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LiisBeth TikTok Playlist: 04.21

Image of tiktoc logo, two women and van gogh background
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There are a lot of ways to experience music, but TikTok is one of the weirdest – especially when it comes to trends. If you are anything like me, you have gone months giggling over a snippet of a trending song before listening to the whole thing – if you ever get around to listening to it at all. It is an absolute trip when you finally hear the entirety of a song that you both know intimately well and not at all.

So this is LiisBeth giving you that experience ten times over. We hope you enjoy listening to the full version of ten of our favorite trending TikTok songs.

Yucky Blucky Fruitcake  — Iamdoechii

What better way to kick off our TikTok playlist than with the iconic introductory track Yucky Blucky Fruitcake gifted to us by Iamdoechii? On TikTok this song is often used to show off transformations – whether it’s weight loss, a post-high school glow up, or the journey from positive pregnancy test to newborn baby. Perhaps more than any other song on this list, Yucky Blucky Fruitcake is a reminder that TikTok trends barely scratch the surface of a full song. Iamdoechii skillfully weaves several genres and musical styles together and lyrically presents a detailed description of her personality and history, proving her complexity as a musical artist and person in one fell swoop. Yucky Blucky Fruitcake has a quirky sense of humor, fun pop culture references, and will reward your undivided attention.

Track Star  — Mooski 

Track Star has three main trends associated with it: the dance, people running (often at track meets), and a game of hide and go seek where you set your phone to count down and try to hide before it takes a photo. In the full track, Mooski’s syrupy vocals lament his partner’s tendency to run away from problems instead of communicating. The whole song is great, but the minimalist bridge is especially good. Perfectly mixed, percussive, and smooth, Track Star is a solid start to Mooski’s music career.

MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)  — Lil Nas X


Okay, so chances are good that you heard Montero all the way through before it started circulating on TikTok. Currently on its third consecutive week at the top of the Billboard Global Charts, Montero is the deliciously gay follow-up to Old Town Road that we could never have dreamed was on the horizon back in 2019. Peppy, flirtatious, and oh-so-thirsty, Montero doesn’t have a definitive trend associated with it yet – unless you count queer thirst traps as a trend. Which, come to think of it, why not? We’re here for it.

Day ’N’ Nite  — Kid Cudi 


“Now look at this” is by far the most popular Day ‘N’ Nite trend, although the song is also a popular backing track for the trend where you type a message in two colors and turn off the lights halfway through the video – this renders half of the text invisible, which usually inverts the original message. Kid Cudi, who wrote the song at a tough time in his life, briefly made headlines for his complicated reaction to people using this song comedically. Personally, I think that’s all the more reason to listen to the full track. It’s a good one for late-night drives, so throw that baby on repeat and enjoy Cudi’s company one of these nights.

Praying  — Kesha 


The trend behind Praying utilizes Kesha’s jaw-dropping high note (an F6 for those of you keeping track) near the end of this inspirational ballad. Often coupled with the MegaMouth filter, this trend is a hilarious way to indicate an overdramatic response to a situation. Even Kesha took a stab at the trend, reliving the awkward red-carpet moment in which Jerry Seinfeld refused to give her a hug. The memeability of the song does not detract from its power. Written after her long battle to free herself from her abusive producer Dr. Luke, this is an anthem full of anger, forgiveness, and self-love. Get ready to be inspired to fight another day.

deja vu  — Olivia Rodrigo 


deja vu is the most common backing track to videos playing with the inversion filter. The current trend is split in two: some users toggle the video back and forth to highlight the symmetry of their own facial features while others use it to highlight the physical similarities of siblings or other family members. deja vu is a 10/10 pop song: dirty, beachy guitars; lyrical, breathy vocals; a surprisingly prominent drumline; and a relatable break-up complaint. How dare your ex do the same old things with their new person and pretend those things are unique or special?

