the comedown vol. 1

Yes that’s right, the party’s over. You just have to face it. The whole end of year thing brings on the usual arc of thoughts & feelings - the pre-Christmas sense of anticipation, a heady euphoria of the holidays, the mixed emotions of bringing in another new year. If you’ve been with wider family, usually all those feeling are even more amplified and mixed-up. With friends, maybe there has been the time to take stock and enjoy their company unconditionally, outside the usual confines of the day-to-day stresses and strains of ‘normal life’. We all get to be more our old, real selves over the holidays.

But at the same time, with all the consumption - the food & drink & being merry, one can feel a little bit in need of an overhaul, even if it’s hard to imagine where to start. This playlist The Comedown, is one I designed for that after-party mood. Like Peggy Lee says in the opening number, “Is that all there is?”.

There’s a mix of regret, melancholy (just listen to Sinatra’s version of Send In The Clowns and try not to be moved) and pure moroseness (Carpenter’s Rainy Days And Mondays will do that nicely). Some of the sadder songs here are true standards. Sarah Vaughan’s version of Black Coffee is the best one I can find, but there are nearly 40 other versions of the track if you would care to track them down. The version of Fairweather is from my absolute favourite film soundtrack, Herbie Hancock’s theme to the 1986 Bertrand Tavernier jazz-noir movie Round Midnight. It’s a great music film that one. The song here features a very weary, almost nonchalant but beautiful vocal by Chet Baker.

But there is joy, optimism and playfulness here too. That’s why theme tunes from Willy Wonka and The Aristocats seem to work beautifully alongside the standards on this list.

The Comedown is something to play when you’re nursing the hangover, manically cleaning up the house, or on a recuperating walk through the park. Maybe it’s time for a nice comforting cuppa as well. That January detox and ‘new year new you’ person everyone talks about, are just around the corner. It’s gonna be all just fine.

Perhaps the signature track for the playlist is Julie London’s I’m Glad There Is You. In this world of overrated pleasures and underrated treasures, you know? Perhaps the outcome of Christmas, ‘Betwtixtmas’, and New Year madness, if we all just end up appreciating someone more than we did before, then it’s really getting better all the time.

Happy New Year.

Playback notes: You can play this on random, but if you play as scheduled, the playlist order is designed to bring you from a regretfully low hungover mood to a more optimistic outlook that the rest of your whole joyful life stretches ahead of you in a glorious technicolor panorama. Or perhaps even more muted, Hopper-like tones, but there it is nonetheless.