. Maim [Little Jimmy Urine remix]
One of our favourite things about the endlessly talented producer is that she flat-out refuses to write about romantic relationships, preferring to mine more unorthodox premises for her art. According to the almighty Grimes herself, this track is basically about The Godfather if all of the mobsters were vampires. How fantastically batshit is that? Anyone familiar with this song will know it’s already as ferocious as a rabid jaguar, the sort of song that threatens to throw the earth off its axis. Maybe invest in some anti-gravity boots to wear on your walk, or something, because this remix takes it to a level we didn’t actually know existed. Personally, when I’m feeling a little anxious walking home alone, I like to take one earbud out for maximum awareness of my surroundings, but like I’m not rly sure that’d even make much of a difference with this one cos it’s so ~hectic~.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Heads Will Roll [A-Trak remix]
Ahhhh what a classic – except – different? If you saw that (imho) very dumb movie Project X a couple years back you’ll recognise this from the soundtrack of that. Erase that memory and from this day forward, only recognise it as being from The Soundtrack Of This. This is equal parts threatening and bouncy, so you can kind of get your walk-dance on while you give the mental middle finger to the world for being so awful that the simple act of walking home is troubling. There’s enough of a blatant party vibe here to get lost in that hopefully you won’t have the energy to freak yourself out over whether that white car is the same as the other white car that passed you ten minutes ago. That is *not* to say don’t be alert and safe. It’s just to say, take care of yourself, babe.
Sampa the Great – F E M A L E
This is definitely the most chill track on this playlist, sonically speaking. How many tracks in your collection boast a bloody upright bass? Hell yessss, that is cool as heck, and that’s to say nothing of Sampa The Great and what she unpacks on this track. Sampa is a certified badass and she’s all about shouting out to empower others. This song will help you focus on all the things that make you such an untouchable boss. The adversity you’ve overcome (and keep overcoming every day)? I can’t speak for everyone, but that shit feels like water off a duck’s back while I’m mouthing along with Sampa: F E M A L E, F E M A L EEEE. Would recommend screaming the same at anyone who ever gives you grief over the course of your life, honestly.
Image: The Mary Sue/A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night