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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Easy listening for those lazy sundays

Every week, a certain day calls forth a feeling of relaxation unmatched by any other. Perhaps the opposite of a Monday, and sweeter than a Saturday, it’s the best time to step into slow gear and wallow in laziness, succumbing to a week-long fatigue.

The last couple of “Paper Radio” columns have been a bit darker than the norm. Well, that’s about to change. This week, it’s time to take a break and hit the snooze button on an 11 a.m. alarm. I’ve done a morning playlist before, but this one is for a very particular, and pleasant, type of morning.

The alarm track should be set to something relaxed. Something upbeat without being bubbly, not so much to wake you as to welcome you into the day. Nothing heavy will work, and neither will any rev-up rage time songs. Just that awake, even though you don’t need to be, feeling brought to life in The Velvet Underground’s “Sunday Morning.”


Now, take a deep breath of the sweet smell of justified apathy. The bed-head shuffle to a kitchen littered with empty red cups from the night before. Maybe you’ll hear a light drizzle falling outside against eggs sizzling in the frying pan. This, my friends, is the essence of a Sunday morning.

“Sunday Morning” – The Velvet Underground

A simple choice, this song represents everything that goes with the name. But don’t think the title alone accounts for its presence in this list. Truthfully, this song could be called “Death Track to Blackness,” and if the sound remained the same, it would still be first on the list.

If there is any sense of anxiety or regret in the actual lyrics, it is made up for in the bells and floating reverie that is the melody. I’ve got a strong feeling this song was indeed written on a Sunday morning. How else would it sound the way it does? Even Lou Reed’s voice has that cheery quasi-falsetto escaping the legato slur Nico would have contributed, and the song was indeed originally written for her voice. A last-minute recording decision can go a long way in a song’s presence.

“Don’t Call Me Whitney, Bobby” – Islands

This isn’t so much a song for a lazy Sunday as it is a good-spirited, hummable song. It extracts the happy-go-lucky aspect from “Sunday Morning,” leaving the other songs in this list approach with the lazy portion.

For those who don’t like to waste prime chill time, this track is guaranteed to nudge you to the shower with a grin on your face. We’re setting the tone for the day, one track at a time.

“Sunshine” – Sparklehorse

Time to slow things down a little. But don’t get too used to the leisure. The lyrics in this song seem to deal with a theme of impermanence, as does “Sunday Morning” and “Tightly,” coming up next. If there is one thing that can’t last forever, no matter how badly you’d like it to, it might as well be a Sunday morning.

Aside from the lyrics, the instrumentation poses a reflection on transience, its chord progression establishing a longing emotion. Simultaneously, the simple harmonies harbor a consoling satisfaction both sober and somber. A beautiful track with plenty of feeling, it perpetuates daydreams like a power lecture, without giving you a guilty feeling.

“Tightly” – Neko Case

If one could judge character by a voice, let’s just say I’d like to sit down for brunch with Neko Case. In “Tightly,” you get a taste of her Virginian roots, Seattle folk and Southern country all wrapped up in a reverie that barely surpasses the two- minute mark. And there’s nothing like a bit of delayed guitar to enhance Sunday procrastination.

“Hekla” – Gaston

Let’s take a break from anything with vocals now, so that your head can write its own thoughts and drift away. Isn’t that what a lazy Sunday is all about? Just leave the atmospherics to Gaston. They’ll weave a delicately imperfect tapestry of sounds, delivering all the way from Berlin to your headphones.

The instrumental harmonies here are a testament to the power of simple sounds juxtaposed. They give confidence to anyone playing around with loops in Garageband. Carefully arranged, they bring an illusion of complexity to a light, airy vibe during a day you’d like nothing more than to coast through. They even mimic reality with background street noises. Are those coming from your window or your headphones?

“Hold on to You” – Marjorie Fair

A song that has the potential to commence any given day, “Hold on to You” still holds onto a vein of relaxation fit for a weekend. This is especially due to the piano and organ lines that absolutely make the song, and will set the tone right for your next Sunday. If you’re a sucker for slow bluesy love songs with depth and feeling, (and who isn’t?), Marjorie Fair will make your day.

With this track as the final straw, I realize the playlist has taken a more serious turn from its lighthearted exposition. However, once you decide it’s about time for a lazy Sunday, you might as well turn up the music and bask in some carefree emotions, from goofy energy to dramatic euphoria. These songs should give your playlist a base. And remember: you still have plenty of time to fill it up before your next lazy Sunday. Sorry to burst your bubble.

Joe Nistler ([email protected]) is a junior majoring in Italian and Journalism.

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