**What our Associate Editor Laia Garcia is listening to:**
It’s only February but all I can think of is how badly I need to take a vacation. I want to go somewhere tropical, dig my feet in the sand, bury my head in all the books I’m dying to read but ave been too busy to do so, drink a fruity frozen drink — with extra cherries – and never look at the internet. Since I can’t do that anytime soon, I keep playing Walter Martin’s “Down by the Swinging Sea,” because for three and a half minutes, my brain feels like it’s somewhere else, and I can’t help but smile as soon as the first notes hit.
**What our Editor-at-Large Doreen St. Félix is listening to:**
M.I.A. seemed to fall from the sky like a secular manna. I was in my early teens, and confused. There was the tumult of puberty and sexuality of course. But it was compounded by the difficulty of navigating the two cultures I’d been born to, the kind of growing pain Judy Blume never addressed. Enter “Paper Planes.” For myself and my fellow first-generation immigrant friends, M.I.A.’s abstracted sound, her intentional inscrutability, felt like a godsend. We didn’t know, as girls of color, whether it was safe to be different, let alone weird. With this single and every other track on *Kala*, M.I.A. told us we could be whoever we wanted.
**What our Assistant Dianca London is listening to:**
Snarky, scathing, and punk as fuck, Thee Headcoatees’ subverted cover of The Beatles’ “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” is more satisfying than the sweetest valentine. Appearing first on *Punk Girls* , the all-female garage rock outfit’s version of an oh-so-familiar song is twice as catchy thanks to demanding lines like “don’t say to me, you’re gonna be my man” and Holly Golighty’s biting diction. “Don’t Wanna Hold Your Hand” is flawlessly unapologetic. It’s as if Thee Headcoatees are flipping the proverbial bird to male privilege and its subsequent entitlement. Like the feminist shark that we’ve all come to know and love, this song bears its teeth without hesitation, leaving me obvi in awe.