In a press release, Annie Clark had this to say about her upcoming St. Vincent album: “I wanted to make a party record you could play at a funeral.” So specific while being refreshingly open to interpretation. The sound you’re hearing is not the sound I’m hearing, I can assure you.
To clarify, I created my own funereal dance party. (Click here to listen.)
1. “Brim” by Olafur Arnalds
If there was ever a song that demanded you dance and cry at the same time, this is it. It even comes equipped with a weepy violin at the end. And it’s called Brim! Are you kidding me? Like how everyone’s eyes are always brimming with tears in Victorian novels.
2. “Honey-Suckle” by Xiu Xiu
No funeral dance party is complete without Xiu Xiu, and mine is no exception. Annie Clark’s description fits them so perfectly they might want to update their Facebook profile. As my mourners decide how much they can solemnly bob their shoulders to this song without drawing unwanted attention, someone will surely throw themselves on my coffin in wailing despair. Most likely the guy who changes my oil.
3. “Ashes in the Snow” by Mono
There’s a particular way to dance to Mono and their bass player has it down. Go see them live if you don’t believe me. At this point in my funeral, everyone will lean forward, push their hair in front of their faces (if applicable), and sway.
4. “Lovely Bloodflow” by Baths
My funeral will be a well-attended affair (of course!). This song will play as everyone lines up to speak. "Lovely Bloodflow" has the kind of beat that makes you adopt that walk/dance thing people do when they head to the bar at a nightclub.
5. “Baptism” by Crystal Castles
I knew that Crystal Castles would feature prominently at this dance party, but choosing Baptism seems apropos. Certainly better than picking a song called Pap Smear or Wrath of God. Baptism has this Nintendo-style lead keyboard line and a driving beat that makes you either nod your head or slam-dance everyone around you. Those eulogizing me will have to scream over this one.
6. “Distance” by Why?
My funeral must have a slow dance. Grab the nearest Grandma! Yoni Wolf’s voice is percussive and hypnotic. You could dance to him reading the Cheesecake Factory menu.
7. “Royals” by Lorde
And then Lorde comes on and everyone knows that everything is going to be okay. Because this song is so good and she’s like five years old and she has another ninety years of life ahead of her. At least. Perhaps she’ll live forever. This is the hopeful portion of my funeral.
8. “Chain my Name” by Polica
Now it’s time to shrug off those inhibitions and dance like you’re in your bedroom singing into a hairbrush. It also would be a good time to tell humorous anecdotes about me. Like the time I fell asleep on the train to Chicago from the suburbs and the other commuters left me there. I woke up in the train yard.
9. “Nosetalgia” by Pusha T (feat. Kendrick Lamar)
The video for this song features Pusha T walking down a dark street, all in one take. He’s joined halfway through by Kendrick Lamar. It’s shot in gritty black and white, and these guys are too cool. Maybe the type of coolness that eluded me during my brief life. Here’s hoping for reincarnation! The dance that accompanies this song is of the waving-your-hands-with-emphasis variety. It can be done as the mourners file to my coffin to say their goodbyes (ideally in verse form).
10. “Fancy Period” by Growing
When they wheel me out to my final resting place, this song will drone in the background. The dancers might wonder what is going on. Where’s the beat? This is just two guitars in direct competition. But halfway through, I daresay a pattern emerges. A low hum. Some may tentatively lock into this pulsing beat, shake their hips, shuffle their feet. But just as in life, nothing makes sense until the very end.