Coffee Comedown: An annotated playlist from Chastity Belt

Chastity Belt soundtrack your daily caffeine-induced anxiety attack.

 

Words: Annie Truscott (Chastity Belt)
Photo: Connor Lyon

 

There are so many Coffee-shop-chill-and-hangout playlists, but I never feel chill while drinking coffee so I wanted to provide an alternative. Presenting 'Coffee Comedown': the perfect playlist for the three phases of caffeine-induced feelings.

Phase 1 - Ecstasy

Higher - Carly Rae Jepsen

When the coffee starts crankin’ through my system, I feel invincible. I feel ready to take on the day. I feel sharp. I feel high. I can literally do anything. “You take me higher than the rest”, Carly sings over a banging beat. This song is positive and upbeat and sets the mood for Phase 1 of caffeine-fuelled productivity. Whether I’m reading a book, going for a run, or cleaning my room, I know Carly Rae is here to help me take on the world. 

Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) - Kate Bush

This song is key for carrying on with phase 1—the chugging drum beat paired with Kate’s powerful and perfectly layered vocals make for a focused musical combination. I’m still feeling strong. I’m still feeling focused. I’m starting to feel in my peak zone.

Zone - Posse

Posse gets it. When I’m in my zone, I’m in my flipping zone and do not want to be bothered. “Don’t touch me, I’m in my zone”, Sacha and Paul repeat in the chorus. The song has a slow ending but this is a good opportunity to collect your caffeine thoughts, get up for a stretch, drink some water, and get ready to focus again. 

Become What You Are - Merchandise

With a melancholy melody but upbeat rhythm, “Become What You Are” is the perfect song to ride out Phase 1 of the coffee high. It’s a long song but the first five minutes are receptive and provide a steady backdrop to squeeze out my last remaining moments of focused productivity before the song gets chaotic and the caffeine turns into anxious energy and I start to spiral downward.

Phase 2 - Anxiety

Shapeshifter - IAN SWEET

We are now entering Phase 2 of the coffee comedown: anxiety. The focused energy of Phase 1 never lasts too long for me. My brain starts firing neurons QUICKLY in Phase 2. I feel anxious. I feel all over the place. I do not feel focused. I do not feel like one shape. I feel like a shapeshifter. I’m not even going to go into detail about this song (except that IAN SWEET are incredible and talented and wonderful humans) because I think the song sort of speaks for itself. 

Why Does It Shake? - Protomartyr

Like a lot of Protomartyr’s songs, “Why Does it Shake?” is genius, haunting, beautiful, and dark all at once. It’s not a band I usually put on when I’m “chilling” or just “relaxing” and this song speaks to that. “Why does it shake? The body, the body, the body, the body”, Joe sing-talks. In Phase 2 of my coffee comedown, I am physically shaky. Caffeine shakes are not fun dance shakes — they are dark and haunting shakes but also kind of feel good. 

feed me - So Pitted

I am now in the dark and haunted (but beautiful and incredible) part of my brain that Protomartyr led me to and I can’t think of a better song than “feed me” as the soundtrack while I ruminate there at the peak of Phase 2. The distorted guitars and robotic vocals make me feel like I’m stuck in some sort of really cool and scary and eccentric matrix. I’m still weirdly feeling motivated but rather than being productive, I am alone with my racing thoughts. 

Phase 3 - Hope

No One - Jenn Champion

“There’s no one and there’s no way out”, Jenn repeats throughout this song, “But you hold on and you hold on”, she follows. This song is a glimmer of hope. It is the perfect song for entering Phase 3 of the coffee comedown: I am anxious and alone but there IS a world out there full of wonder and joy and productivity and more caffeine (for when I am ready to repeat the cycle). I am holding on for a brighter time. 

I Turn To You - Mel C

I was obsessed with Spice Girls as a kid. As a tomboy (and future queer), Sporty spice was clearly my favorite and after the Spice Girls broke up and Mel C went solo, OH BOY WAS I STOKED. My sister (even more obsessed with the Spice Girls than me) recently reminded me of the brilliance of her debut solo album “Northern Star”. This is the perfect song riding out Phase 3 of a coffee comedown: I got to a dark place alone in my brain and now I am ready to reach out for help. This song is all about getting lost and then looking toward someone else to find your way — pretty relatable when I’m in that dark caffeine-induced anxious world but ready to come out of it and be a human with a functioning nervous system again. Also, the backing track is just too good to be missed and the lyrics are a gift from the heavens. 

After The Glitter Fades - Stevie Nicks

I know this song seems a little out of left field for this playlist, but 1) Stevie Nicks is the best and 2) it feels like a kind of post-script. It’s the ultimate comedown song. I’ve cleansed myself of the caffeine (glitter) but I remember how it feels, and I can look on all the phases of my comedown thru nostalgia-colored glasses. 


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