Give Me Five…featuring Sharon Van Etten and Angel Olsen

Tuesday always feels like a weird day to me. I always feel a little behind on Tuesdays. Mondays tend to start with a spark of motivation, but Tuesday always feels a bit sluggish. I feel like I have to push harder to stay on track. I’m not sure why that is. I’m going to have to start paying closer attention as the Tuesdays come to see if I can sense a pattern or any way to change that sluggy-feeling. Maybe I just need a Tuesday mid-day nap. Or maybe a reading time at lunch.

Music is here, and helps, as it always does. My five today start out a bit moody, then get more upbeat. Maybe that’s the slow-to-start feelings at play. Two of the songs are longtime favorites that have a lot of memories attached to them. I bet it will be obvious which two they are.

What is Tuesday feel like for you? What are you listening to? Does it reflect your Tuesday mindset?

Give Me Five January 2022

Give Me Five…January 4, 2022

Available to listen, and follow along throughout January, on Spotify and YouTube

Song 1: “Like I Used To” by Sharon Van Etten and Angel Olsen

"Like I Used To" by Sharon Van Etten and Angel Olsen
Sharon Van Etten and Angel Olsen
“Like I Used To” by Sharon Van Etten and Angel Olsen – from the single, “Like I Used To” (2021)

“Sleepin’ in late like I used to.
Crossing my fingers like I used to.
Waiting inside like I used to.
Avoiding big crowds like I used to.”

Sharon and Angel are two of my favorite artists from the last few years. I love both of them – their voices and their music – so much. They sound fantastic together.

This song is moody and melancholic to me. It came out last year and really fits the feelings of last year (and, to be honest, the way things feel right now – at the start of this year). I relate to the lyrics above a lot – though I’ve never been good at sleeping in (or sleeping much at all – lifetime partnered up with insomnia).

Right now, as pandemic times continue, I definitely am waiting/staying inside, avoiding most people outside of my home (in-person) and I am holding my breath and crossing my fingers all the time – in theory – hoping for the best, wishing for things to get better, trying to manifest better times.

Song 2: “Certainty” by Big Thief

"Certainty" by Big Thief
Big Thief
“Certainty” by Big Thief – from the album, Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You (2021)

“Name on the line,
last request.
Pull the car over to find some rest.
Saying “I love you,”

need to lie here, need to leave
Living in the debt of make-believe.
Saying I owe you.
Crooked as a crow gnawing on dawn.
Shadow from the grass in the dirt on the lawn.
Why do I string you along?”

Big Thief is wonderful. They continue to surprise me as I discover more tracks from their earlier albums, and as I swim around in their latest release. I’m trying to remember which song I first heard of theirs – I think it had to have been “Shark Smile”, a song I still listen to often and add to a lot of playlists.

I love the country-vibe of this track (“Certainty”) and the bit of twang in Adrianne Lenker’s voice. So good. I also love the way “crooked as a crow gnawing on dawn” sounds…chewing on the early morning sun – that resonates with me.

Song 3: “Solsbury Hill” by Peter Gabriel

"Solsbury Hill" by Peter Gabriel
Peter Gabriel
“Solsbury Hill” by Peter Gabriel – from the album, Peter Gabriel (1977)

“I was feeling part of the scenery.
I walked right out of the machinery.
My heart going boom boom boom.

Hey’ he said ‘Grab your things
I’ve come to take you home.’
Back home.”

Another song from the ’70s, though to be honest I found this song, and have a slew of memories attached to this song, from the ’80s, and into the ’90s. I was actually a bit surprised to realize that “Solsbury Hill” and the self-titled Peter Gabriel album was released in 1977. I think I knew it before, but I always think of this song being one of the 80’s songs I adore.

The lyric/line above always makes me tear up. Something about “I’ve come to take you home” gives me chills all over, and yeah, makes me almost cry (sometimes completely cry). That line will hit me as meaning death – and heaven – reminding me of people I’ve loved and lost. Other times the line makes me think of going back home – if home was a place you’d want to go back to – after being gone for a long, long time. Mostly, though, it feels like heaven – the home the “narrator” is being taken to.

What do you think “home” in this song means?

Song 4: “Solar Power” by Lorde

"
Lorde
“Solar Power” by Lorde – from the album, Solar Power (2021)

“Acid green,
aquamarine.
The girls are dancing in the sand.

And I throw my cellular device in the water.
Can you reach me?
No, you can’t.”

I knew Lorde had a new album in 2021, but I think I only heard one track from it. This song, the album’s title track, came on randomly this morning and I had to play it again – a few times over. It makes me feel warm and summery, and it makes me want to dance. I needed that kind of song today. A great remedy for my Tuesday slump.

If I heard this without knowing it was Lorde, I’m not sure I would have known – which is interesting and intriguing, and makes me want to hear more of the album. I was a fan when she first came around, but this is a different sound, an evolved sound, which I also think I’m a fan of (I’m a fan of this song already, for sure).

More to hear and more to come from me, with this album, I suspect.

Song 5: “Son of a Preacher Man” by Dusty Springfield

"Son of a Preacher Man" by Dusty Springfield
Dusty Springfield
“Son of a Preacher Man” by Dusty Springfield – from the album, Dusty In Memphis (1969)

“How well I remember,
the look that was in his eyes.
Stealin’ kisses from me on the sly.
Takin’ time to make time,
tellin’ me that he’s all mine.
Learnin’ from each other’s knowin’,
lookin’ to see how much we’ve grown.”

I don’t remember a time where I didn’t love this song.

I remember hearing it, and singing-a-long to it with my mom in our old blue station wagon back when I was a kid. Too young to really understand a lot of it, but loving it anyway. I pictured the preacher’s son being sweet and cute and kind. Not sure that is what the preacher’s son in this song is supposed to be, but that’s what little me thought.

When I was just a little older I replaced my image of him with Father Ralph, from “The Thorn Birds” – though he was a priest, not the son of a preacher. He wasn’t all that kind either. Not really.

In junior high, I met my own son of a preacher man and had a huge crush on him in the way crushes are in junior high – all-consuming, and both wonderful and terrible. He was cute and nice to me, but not all that sweet. He was a bit of a rebel (of course), singing and playing guitar in a Stray Cats cover band and dressing his best early 80’s rockabilly. We were friends, good ones for a while, but never anything involving “stealin’ kisses” anywhere (except my teenage dreams).

On another note, Dusty’s album Dusty In Memphis has become one of my all-time favorite albums.

Give Me Five January 2022

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