A love letter inspired by the body of works as produced by the band Passion Pit

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This is a love letter that can be seen addressed to a variety of forms. It is directed to one person and a collection of ideas. This is to the inner strength have to I tell myself that I have and to the friend that lets me sleep on their couch. It’s to those who give me mix playlists. It’s to the music and to the thoughts it gives me.

One of my favorite bands is Passion Pit not because I listen to them all the time or because I think they’re the best, but because their stories of emotional struggle and resilience are universal. It’s a story many people can relate to in their own perseverance. Passion Pit’s music largely deals with love, growth, and the mental health issues that the frontman, Michael Angelakos faces. An overwhelming amount of the songs are sonically upbeat and happy-sounding. Isn’t that true though? You have this inner sadness but you seem so happy to others.

Passion Pit has many loyal fans, fans that have been there from the beginning with Chunk of Change and the clangy, raw, powerful cut of “Sleepyhead.” The EP was actually a Valentine’s Day present that Angelakos made for his girlfriend at the time. The whole EP was him, tracks and vocals, but once the music gained traction, the band fell into place around him for the debut LP. Producing art, whatever form, is the greatest sense of happiness an artist, and especially one that has blue-tinted glasses on, can have. If an artist gives you part of their happiness, that is love.

The band came into themselves with Manners, a body of work like a book, an ode to the sweetness of the beginnings of things. A growing up version of love. It was an album that carried me into the last leg of my high school days. There was something else, however, besides the EP’s caring sentiment. There were songs like “Moth’s Wings” and “Swimming in the Flood.” These songs were boomy, base-driven. They were about how thoughts, like blocks, build and build to amount to our personalities. There wasn’t something wholly happy about the album, although the songs were mainly upbeat, dance-inducing. A little tug of intrigue that I didn’t think much about until their next album, Gossamer.

Gossamer came during the beginning of my sophomore year in college. Freshman year is a challenging time for everyone, I think. I don’t think there’s anyone in college that can say: “I dealt with no issues during the first year that I entered a new level of young adulthood.” There is a level of uncertainty that buzzes in your brain that whole first year. No wonder so many people turn to the party scene. I did and I was part of the culture solidly that second year.

I would listen to this album during my workouts at the gym the morning after the booming late-night rendezvous. I never turned down an evening, I liked the release.

Gossamer was a similar tone. Tracks that had a fast heartbeat and bubbly falsettos. If you listened closely to the words, there was doubt and self-defeatism embedded in the songs.

At these parties I told my friends my problems, my worries, the deep sludge of my thoughts about my self-image. The world was blurry at this point. It was a subconscious tactic to get away with saying what I felt. “Oh I was drunk, I didn’t mean it,” was my nasty little trick I played on myself and my friends. I wasn’t realizing the gravity of what I was doing since in the daylight I was happy and laughing with those same friends. So I carried on, living a normal college existence.

But listening to Gossamer was when I questioned myself. Gossamer was an album about a pain that I understood and I wasn’t really sure why.

A lot happened between Gossamer and Kindred. The albums are a contrast of each other. Gossamer is in the midst of struggling with denial and darkness whereas Kindred is looking up to the sky and wanting to be good to those you love and telling them you’re trying, you’re trying so hard. You didn’t used to have to work this hard.

I first listened to Kindred this year at the coffee shop I lived near in Syracuse. There were three weeks left of school. At this point in my life, I am learning to let go of denial about myself. I need to change how I act. The self-pity routine hurts people who love me and I can’t have that happen anymore. Thinking patterns are my nemesis. So is general anxiousness about everything.

I listened to this album when I was feeling peaceful, a low-glowing lamp that shone on my homework and a coffee by my side. I remember reading an article that day about how Angelakos made this album for his wife. It was about how much he loves her and how hard he is working on his issues with depression for her. It was about how she has helped him through so much.

When you listen to the album, Kindred is a love letter, as Chunk of Change is, but it is so much different. Chunk of Change is youth and learning what it’s like to express your beauty for someone. Kindred is commitment. Kindred is apologizing for the pain of the past to move forward. Kindred is looking at someone and letting them know where you’re at and how you are working hard for them. How you want to be healthy for them.

