During a particularly soul-crushing workday about a year a go, my friend Liz and I – trapped in our cubicles and communicating over Gchat – invented a word/concept/lifestyle that eventually made it onto the highbrow publication, Urban Dictionary. It was the summer of 2014, when the term “basic” was hitting the mainstream with epic force. Naturally, as Liz and I had been using the term to describe people and things we despised in their lack of originality since 2009, the term’s sudden onslaught of popularity filled us with rage. And more infuriating was the fact that it was being coopted by basics themselves, who for unclear reasons thought it had everything to do with Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Anyway, I won’t relive that wrath, but if you’re curious, you can read me popping off in another highbrow publication – Thought Catalogue.
Basic’s newfound buzzword status prompted Liz and I do some thinking. (Some could say we experienced a creative renaissance of sorts.) To us, basicity was neither about Ugg Boots nor possessing a pH above 7. It was about being frozen by societal expectation, unable to express anything approaching a unique thought. Put simply, it is the opposite of taste.
That said, even the coolest, non-basic among us are drawn to things we know are basic. That does not make us – in whole – basic. This is where “basicore” comes in. We are all entitled to maintain our bad-bitch-dom while also enjoying things we know are not good. The point is to be aware. For me, my basicore attributes are expressed in my love of French bulldogs, shift dresses from Ann Taylor Loft, and domestic light beer. For Liz, it means her Veranda subscription and fondness for chakra balancing candles. And our united tendency to lose days of our lives to Pinterest embodies basicore at its quintessence.
And while I pride myself on my flawless musical taste, perfection does not exist, and I therefore am on the rare occasion drawn to music that is not good. For example, there was a period I wish I could forget when there was a large Jack Johnson poster over my bed. I have not listened to a Jack Johnson song since 2005, but that is not to say I no longer have lapses. I sometimes listen to songs that push no boundaries, invent no new sounds, whose makers lack style and swagger, and about which no respectable critic would write a word. These songs are not even so-bad-they’re-good, nor are they campy or nostalgic. They’re just… basic. But they’re great for listening to in the shower and when you’re cruising alone in your car on a sunny day, #LovinLife. Listen to the following and embrace your basicore ya’ll!! (Don’t worry, I left off Mr. Johnson).
Listen here: ba$icore
“Firefly” – Mura Masa, NAO
“Lean On (feat. MØ & DJ Snake) – Major Lazer
“High You Are - Branchez Remix” – What So Not
“Jubel” – Klingande
“Habits (Stay High) - Oliver Nelson Remix” – Tove Lo
“I Got U” – Duke Dumont, Jax Jones
“Chase Us Around (feat. Madi Diaz)” – Viceroy
“Glad I met You” – D. Gookin
“Close Enough” – Kstewart
“Memories That You Call (feat. Monsoonsiren)” – ODESZA
“All There Is (feat. Steffaloo)” – Chrome Sparks, Steffaloo
“Mouthful of Diamonds” – Phantogram
“Starlight (RAC Remix)” – Escort
“West Coast - ZHU Remix” – Lana Del Rey
“Crave You - Adventure Club Remix” – Flight Facilities
“The Dreamer” – Anna of the North
“Lonely Roller” – Steven A. Clark
“Rella” – Tokimonsta, Anderson Pakk
“Hold On, We’re Going Home” – Pia Mia
“Ghosts” – Made in Heights
By Anna Dorn
Photograph courtesy of rantchic.com