‘There’s always some couple
in ravenous stages of loving
just when we’ve argued ourselves into cunts.
We’ll be fuming,
walking along, saying nothing,
when suddenly, here they come, skipping in front –
it makes me feel
But when I look at you
I’d much rather
have this love instead”
– Kate Tempest
Ady Suleiman’s new mixtape is gorgeously sweet, but the lead single has a hint of cloud.
I could write about this for ages I guess cause most of my music is sad or I’m sad a lot and music picks me up every time. Even if it’s a track that makes me cry when I need to cry or something to distract me from how I actually feel, when I put something on I can feel my own thoughts in my head dissolving and focus on the present. Sometimes when you’re sad you just want to hear someone who is just as sad as you are just cause it keeps you company. I’ve been listening to pearl jam a lot lately, Black on repeat. Pretty sad lol I think it’s such a good song about rejection as a feeling or subject matter. Doesn’t really matter if you were actually dumped like the guy in the song, feelings of rejection can be so relatable in such a broad way and in a day to day basis. [Here is the version Julia intended to use, sadly it won’t embed in WordPress.]
I first heard this song sitting by a canal, in the long grass. It was one of those ones that burrowed inside immediately – almost inevitably. And stayed there.
I feel it embodies a sense of gently breaking through a husk… coming to terms with something, a sweetly sombre reflection.
The pace, the voice: a sensual, unobtrusive yet compelling lethargy.
Songs with unique structures cut through the droves of music we consume. And Body, to me, is a stunning example. Two thirds of the way through, Julia sings over and over: “I guess it’s just my life, and it’s just my body…” hypnotic.
These words hit me at the right time, and they hit deep. They hint at the recognition and acceptance of one’s ultimate insignificance in the face of our massive existence, I think – not in a morose, disempowering way, but in a way that brings perspective and ultimately a kind of calm liberation. Bitter sweet.
There’s something slightly (deliciously) incongruous about this, as with much of Aldous’s work… I’m a sucker for her intriguing lyricism, tone, intonation and quirk.
She sings wistfully, accompanied by tasteful, uncluttered instrumentation: “I’ve got the weight of the planets, I’m lost”.
In the sometimes-darkened task of trying to make one’s way through life well, it can feel weighty, draining, disorientating. It’s as though the heavy truth of this state of being is delightfully played with within the light swaying curves of this song.
To me, it’s reminiscent of a dream state – in which the darkness of night can have a tasty twist.
‘I cave in‘ repeated again and again… Ugh, I feel this.
The way it turns, swirls in..
The beat, the repetition.
The angelic & the edge.
‘Help me become divine‘.
The title alone conjures images of witchcraft and cowboys, magic and menace. Opening with a beautiful yet simple acoustic guitar, before cascading into a world of nostalgic slide guitar and uncomfortable rolling harmonies. The vocals walking the line between haunting and calming, a song you could fall into an uneasy shallow sleep to. Providing a spectrum of dark colours, Jerkcurb sought to create an auditory purgatory, and this track is pretty far from either heaven or hell.
I distinctly remember listening to Try aged 9, on the car journey home from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, shaken by its fatal ending (I wasn’t one of those cool kids whose parents let them watch Pulp Fiction). My parents were quiet, so the only noise was the uninterrupted hum of the motorway, Try’s high definition doomsday chords and Nelly’s voice. The same hyperbolic Aaliyah-on-helium croon that, 14 years later. I would hear ringing out across every dancefloor from Dekmantel to Printworks this year via Four Tet’s remix of Afraid; ‘You’re so afraid of what people might say / But that’s okay cause you’re only human / You’re so afraid of what people might say/ You’re going to break so please don’t do it.’
In Try, she sang: ‘the more I learn the more I cry, as I say goodbye to the way of life I thought I had designed for me, and I see you standing there wanting more from me, and all I can do is try.’
I’m A Ruin is a track by my favourite singer, Marina Diamandis. Like the rest of her third album Froot, it’s co-produced by Marina herself, and smears background vocals, guitar and synthetic Doomsday Chords waves into the shimmering whirlpool of an oncoming breakup, of dimly imagined life alone. She coined that phrase – Doomesday Chords – in an interview, to describe what her music needed in order to feel right for her, saying ‘I don’t really connect to happy songs or major chords very much, they have to be Doomsday Chords.’
Finally, I have to share a track that I saw Midland play, at about 9pm on a Sunday at London’s Phonox, Todd Terry’s remix of Missing by Everything But The Girl. We gasped and leapt to our feet and span around like kids on Red Bull. That song with all timid soul of the xx, soul that glides above that dark, rolling cloudscape of a beat.