Sometimes I think of myself in this electrified cage. It’s a nasty electrical charge if you get too close. If you know me from afar, you can’t even see it. I laugh and I joke and I ask about how your day is. People smile and walk by and I’m relieved they don’t really know me. If they do get close, then they see the prison I have created for myself, and it puts them off. They don’t want to get electrocuted, who does? Not everyone leaves, though, and we learn to be friends with what I have.

Then there are the people that have known me for my whole life and they don’t notice the cage. They aren’t phased by my texts asking whether or not an indent on my skull means I have a fracture or texts about how because I said a weird joke, that must mean I’m a bad person. They tell me to knock it off and I do, and for a time I forget about my cage. For a time I remember drawing chalk cartoons on the driveway and smiling.

But then there’s that person that comes and looks at me with longing and happiness and rushes to me, not missing a beat, knowing to be close to me. They grab at the bars of my cage and are scared, hurt. This is the person where their stomach sinks when I say “I’m the worst.” They are hurt by my pain and when I look at them and I feel a fear, a real fear, one that isn’t part of the irrational cloth of nervousness. This fear is that I am hurting people vividly, and that I am hurting someone I care about so much about with words about myself.

This is when I know I need to get out of the cage.

Kiss your knuckles- “Twin Size Mattress” by the Front Bottoms

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I hope 2015 kissed its knuckles, because it punched me in the face. And I’m glad it did.

Let’s start when I first started listening to this song in the early months of the year, in winter, when shit was bleak. My friend Jess told me about this band, and bless her. I think this song came up on Soundcloud by accident. I needed it though, it was freezing. I mean, it was Antarctica weather, right?

Okay so there’s this fucking hill that I had to walk over every day going to class when I was in school five months ago (which feels like five years ago).

I was just heartsick all the time, and maybe because I didn’t really know and I was I was just numb to it, I didn’t really know why I was climbing the hill (since there’s this thing called buses). But maybe I needed the cold, wet snow seep through my boots so that my mind wouldn’t latch onto the words that someone told me two years ago.

I climbed this hill and I was so God damn angry for the past, I hated the way it made me feel, but I thought it would be better to climb it than just… Not. 

I thought walking would be better than closing the blinds and laying in my bed and being alone saying, “no, not today.” 

I climbed this hill and this song would scream in my ears and I felt like it was justified, here were my nightmares every night, but just on a daily basis walking over this hill.

Things in my life began to change. Old securities were evaporated, health updates shook me up when it wasn’t even about me (healthy as all can be, that’s my curse). I was away from the people that formed me and all I could think about was being with them. I needed to know what they were doing. How they were doing. 

Being remote from those you love in the tundra takes a toll, but you don’t let it get you down because it can’t. You can’t get down.

So I am listening to this song as lives are changing and I want to tell them that I will help them swim, but even to this day I don’t know how I can tell them.

But during those months, I know I have to do this thesis project on this punk venue that’s cold as balls when a band plays and I have to do well in my classes and I have to find a fucking job.

I go to New York in March to say good bye. I honestly thought it was good bye. I don’t remember feeling sadder as I departed from my visiting brother and friends who were of the world I was foaming at the mouth to join. I wanted to contribute to that glorious chaos.

It was a blow to the gut, like the punch I gave my high school boyfriend when a girl sat on his lap for forty five minutes as I watched them talk. Everything was pounding in my head, everything was becoming a breaking point. My arm was starting to get numb but I didn’t think too much about it.

I didn’t think, even when nurse practitioners asked “what have you done about your anxiety?” And I would shy away. I would be fine, even though I would go to the counsellors at the counseling center at school and tell them about the way people treated me and they’d look like they were about to cry. 

I was hurting by the end of the semester because I was trying to not be in my head, but I was so deep in there, coming to a head during graduating class picnic with all of my fellow senior friends. It made me cry because I didn’t belong anywhere. I was gone already. I talked to fellow floaters, but they, like me, were dust passing. It’s no big surprise it turned out this way. I felt cursed forever.

