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Soundtrack for Spring – From the Junk Drawer

March 8, 2023

When I sat down to write this week’s article, I had no intention of putting together another syllabus playlist, but then I had a realization. Now that we are slowly moving into spring and warmer temperatures here in DC, I find it to be the perfect time to talk about Field Medic. To me, Field Medic’s sound is synonymous with warmth, mud, and rain— All things we will be all too familiar with so soon. With such an extensive and extraordinary discography, it just continues to grow and impress me. 

In an interview with SFGATE during his time in Rin Tin Tiger, Kevin Sullivan said, “The themes that keep appearing in all my songs are hypochondria, strained relationships and pushing myself and my body too far in order to try and make myself feel better. I tend to write my lyrics from a dark place, but I enjoy writing music from a happier, more hopeful place. So a lot of the time my songs end up sounding bouncy and fun, which allows me to kind of laugh at myself and make what was once a crippling defeat into a hopeful-sounding dance number”. I think this is very present in the songs that I have chosen to highlight here, which I find fitting to include on my spring playlist. We are leaving behind the short days of winter and moving toward the warmth and fun of spring, and music like this really encapsulates that feeling. 

With that being said, I would love now to offer a somewhat simple exploration of Kevin Sullivan’s discography– both his solo as Field Medic (and Paper Rose Haiku) and his work in Rin Tin Tiger. Being that he has been a part of so many unique projects, I am opening this up as a sort of choose your own adventure situation. With this, I would like you to also consider how some guy from California is keeping folk(-adjacent) music alive. 

Rin Tin Tiger 

“Rin Tin Tiger is a high energy alternative twang trio from San Francisco, CA with lot’s of lyrics and lot’s of groove. The sound is often described as a blend between early Bob Dylan, Violent Femmes, and Tupac. They have shared the stage with a wide range of bands from Blues Traveler to The Lumineers to Minus the Bear and a plethora of emerging talent all along the West Coast” (Bandcamp) 

“Splinter Remedies” – Splinter Remedies 

“Talkin’ Good Woman” – Splinter Remedies 

“Aluminum” – Splinter Remedies 

“Bloodstains” – Splinter Remedies 

“Far Away” – Rin Tin Tiger 

“Small Cuts That Bleed a Lot” – Burial Grounds 

Field Medic 

xxxxxx freak folk xxxxxxx (Bandcamp) 

RIYL: Runner, Samia, Lomelda, Derek Ted 

“flash tattoos” – if i shout that the revolutions in my blind heart have left me on the mend, would i still have to surrender to the tides to exorcise this possession? 

“Powerful Love” – That Beer Called Becks Reminds Me of a Haiku I Wrote “Ur the 1 4 Me (Freestyle)” – That Beer Called Becks Reminds Me of a Haiku I Wrote “uuu” – Songs from the Sunroom 

“everyday’z 2moro” – fade into the dawn

“i will not mourn who i was that is gone away” – Floral Prince 

“bundle of hyacinths” – Floral Prince 


Paper Rose Haiku 

i’m in the studio with paper rose <//3 (Soundcloud) 

RIYL: Bladee, Fantasy Camp, Ecco2k 

“hero’s journey” – paper rose haiku 

“$uperbowl” – paper rose haiku 

“revenge” – paper rose haiku 

“vagrant” – paper rose haiku 

“jeans so tight” – jeans so tight (my fav track… only on Soundcloud) 

I would also love to leave you with these- links to videos I found from gigs pre-Rin Tin Tiger. These are from Westwood & Willow, which was Sullivan’s duo with his brother before they became the trio we know as Rin Tin Tiger.

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