Kimya Dawson Appreciation Post: My Top 5 Favorite Songs


Kimya is one of the first artists to successfully use the "stream of consciousness" songwriting style we see so much today. Instead of following the typical "intro-verse-prechorus-chorus-bridge-whatever" style we see so often, she speaks her mind using whatever words she wants.

I've blogged about her so much and featured her music in almost all of my playlists, but can you blame me? She's one of my biggest creative, spiritual and political inspirations, always speaking her mind with authenticity and trying to change the world through art.

She recently came out with a song called 'At The Seams,' a beautiful response to the Black Lives Matter movement. You can listen to it on Soundcloud here.

Here are my 5 favorite Kimya Dawson songs.

1. Same Shit / Complicated
A song that compares two sides of the spectrum: the 9-to-5 corporate type and the hippie type. Both sides will tear each other apart. "Day after day, it's the same shit." When in reality, it's valid to be on either side of the spectrum. There is no right way to be. Every single person is intricately complicated and it's not quite right to generalize. 
 "Does because someone does not look like me, doesn't mean they are a clone or a sheep. Maybe they like their job and they're living their dream and they love their friends and their family."

2. The Competition
This is one of the first Dawson songs that captured my heart. I felt so worthless and so good-for-nothing. Everyone had something to criticize me about and I could only take so much, you know? I just about tried everything in school: every sport and club you could possibly think of. But no one saw me as above medicore in anything, so I felt as Kimya said, "fat, ugly and stupid / no one will ever like me I'm not good at anything." Especially consdering how hypersensitive I am, I took even the subtle hits a bit too hard. I just love how accurately  Kimya portrays the 'competition' we have with ourselves. Sometimes we're a bit too hard on ourselves, even when we are doing great in life. It shows that depressing feelings go beyond self-esteem.
"When I delivered newspapers, they said I was too slow. When I was a barista, they said I made lousy foam. When I worked in retail they said I was a slob, much too dumb for school and much too lazy for a job."

3. Nothing Came Out
When I discovered 'Nothing Came Out,' I really liked this guy but was too shy to be myself around him or say more than a sentence around him. Although that was years ago and now I no longer live in that shell, I love the pure intention and the sense of innocence in the song. Songs about relationships usually are so intense, rooting from lust, true love, or jealousy. But 'Nothing Came Out' isn't asking for much. It's when you just purely enjoy someones company and you just want to ride your bike and stay up late and watch cartoons with someone. You want to enjoy the small things in life with them. Maybe not in 5 years, but right now? You would love to watch Sailor Moon with them at 2 am. I listen to it when I'm feeling simplistic and nostalgic.
"And besides you're probably holding hands with some skinny pretty girl that likes to talk about bands, and. All I wanna do is ride bikes with you, and stay up late, and watch cartoons."

4. I Like Giants
'I Like Giants' is such an honest song about body image. It's not forcing you to love yourself. It's not shaming skinny girls or big girls. It's not an overwelming anthem that makes you feel uncomfortable. I can guarantee you this: no matter what shape or size you are, when you give this song a listen, you'll feel a bit better about yourself. There was a time in my life where I was super insecure about my body, eventually causing me to breakdown and have to go through an eating disorder. But this song really helped me recover. I remember feeling so disgusted by my cellulite and my hips and my tummy. Funny thing is? No matter how 'thin' I got, I still had my lil chubby tummy. I still had big hips. And my stretchmarks and cellulite got worse because my weight was fluctuating so much. I can't change myself and I shouldn't want to. 'I Like Giants' helped me love and honor my body, but it also helped me realize I am so much more than the body that carries me.
"We all become important when we realize our goal should be to figure out our role within the context of the whole, and yeah rock'n'roll is fun but if you ever hear someone say you are huge: look at the moon, look at the stars, look at the sun."

5. Utopian Futures
I put this song last because it's the perfect song to end with. A bittersweet song pointing out the flaws of the modern society we live in. But through it all, hope still lives. This song keeps me soft in a world so hard. I believe in a utopian future for everyone. She dreams of a world where bombing has stopped, overworked men and women can rest their eyes, people can leave their doors unlocked, where people take care of the Earth we all live on, where kids can choose who they want to be, and of course, where we can all be happy. People always tell me, "you're so young, Maria. One day you'll realize what the real world is like and you'll change your mind about everything." Their fearful comments always scared me, but Kimya gives me hope. If she can stay so hopeful after everything, I know I can.
"In snuggly beds and midnight talks. Wandering bikerides and wayward walks. Making up all of our own music, art, myth, food and news. It's happening everywhere we go: collective bookstores and basement shows. Sharing a song we all know or making up new ones as we go."

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