With tears in my eyes, I begged not to stay anymore. I wanted out. This song pounded in my face as started going on jogs and I ran by the cemetery, spring showing its head and reminding me to take care of my (to me) pathetic body again.

Three weeks were the buffer I had before adulthood after graduation. I was sure there was something I could find to do in the city, like shake a tambourine as I find a place to live.

Miraculously, I lived in my dream nostalgia for two months. I was back in East Village like before, and loving it. I was where was destined to be.

Until I looked at my bank account.

I was lucky I was on a full-sized mattresses, let alone a twin-sized mattress. But here I was! I wasn’t thinking of living longterm. I was living that life. I was here. Here I was. 

But every day was a trek, a journey, to get to work. The song faded as I walked and I was happy. 

The end of my sublet came faster than I expected and I was thrown into the ocean of unexpected living. I’d pretend it was casual at work, but I was drowning in fear and insecurity. It wasn’t a lake I was swimming with friends. Where was going to live? Where the fuck was I going to live? 

Pounding, dull sadness is a powerful terror on the soul. This happens when you can’t meet your needs. 

I had friends take care of me, comfort me, shelter me. This was good, but people were still worried when I found my temporary place in Hoboken. I exhaled a long sigh of exhaustion and sadness, and I poured that fear into rediscovering this song. It was nice to listen to it in a bed and not the air mattress that I was on.

I was dedicated to finding the longterm. And I found it. My dedication, my sleepless nights paid off. I didn’t ignore the warning signs, but I did expect more.

New York, hey man, I love you, but no fucking way.

I wanted stability, and Jersey felt like that to me. I knew it the first week I lived with my friend. 

There are people that fizzle and then there are people that keep that spark in your eye.

I found my longterm sublet and I waited for that to begin.

When it did, I was punched the face again, but this was the best wakeup call I could have ever gotten.

Here I am, living 2015, a fucking boxing match at this point, and then I meet someone that I actually want to care about and get to know.

My normal cycle of “Claire, you’re not worthy,” seeped into physical manifestations, to the point that I talked to nurses and they burst at me, “stop! Stop you’re not helping yourself looking up webmd.”

I was used to myself saying “no” to myself about any sort of person creating happiness in me and I put up every front I could think of and thankfully they just melted. It just melted and now I’m in this glistening pond of beauty and hope and happiness and positivity and care and there’s wonderful person I’m still getting to know here with me as well.

I always wanted to feel like I mattered and it’s something I have to work on, but when there’s people who look you in the eyes and tell you you’re worth it, it gets easier to believe.

This song came up again through conversation and concert and progress with my heart and my hope for myself.

I keep getting happier for myself and for the people I care about. I keep unwinding the twisted thoughts that are lies. I see the beautiful truth which is that I am so loved and that I am worthy of someone to find out who I am.

I like smiling with you – “Velvet Elvis” by Alex Winston

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And then it’s raining all of a sudden. I didn’t think that it would, but I can’t help smiling because I’m listening to this song and it’s boosting my mood. The rain is feeling so good and I am smiling because I’m thinking of you. I’ve slept on your couch, we’ve gone to a concert, we’ve watched baseball or we’ve drank one too many. I’ve hugged you and seen your eyes shine with the lights of the street illuminating the night. I’m so happy I came to the city because now I know you. I can’t help but raise in my hands in the air as I walk and let the song fill my heart. I’m so happy I leapt over here to the east because you’re now part of my story.

You don’t need to dig the pit. – “Do You Feel It?” by Chaos Chaos

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Most of you who watch the utter perfection that is Rick and Morty know this song from that moment. I won’t spoil it, but this song comes at an incredibly dark moment in the show – darker than what most fans were expecting.

The song works perfectly for the scene because of the song itself.

The deep chords are contrasted by the falsetto vocals. They’re mixed with the echoey, double-tracked percussion to give a sense of intense melancholy. The kind of music that Rob Gordon would probably, if not like, at least appreciate.

