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Wine & Whine: 32 Sweaty, Sticky Songs For Your Sweaty, Sticky Life

This playlist is for you, your friends and the guy you tell yourself you'll stop seeing but never do.
Samantha Clark
This playlist is for you, your friends and the guy you tell yourself you'll stop seeing but never do.

You're 22, just finished a grueling two-hour nap and have $8.43 left on your prepaid debit card. A friend of a high school acquaintance's cousin invited you to brunch, but you lost your metro pass (again) and free-range restaurant eggs cost a minimum $6. What do you do? You charge to the grocery store around the corner and make a beeline for the three-dollar wine. And when the tired cashier asks if you want to save 10% on all future purchases, you stay focused. Um, do you look like the type of person who can afford an in-store membership? Being alive is expensive. Bad wine is not.

We, the NPR Music interns and winged cherubs of the roséwave religion present our roséwave: the boxed-wine, plastic cup, twist-cap version. After all, who better to embody the lifestyle's fleeting bliss and effervescent recklessness than the gratification-seekers who popularized YOLO? If mainstream roséwave is about aspirational living, then Wine & Whine is taking yourself for who you are: gross, sweaty and masochistically inclined toward cheap alcohol.

Alternative names for this playlist include FranziaWave, SunsetBlushWave, and Rubinoff With Like, A Splash of Coke... uh, Wave. It's messy, but still fun, like you, the month before you graduated and realized you needed your own health insurance. So what if The Chainsmokers' "Closer" only has three notes and "ain't never getting older" is a violation of basic grammar rules (not to mention a gross misunderstanding of the inevitability of aging)? It's a banger. And after surviving all of those unpaid internships (NPR internships are paid, by the way), isn't that all you need?

We chose songs that encapsulate the young adult experience, in all of its raunchiness, euphoria and vague despair. For the people unwilling to spend a few more bucks for even the pretense of luxury, there are the trashy, one-night only bangers, from the night you swore you'd never forget but did — Katy Perry, Icona Pop and Kesha in her glitter-filled glory. There are the tear-worthy, nostalgia-inducing throwbacks: The Killers, Avril Lavigne, even old Miley. There's even the semi-ironic, detached indie rock from when you had "opinions" about the Oxford comma. Who can forget Ezra Koenig's preppy, self-satisfied smirk, or your predictable default to Tame Impala when handed the aux?

So uncork the three-buck chuck and give into your baser instincts. When the scruffy boy with glasses asks, act like you've never heard of Neutral Milk Hotel, even though you've listened to In the Aeroplane Over the Sea on vinyl. This playlist is for you, your friends and the guy you tell yourself you'll stop seeing but never do.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Emily Abshire (she/they) is an assistant producer for NPR One. She makes day-to-day programming and production decisions about the content in the NPR One app and collaborates with the newsroom to optimize audio stories for platforms beyond radio. She also hand-curates NPR One's ethical news algorithm that powers the app and is used on voice platforms. Along with other members of the NPR One team, Abshire works to envision fresh news experiences on emerging platforms, such as voice assistants and smart speakers.
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