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Breaking Out Is Hard to Do The director of The Queen’s Gambit reveals which songs he plays when the well seems to have gone dry

Fare-Thee-Well, 2020 Close out the year with Frank Ocean, the Avalanches, Brian Eno, Waxahatchee, and more

That Old Feeling Dance into the New Year with Dua Lipa, the Ronettes, Yvonne Elliman, the Rolling Stones, and more

Transmutations Tracks to change form to, from John Fahey, Volta Jazz, Alice Coltrane, Wayne Shorter, and more

Bygones and Begones Music for the weary but hopeful, from Billy Preston, Lucinda Williams, Justin Townes Earle, Henry Thomas, and more

Living in Mono Phil Spector, the thorny mastermind behind the Wall of Sound, died last week. Herewith, a collection of songs—from the Ronettes, the Ramones, and more—that demonstrate the power of his hidden hand

My Ever Changing Moods Songs for mutable minds, from Marvin Gaye, Seu Jorge, Frank Ocean, the Kinks, and more

The Good Earth Stay grounded with songs from Tracy Chapman, John Denver, Bill Withers, and more

Funny Valentines Oh, the things we overlook for love. Herewith, honest tracks for faithful lovers, from Alvin Robinson, Ella Fitzgerald, Dorothy Lamour, and more

The Best Is Yet to Come Delighted that things seem to be looking up in 2021? Celebrate and remain hopeful with these songs from Cher, Harry Belafonte, Cat Stevens, and more

Divine Divas Music to celebrate the fairer sex with, from Jan Bradley, Mina, Bettye Swann, and Lucinda Williams

Learning to Reed On the occasion of the birthday of one of rock ’n’ roll’s finest songwriters, a playlist of Lou Reed covers (and some that aren’t) from Bryan Ferry, Sandra Nkaké, David Bowie, Mink DeVille, and more

Tripping Out Lake Street Dive shares their collaborative road-trip playlist, with songs from Mavis Staples, Amber Mark, Diana Ross, Paul Simon, and more

Living for the City A restaurateur shares his tracks to rebuild New York City to, from Bruce Springsteen, Sister Nancy, Gary Clark Jr., and more

Lovers’ Season A soundtrack in homage, with music from the Lemonheads, Eddie Hazel, the Beatles, Elvis Costello & the Attractions, and more

Sonic Cinema When you can’t make it to the movies (or just don’t want to), satisfy your filmic desires with these songs from Lou Reed, Lyle Lovett, Ellen Foley, and more

Neon Dion The Bronx’s doo-wop prince is also a soulful rock ’n’ roller whose catalogue is as deep as it is vast

Emergency Exit Come out of hiding with these songs from the Animals, Junior Parker, Lyn Collins, Animal Collective, and more

World-Wise Songs about our precious planet, from Moondog, Nils Frahm, the Turtles, Rare Earth, Koko Taylor, and more

Déjà Voodoo Reggae covers of non-reggae songs that will make you think twice, from John Holt, Peter Tosh, Marcia Griffiths, Alton Ellis, and more

Stoop Slide Brush up on your boogying with these numbers from Brett Dennen, Mathien, Haim, Mayer Hawthorne, and more

On the Road Again Tunes to complement your wanderlust, from Willie Nelson, the Coasters, Laura Nyro and Labelle, Van Dyke Parks, and more