I listened to this song for the first time last month in the wake of my housing woes. It was a hard month because I was physically and emotionally working to get over that chaos. I needed something to distract me from the intensity of moving and settling; this song would help me let it out from time to time.

When things are changing and unexpected and sometimes beyond your control, ah, what a comfort brooding is. It’s a pit that’s very easy to climb down into and stay. The darkness from the shade of your negative thoughts keep the light at bay. You start to get lonely, though, sitting in the dark alone, so you try to bring people to your special sad place. This doesn’t tend to work too well, considering people have jobs and lives and friends and relationships, too. You find that you sit in the dirt by yourself for a long time.

It’s a feeling that is very prevalent in a lot of post-grad twentysomethings – even when things are going well. Maybe you don’t have a job. Maybe you do, but it’s not what you want. Maybe you do and it is what you want, but you’re worried about fucking things up since so many people look up to you. Maybe it’s school or relationships or friends or trying to move to a city and not knowing where the fuck you’re going to live or what you’re going to do. It’s sad, though, that despite the fact that so many of us are climbing down into our respective pits, we’re alone in them. Then again, if we were all were in the same, big, mud pit, it wouldn’t be so bad. We could have mud fights.

Some people didn’t dig their own pit – the pit was already there to begin with and they know how to climb up. Some people don’t know how to climb up still and you cannot blame them for that. Some people created their own pit with every doubtful musing, every self-pity, every body-shaming thought. Some of these pit-diggers think that the pit is a bit of a refuge, that they can climb down and back up any time.

“Stop doing that to yourself,” their loved ones will say. “Do you really want to be down there?”

I admit, I’m a pit-digger. Sometimes I like feeling sad for the sake of feeling sad. There’s a great Doctor Who line about that: “Sad is happy for deep people.” And, with the sort of self-inflated/ self-deprecating flip-flop mindset that I have, I sometimes make difficult – but not always bad – situations more dramatic than they need to be.

Change is a hard time. It’s hard if it’s a good or bad change. Change is this set of monkey bars that you like to climb on the playground, but the bars are greased this time around and your hands slip away from them. Instead of knowing where you’re going to land, you wonder if it’s going to be soft grass or mulch.

It’s important for us pit-diggers to not be tempted to go down there. We know our own strength and our own abilities. We also know that it’s hard to keep an upbeat attitude all of the time and it’s nice to sometimes get away from that positivity. To believe things aren’t worth it. It’s easier.

But the problem arises if things actually aren’t okay. Do you want to be sitting in a pit when things are?

Every time you have your friend tell you to knock it off or your sister try to change the conversation, listen to them. Every time you’re tempted to sit and put off calling the doctor for a mole you’re scared to get checked, call the damn doctor. This cycle of worry and immobility isn’t very fun.

You don’t need to keep digging this pit. You do, though, need to figure out a way to keep yourself from getting like this. It’s healthy to feel sad and to recognize your emotions in response to things in your life. But exaggerating the scary parts is only going to make it harder for you. Make it easier for you, you deserve it.

How do you stop digging? Well, I’m not too sure myself. I need to figure out what works for me. But, something I do know is that everyone is different. Whether it’s learning how to allocate your focus or making a lifestyle change, any sort of progress is a step forward. Any time you put down the shovel and walk away from the hole in the ground, you’re doing yourself a huge favor. That small act is so big and important. Here’s the best part: it can be a small act. It can be easy. Remember that sketch you told yourself you were going to draw today? Do that instead of refreshing your Twitter to see what mindless notifications you receive. Didn’t you tell me that you wanted to learn how to code? Maybe save listening to that sad song from an animated show on Adult Swim for later and open up AppCoda.

You can’t control everything and don’t tell yourself that you have to make it perfect, but see what you can do. See what influence you have on your day. See if you can make someone laugh, even if the joke is really stupid.

And then, in those moments when you’re stressed and you do need to cry, listen to that song from that show and move on with your day. By then, it’s just a release. You don’t even own a shovel at this point.

Know where you’re going to sleep – “It’s Around You” by ANR

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The “oh, let’s just see where I turn up next” idealism that I carry has acted as an armor against the stability and commitment that I see so often in this young life that my peers and I lead. Some people have found their path and can see into years; they know what they’ll be doing, at least one aspect of it. This idea of foresight scares the living shit out of me. No wonder I don’t know how to have a long-term romantic relationship.

My vision is three months. I can see what I’m doing in three months and that’s it. That’s how it’s been for awhile now. I was used to just going and seeing what happens in every out-there place I ended up. I still don’t believe what my life has been for about two years now. It’s like I’m reading one of my books, but I’m living it. I’m creating the stories that I devised in my head for eighteen years while in my suburban schooling. When you have that much time to focus on literary theory, it’s easy to figure out how to carry it into your life. My steps are calculated, but not predicted, if you will. I’m still my own main character. Long story short: I’m a bit messed up.

The problem with that, however, is that you can end up in the situation that I was in last month.

The end of July was brutal. Maslow’s hierarchy of God damn needs. The guy was right. You need that base. You need to know where you’re going to live. Every other day I was living with friends in Brooklyn or Hoboken and most of my day was either working, messaging strangers on Facebook to see if I could live with them, or traveling via bus, subway, NJ transit, walking to wherever the hell I needed to be in some place at some time and oh Christ, it’s 5:30pm and I forgot to eat and I only drank a quarter of a water bottle.

Physically, I had never felt so weak – a weak sensation that I brought upon myself. I wasn’t focusing on the whole, you now, food and water thing. I would be talking to someone and feel a cloud, hoping that what I was saying was making somewhat sense and being able to stand without wobbling. I was propping up my body with my elbows to convince myself that I could focus when really I needed to rest. I couldn’t though. I didn’t know where I was going to live in five days.

Luck saved me, I swear to God. I was on the phone with Mom, hearing encouraging words and I was saying, “You know what, I haven’t checked Airbnb in a few days… wait… wait there’s a place in my price range for a month. I’m going to see it now.”

It worked. Two days before August 1st, I found where I was going to live for a month. Two days. It makes me throw up a little inside when I think about it.

Things needed to change. I couldn’t throw caution to the wind. Adventure and spontaneity is important in general, and still the way in which I try to see out the next stories that I live out in my life, but God, I wanted to know that I had a bed.

I hit the ground searching for my next place the week I moved into the new place in Hoboken. I visited a few places at the beginning of the month and then I found someone and a place that really clicked. I have a week and a half left at this current place I’m in but, Oh my God, I mercifully don’t have a repeat of last month.

I get to have a place that I can call my home, for however long I want, and it’ll probably be longer than three months. If not, then that’s how the cards will be played. I don’t care. I don’t care because I don’t have to drag suitcases through subways or sleep on an air mattress wondering if I can keep my promise to my friend of, “Yeah, I’ll only be here for a few days.”

I still like this idea of discovery and finding yourself and trying new things and being adventuresome. But I also like being smart about things. I don’t have my life mapped out, but just because I have a stable place to be able to sleep in doesn’t mean I am relinquishing my energy. It’s giving me the chance to focus on how I want to adventure and not worry about “wait, where am I living again?”

This song could be about anything, I don’t care, but it’s this one lyric that stands out to me: “keep your toenails on the ground, put your fingers in the air.”

That’s how I need to start living. I sometimes feel like I am in the clouds, floating and floating, above consistency and normalcy. Sometimes I am proud of that, sometimes, as of late, it becomes a hassle. If I can have my toenails on the ground, enough to keep me sane, then I can still reach my hands up, way up, to the sky and the clouds. I can think of the world and how, God, I really want to see my friends in Jerusalem one day. What would be like to live in San Francisco? What if I one day go to grad school? What would I study? What if I write that novel that I have been wanting to write my whole life?

And I can keep my hands up, way up, and I don’t have to let them down. I can reach, reach, reach, because I won’t get carried away into oblivion because, yes, I know where I’m sleeping tonight.

Run fast and angry – “Cradle” by the Joy Formidable

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I don’t like admitting when I’m angry. In fact, it’s probably the thing I am worst at doing. I don’t like when I’m pissed off at someone and I don’t like when I’m pissed off at myself. I’m always so worried about keeping the status quo and it sometimes comes back to haunt me.

I’m still trying to get better at expressing anger, but when I was in New York City during the summer of 2013, I found something out that was vital.

I could run.

I could be angry when I ran.

No song better explained my feelings than when I listened to “Cradle” during my morning run through the city. It wasn’t so much of a run-to-a-park kind of a run, it was let’s-not-get-hit-by-cars kind of a run. It was a run to over-wrung my already wracked mind. I wanted to be distracted, and I wanted it to be difficult and something that I could accomplish.

“Cradle” was my anger, “Cradle” was me coping. “Cradle” was my way of breaking plates or screaming or crying. “Cradle” was me letting out the emotions, letting it flow out rather than smack someone in the face who didn’t deserve it.

And something that it taught me was that I was angry much more than I originally thought.

Emotionality and Expression – “Thorn in my Pride” by the Black Crowes

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It’s those first few notes. Those first few strums on the guitar. It starts so small, like everything.

But it grows into something so much more.

This song has been in my life for a long time, but I’ve just recently really gotten into it. Despite this, I’ve always associated this song with the release of positive expression.

This song has roots in my childhood. If we ever needed to clean the house, this was usually on a CD mix that my dad had made. He’d put it in and turn on the surround system.

The light from the day shone in and the house was filled with crooning. “Let you love light shine let it shine.” It made everything feel fresh and reinvigorated. It felt good to clean and see spaces organized once again.

As time went on, the song popped up periodically but I never sought it out. It became a pleasant surprise whenever it happened to play on XRT. Another memory is when I heard the song play on the radio as I stepped out of the shower one peaceful morning. The steam and the warmth complimented the vocals and guitar as the feeling and sounds swirled into the air, dissipating into the ether of music and atmosphere.

I started to seek out the song the semester before I left for my year of city hopping. I had a sudden urge to listen to it, like I had to get out the joy and the nervousness and the only way to do it was to dance to it and let the music fill my head.

Again, though, my listening was sporadic. I didn’t quite get what it meant to me, but I was working on it.

In that semester I was starting to come to terms with the idea of change – change that I was about to initiate not only in my life but how I viewed myself. I was in need of something different and, to be honest, I was scared. I was unsure at times. I doubted myself at times. I felt awkward to express myself because I knew that I had the ability to over-express myself. I didn’t know if I had the capacity to do the things that I had always dreamed about. Dreams are warm and comforting thoughts but only to a point. They’re only truly fulfilling if you attempt to realize them.

So little by little, I’d listen to the song more and more. The idea of self-exploration persisted once I started the journey and lived in New York and London.

When I lived in LA, however, the song clicked.

It was a huge challenge learning to drive in the biggest commuter city in the universe and balance work and school. I also wanted to get healthier after a hearty feeding session during my entire semester in London, but I was daunted by the work that I needed to put into it.

I just had to get into a rhythm.

Those feelings of being unsure of myself and of putting myself down were starting to abate because I realized that I was doing it. I was working hard and I was getting healthier. I also worked on getting over those feelings of unsureness. I started to work on to stop being so self-conscious if someone liked me or not and realized that all I could do was just try to be the best version of myself. In that year I met so many types of people and kinds of people that I never thought would pass my way. If I was true to myself, then I could express myself in the truest way possible.

I sought out the song nearly every day and listened it in the car on the way to Amoeba, walking around Ralph’s or running on the sidewalks in Toluca Lake. I wasn’t going to allow myself to stop expression. I was going to let it shine, let it shine.

This summer in Chicago, the song became part of the soundtrack that colored the backdrop of my experience. I’d walk through Daley Plaza or down to Millennium Park or back up from work near Reckless Records and the buildings would reflect the light all around me. I’d smile and listen to the song and think of the somersaults that you do in life to get to where you are and you know what? It’s worth it.

So now, back at school, the song reminds me of things that have been and things that are now. How one moment in time can grow and texturize the landscape of your life. The song is a boost and a way for me to get inspired. To think of hope created when I just let myself be. To feel free whenever I want to express myself because I have to let it shine. I don’t want to live any other way.

First Listen Look-Back: Dance Yrself Clean

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James Murphy is a king in a musical candy store. Notes and forte pianos are for his taking. A rhythm here, a chord there, what seems to be random picks are calculated equations. He is shaping the modern notion of electronica, rock and lyricism into a tasty musical blend.
Of course, you don’t know all of this at the beginning. In the beginning, there’s just the song and how it makes you feel. And for me, what other song could it be?
When I first listened to Dance Yrself Clean, I didn’t know about the length. I didn’t know that I had 9 minutes in store for me. All I knew was that my cousin sent me a link simply saying: “Listen to this with good headphones on and at full blast.”
Woah. That sort of simplicity is daunting. Not even a “love the part when the keyboard comes in” or “the guitar solo rocks.” The song itself speaks for itself.
So I put on the headphones and began.
The song starts.
Okay. And it’s… Still starting.
More starting.
Is this it? Is this the song? I thought. I mean, it’s good but I don’t feel like it’s going anywhere. The layered vocals are nice and the minimalist percussion is cool but it’s not really much…
And then the 3:06 mark hits.
HOLY SHIT.
My brain and life exploded and everything in existence became that song. NOTHING else mattered.
The drop was killer and ballsy and funky and just plain cool. Murphy came back in with echoey force that never overstretched his shouting vocals.
“Don’t you want me to wake up? Then give me just a bit of your time.”
The percussion was just perfect for the keyboard bursts and melodies. His falsetto weaved through the music and the song just became this vehicle for dancing. Try not dancing to this song. I dare you.
Both the Murphy and I gained a break after his amazingly long note hold. The song winded down to the way it was for the intro, but not for long. Back in dance mode with some scat.
The song closed out in its fancy dance-y fashion and then slowed down for the last few lyrics.
“Every day’s a different warning – there’s a part of me hoping it’s true.”
By the end of the stream, I was standing, panting, mind blown. I listened to it ten more times after that.
So if you haven’t listened to this song by now, I suggest you go… dance yourself clean.

Dancing’s Done by Thumpers – Edward Hopper eat your heart out

Whenever I walk through the Loop, I feel like I am entering a 1940’s photograph.

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It isn’t just the architecture or the beautiful emphasis on the beige and stone in the buildings. It isn’t just the steel or the above-ground subway system or the smoke rising from the grates.
It’s the way that the sun hits the side of the buildings, how the windows reflect the sky. It’s the way that the sunlight beams through each avenue, weaving its way through grid after grid of skyscraper. It’s the bustle of commuters and workers and the dawn all merging into one.
Buildings and light make me feel nostalgic for art museums. I still go to them, but as a kid the Art Institute wasn’t an uncommon field trip experience. I got to go much more often than nowadays. The closest that I got to reliving that experience was when I was in London and I had the opportunity to go to the National Portrait Gallery or the British Museum nearly every day.
Buildings and light make me especially feel nostalgic for learning about Edward Hopper. I remember first learning about Night Hawks in school and then when I saw the real deal, that was it. The starkness in each painting was prolific. The seemingly simplicity was, in reality, shaded and layered. It may just seem like a woman looking out of a window sitting in a coffee shop, but just think – what is she wondering about?
These feelings can be found in Chicago. The buildings, tall and brown and the sun hitting against the edges to cast shadows onto the pavement. Finding a coffee shop and sitting at the window table and watching the rest of the world walk by.
The song that I feel compliments these variations of rumination is Dancing’s Done by Thumpers. The percussion, the trickling notes, the layered vocals. It’s breathless and impactful all at once. Simple yet complex. And it makes looking at the start sunbeam-lit building all the more beautiful as the morning comes into fruition.