Foreword by Jocelle Koh
Playlist Notes by Violet Lens
For Taiwanese band Violet Lens, their ideal way of celebrating the end of life is by singing each others’ most loved songs, as memorialised in their latest single ‘Y’all‘; a song strangely about both death and friendship in equal parts. Intrigued by the concept, we invited the band to share more about the inspiration behind the song, and of course, their picks for songs that they’d like to have sung at their funerals. Filled with quirky anecdotes from their most vivid memories, the playlist is also a snapshot of their most memorable and vivid moments in life thus far. From awkward youths to time spent with family, these songs tell all. Although the road ahead is hopefully long, fruitful and full of friendships for them, it’s never to early to start planning…right?
Track 01: Y’all – Violet Lens
I wrote this song Y’all because I had a fight with my very good friend over a misunderstanding. I tried to write a song about being very upset and being misunderstood but I realised I couldn’t write one at all. Instead of writing one about how terrible they were to me I could only write about how good they were to me and how much I loved them. They’ve sacrificed so much for me and how we have helped each other. Every sentence in the lyrics is describing a certain kind of friend. Some friends are warm like the sun, always helping everyone. And others are not exactly an open book but are actually very kind. Others despite a dark or depressing past have come out on the other side to find happiness and that’s great. And a lot of my friends are gay, so that’s why I wrote about them being like rainbows and being brave in the lyrics. And I also have a lot of artist friends who don’t fit into categories and are protecting and fighting for what they want rather than what society tells them they should want. Amongst these good friends, this song is about who’s going to die first. And whoever goes first, at their funeral we will sing the songs that they love… – By Anna
Track 02: Sideshow Bob – Tizzy Bac
From when I was 17 to 25, my youth was spent listening to this song. Because I was afraid to truly speak my thoughts, I would often let the beautiful sparks of love be extinguished quickly. Start and beginning all in that same moment, and me acting like an idiot, listening while cleaning the house, riding my scooter to and from work, walking to class…Because it’s just too good, it felt like the main character was just like me, I liked it so much. But it also was the love curse of my youthful days~ – By Anna
Track 03: Step Out – José González
When I finished watching MITTY’s film I fell deeply in love with this song. The film touched my soul so, and made me feel like I could do anything I wanted, and be anyone I wanted. Because the movie and song are both very famous, so I often hear it being played by others just when I’m feeling sad, as if the universe is sending me a sign. – By Anna
Track 04: Today – The Smashing Pumpkins
Today is one of the first songs I ever learned on the guitar. It’s a song my dad would always turn up to deafening levels when we went to the music store or pawn shops looking for guitars. I still crank it up when I ride to work.
Track 05: 人兒啊 – 甜梅號 Sugar Plum Ferry
Sugar Plum Ferry is the first post-rock band I loved.
When I started playing in bands but hadn’t began performing I met the guitarist of Sugar Plum Ferry at Megaport Festival. I asked a lot of questions about his guitar pedal and he gave me a lot of tips. Afterwards when I played at the wall, I met the guitarist again and asked if he still remembered me? He said ‘oh you’re here too’.
To someone who just started out, my heart was filled with emotion, and even now when I listen to this song, I will think back to my early band days. – By Guitarist Stan
Track 06: Don’t Stop Me Now – Queen
When I first started I just thought it was a good song, then when I looked at the lyrics then realised it was full of passion! I truly respect his voice, and how he chooses the things and people that he loves. To have this kind of courage, nothing can stop us from moving forward! -By Drummer Ron Lee