Music Montag: A Playlist of Berlin’s Best Songs

by James Glazebrook

Achtung: this competition is now closed! You can find out who won here.

We’re running a competition to win a €200 pair of headphones by picking Berlin’s best song, and have been overwhelmed with responses already! Anything goes, as long as it “says something” about the city, so it’s good to see everything represented from minimal techno to R.E.M (with our namesake “Überlin”), the Cabaret soundtrack to… er, “Take My Breath Away” (by LA band Berlin!). Someone even picked our recent Music Montag cut “Berlin” by sometime resident Alaska in Winter. Think you can do better? Then comment on our competition post [here] and tell us what you think is Berlin’s best song. The winner will be drawn at random next Monday, 19th December.

Music Montag: Alaska in Winter

by James Glazebrook

Alaska in Winter

If you’ve read anything I’ve ever written about Bon Iver, you’ll know I’m a big fan of people holing up in cabins to make heart-rending music. That’s how this project from Albequerque art school dropout Brandon Bethancourt got its name, and the frozen-tears aesthetic so suited to his sometime home, Berlin. I love this emotronic ode to the city, the lo-fi retrofuturism of its video, and the comedown expressionism of its lyrics. I love the fact that the act’s official website opens with a letter to the fans, all about the struggle to make this music, and confessing to feelings of despair and thoughts of suicide. I especially love that letter’s conclusion: “I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for opening my eyes and showing me the love and beauty which I was blind to for so long.” I give you: Alaska in Winter.

Alaska in Winter, “Berlin”

I swear that I saw lasers in your eyes, and though it was a blur, I had seen the future, I swear I kissed the sky, the lightning laser sky…. the lightning laser sky… the lightning laser sky.

You bring some water, I’m your shark, dear… some water…. your shark deer.

You are now made of lightning laser water, dance floor future shark at night,

You are now made of lightning laser water, dance floor future shark at night.

I’m finally home now, in my foreign land, I’m finally home now, in my foreign land, and I’ll never leave you, my Berlin, cause I’m finally home now, in my foreign land.

oh my Berlin, always my friend….