We have all had the experience of listening to a song for the first time and reacting in a negative way. It doesn’t have to be anything in particular. Sometimes it’s just the feeling that there’s something “off” about this song. The beat, the singer’s voice, the melody, or something else–you’re not sure, but you can feel it. There’s just something about this on you don’t like.
But, sometimes, that intial dislike turns to love on the second or third (or hundredth) listen. And today’s playlist is composed of songs that I had that experience with. On the first listen, I was not into it. But, I gave it a shot and, after a few listens, I found that what had initially been off-putting to me eventually became part of the song’s charm.
Without further ado, here are some of my favorites from “A playlist of songs that I didn’t like at first, but now I love.” You can find embedded below and listen and can listen one on Spotify
Weightless Again by The Handsome Family – You may know The Handsome Family as the group that recorded the theme song for the first season of HBO’s hit drama True Detective (at least it was a hit the first season). “Weightless Again” is another of their songs with their distinct style. The song is about desire unfulfilled desires and tells the story of a young couple taking a trip through the redwood forest.
Choctaw Bingo by James McMurty- I don’t really know much about James McMurty, but I remember the first time I listened to “Choctaw Bingo” I thought it was a real jumble of lyrics with redundant music. Listening to the song a few more times, though, I came to appreciate the story McMurty was telling about this family that found itself living in diaspora but comes back together for a huge family reunion at his uncle, the moonshiner and meth cook, estate.
T.B. Sheets by Van Morrison – I am a huge Van Morrison fan and I’ve gone through his back catalogue number of times. I own some vinyl albums of his and used to go on YouTube and listen to his live concerts before Van had them taken down. However, despite my affinity for Van, the first time I heard the song “T.B. Sheets,” I hated it. I’m not sure what it was about the song that I just found disagreeable, but eventually upon further listening I came to love it. Now it is one of my favorite Van Morrison deep cuts.
GMF by John Grant – I still think “GMF” is a grandiose song. And I don’t mean that as a compliment. However I’ve come to understand the song’s grandiosity on its own terms as poking fun at the songwriter and singer’s own personality. Over time, “GMF” has become one of my favorites and definitely my favorite song by John Grant.
Clean Elvis by Dan Reeder – The first time I heard this song, I was certain the singer/songwriter was insane. I still kind of think that Reeder may be. But the thing that I loved about it on second listen was that it reminds me of a guy that I met at a bar called The Blind Pig in Greenwood, Indiana. He claimed to have a recreational vehicle that he had personally, and at great risk of assassination by the U.S. government, outfitted a with a hydrogen-powered engine that could drive virtually in perpetuity at 120 miles an hour.
Feeling blue? Check out my previous playlist: A Melancholy Playlist for a Rainy Stretch of Highway.
Need some morning inspiration? Try Good Morning: The Playlist.
Do you have a favorite song that you hated initially? Share it in the comments section below.