Moon (And It Went Like)  — Kid Francescoli 


This track is the current fave to play behind slide shows of vacations, adventures, and gorgeous photo shoots. Often starting off with a lip sync to the titular line, there is no denying that this track perfectly accompanies any set of memories. The full song doesn’t deviate far from what you’ve already heard: it is mostly instrumental and is sentimental and peppy. At six and a half minutes long, this song is ideal to chill out to while you’re making the memories that you’ll eventually upload to TikTok.

bury a friend  — Billie Eilish 


With a song as rich as bury a friend, it’s not surprising that there are a few trends to choose from. My personal favorite is the spooky, Eilish-inspired back bend, but people also use the Neon Twin effect to creepily stare themselves down or use the song to showcase a makeup transformation. The full song is well-worth a listen, with a surprisingly saccharine introduction, innovative percussive choices, and the quintessentially creepy Eilish sound. Screeching, chittering sound effects, whispery vocals – the whole nine yards.

Levitating  — Dua Lipa 


Levitating is also mostly used to comedic effect. The call and response of “You want me!” / “I want you baby!” makes for the perfect vehicle for TikTokers to simp over their favorite characters, poke fun at bad relationship choices, or make jokes about wanting things that they shouldn’t want. Outside of the jokes, though, Levitating is a great pop song. Fun, bouncey, and a verified mood-booster, this a song you can’t help but sing along to. With any luck we’ll all be playing this one beach side this summer.

Hope  — Twista and Faith Evans 


Hope is another comedy trend. The video begins with the TikToker showcasing their hopes for the day and then – just as Faith Evans hits the words “I’m hopeful” – the video freezes and a list of everything that the TikToker did to procrastinate pops up on the screen. This is an older song, but if you have not heard the whole thing, you should. Faith Evans’ sweeping, gospel vocals and Twista’s highly personal rap come together to make an emotionally charged song that will inspire you to do better and be better.

Let us know if you think these songs hold up as full tracks or if we should have left them in the world of 60 seconds or less! We hope you dig the playlist as much as we did.

Want to listen to the songs on Spotify? Click here.

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LiisBeth's August 2019 Playlist: When Resistance Meets Possibilities

Vaselines live-LA TIMES

The Canadian music landscape has never sounded so exciting. Issues of gender, race, sexuality, identity and ability still require a tremendous amount of learning, and have yet to be truly considered in many important music spaces. But it’s also a time when those issues are starting to crack through the foundation of old structures that have protected some, and kept others bound from self-expression and support in their journey. Real change, if we are to get there, involves every level of the industry including media, audience, grant jurors, labels, booking agents, promoters, and festivals to be on board. In my heart I feel that this change is starting, but it is just the beginning. We have never had so much access to such a rich tapestry of lyrics, melodies, instruments, and languages, shared with us through the many identities that are drawn to expression through music. It is a truly exciting time to witness (and hear), and I look forward to seeing the deeper, more long-term possibilities these changes will open up. The following artists represent the complexity and powerful range of voices in a (mostly) Canadian landscape. Hear them live at Venus Fest this year, September 20-22 at The Opera House, in Toronto.
Tei Shi – Keep Running
Colombian-born Valerie Teicher is the force behind Tei Shi, emerging into the music industry only a few years ago with the distinct sound of her emotive voice over carefully hung grooves. Music fans with a stunningly far reach have been following her ever since, and awaiting her second LP which is due this fall. She is an inspiration to women and women of colour, and approaches her career with the commitment and integrity of a true artist.

Charlotte Cardin – Main Girl
No one could have anticipated the immediate and overwhelming response to Charlotte’s handful of singles and EPs in the last few years, although it’s not surprising when you hear her music. Filled with honesty, the depth of a woman’s experience, and the subdued cool of an August night, Charlotte Cardin has found her way into the heart of every Canadian music fan, and earned a place on some of the biggest festival stages in the country.

