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by Maya Abee

A couple months ago, with a certain distaste for the new school year— it’s isolation and change forced upon me— I wanted to desperately to feel enamored. If only I could fill the days wanting someone near me. I hadn’t felt this in months. In years. That nail biting, all consuming, crush. I wanted to feel the weight of pure emotion fall onto me and I wanted it immediately. The most frustrating part of this feeling, is that it doesn’t come as planned, ever.  I knew I could only simulate this through music. Those months ago the playlist “Crush me” was born. I listened, sulked, desired, laughed, swooned, until I didn’t need it anymore. Yesterday, I revisited this playlist and saw a caption I had attached to it at the time: “liking someone. hating it but craving it.”

With that simple line I became inspired to make a version 2. “Crush Me: Valentines Edition” In honor of the beloved holiday. A holiday I, personally, am fond of. But makes everyone want to be crushed. In the metaphorical schoolyard sense and literal sense—if you hate it enough. In the long run, this one day out of the year doesn’t change who you are, but you can get away with lots of exaggeration and theatricality. In shades of pink, red, and dipped in a chocolate shell, you can find ways to love what you already possess.

The hysterical state of crushing on someone, reminds me how alive I am.

And I say this with the knowledge that it does SUCK. In fact, crushes aren’t fun at all. At it’s core, crushes are named for the intense pain and disappointment. But the adrenaline, the hope, and the sprinkle of misery excite me.

I also say all of this, knowing that I may sound like I am advocating codependence. But I’m not. Crushes are all the more exciting when there isn’t a “someone” in sight and when you can explore the highs and lows of your own heart. You can be in love with whatever gets you through the day. You can make it all up. The internal monologues, the outfits planned, the spring in your step, these feelings are fun and fulfilling. It’s a performance, like so much of what we do. You’re performing tenderness, crossed with subtle aggression. You’re in touch with yourself in a way you aren’t always. You’re taking stock more delicately, paying attention to your movement, breath. You’re looking at yourself with admiration, as a being capable of admiring.

These songs, I think, capture the essence of Crush Me. They’re the anthems of hunger, confusion, pain, stupidity and the joy of wanting to be wanted and hating it.

I think these songs take up a lot of emotional space. Encompass a lot of , cover the bases. Listen, skip, become inspired to find your “crush me” anthems.

Flower Glass – Hands Habits

In the Flesh – Blondie

Baby – Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti

Never Can Say Goodbye – Jackson 5

Carried Away – H.E.R.

Light in Your Eyes – Vivian Girls

Sure – Hatchie

In the Morning I’ll Be Better – Tennis

Word on a Wing- David Bowie

Valentine’s Curse – Bane’s World

This Night Has Opened My Eyes – The Smiths

Lonely Times – Hot Flash Heat Wave

It’s Only Love – The Beatles

The Sky Opened Up – Angel Olsen

Self Control – Frank Ocean

Then He Kissed Me – The Crystals

I Can Hear Music – The Beach Boys

My Dearest Darling – Etta James

The Way You Look Tonight – Billie Holiday

Querida – Juan Gabriel

Enough – Kelela

Rhinoceros – Smashing Pumpkins

Always Forever – Cults