This is a playlist for both late afternoon strolls on Locust Walk and nights out at a party. Dancing On My Own is beholden to no particular genre, though it primarily draws from the contemporary techno scenes with the occasional avant–pop song sprinkled in. It is an idiosyncratic ode to self–love, just like its title track.
Track 1) Aphex Twin: "Xtal"
"Xtal," the first track of his 1992 debut album, Selected Ambient Works 85–92, introduced the world to the labyrinthine grooves of the legendary IDM mastermind Aphex Twin. The song is a hypnotizing, intoxicating mix of airy hi–hats, thumping beats, and an implacable off–beat vocal sample that never gets old with repeated listens. "Xtal," like most of the other songs on this playlist, manages to be both danceable and introspective.
Track 3) Björk: "Arisen My Senses (Kelly Lee Owens Remix)"
For the remixes of the first song from her 2017 studio effort, Utopia, Björk tapped just three producers. One of them was the iconoclastic Welsh singer and producer Kelly Lee Owens. In her hands, "Arisen My Senses" becomes a sweaty and cathartic club banger that uses little details from the original song to great effect.
Track 9) Charli XCX: "I Got It (feat. Brooke Candy, CupcakKe, and Pablo Vittar)"
One of the many highlights of her beloved Pop 2 mixtape, Charli XCX's "I Got It" is pure sexual bravado. On the raunchy and raucous banger, Charli and her crew exchange ribald boasts about their bodies and their men with equal amounts of confidence and lechery. It's a hell of a track for a hell of a night.
Track 10) Hannah Diamond & Danny L Harle: "Part of Me"
PC Music's Hannah Diamond has been teasing her debut album, Reflections, for about three years now, with the announcement coinciding with the release of its supposed lead single, "Fade Away," in 2016. Last year, she dropped "True." Yet, the album still hasn't surfaced. This September, she released "Part of Me," a collaboration with fellow label–mate Danny L Harle. Described in a press release as an "EDM lullaby," the song is an ecstatic late night affair, bedazzled with kitschy twilight sparkles and an almost child–like innocence. Like the rest of her discography, "Part of Me" leaves fans wanting more.
Track 13) Grimes & i_o: "Violence"
Dealing with everything from her tumultuous relationship with Elon Musk (and the public's reaction to it) to tension with her label, Grimes has had a lot on her plate as she prepares to release her new concept album, Miss_Anthrop0cene. Amid the storm that is her personal–professional life comes "Violence," a collaboration between Grimes and the rising DJ i_o. The song is a hypnotic mix of distorted vocals and club–ready beats, new territory for an idiosyncratic artist who used to be so keen on producing all her own work, and a reminder that we've yet to hear the last from Grimes.
Track 15) SOPHIE: "Pony Whip (feat. BC Kingdom)"
A highlight from OIL OF EVERY PEARL'S UN-INSIDE'S NON–STOP REMIX ALBUM, "Pony Whip" is a remix of two songs from the original album: "Ponyboy" and "Whole New World / Pretend World." The rap duo BC Kingdom turn the two into a lustful late–night bop, perfect for the club.
Track 17) Robyn: "Dancing On My Own"
The hit single from Robyn's 2010 album Body Talk and the title track of this playlist, "Dancing On My Own" is a wrenching, pulsating ode to self–love that has soundtracked so many single people's nights alone. It perfectly encapsulates the M.O. of this playlist: these are songs you can play anywhere–at a party or on a walk–to lift you up. "Dancing On My Own" is a radical act of self-empowerment.
Track 21) Orbital: "Halcyon and On and On"
The penultimate track on Orbital's 1993 album, "Halcyon and On and On" takes a different direction from the rest of Dancing On My Own. A nine–minute epic, the song takes listeners on a spacey techno adventure, apropos for both a day at the spa or the credits of a kitschy sci–fi movie. Inherently campy yet poignantly sincere, "Halcyon and On and On" takes the edge off any long day or late night.
Link to Spotify playlist: