My biggest issue with music, is that you have to use your ears in order to listen to it. So when your ears are sensitive, because of reasons unknown, aka listening to too much music, it can get a little difficult. And so I’ve been on a detox, an unwilling detox, because it’s literally the hardest thing in the world to do.
I’ve been wearing earplugs with earphones over top while teaching drum lessons, and as you can imagine this makes it tough to hear the kids I’m teaching. I’ve become a grandfather, asking my friends to lower the music, and saying things like “wow this place is loud”, and “please speak at a lower volume”.
Entering my elder years 50 years early hasn’t been fun, but the musical neglect has been worse. But on the bright side, there have been a few select songs, that I’ve been singing to myself to keep myself pleased. Songs I hum to myself, or sing to myself as I lay in the fetal position with my ear pressed against my pillow. Hopefully the ear gods bestow upon me some grace, because it’s been brutal.
1. “Sweet Sun”- Milky Chance
Although I fell in love with the live rendition at their show last week, the studio version is no afternoon nap. A contagious bass line drives this song forward, and with it comes this urgent need to dance. Whether it be at work as I offer black pepper to customers, or while on public transit when I move my body to the beat while maintaining eye contact with passengers, this song has the capacity to get any party started. (Maybe not..I haven’t decided if this song would bring up the usual “what are we listening to” question.”
2. “Surgeon”-St. Vincent
Ah, the slayer of all guitar slayers.
What I would do to watch her shred her live! I’ve been on a massive St.Vincent trip as of late, and how can I not be? HOW CAN YOU NOT BE!!? I get that her experimental use of sounds can be intimidating, but once you get past that, you get one of this generations most original guitarists, and most importantly a female musician who can rock the fuck out like Karen O in her prime.
3. “Season 2 Episode 3”- Glass Animals
Play this song, and see if those around you don’t automatically start swaying their bodies to the beat. As the self proclaimed, corniest dancer of all time, I can’t help but showcase my fire dance moves every time this song is played. I was playing beer pong this past weekend, and this song came on, and I played defense while in rhythm to the song. It’s that consuming.
The gooey production(no pun intended) is sly, and places you on a wave of vibes. Play this anytime you’re trying to put a hip hop fan onto alternative music. Or when you just trynaaa chiilllll fam.
4. “My Girls”-Animal Collective
For a song that will likely deter all pop music fans within the first ten seconds, “My Girls” contains one of the catchiest chorus’s I’ve heard from an experimental band, maybe ever. It takes a while to get going, but stick with it, and you’re rewarded with a chorus as anthemic as it is melodic.
5. “Mansard Roof”- Vampire Weekend
I go through phases with Vampire Weekend. Although my favourite songs stay the same, I’m constantly going through their discography and identifying with their music in different ways. For some reason, as of late, “Mansard Roof”, with its relentless beat, and blistering guitars makes this the perfect song as we approach the dreaded school season. Play it loud, and play it proud, because maybe if the dudes from VW hear it, they’ll finally release LP4.