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What the Hell Are We? A Situationship Playlist

James Francisco

A situationship is what happens when two people are into each other but can’t – won’t, maybe because they don’t want to – codify what they are with a label. Situationship. It’s a whole situation. Bless you if you’ve been in that position before, God keep you if you’ve never experienced the psychological bedlam of going on non-dates with your non-partner.

It’s like a rehash on the term “M.U.” Remember M.U.? Wild.

Naturally, we made a playlist to help you score what you may eventually recast as the “hoe” chapter of your life. How is it in the hurricane? We hope these tunes keep you company in the storm.

“Toyang” – Pikoy

This is the good stuff. The self-aggrandizing, Romeo & Juliet type stuff that’s just lucid enough to acknowledge its absurdity, but delusional enough to daydream maladaptively and pursue love at all costs.

“Death Throes of a Struggling Romance” – formerly Maryknoll

Punk ain’t punk without a little bitterness. The persona “Death Throes of a Struggling Romance” wants to save a relationship on the rocks by acknowledging the pain of the other party, but needs to vocalize that “this distance kills me too.”

“Can I Try Again?” – Andrea Obscura

Distilled longing, military grade yearning, cold lightning in a bottle. The very cool and not at all distressing thing about a situationship is the liminal quality of the relation, being neither here nor there, the window of opportunity for you to solidify things, closing fast.

“Seeking A Friend” – spacedog spacecat

This song is about looking for a friend (or almost-lover?) to lean on while the rest of the world burns. When everything is terrible, is it so long to want? To cling?

“Feverfew” – Megumi Acorda

“Do I deserve to be / painted so lovingly? / Your picture amplifies / the things I’ve long denied.” The self-diminishing persona in “Feverfew” is articulate but disbelieving – clear in their understanding of their interior world, but incredulous to the fact that true love is possible with someone who’s ready to give it.

“complex (demo)” – Katie Gregson-MacLeod

A little on the nose, we know. But when a heart-wrenching ballad goes viral on Tiktok for the depth of its lyricism, you know you’ve got a gem. The chorus is a litany of idiosyncrasies and wounds carried steadily by Gregson-MacLeod’s rhythm. “I need him like water / He lives on a landslide / I cry in his bathroom / He turns off the big light.” Whatever “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri was trying to be, “complex (demo)” by Katie Gregson-MacLeod actually is.

“Got U Good” – ena mori

“In your mind you wanna chase me.” In a situationship, thinking logically is overrated. Don’t do it! Feeling is king!

“A New Kind of Love – Demo” – Frou Frou

Imogen Heap as a lyricist is very good at telling stories of love that are free of baggage. But there’s something about the lilt in her vocals, and Guy Sigsworth’s masterful beatwork, that brings a kind of sadness to this confession about falling, like falling was something that had to be avoided, like falling spelled the end.

“argyle” – Brakence

Shout-outs to almost-lovers with a weed addiction and an avoidant attachment style. Have some harsh pluggnb with a dash of emo. No one in a healthy, committed relationship would vibe to “argyle.”

“Special” – Midwife

“An idea presented itself to me that maybe subconsciously it's all about you / Yet I'm bargaining rightfully thinking that it might have meant nothing / I can hear myself saying never mind / But to me your call matters so I mind.” Midwife is evocative in their lyricism and mesmerizing guitar-work. It sounds like clouds parting above your judgment.

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