Issue #60: How to Form Better Habits
And podcast host Priyanka Aribindi's 7 fall essentials.
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🎧 The Plains Album, ‘I Walked with You a Ways’: I’ve been looking forward to the release of this album, by Waxahatchee and Jess Williamson’s new group, for weeks. Still, the first song “Summer Sun” took my breath away when they sang, “So I won’t see the garden or the figs when they are ripe. / It hurts to be leaving but I know staying ain’t right.” Of course, the lyric felt deeply personal to me, given the summer I’ve had, but the album has the same soul-seen impact that made their influences like The Chicks and Shania Twain so universally beloved when they sang about wide open spaces and women who move like hurricanes. It’s a breakup album, layered with self-reflection, heavy folk influences, and choruses like poetry, “And I'll be a martyr to whatever your heartache will leave, / Then I'll slip through your hands like a boy / born with no name.” If you’re looking for more of a bop, I also enjoyed the new Jack Antonoff-produced album from The 1975!
📺 “The Summer I Turned Pretty” on Prime Video: I resisted this series, based on Jenny Han’s novel, for as long as I could, but it is exactly as adorable as everyone promised. In it, Isabel, who goes by “Belly,” has spent every summer at the same beach house with her mom’s best friend’s family. The sons in the other family have always been like brothers to her, but it’s the summer of Belly’s sweet sixteen, and she’s suddenly getting attention for the first time as she grows into her own. Any cheesy or predictable moments are counter-acted by the knack the show has for perfectly capturing that sixteen-year-old juncture as Belly navigates her first date, changing friendships, her crush on a brooding rebel, and the experience of seeing her mom as a flawed human. An easy and nostalgic watch. A few newer options I liked, but didn’t love: ‘Rosaline’ on Hulu (a fun take on “Romeo and Juliet,” from the perspective of Romeo’s ex), and Lena Dunham’s ‘Catherine Called Birdy’ on HBO Max).
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