The top comment in Beach House’s “Space Song” video on YouTube is eerily accurate: “You don’t find this song. It finds you.”*
And the song found me indeed, albeit with a little help from YouTube’s intrusive algorithm.
I was binge-watching Drag Race videos on YouTube one cold, post-Christmas Sunday when a recommendation on the righthand side of my screen stood out among the array of images of drag queens in oversized wigs and over-the-top makeup. The outlier thumbnail was a snapshot from the elevator scene in 500 Days of Summer, and the video itself was titled “The Walters – And I Love You So.”
I recognized the title from The Walters’ Songs for Dads EP, which happened to be one of my favorite EPs from the 2010s, although my favorite track was “Fancy Shoes”.** I didn’t click on the video though, but I clicked on the channel name. It was through Ling Fantastic’s channel that I got to listen to Beach House’s “Space Song” for the first time.
Here, check it out if you haven’t yet:
The movie buffs among you might recognize the clips above from Wong Kar Wai’s Fallen Angels. The music buffs might wonder if I had been sleeping under a rock, for how have I never heard of “Space Song” when it’s one of the most popular Beach House tracks? It is one of their highest viewed videos, and it also has a crapton of fan-made edits all over YouTube.***
I mean, sure, I’m a little late to the party but I didn’t exactly live under a rock because I did try to get into Beach House as early as 2010. Their debut album Teen Dream ranked among the best releases that year, and everyone who gave two shits about American music was all praises about it. (Critical acclaim obviously does not always translate to stellar chart performance, so Beach House may not ring a bell for other folks my age. The more popular albums from that year include Taylor Swift’s Speak Now and Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twister Fantasy, both of which I thoroughly enjoyed.)
But I couldn’t get into Teen Dream at all, man. I tried, I really did, but my palate just wasn’t ready for dreampop goodies at that time. Fast forward to now when I have already warmed up to dreamy, shoegaze-y sounds — man, listening to “Space Song” for the first time felt like an out-of-body experience! The song was hypnotic and catchy and…
*I checked, and this is no longer the top comment on YouTube. Or maybe I was just looking at a different “Space Song” video at that time. Anyway, I started writing this post last year so the details are already fuzzy. I also didn’t finish writing it because I legitimately had nothing much to say other than I loved the song a lot lot lot.
**Looking back, maybe the reco wasn’t so random after all.
***Another beautiful fan-edit is from i’m cryborg but that’s okay, which juxtaposes “Space Song” with Sion Sono’s 2015 film Hiso Hiso Boshi.