Spotify Takeover: Pretty Pretty Awful

Every now and then, we like to know what music drives the artists we love here at Refrain.Music.Blog. With that in mind, we’ve asked Anthony from Pretty Pretty Awful to take over our Spotify Playlist and curate it with their favorite tunes.

First, let’s start off with a little about Pretty Pretty Awful. With a mean-spirited garage-esque sound, a darkly clever lyrical flair, and a rallying cry of “SO SAD – STILL RAD,” how “awful” can Cleveland-based Punk/Rock trio Pretty Pretty Awful actually be? Formed in late 2021 as the side-project of Indie Emo mainstays, Darling Waste, Pretty Pretty Awful is the little brainchild of Anthony Powers, who takes the helm as songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist of the band. He’s joined by friends and bandmates Donnie Talbott, Lance Waste, and James Buckey. “Mental health advocacy is actually a big part of this project to me,” says Powers. “Most of us have our demons, our skeletons in the closet – these songs are for them. Your depression or anxiety might be part of you, but they don’t make you any less than. You can be a gloomy little raincloud, but still be rad as hell.”

So before we let the band have their way with our playlist, we decided to put their latest single, “Burn This If I Stay” at the top spot. Check out the playlist below and read all about Anthony’s favorite songs.

“We Know Where You Sleep” by The Paper Chase
The Paper Chase is one of those bands I wish more people knew about. This album is in my top 5 of all time and I think John Congleton is just brilliant.

“Is This Thing Cursed?” By Alkaline Trio
A song that resonated so much with me, I got it tattooed on my arm. Alkaline Trio will always be my favorite band of all time, and this is one of my favorite songs off their later albums.

“Listening To My Head” by Cherym
I think this is probably one of my most played songs since its release. Does it remind me of one of the worst times of my life? Yes. Is it catchy as hell and worth the occasional tear while screaming along to it? Also yes.

“No Children” by The Mountain Goats
Before I had ever heard this song, my friend Jesea sent it over to me and was like “hey, I think you’d like this, it almost sounds like you would have written it,” and I don’t know if I’ve ever had my own music so highly complimented in my entire life.

“My Darling Dopamine” by Days N Daze
Another song that goes heavy in my rotation at all times. I am a folk punk trash person at heart and this song just soothes that part of my soul.

“Make Me Wanna Die” by White Reaper
The whole album is amazing, but this is most definitely my favorite song on it. It’s one of my favorite SOUNDING records of all time.

“Two Letters” by Bayside
Bayside has always been a huge influence on me musically. Anthony Raneri is just an incredible songwriter. For as well known  as they are, I still think they’re underrated, at least on a larger scale.

“Bad Vibes” by K. Flay
Kind of a weird addition to this list when you look at everything else I’ve included – but I just think everything K. Flay does is so f*cking cool.

“Cleveland, OH” by John Floreani
Maybe the most important song for me over the past couple of years. Every other line of that song is a dagger. If I ever write a song half as impactful to someone else as this song is to me, I’ll die happy.

“I Don’t Believe You” by the Magnetic Fields
Stephin Merritt has had an overwhelming influence on my songwriting ever since I stumbled across his music back when I was in college. My friends and I had a radio show and we would pick albums at random from the CD library to play on air. I can’t remember if it was I or 69 Love Songs, but regardless, it spoke to a side of me like no music ever had, even though I had no idea why at the time.


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