My Top 15 Songs of October 2013 in Haiku

It’s been some time since I’ve dabbled in the art of Haiku poetry. I admire how Haiku use words and syllables to describe, cut, and leave open. It’s a freeing form of poetry, and since it’s easily recognizable to many, I’ve decided to work it into My Top 15 Songs of October list. Haiku needn’t necessarily follow the 5-7-5 syllable rule, but since it’s the form I originally learned, and it’s probably the most recognizable form of Haiku poetry (in English), it’s the one I’ve chosen to employ here.

15. Active Child f. Mikky Ekko – Subtle

Subtlety is lost

In your face is the standard

A wayward approach


14. Sleigh Bells – Bitter Rivals

I try to be nice

My rivals are people too

‘Til I stomp them down


13. Die Antwoord – Cookie Thumper

Gibberish sounds good

When it’s Zef above all else

While baking wear mitts


12. Janelle Monae f. Miguel- Primetime

No one was drop kicked

In the making of this song

Of this I’m not sure


11. Chvrches – Lungs

Lungs through which air flows

Distributing oxygen

I use ears to breathe


10. Placebo – Bosco/Exit Wounds

I can say sorry

How many times the same way?

When you leave I’ll stop


9. Shad – Love Means

You get what you give

It has eyes and can see all

Careful eyes betray


8. Charli XCX – Superlove

Japan likes neon

Lights that alter what is seen

Darkness eats it all


7. Sky Ferreira – You’re Not The One

I can see clearly

What I did not see before

Gone from you, happy


6. The Naked & Famous – Rolling Waves

Water cascading

Time after time on the beach

A new way to breathe


5. QOTSA – My God Is The Sun

The orb of life, warmth

Praised, praying, please rise today

All things some day sleep


4. Miley Cyrus – Wrecking Ball

Twerking unsteady

When practised on wrecking ball

Hip replacement, shame


3. Tame Impala – Elephant

Pink Floyd meets Lennon

It took me more than a while

Speakers shaking, taught


2. Arctic Monkeys – Do I Wanna Know?

Crawling back to you

Dread tingling up, down, my spine

I shouldn’t have asked


1. The 1975 – The City

A metropolis

Lit, cunning, unforgiving

The place I call home

A Modern Take On Teenage Angst


You can probably recall a song that, though it may be “old,” remains fresh, vibrant, and unmistakably alive. A song that brings you back to another place and time, gives you chills, lifts the hairs on your arms, and perks up your ears any time you hear it. For me, one of those such songs is Placebo’s ode to youth, confusion, and holding onto it all for dear life, “Teenage Angst”. I can listen to and enjoy it in any season, at any time of the day, regardless of mood, fullness of moon, or impending doom. I guess that’s what you’d call a classic song. I know it is for me, as I’m sure is the case for many others. Pretty special for a song that’s over 20 years old.

Placebo has tinkered with “Teenage Angst” to fantastic effect several times over the past 20 years. Such is the song’s magnificent malleability and the creativity of the band. Brian Molko, the song’s progenitor, recently said that, after 20 years of tinkering and reimagining, Placebo has finally found the perfect version of the seminal smash. He intimated that this new reimagining feels right, as if the song had been on a journey, a soul-searching sojourn in various chambers of the heart, and has finally found the beat that will sustain it, steady, serene and seared with sorrow.


The scary, beautiful, wonderful thing is, I agree with him completely. The tone, pace, and guitar work of the new version is perfect and sublime. To me, this is how “Teenage Angst” was always meant to sound. There is a devastating sadness here that previous iterations, although brilliant, frothing with fervour and manic (the original), and pretty, tender and despondent (the cabaret, Brixton version), have never touched on. Now, there’s a maturity in the melancholy, a sageness that pervades each note and nook, an acceptance of what’s happened before. All that came before what is now needed to happen. It’s a revelation, one of life’s most important lessons, learned, and now finally, thankfully, shared.

The journey has been long and arduous. Experimenting in details, ultimately, experience prevails. Many fluid gestures later, stepping back in time, to some place familiar, some place new, home.