The Playlist: Ten 11th-hour hits to mark November days
The world hasn’t ended, but the weather is getting colder and the leaves are almost gone from the trees. Cheer up your November playlist with these ten awesome tracks.
1. For Facing the Day
While not explicitly a wake-up song, this harmony-laced number by a British double-sibling act (it’s made up of two brother-sister pairs) is so cheery, it’ll have you grinning ear to ear before the coffee’s done brewing.
2. For Throwing Caution to the Wind
“Woke up this morning and something was burning,” sings Wainwright in this lovely confection that’s much more profound than it seems on first listen. Brushing the sleep out of his eyes after a night of painting the town, he “realized that everything really does happen in Manhattan.” While reflecting on the events of 9/11, he concludes that “11:11 is just precious time we’ve wasted,” pledging to take chances from now on.
3. For Tackling the Chore Wheel
Though the words have a bittersweet edge, this pop incantation is anything but downbeat. Crank it up when you’re doing anything that requires vim and vigour, and let the slinky, hypnotic rhythms propel you.
4. For Old-Fashioned Romance
The French duo Herman Dune draws inspiration from mid-20th century classics such as “Stand By Me” and “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” for their anachronistically lovely ballads. “Eleven Stones” traces the contours of those early moments when you’re so smitten with someone that their every gesture seems like a revelation.
5. For Math Nerds
Technically this is a teaching tool, brought to you courtesy of Schoolhouse Rock, the ’70s-era program that helped kids read, write and do their ‘rithmetic. But just try not humming your 11 times table-this jam is irresistible.
6. For a ’90s flashback
Sweeter than the title makes it sound, this fizzy alt-rock reverie is more of a lust song than a love ballad. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
7. For a Rush of Lush Violin
Sometimes you need an exhilarating hit of strings, and classical music seems a little too buttoned-down. The lyrics of this tune by bandleader Andrew Bird are a bit bleak, but the backdrop is a mesmerizing whirlwind of psychedelic guitar, drums and violin.
8. For When “Sorry” Just Doesn’t Cut It
Poor ol’ Hank II. It’s not entirely clear what he’s done that demands a fancy bouquet as an act of contrition, but at least the guy knows how to sweet-talk a lady: “I guess you noticed there are only 11 roses,” he croons. “I chose them from our garden where they grew/ Take the roses, and look into the mirror/ And the twelfth rose will be looking back at you.”
9. For a Power-Pop Pick-Me-Up
If party rock anthems aren’t your thing, shuffle along to this classic cut from 1979, in which the erstwhile “Tartan teen sensations from Edinburgh” look back on their earliest days (we’re talking really early) in the music business.
10. For Understated Perfection
This ditty is the 11th track on 11:11, the debut by iconoclast singer-songwriter Regina Spektor. It’s a stunner, too-an a cappella love song that casts Spektor as an old-fashioned jazz chanteuse, sending sweet words about love and hope into the stillness.