I love Adele. Nothing lets me suspend my belief that I can’t sing, like scream-singing “Hometown Glory” and weeping in the car. She’s just so good.So, this comes on the scene a few days ago, and I can’t take it. This song gives me that anxious, stomach-hurting sort of feeling, it’s so good. Sort of like Jeff Buckley’s “Lover, You Should’ve Come Over” (RIP, JB). It feels like there’s already a memory associated with it, which of course, is not the case (unless you count the 80 times I’ve listened to it).
They say that scent is the closest sense tied to memory, that smells most easily conjure up experiences of the past. While that certainly has merit, I would argue that music does the same, at least for me. An old girlfriend and I used to trade “mixtapes” as a way of connecting with one another, to help bridge the geographic distance between us, her in Utah and me in New York. I remember how carefully she chose each song, offering each to me with the understanding that she would never get those songs “back”…and neither would I, with the songs I chose for her.
No matter what, hearing those songs would always be shaded by the memory of one another. Sounds romantic when two people are in love…not so much when that love has cooled. This has been true of any song associated with any person I have loved…listening to your music becomes akin to crossing an auditory minefield, stepping carefully to avoid what might hurt you, blow up those parts of your heart that feel otherwise strong. Sure, it tends to fade with time, becomes tolerable, but nonetheless, those feelings are there for good. You have given them to the other person.
But that’s the beauty of music, of art, right? Art is simultaneously meaningless and incredibly meaningful, it reminds us that we are alive…that we love, we lament, and that we scream-sing in the car, remembering a million little moments of happiness and loss.
I don’t know, but I can’t get enough of them lately. This song in particular is beautiful and sad and lovely. I think most of us have felt like this at some point in our lives, about someone we love. So, make some tea, put on some warm socks, and check out The Civil Wars. It’s just that kind of music.
Now this voice, this is something really special. Melody Gardot’s voice rides a strange line of being coolly detached, yet full f emotion at the same time. She was injured in an accident a number of years ago, and began to use music as therapy during her recovery. Luckily for us, she decided to share that talent with the world. Her album Worrisome Heart, is the perfect soundtrack for Sunday brunch, or for when you’re looking for music that’s not going to compete for your attention with another task. It’s pretty good bathtub music, too. At least I think it would be, if I were the bubble-bath-taking type. Gross. Anyway, maybe you can try it, and let us all know. Enjoy!
Gin Wigmore is fun, no two ways around it. She’s this quirky combination of Amy Winehouse (bless her soul), Grace Potter, and Duffy (where’d she go, by the way?). Her album, “Holy Smoke”, is great from beginning to end. It’s especially good for the morning commute if you, like me, need a little something to get you going, and the coffee isn’t quite cutting it.
Music is a very visceral thing for me, and Amos Lee’s voice makes my heart turn over. Lame, yes, but there’s no other articulation for it. Shut up. Anyway, I chose this song to share with you, because it’s one of my all-time favorites in the world. It reminds me of a very sweet, but very sad time in my life, and it fills me up every time I hear it. How beautiful that music is such a full sensory experience in our lives. Check him out-I think you’ll dig him as much as I do.
…The National, you should check them out. They’ve been in perma-rotation on my iPod for a few years now, and “Green Gloves” is one of my all-time favorite songs in the world. No matter how many times I hear it, it still gives me the same shivery feeling. Matt Berninger’s voice is killer, and I wish he could sing me to sleep every night. All of their albums are equally great (in my opinion), so pick one, and enjoy. You’re welcome.