As we move into the fall season, it doesn’t hurt to refresh yourself and start over with a new playlist. Here are recommendations for three songs to play while cleaning the bathroom.
ARI SHAPIRO, HTE:
NPR Music offers song recommendations for everything from annual vacations to major milestones in life. But before you celebrate, you might need to clean the bathroom. For that, you need distraction. You need inspiration. You need a playlist. Stephen Thompson and Cyrena Touros from NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour have you covered.
CYRENA TOUROS, BYLINE: Let’s say you share a bathroom with another person and you’ve agreed that it should be cleaned once a week and you take turns. So let’s say your person forgets to take their turn, and then it’s your week. You need something that elevates you beyond your feelings of meanness and spite, and if you’re anything like me, that’s an extremely important commission for a piece of music.
STEPHEN THOMPSON, BYLINE: (Laughs).
TOUROS: You need a song that you have such positive associations with that it’s mentally impossible to have a bad time cleaning the bathroom, even if it’s so tempting to do so. So the undeniably catchy song I put on whenever I need a burst of joy is “On The Floor” by Perfume Genius.
(EXTRACT FROM THE SONG, “SUR LE SOL”)
PERFUME GENIUS: (Singing) On the ground, I pace. I run my mouth. I pray and I wait. I cross out his name on the page.
THOMPSON: Yeah, the song inspires a lot of movement. And it’s interesting because, like, when I hear his music, there’s always that kind of influence. And I like the idea of, like, rubbing in style and kind of taking the energy that you could put into the dance and, like, directing it into, like, what you do with your arms.
TOUROS: Oh, yeah, absolutely. I want to imagine that I am like a Disney princess, and that I am helped by a group of birds.
TOUROS: And we’re just spinning around with scrub brushes, cleaning up all the mold (laughs).
THOMPSON: Good. Well, with that in mind of being helped by a bunch of birds, I consider myself part of a different cartoon and consider myself a Jetsons-style bathroom cleaning robot. And so I chose the retro-futurism of the space age of the wonderful Mexican conductor Juan Garcia Esquivel and the song “Whatchamacallit”.
(SOUND EXTRACT FROM “WHATCHAMACALLIT” BY JUAN GARCIA ESQUIVEL “)
THOMPSON: Basically, if you go into your bathroom, it’s dirty, you start playing this song, and it’s basically, like, take over, future robot.
THOMPSON: But you are this future robot who cleans and is just swept away by the force of that zazzy (ph), silly, funny, weird but very futuristic sound. Juan Garcia Esquivel experienced a kind of commercial renaissance in the 90s as part of the revival of lounge music that took place. I highly recommend it, especially when you are doing something boring. So, Cyrena, hit me with your other choice. Let’s clean the bathroom.
TOUROS: So my other qualification – it’s just something that sounds good with speakers. Maybe the song you want to play has a lot of layers that you don’t always hear when enjoying it through headphones, or maybe it has a killer bass that you’re about to recreate. in your bathroom. So I would recommend the styles of a full blast rock song, reggaeton, or disco. And I actually pulled my last disco selection. So here is “Soul Control” by Jesse Ware.
(EXTRACT FROM THE SONG, “SOUL CONTROL”)
JESSIE WARE: (singing) It’s automatic. We touch each other, and it’s magic. Baby, it’s automatic. We touch each other, and it feels like – woo (ph).
TOUROS: Lately when I’m cleaning my bathroom it’s a Saturday night, and any other year I might have been on the dance floor. This year, I’m just resentful.
TOUROS: So I need to put on a disco song that makes me feel like it’s the best situation for all of us – at home, safe, being productive with my free time.
SHAPIRO: It’s NPR’s Cyrena Touros speaking with pop culture happy hour host Stephen Thompson.
(EXTRACT FROM THE SONG, “SOUL CONTROL”)
WARE: (Singing) Soul control, that’s how you want it.
NPR transcripts are created within an emergency time frame by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR entrepreneur, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative recording of NPR’s programming is the audio recording.