Another new week brings another new tune from my new favorite radio station, this time from a duo called Sylvan Esso. The touch of mechanical-sounding music in the background is just enough for my taste. It’s not something I generally like in large doses, but when it’s done in a clever, musical, creative way, I can usually get on board.
Those who know me well know I can be very sarcastic, and this song plays into that side of me. The whole song talks about someone who had planned on dying young, having their premature death be tragic and pitiful, and the person who came along and totally derailed the plans. At the core of it, I do see it as a love song, but the interpretation is so odd and interesting that you almost can’t tell.
The whole tune has this roll-your-eyes feeling with lyrics that express pure irritation, as if to say, “why did you have to come along and mess everything up by making me so happy?” Alessia Cara has a song that has a similar message but is delivered in a very different way (check out “I’m Yours” to hear for yourself). Call me crazy but I actually find this completely charming.
When I first heard this song when it came out, I remember talking to my friend about it and critiquing it on the minimal amount of lyrics and variation it had. I also remember liking it but not really giving it a fair chance after that conversation. A 9-year old girl sang it tonight on America’s Got Talent (and by “sang it” I mean “blew everyone away”), and I felt like I needed to reconsider my initial assessment.
Then I watched the video and midway through I had to pause it because I almost started to cry. I was so wrong about this song.
Andra Day sings “I’ll rise up, and I’ll do it a thousand times again… for you.” For you. I knew those were the words, but I had never considered how pivotal that part of the lyrics were. I always thought this song was about courage, and in fact it is, but courage in the sense of caring for someone else beyond typical circumstances.
It’s about having the strength to “move mountains” regardless of how difficult it might feel. It’s about being there to support someone you love even when it feels like an impossible task. The video’s interpretation of the song touched me in a way that I wasn’t expecting and was such an unbelievable eye-opener.
I sometimes wonder how I would fare in situations that feel mountainous, or really insurmountable. Though I’ve dealt with some tough things in the past, I’m certain that there are bigger and badder challenges waiting in the wings for me. I always hope that I will be steadfast and strong enough to endure whatever comes along for me and my loved ones, but I think it’s one of those things where you won’t know how you handle it until you have to. It’s a little scary to think about, but in a way, motivating and empowering at the same time.
In conclusion: WATCH. THE. VIDEO.
“Carry You Home”
My best friend has been having a tough and frustrating week at her job. Tonight she filled me in on what has been going on and I felt myself getting angry, annoyed, and upset for her. I listened and tried to offer comforting words, but it’s one of those situations where there’s not much that can be said, and there’s definitely not much that can be done to improve the situation. All of those factors made me even more frustrated! I wanted to be able to help or at least be able to come up with something positive or encouraging to make her feel better, but frankly, her situation is just awful and unfair.
I had posted this song on her Facebook page over the weekend because I knew she’d love it, and because it’s something to add to our ever-growing “Songs We Need To Learn” list. She’s one of my original singing buddies from college and we like to learn new songs to sing together whenever we get the chance. It is no coincidence that I’m a low alto and she’s a high soprano; I call it serendipitous.
She told me today that she hadn’t gotten a chance to listen to it yet, but after telling me about her week thus far, I encouraged her to check it out. Not only is it catchy and upbeat, not only would it be perfect for the two of us to sing together, but the message of the song is so apropos for the two of us. We are always there for support and can lean on one another no matter what is going on, as best friends do. “Whenever you need a friend, call me.”
Have you ever listened to a song that weirds you out big also captures your attention and forces you to listen? That’s “Bambi” for me this week.
I had an On Demand music channel on when I was packing, for a little background noise; this song came on and I thought “Oh cool, I like Jidenna.” And then it played, and I stopped what I was doing and looked at the T.V. perplexed and unsure of what I was hearing. My gut felt uneasy.
This song gives me a similar feeling to hearing a nice doo-wop song being played on a broken phonograph during a scene from a horror movie; you’re compelled and intrigued yet on edge because you know that something is most definitely going to pop out of a closet while you’re mystified by the music. It also gives me a similar feeling to that of when I was going through the “It’s A Small World” ride at Disney World as an adult. It’s supposed to be cute, charming and innocent but all I could do was imagine the dolls coming to life and their heads spinning around. But, it does have that doo-wop sound that I really like (I’m a big fan of music from the 1950s), just modernized and updated.
I do not like this song. And yet, I like it a lot. What a conundrum!
I watched the music video and did a little digging to learn that it’s about a lost lover, but for much of the chorus I thought Jidenna was lamenting over the fact that he can’t be in love with someone because he has too many ladies that he wants to keep around. Both of these theories may be true, so I can’t make a decision about whether or not I’m offended by the lyrics. Honestly, I’m feeling really confused over this. Have a listen for yourself and see what you think.
Jon Bellion f/Christianne Jensen
It was an overall happy Friday, but from morning to evening I cycled through quite a few emotions. Some were positive, some were a little tough, so I had to put in some work to keep myself in check all day. I did a little work on the computer before running errands, and could feel myself getting a little uneasy and in my head.
In my second to last semester of graduate school, I took a research class where I conducted my own research and then wrote a *47* page paper about it. The process was not easy; I was very behind the pack as it took me nearly two months to decide what type of research I wanted to do, and once I did I still had a ton of work ahead of me with much less time than my classmates. I needed to find appropriate subjects, meet with each of them, obtain my data, analyze and write about it, as well as doing a literature review for something close to 15 sources. It made me very stressed out.
While doing research and wanting to pull my hair out, I rediscovered the online game called 2048 (for those who’ve never played, it’s basically a game of numbers and patterns, frustrating yet addicting); I would play it when I felt myself getting overwhelmed. The structure of the game and the finite quality of the numbers helped me to get back into a rhythmic, controlled way of thinking.
Why am I telling you this and what the heck does it have to do with Jon Bellion?
Well, at the same time that I discovered the game, I was also developing a strong and serious appreciation for Jon Bellion’s music, and for this song in particular. Some of the lyrics made me think of my boyfriend Ben, which also helped to put more positive thoughts back into my frustrated mind. Now, whenever I’m feeling a little out of sorts, I sit down at my computer, play 2048 and listen to “Ooh,” sometimes on repeat.
That’s what I did this afternoon, and honestly, it totally helped. I now get this sense of comfort from the combination of the game and the song, in a way it’s become a sort of meditative experience. Odd I know, but it works for me!
This week covered a lot of bases, from wanting to be there for someone else to knowing what to do to be there for myself. I guess everyone needs a little support now and then.
Stand-Out Song: “Ooh”
I have to pick this song because it reminds me of Ben, who I will be seeing approximately 29 hours after this playlist is posted (insert gigantic smile and happy dancing here). Off to Ireland!
What song makes you think of someone special?
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