I’m not exactly a Swiftie, but when Taylor Swift teamed up with one of my favorite bands, The National, to do a broody, dreamy, everything-that’s-wrong-with-our-relationship ballad, it was hard not to take notice. The Alcott makes me want to pick up a little golden notebook and schedule a “spontaneous” date that might just turn out to be an adventure we both didn’t see coming. And I can’t help doing my best impression of Swift in my kitchen, with Alexa, when no one is watching.


The second I heard “guilty pleasure tunes,” I knew what mine is – the Russian ‘00s pop songs. The one that holds a special place in my heart is Девушки как звезды (Girls Like Stars) by Andrey Gubin. The song is pure ear candy. It's upbeat, catchy, and feel-good. And if you've never had a celebrity crush as a child, I have to call the police.


A close friend once told me “There’s no such thing as a guilty pleasure” – and I spent years to make this true in my life; for the music realm, at least. However, I still have those songs that inexplicably make me so happy that they put a spring in my step. Grisha Urgant’s Голосами (With Voices) is top of that list, with its goofy, hard-to-make-sense-of lyrics and a cheery beat. Whenever I am feeling down, just put this one on and spy me smiling sheepishly, barely holding myself from bursting into a dance. 


If I were asked the same question some years ago, I’d shamefully reveal my interest in a local rap artist. As time passed, the stakes got higher. These days, when no one sees and no one hears, I’m carried away by Nadezhda Kadysheva and her Течет ручей (The Stream Flows), a pop song styled to Russian folk music. I still find this match quite puzzling: I can’t relate to its lyrics – that’s not even something my parents used to listen to – yet I enjoy every note of this banger and, just give me a chance, will sing along from the top of my lungs!