Han Han – World Gong Crazy (ft. Datu & Hataw)
Celebrated as one of Toronto’s most talented rappers in the game right now, Han Han raps predominantly in Filipino and is known for her live performances incorporating stunning movement pieces by Flipino-Canadian dance troupe Hataw. Haniely also works as a nurse, and is an involved activist and member of the local community. It’s been a few years since she released her last album, so fans are on the edge of their seats awaiting her new album due this fall.

TRP.P – Love, Calm Down
Originally known as 1/4 of Toronto rap collective, The Sorority, and independent producer and beatmaker Truss, Phoenix and Truss are now TRP.P – one of the hottest up and coming R&B groups in Toronto who are about to release their debut album. Their lyrics speak of caring and reciprocal love that uplifts around them, over deep grooves that pay homage to nostalgia-tinged legends like Ashanti.

Riit – Qaumajuapik
Riit, hailing from the beautiful and icy Panniqtuuq, Nunavut, brings a warmth and elegance to her songs that has her poised to shake up pop music in North America. Incorporating throat singing and Inuttitut lyrics alongside skillfully crafted synth pop, Riit’s highly anticipated debut album brings the listener on a deeply honest journey through her experience in Nunavut of intergenerational trauma, residential schools, sexual abuse, and isolation. But there is hope in her words as well, a hope possibly carried through her own career as an emerging young musician and the possibility of what lies ahead.

Too Attached – GratefulToo Attached is a project between Canadian writer, professor, model, and musician Vivek Shraya, and her wildly talented beatboxer/producer brother, Shamik Bilgi. The pair’s debut album, “Angry,” was critically acclaimed as one of Canada’s most radical, boundary-pushing and important albums, and was later nominated for the Polaris Prize. Like Shraya’s writing, the album is a boldly stark exposure of the hypocrisy behind many ‘inclusive’ spaces, and an honest perspective on what it would actually entail to create such places.

The Vaselines – Son Of A Gun
The Vaselines hail from a period in the music industry where women on stage were painfully sparse, even more so than today, and especially in the punk and grunge scenes. Known as Kurt Kobain’s favourite band (and singer Frances McKee as the namesake of his and Courtney Love’s daughter), The Vaselines were widely under-appreciated at the time of their initial emergence. Fast forward to 2019 and hear how the group has sustained an incredible and impactful career that has lasted more than three decades. They continue to be an inspiration for women in alternative, edgy music communities, and hold a special place in the heart of every grown up punk.

The Weather Station – Thirty
The video for “Thirty” depicts The Weather Station’s Tamara Lindeman baring her deeply emotional lyrics before a nondescript and indifferent crowd of men. It proves to be a highly universal and relatable symbol for the experience of women everywhere, as well as a nod to the reality that women in music work ten times as hard to get half as far as men. But the lyrics also reveal a cyclical nature to our experience, and offer the possibility of hope for something new as the years pass.

Dorothea Paas – Container
Every time I hear Dorothea Paas sing I immediately think “voice of an angel,” and it’s not hard to see why. She represents the strength and incredible talent of the DIY music community in Toronto, and as such, the power of underrepresented voices who are slowly carving out space where they can. Dorothea’s songs speak of a vulnerability that is hard for most to admit, leaving the listener haunted by soft, arching melodies.

Fiver – Hair Of The Dead
Simone Schmidt (the storyteller behind Fiver) spent two years pouring over case files of people incarcerated at The Rockwood Asylum for the Criminally Insane between 1856-1881. “Audible Songs From Rockwood” is the result of their research; 11 songs that imagine fictional field recordings from that time. Schmidt is no stranger to this approach in their work, as they have been at the forefront of several of Canada’s best folk projects over the last two decades, and with each one they give voice to the silent and forgotten ones who live in the margins of society and are cast aside. This, to me, is the true spirit of folk music and a tradition that Schmidt carries well.

