Its been a little too long since the last Top 5 Music Obsessions installation. Moving took a lot of time, energy, and emotion out of me. I’ve been beyond busy, then sick with a Summertime cold/flu, and also dealing with rough emotional issues. I’m settling in and am on the mend in as much as I can mend, and am trying to resurface back into the things that make me happy – like obsessing over music. I feel like I need time to catch-up, to dive into tide pools full of old and new and new-to-me songs, and welcome any and all recommendations that fall into any and all song-categories. Bring me all the music, please, please, please.
Today’s five come from this week’s Discover Weekly Spotify Playlist, the soundtrack to the Hulu original, “Casual”, which we’ve been bingeing, an encounter with an old mixtape (oh the things you find when you move), a music-binge of Juliana Hatfield’s new album, Weird, and a memory-recall-moment from today’s commute to work (the Roches’ song “Hammond” on this week’s Discover Weekly Spotify Playlist reminded me of The Colourfield’s cover of it, that I adored in high school).
What songs have you been obsessing over today?
1. “Staying In” by Juliana Hatfield
from the album, Weird (2019)
“I’m staying in.
My hair’s not right.
And if I go out,
take me for a functioning human being.”
First tracks are a thing to me. This one is strong, timely/timeless, and relevant. There are many times lately where I feel more like staying in, then going out. That said, once I’m out I’m always grateful to be. I know its part of my anxiety and my downward feelings lately that makes staying in so attractive. I have to play functioning every day at work, and with my family, some days it’s hard to pass socially/non-have-to-ly – but it usually is worth it to try.
2. “Silverfish” by Belly
from the album, King (1995)
“Will I be the stranger in your movie?
Is there a place for me in the patterns
That glow on your skin and your clothes?”
A mix of music with both Juliana Hatfield and Tanya Donelly (in this incarnation, as part of Belly) is very, very ME. Take the suitcase of mixtapes I found while packing for my recent move. I randomly pulled out one that I’d made and side one included this song, as well as the track “For the Birds” from Juliana Hatfield (in that incarnation, as part of Juliana Hatfield Three).
I’ve had “Silverfish” in-and-out of my head ever since and just had to play it (about eight times, so far) today.
3. “Should Have Known Better” by Sufjan Stevens
from the album, Carrie and Lowell (2015)
“I should have wrote a letter,
and grieve what I happen to grieve.
My black shroud.
I never trust my feelings,
I waited for the remedy.”
Every Sufjan Stevens song I love makes me cry. True fact.
It all started with “Chicago” (and it all started in Chicago). That song that played as we drove away from the city. That song that played when I left the city again, by a plane that next time. It is still so full of memories, and all the things I lost and left behind.
I’ve never been good at grieving. I bury my grieving instead, inside of me, deep, deep down, until I feel like it’s gone away. But grief doesn’t go away. Not like that, at least.
Maybe it is only in writing that I deal with my grieving. Maybe it is the only way I can.
Or, when listening to Sufjan Stevens songs – like this one.
4. “Shade and Honey” by Sparklehorse
from the album, Dreamt For Light Years In The Belly Of a Mountain (2006)
“I could look in your face,
for a thousand years –
it’s like a civil war,
of pain and of cheer.”
Sometimes my insides feel that way. A carousel ride of pain and cheer. My moods ricocheting off the horses as they go up and down, and all-around. I always preferred the stand-still giraffe. Reliable. He helped to keep my vertigo in check.
Sometimes love feels like this. A civil war of pain and of cheer, and (hopefully) of passion. And I wonder as I stand in my kitchen, writing if it will ever get easier. In my heart, in my mind, in my emotional war zone, and with love?
Maybe it never does. Or maybe now is when it’s easier, and I just don’t realize it.
5. “Hammond Song” by The Colourfield
from the album, Virgins and Philistines (1985)
“Do your eyes have an answer,
to this song of mine?
They say we meet again,
on down the line.
Where is on down the line?
How far away?
Tell me I’m okay.”
I love this song so much. And this album that the cover is on (though back in 1985 I didn’t know it was a cover) was one of my favorites when I was 16.
Another song that is bound to make me cry, especially the lyrics above.
It reminds me of someone who was special to me in 1985. The way they pulled me out of myself, and told me I was okay in a way I actually believed, at least for a little while.
1985. 16. Its a time of my life I’ve been trying to write about lately.
Top 5 Music Obsessions – July 2019