6 Songs I’d Want to Follow Me into the Afterlife

I’m packing these in my sarcophagus as we speak.



Find the playlist here on The Talon’s Spotify!


1. “Back to Life” by Chiiild, featuring Shungudzo

Euphoric, ruminative, remedial. These are the only words I can use to honorably describe “Back to Life” by Chiiild, an alternative soul band from Montréal, Canada. In collaboration with Zimbabwean-American artist Shungudzo, Chiiild produces a striking, psychedelic harmonization of visionary vocals and complementary instrumentals that, in simplest terms, astonished me upon first listen. On the surface, the track presents itself to be a lighthearted, playful tune, but in reality, the composition investigates the ideas of a second chance at life and the exploration of one’s individuality. This is quite literally my most favorite song of. all. time. The only way I think I can attempt to describe how it makes me feel is that listening to this song makes my brain go blank, and I feel as though I am just afloat in a sensory deprevation tank, just being. 


2. “Life” by Mac Miller

Now how could I make a list like this without a Mac Miller song?? Full transparency, though, this is my favorite song to cry to. And I have cried to it a lot, like a lot a lot. It is actually my most listened to song of all time on Spotify because of how many times I have played it on repeat while feeling “down in the dumps,” as some would say. Nonetheless, this song is just a work of art. In a way, Miller created a tragic love song, recalling the deep, intense feelings he had for a woman, but in the end, it just was not meant to be. In the first lines, Miller admits that he is to blame for the termination of the relationship, saying, “I didn’t mean to pull the trigger, I swear. But now she’s dead, and there ain’t no coming back once you there.” Literally, in the song, Mac shot his girlfriend, but it was because he loved her too much to let her go. He even confessed, “But if I can’t have you to myself, then you’re gone.” I just think this song is so hauntingly beautiful, and it serves as a genuine insight into Miller’s sentiments and character, especially his caring and protective tendencies, when it comes to his relationships.


3. “Sea of Dreams” by Oberhofer

I promise this one is not as despairing as the one previous. However, for me at least, despite it being more upbeat, the song itself is fairly existential. Described as an indie rock and neo-psychedelia band, Oberhofer began back in 2008 in Brooklyn, New York by lead singer, Brad Oberhofer. And to be honest, had it not been for this song, I would not have found the band, but I am glad I my ears crossed paths with it! Similar to “Back to Life,” on the surface, the song seems playful and nostalgic, but the lyrics honestly present a sense of lonliness as if Oberhofer has been distanced from everyone he loves. He says, “You’ll find me in a sea of dreams where no one cares about my words. I hear her voice. She laughs now. She loves me now and always did.” I feel like every time this song plays when I am with someone, they are instantly drawn to it. That’s just how good of a song it is.



4. “Hollywood Forever” by FINNEAS

FINNEAS does not get enough credit, especially since he is so often talked about exclusively in relation to his younger sister, Billie Eilish, and a lot of his genuinely well-written songs go unrecognized. My favorite by far of his is “Hollywood Forever,” an alluring ballad that behaves as an open letter to Hollywood Forever, a cemetery in Hollywood that is home to many late celebrities, such as Hattie McDaniel and Judy Garland. Despite it being a burial ground, the cemetery is used today also as a venue for public performances and movies. In an article with Ones to Watch, FINNEAS shared his opinion on this, stating, “[Hollywood Forever is] a beautiful place to see a show but it’s impossible not to be constantly reminded that you’re standing in a graveyard. I love that. I love the idea of a place that forces you out of the denial that we’re all living in, hoping we might be the first to live forever … That’s love, that’s life.” For me, the song is just so eloquently composed, and I love that I can truly feel the emotions that he poured into creating the song from both the lyrics and instruments being played. It is a heavenly song, that’s for sure.


5. “Female Energy, Part 2” by WILLOW

Acting as the “sequel” to her song “Female Energy,” “Female Energy, Part 2” reflects the singer’s sentiments towards growing up and leaving her youth. She asks the question, “Tell me, how am I to feel?” The alternative R&B/punk rock/neo soul/hip hop artist has lived what seems like a thousand different lives while in the spotlight. Beginning her early years already in the public sphere, she has grown up with millions observing her every move and life decision. I think it is only fair for her to be questioning how she is “supposed to” be growing up, especially with so many eyes watching. In my opinion, she is one of the most open, vulnerable celebrities out there, for not only does she include unconventional, tough conversations in her songs, but also in her social media, interviews, and talk show, such as on Red Table Talk when she explored her thoughts on polyamorous relationships. She is an amazing artist and person in general, which I think only adds another layer of depth to her songs.


6. “Night Shift” by Lucy Dacus

Although this song is the one wrapping up this list, do not think that it cannot compete with those listed before it. I have just recently started listening to Lucy Dacus, and just based upon this song, I think she is someone that I will continue keeping tabs on in terms of new releases. In the words of Dacus herself in an interview with NPR, she states, “This is the only breakup song I’ve ever written. For a long time I didn’t believe expressing this sort of negativity was productive, but it’s less productive to resist the truth of a situation. It’s a hopeful song.” “Night Shift” is probably the biggest outlier on this list due its six and a half minute long passionate, indie-rock-like energy. But in a way, I think it still fits in. Reviewed by The New Yorker, it was deemed “a cathartic, bridge-burning, no-f****-given breakup song,” and I cannot think of any better way to describe it. Listening to this song, you cannot help but feel the pain and intensity that ran through Dacus as she sang it. An absolute masterpiece, it is.