Playlist curator: Aerin Fogel, founder of Venus Fest. 
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More LiisBeth Playlists!
https://www.liisbeth.com/2018/03/15/a-change-makers-playlist
https://www.liisbeth.com/2017/07/11/summer-reset-playlist-feminist-entrepreneurs
https://www.liisbeth.com/2019/02/13/a-musical-ode-to-sex-body-positivism
LiisBeth playlists are also available on Spotify. Link to Aug 2019 playlist here:  at https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4uBcUcWLEhEdf5rh3yU1XG?si=0uGsJKeOQYyyd0Oo1Zrj9Q

Categories
Allied Arts & Media

Winter Solstice Playlist: Beginnings, Endings, and Bridges

Aerin Flogel, founder and producer of Venusfest, a feminist music festival in Toronto.
Each January, the start of a new calendar year is an opportunity to reflect on new beginnings (or endings) in our own lives. Sometimes we can use it as an opportunity to start something we’ve been waiting to start, create change, create stability, or shake things up if that’s what we need. Sometimes it’s a moment of letting go, of old patterns or relationships that might not serve us in the coming year. Ultimately the new year is a bridge, from one moment in time to another. Here are 10 songs that inspire me right now and honour something new, whether it is a beginning or an ending, and can bridge us into the new year.

 

Björk, “Utopia”

The notion of a utopia seems even more distant after 2017’s painful politics. But if there’s any artist creating work that still holds hope for humanity, it’s Björk. Her embrace of beauty through music and art has created a refuge for so many people. What might a utopia look like in 2018?

 

Ora Cogan, “Sea People”

Ora Cogan has been making spider web–like folk on the west coast for years, and has recently relocated to Montreal alongside the release of her new album. New beginnings from every angle are here for the new year!


Luna Li, “Opal Angel”

One of my favourite “new beginnings” is the wave of new art that emerges from the youth in a local scene. Luna Li are at the forefront of Toronto’s young music community and if their recent work is any indication, they will be around for some time.


A Tribe Called Red, “The Light II (feat. Lido Pimienta)”

One of the best collaborations of the year between Tribe and Lido, this video frames a beautiful song in an anti-colonial framework. “From the beginning for you,” Lido sings, “I’ll do it all again for you.” To me, this is a reminder for the year that even in the wake of a destructive culture we can keep starting again, keep finding a way to build something new.


TOKiMONSTA, “Don’t Call Me (feat. Yuna)”

A Yuna feature on a TOKi record is guaranteed to be a banger. This song also nods to the new year being as much of an ending of things that no longer serve us as it is a beginning for others.


Fever Ray, “Mustn’t Hurry”

Nearly 10 years since her first release as Fever Ray, Karin Dreijer returns with Plunge, an urgent and raw development in her ever-evolving sound. “Need some time but mustn’t hurry” will be my new year’s resolution, a reminder to take time to just be (even when that seems impossible) in a world that hurries through everything.


a l l i e, “Bad Habits (prod. Birthday Boy)”

a l l i e released her first LP, Nightshade, this past year and it’s been one of the best debuts I’ve heard in a long time. I hope 2018 continues to see a well-deserved rise in her career.


Maylee Todd, “Downtown”

This is a new song (and record) from a Toronto artist who has been solidly building her legacy for at least a decade, an artist who is still pushing the boundaries of her sound and craft amidst a long-standing career. That is truly something special.


Nezzy, “Spiraling”

I hope 2018 is the year of Nezzy and their candid honesty, graphic pop, and ’90s nostalgia riffs. Their lyrics seem to speak for an entire generation in need of a new emotional landscape.


Vivek Shraya, “I Take All The Blame (Tegan and Sara cover)”

The year of 2017 was the beginning of the Tegan and Sara Foundation, which will surely create a long-standing and powerful pillar of support for the LGBTQ community. They subsequently released The Con X: Covers, a cover record with an incredible lineup of musicians celebrating a decade since the original record’s release. Vivek Shraya sings my favourite track on Covers in her heartfelt cadence.