A couple of weeks ago, Spotify recommended that I listen to a song named “Coffee” by Sylvan Esso. My first reaction was the minor paranoia that always ensues when advertisements and internet sites recommend anything that’s a little too appropriate for my life and interests.
After giving the song a try, I became obsessed, listening to it on repeat for a week. My friends understandably found my obsessive Spotify activity laughable. They imagined me listening to a song named “Coffee” while working at a coffee company, presumably sipping on a cup of coffee. Even I had to admit it was pretty absurd. I mean who writes songs about coffee?
But the more I thought about it, the less absurd it seemed. After all, people use coffee to help them work, to get a kick of encouragement and to focus all the time. The real question should be: why wouldn’t someone write a song about this magical drink? Or for that matter, this wildly addictive drug. There are plenty of songs about other mind altering drugs. Why not coffee?
As it turns out, Sylvan Esso were not the only ones to find lyrical inspiration from this seemingly mundane object. Unsurprisingly, coffee-producing countries have written about this beverage for generations. Brazilian artist Gilberto Gil, for example, critiques his country’s coffee aristocracy in the misleadingly upbeat “A Falência do Café."
But closer to home, our morning cup of joe has inspired quite the spectrum of artists, from Frank Sinatra to rapper Yung Joc. While listening to their songs, listeners can learn how some of their favorite artists preferred, or still prefer, their coffee. Some Third Wavers might feel a tinge of disappointment upon learning that the Beastie Boys take their “sugar with coffee and cream.” Though perhaps they would celebrate that Heavy D & The Boyz prefer their coffee (and apparently their girls) black with “no sugar, no cream”?
Some artists just write about coffee as a meaningless subject (that was a trend - remember the era of Chicken Noodle Soup?), while others use coffee to represent the need to jump-start their lives. So here’s a coffee inspired playlist for all you caffeine addicts who just can’t get enough. Who knows, maybe these songs and their lyrics might make you look at coffee in a whole new way once again.
And if you just can’t get enough of this coffee music, don’t worry! Miguel recently released a sneak peek of his latest single on instagram and it’s got something to do with #coffee.
-Blog post written by Rachel Eisen, San Francisco Account Manager