Readers recommend playlist: your songs about sweetness

Reader saneshane cooks up a toothsome mixtape from your nominations, featuring Portishead, Nightmares on Wax and Babybird

Here is this week’s playlist – songs picked by a reader from your suggestions after last week’s callout. Thanks for taking part. Read more about how our weekly series works at the end of the piece.

Back in the day, the most important courtship ritual (for anyone who was sweet on someone but found it hard to vocalise their emotions) was the mixtape. That tape was a physical thing, a homemade compilation of music, expertly curated and with a title like U.R.A.Q.T., with a hand-designed cover encasing your one chance to impress and make life sweet..

The YouTube playlist.

If the lyrics were interpreted oddly, or the cassette was ignored, your internal song dialogue would manifest itself with an outburst along the lines of: “Sweetness, Sweetness, I was only joking when I said / I’d like to smash every tooth in your head” – while bouncing around to the Ukrainians version of Bigmouth Strikes Again (Batyar) as a defence mechanism against the Sweet Defeat expressed by the Flesh.

Including some Sweet Stuff from Sylvia and The Sweetest by Nightmares on Wax sugars the mix. To appear sophisticated – yet easygoing enough to appreciate pop – some epic sweet torment from Indila, with Dernière Danse, would be perfect, too. Adding the next track, the Searchers Sweets for My Sweet – with its explosive and highly addictive guitar riff – should also do the trick.

“Are you Paris without snails?” ask Babybird, on Candy Girl, showing that romance isn’t dead – or at least that you have a sense of humour. I’m sure the lyrics in Robert Nighthawk’s Sweet Black Angel are all innocently meant, too.

The reverse side of the metaphorical mixtape, or the second half of our Readers recommend A-list, as it is presented here, kicks off with something more challenging: the opening to Section 25’s Love & Hate album. Sweet Forgiveness is obscure enough, but not so as to frighten the listener away. Now, what would Wagadugu (up next with their Sweet Mother) say about your emotional wellbeing? I’m uncertain, but the tune’s rhythms are sure to get you wriggling along.

The Pipettes ask “Why Did You Stay?” next, using handclaps and harmonies in the style of the aforementioned Searchers’ era; and by this point you’ll want to be bouncing around and getting sweaty – Liquid’s Sweet Harmony should trigger that in your listener, too.

We need to come right down and finish the experience with a slow dance. Portishead’s It Could Be Sweet is steeped enough in its trip-hop idiosyncrasies yet gorgeous and sublime, timeless qualities to be a perfect wind-down. Which eases us into a bonus reprise of Bigmouth Strikes Again – this time by the Smiths themselves.

The list in full

1. The Ukrainians: Batyar (Bigmouth Strikes Again)
2. The Flesh: Sweet Defeat
3. Sylvia: Sweet Stuff
4. Nightmares on Wax: The Sweetest
5. Indila: Dernière Danse
6. The Searchers: Sweets for my Sweet
7. Babybird: Candy Girl
8. Robert Nighthawk: Sweet Black Angel
9. Section 25: Sweet Forgiveness
10. Wagadugu: Sweet Mother
11. The Pipettes: Why Did You Stay?
12. Liquid: Sweet Harmony
13. Portishead: It Could Be Sweet
14. The Smiths: Bigmouth Strikes Again

Not all songs appear on the Spotify playlist as some are unavailable on the service.

New theme: how to join in

The new theme will be announced at 8pm (GMT) on Thursday 16 March. You then have until 11pm on Monday 20 March to submit nominations.

Here’s a reminder of some of the guidelines for Readers recommend:

  • If you have a good theme idea, or if you’d like to volunteer to compile a playlist from readers’ suggestions and write a blog about it, please email
  • There is a wealth of data on RR, including the songs that are “zedded”, at the Marconium. It also tells you the meaning of “zedded”, “donds” and other strange words used by RR regulars.
  • Many RR regulars also congregate at the ’Spill blog.



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