Music is why we do this. It can be a lifestyle, it can be a lifeline, and it can last a lifetime. You can fire up some tunes to start your day, or you can put on some headphones to escape it. Its versatility is unmatched.
It’s just me this week, and oh boy did life happen. Sometimes you just need a familiar voice. Nick Hakim was that for me. He has the ability to bring a level of chill to complex subjects over the course of an album.
Qadir, a track for a fallen friend, is delivered smoothly. A light, airy, and melodic massage kneads tough questions past the mind’s defenses. As he talks about the complexity of being kind amid pain, I feel that strongly. Not the first 20 times I listened to this song, but right now when it is hardest to know what face to put on for those around you. It isn’t easy, but music reminds you that others have made it through, and you’ll be fine too.
Seeing Double, another track from Will This Make Me Good, is a highly meditative song. Heavy reverb and atmospheric sounds fill your ears, slowly leading to lyrics that urge you to get it together. It’s a simple message. Break it all down, pull it apart. You can do it, and only you can do it. Seeing double repeats a number of times as the track gets more trippy. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve let this repeat as I decompress.
Moses Sumney’s ethereal voice is another that delivers impactful messages effortlessly. Aromanticism is 34 minutes of delicate but powerful whispers, getting to you as easily as the wind. Reminding you that it can both tickle and topple.
Plastic, much like Qadir, spoke strongly to me this week. Sometimes we genuinely strive to be our best selves, other times it’s… Plastic. That smile that takes more muscles than usual. The conversation where you’re waving your hands around to distract people from looking deeper. A sleight of tongue used to unlock doors that weren’t meant for you. We are all guilty of it. Sometimes attempting to use plastic wings to make it to the sun, but it all burns away.
The vibe wasn’t entirely deep introspection this week. I did turn my brain off and relax to Solange. Down With the Clique, a nod to Aaliyah’s song of the same name, is slow and chill with a driving bass line that repeats in a similar fashion to the lyrics. This is one of those songs I remix in my head over and over, combining with other elements and making it a life soundtrack. The whole of When I Get Home is like that and has become a repeat worthy album to chill to.
The Music Den was a little heavier and lyric focused this week. That’s life though and I’m glad I don’t have to live it in silence. Songs can hit you entirely differently than the artist intended. You can take their exact words, repeat them right back, and they all come out as your own. That’s why music stays with us for a lifetime.