November Playlist: City of Strangers

Commuting is an integral part of New York City life — hours spent on crowded subway platforms, sweltering in the summer and icy in the winter months, smelling of piss and one dollar pizza. When you climb into that packed train car at 8:30 a.m. (or 3:15 p.m. in Zelda’s case), your headphones are your only defense against the hordes of other sleepy, uncomfortable, resentful New Yorkers who’ve chosen to shove themselves in a metal tube and hurtle towards their daily grind. So the music you choose is important: It’s the thing that keeps you going when your train is stalled between stations, drowns out the preachers and the kids selling fruit snacks and the dancers’ cries of “Showtime!” This month’s playlist is all about songs that will keep you moving…even if your train isn’t.

These are tunes that move to the rhythm of rails, whether MTA, Amtrak, or Eurostar. They’ve seen us through signal delays and journeys up and down the coast, early mornings when we haven’t had enough coffee and late nights when every jolt and screech inches us tantalizingly closer to our beds. We’ve got several newcomers to the Z&S musical catalogue this month: from British basso George Ezra, alt-soul Chicago duo Milo&Otis, Brooklynite Chris Staples, and Minnesotan Jeremy Messersmith to Vampire Weekend, Troye Sivan, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, Beach Weather, and Her Majesty Adele (here we have classic bestie favorite “My Same,” but if we’re being perfectly honest, our commute this month has been all about her newest track, just like the rest of the humans…). And, of couse, some old favorites make appearances as well, from Seth Avett’s sweet “Ballad of Love and Hate” to Ingrid Michaelson’s end-of-the-night, no-delay-will-get-us-down, dance-around-the-kitchen anthem, “One Night Town.”

So if you see us this month on a fluorescent-lit car somewhere, you can bet this is what is bumping our eardrums. A little bit sweet, a litte bit sad, a little bit “Screw you, MTA!” These are the songs that carry us on.

City of Strangers

As always, you can listen along here, or we’re on YouTube and Spotify.

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