Driving to work is a favourite part of my day. It shouldn’t be; I always pick the slowest moving line through the toll gate, I have bad depth perception so I always think a gaping pothole is a shallow rut and that mistake had me splashing a poor bystander with water made brown by Lagos. I yelled “Sorry!” but I know he didn’t hear me over my music and air conditioning, through my wound-up glass window. Inevitably, another driver does something silly that pushes me from calm contemplation to vulgur verbosity in far too short a time to be admirable. But still. There’s something purposeful and reassuringly normal about sliding into your car in crisp work clothes, joining the morass of other worker bees, thinking about what’s to come, and how to maximise it, judging your car against all the others and making plans. Driving to work is one of the mundanities that marks one’s membership of the Club of Adult.
I generally have one set, themed, playlist of 10 or so songs per week. I went through a phase of being obsessed with the slightly jarring, irrepressible beats of Nigerian music (Naija of Life); another week it was UK Top 40 hits (Blighty) ; another week it was indie rock (Angst & Guitar). This week, my playlist is The Chill Soundtrack. Here are three standout tracks:
Lianne La Havas: Unstoppable
Son Little: Your Love Will Blow Me Away When My Heart Aches
Oh Wonder: All We Do
PS. Everything by Oh Wonder is magic.
Yeats’ No Second Troy has recently become a firm favourite; combining the all-too familiar bitterness of unrequited love and general Yeats angst, with an interesting angle on the Helen of Troy myth- less unwitting victim and more malicious manipulator. I’d absolutely go see that movie adaptation.
Why should I blame her that she filled my daysWith misery, or that she would of lateHave taught to ignorant men most violent ways,Or hurled the little streets upon the great,Had they but courage equal to desire?What could have made her peaceful with a mindThat nobleness made simple as a fire,With beauty like a tightened bow, a kindThat is not natural in an age like this,Being high and solitary and most stern?Why, what could she have done, being what she is?Was there another Troy for her to burn?