Playlist and words by Giannina Rodriguez Rico
Art by Zia Larty-Healy
The playlist I have compiled is an extension of one I created previously, carefully collected throughout my first serious relationship, and as I write them down I am left with the stinging sense of having once been loved. It is suffused with the gems that took me through the eviscerating and explosive experience of first love. Throughout this relationship, I had a heightened creative sensibility where I wrote all the time; a need to document and secure my memories into physical relics of mine and my first love’s endeavours. It was as if I had already been aware from its fruition that this love was finite and that it was diminishing with every month that passed, so in all my naiveté the need to document was a compulsive way of ensuring its survival.
The definitive song of my experience of first love was You’re the One That Makes Me Happy by The Drums which I listened to in either states of sadness or happiness, which were largely inalienable emotions throughout the relationship, as I was often insecure in myself and in the connection I shared with this person. It was the song that had played immediately after I’d had sex with him for the first time and in my collection of essays I had written “I walked out of his halls into the pouring rain wearing his bomber jacket, listening to ‘you’re the one that makes me happy, you’re the one that makes me sad’ for twenty minutes on repeat, grinning and totally unbothered by the pouring rain that drenched me.”
Some stories behind some of the tunes
Wooden Heart, Don’t – Elvis Presley He sang his own rendition of Don’t to me in a very deep voice once when I asked him to sing something to me ( he was a bit drunk so I think that helped.)
It is What It Is, Chosen, Time Will Tell – Blood Orange The Blood Orange tracks I’ve formatted as one after the other because I’m reminded of the smell of his shirt and shivering under the covers whilst cold air streamed in through the open window of his room, with candlelight beaming from each corner.
The Very Thought of You – Nat King Cole Valentine’s Day: he built a fort in the garden of his dad’s house out of blankets and pillows. It was an ode to Moonrise Kingdom which he knew was one of my favourites. We listened to this song inside of it, as well as a lot of Drake and Kanye, whilst eating a lot of mediterranean food. At that point it was the coolest thing a boy had ever done for me.
Death– WhiteLies Used this as an adrenaline-inducer before going to see him.
Plastic Palace People – Scott Walker He claimed this was our song.
Tous les garçons et les filles – Françoise Hardy Before the second time we kissed we were showing each other our favourite music videos and he told me he loved this one because it was so simple and as it was one of my favourite songs – I was convinced in that moment that he was perfect for me.
Where Do You Go To (My Lovely) – Peter Sarstedt He surprised me with a trip to Paris and we stayed at the place where they filmed Hotel Chevalier. When we got there I sat on the balcony eating grapes and blasted it from my shitty phone speaker.
A Postcard to Nina – Jens Lekman Every time I felt the most optimistic about love I listened to this song.