Talkhouse Weekend Playlist: Jaguar Jonze’s Songs For My Younger Self

The Asian-Australian singer-songwriter shares mantras, angsty tunes, and the song that changed her life.

Of the mountain of music that fills my inbox every week, Jaguar Jonze’s “CURLED IN” seemed to stand out. The track explodes with energy, and the video has a carefully crafted aesthetic. It’s no wonder as multi-hyphenate Deena Lynch, who uses the moniker Jaguar Jonze, also has other identities as a photographer, painter, and designer (under other pseudonyms, of course). “CURLED IN” is a small sample from the forthcoming EP, ANTIHERO, due out later in April. Catch Jaguar Jonze live at the Australian Sounds SXSW Showcase next Friday (3/19), and her TEDxUQ 2021 talk tonight (3/12) about overcoming PTSD through art.
—Keenan Kush, Talkhouse Director of Operations

City and Color — “Comin’ Home”
I found a sanctuary in this song and have followed City and Color since I was in elementary school. This was my first introduction to City and Color and this song for me is a bit of a mantra, to take deep breaths, calm down and ground myself.

Portishead — “Roads”
This song hits me right in the heart EVERY SINGLE TIME. When I’m struggling to let out emotions I’m feeling, I play this song to help them along. That moment when the strings peak always churns my emotional gears. This song is more about my younger self for me, but it’s one that can still be relevant to me today.

Paramore — “The Only Exception”
Obviously, I was a bit of a sad child, but aren’t we all as teenagers? I was obsessed with everything Paramore — they were the first concert I went to without my parents at 14. Paramore’s “Misery Business” is a popular karaoke choice of mine still to this day.

Death Cab for Cutie — “I Will Follow You Into the Dark”
The perfect sing-a-long to cry to, slow dance to, to court someone with, to sing around the campfire with, to make love to, to drive to, to reminisce to.

Hikaru Utada — “First Love”
I was born in Japan so I’ve always had a natural curiosity to Japanese pop culture since I was young. I was a huge sucker for J-Pop, anime, and fashion, but for me, Hikaru Utada was the big sister I always wanted. I found it hard to pick between this tune and “Flavor of Life” (the theme song she did for the video game Kingdom Hearts), but I was always playing covers of this song so my inner child gut instinct went with this one.

Jay Chou — “Fa Ru Xue”
If you don’t know Jay Chou then let me tell you, you probably do but just don’t realize it. I wouldn’t choose him to play alongside me if I was in a movie but he does star in The Green Hornet and Initial D, other than that, he is just casually one of the biggest pop stars in Asia. Old Jay Chou discography was the soundtrack to my life but I picked this one because this was the song that even all of my Caucasian friends in high school would SCREAM along to with no shame, and also because it was the favorite of my late close friend who is no longer here with me. Mostly, though, this song is one of the main reasons why I changed my life to be a full-time creative.

Paolo Nutini — “Candy”
“Candy” seems pretty innocent at first but then when he breaks into that anthemic chant at the end, it is so guttural yet subdued. It’s emotional intoxication at its finest. I needed music like this a lot when I was younger because I had nowhere else to place my emotions, and they weren’t exactly allowed to be freely unleashed either. Guttural in desperation, yet subdued in preservation.

The Pretty Reckless — “My Medicine”
Needed an angsty number to complete my teenage years — to be honest I really picked the mildest one off my green square iPod (do you remember those?). But here’s a little gentle sidestep bridge over to places where I would go musically when I’m feeling frustrated, wronged, misunderstood, and sassy.

Bon Iver — “Skinny Love”
I feel like “Skinny Love” is my fairytale song that I would escape to as a teenager. In this world of a few minutes, I’d dream of love, I’d dream of happiness, I’d dream of my kind of white picket fence with everything I thought I always wanted, but also it was a song I’d use to lament over lost love.

Jeff Buckley — “Lover, You Should’ve Come Over”
And I guess, from Bon Iver where I’d dream of love, it brought me to my soulmate, Jeff Buckley. He sang to my soul and made me feel like I existed and that someone out there could see my loneliness and pain. But this song taught me that I was far from alone and gave me shelter to seek refuge in as I picked myself up… long enough for my hormones to blow over, anyway.

(Photo Credit: Courtesy of Nettwerk)