Welcome back to The Friday Download, T+L’s weekly roundup of books, music, and podcasts that promise to carry you through the weekend, whether your itinerary is jam-packed with travel or you’re staying put, staycation style. This week, ease in-flight anxiety with a new album from The Weepies, laugh your way through Una Lamarche’s Unabrow, and more.

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The Weepies
Credit: Robert Sebree



After a victorious battle with breast cancer, songstress Deb Talan and her husband Steve Tannen are back with The Weepies’s fifth studio album, Sirens. Filled with dulcet harmonies seemingly written to calm anxious travelers, and a gorgeous cover of Tom Petty’s “Learning to Fly,” the album serves as the perfect soft-folk soundtrack to your next flight. Put on your headphones and stream Sirens below, or purchase the full album on iTunes.com.


A Brief History of Restaurant Matches

Once a hostess-stand mainstay, restaurant matches are now more nostalgic souvenir than guaranteed swag. In its longform “ A Brief History of” series, Eater chronicles the branded matchbook’s cultural narrative and explores who is still championing the complimentary keepsake. Read the full study here.


The Men in Blazers Podcast

Broadcasting from “the crap part of SoHo” in NYC, British ex-pats Michael “Davo” Davies and Roger “Rog” Bennett, are on a mission to bring “football” to the American masses with their weekly podcast, The Men in Blazers. Whether you’re a soccer fanatic or new to the sport, tune in for game recaps peppered with pop-culture commentary, and interviews with special guests like YA novelist John Green, late-night host John Oliver, Downton Abbey’s Laura Carmichael, and restaurant critic Adam Platt. Stream this week’s show below, or check out the archive of podcasts on meninblazers.com.



Boasting the tagline “Misadventures of a Late Bloomer,” Una Lamarche’s hilarious memoir is the perfect airport read. A series of comedic essays à la Tina Fey’s Bossypants or Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? on topics ranging from fashion (An Open Letter to Rompers) to childrearing (How to Be a Perfect Parent in Five Steps, or Never), to learning to drive at the age of 25, Unabrow will keep you laughing through three weather delays and a late cabin crew. Download to your kindle, or make room in your carry-on for the paperback: The cover alone is worth the price of a hard copy.

Caroline Hallemann is the associate digital editor at Travel + Leisure. You can find her on Twitter at @challemann.