The Future Freaks Me Out by Motion City Soundtrack

We fail to represent
We fail to be content
We fail at everything we ever even try to attempt

I associate most of my favorite songs in the Motion City Soundtrack with anxiety - an emotion Bee feels most of the time, especially in season one.  There’s just often something in the lyrics about the adolescent sense of doom and fear of failing to accomplish, so there was always going to be some MSC on Bee’s list - it was just a question of which song.  Given that this one literally starts with “I’m on fire,” which is the state of Bee’s mind and a lot of things around her in season one, it only seemed like an appropriate starter to the playlist.

Cherry Blossom Falls by To Kill A King

This year was fighting dirty and it aimed to kill
Dealt me every blow, every cut and pill

Of course, Bee’s whole existence isn’t about anxiety and failure.  It kind of just feels like that to her. But there are songs on this list too that I wanted to represent what comes afterwards, after she comes through all those things she thought would be impossible.  Cherry Blossom Falls is a song suited for that, a New Year’s kind of song for reflecting on years that felt like they were giving everything they could to take you down, but didn’t. Which feels like a lot of years lately, for a lot of us, I’m guessing.  While there are many songs of a similar nature, Cherry Blossom Falls made the list not only because To Kill a King is one of my favorite bands, but the song specifically mentions overcoming self-doubt and growing closer to others as part of the ultimate victory - two elements important to Bee specifically.

Save Me by Goyte

In the mornings
I was anxious
It's better just to stay in bed
Didn't want to fail myself again

A lot of songs on this playlist deal with the subject of anxiety, this one is less about the active anxiety that consumes Bee day to day and more about the worst points - the beginning of episodes three and nine when the anxiety and the bad times just make her want to give up.  And, as such, the song is also about her relationship with the one person who’s successfully showed up both times to pull her back - Wolf. For Bee, something just as important as learning to love herself is learning that others can love her too, and in season one, Bee and Wolf’s relationship - highlighted by this song - is central to that.

Talking Like I’m Falling Down Stairs by Sparkadia

I walk
Through all the steps in my head
Made more sense in my head
Plain and simple I can't keep climbing

There is something so suitably Bee about a love song in which the narrator’s problem is that they can do everything else right, but when they open their mouth, everything else just comes out wrong.  “Talking like I’m falling down stairs” feels like an incredibly accurate description of Bee’s speaking pattern in any slightly stressful situation. Not only has her performance evolved over time to include more stammering and filler words, but she’s always spoken in a way that hedges and tries to cover every angle.  Which is part of why her relationship with Fox seems so much easier to her. Communicating becomes so much easier for her when it’s not in person. But so much of the second guessing and the overthinking is still there...  

Firestorm by SIAMES

Who will be vanished
And who has the courage to try some more?
To be in the glory
You'll have to survive to your falls

Of course, this wouldn’t be a proper Bee playlist without a fire-themed song, with this one meant to represent the rising action and the triumph sought out this season.  To me, this one most strongly represents the conclusion she reaches across this journey - that to succeed, failure must inevitably come beforehand.

Adventures in Solitude by The New Pornographers

We thought, we lost you
Welcome back

In some ways, this song relates less to Bee in the exact lyrics and more in the feeling it conveys, and it relates to her less in terms of things that have already happened and more in terms of things that are still yet to come.  But the song is still about someone who’s been on a very long journey, one that’s taken its toll on them, and one they are at last coming home from. It’s a beautifully comforting song in my books, and what that means for the final chapter of this season - you’ll just have to wait a little longer to find out.