I WISH for the day when I no longer have to carry this unnamable feeling in my chest every damn Sunday. It’s not quite anxiety, not quite stress. It’s a feeling wedged somewhere in between, and it wraps itself around my heart as if a hand making a fist, its grip growing tighter and tighter as the day gets deeper. It’s inescapable.
Anyway, today’s a Sunday. I started the day by having breakfast, then a friend from back home called. The long-distance conversation was a cool two-hour distraction. For a quick bit, I was reminded of a few good things: 1) that I am capable of maintaining life-long friendships; 2) that I can listen without prejudice to other people’s stories; 3) and that I am not the only one running aimlessly on this giant unforgiving hamster wheel called adulthood. The call had to end though. Once again, I was reminded that today is a Sunday and that Sunday is rarely ever a happy day.
Thank god for music, eh? Music has always a reliable distraction for me. You ever heard of Swamp Dogg? He’s been making music since the 60s, but his recent releases sound so timely and so fresh that I didn’t realize he’s old. Like old old. Like born-in-the-40s old.
The first track in Swamp Dogg’s 2020 album Sorry You Couldn’t Make It features Justin Vernon of Bon Iver and Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley. I listen to Rilo Kiley only on occasion — “Silver Lining”, “Pictures of Success”, mostly the popular stuff. I just discovered Jenny’s solo records yesterday, and “Puppy and a Truck” is one of my favorites. It’s tight, kinda like old school The Chicks. The melody and the vibe and the candid narrative of the lyrics are very, hmm…country?
I also got into some math rock recently. Elephant Gym’s “Witches” is a bop, the kind that is best to listen to through noise-cancelling headphones with your eyes closed and preferably with an alcoholic drink on hand.
And then there’s Gabriella Cohen, which isn’t math rock at all but yesterday’s Spotify click-trip brought me to her album Pink is the Colour of Unconditional Love. With a title like that, how can I not give at least one song a listen? I liked “Baby” and “Hi Fidelity.” She reminds me of Best Coast. I am quite a sucker for the tamad-tamaran and lasing-lasingan school of singing.
Hip-hop isn’t really my genre. I only ever listen to the songs that everybody else and their moms listen to, like pre-cancellation Kanye West, a bit of Kendrick Lamar, and maybe one or two tracks each from other popular rappers: “How To Love” (Lil Wayne), “3005” (Childish Gambino), “Post to Be” (Omario). Yesterday I chanced upon Mos Def’s “Mathematics”, the only Mos Def song I’ve listened to to date. It’s dope.
I dabble in other genres every now and then, but I am first and foremost a pophead. Pop is good. Pop is reliable. Pop is that one friend who will always say yes, who will never make you feel like you’re trying too hard, who will root for you and pull you up when you’ve hit the bottom of the bottom of the rock.
Recently I’ve been loving MyKey’s “Hand Me Down”, Hazel English’s “Nine Stories”, and Babygirl’s “Me, You & My Car”. This morning I put Magdalena Bay’s “Only If You Want It” on repeat. I admit, this is one of those songs that make me question not only my taste but also my own intellectual abilities. The song is very much like a typical saccharine dance bop sans the vulnerable candor of Robyn or the emotional depth of Carly Rae Jepsen. It’s not completely absent of nutrition though — sure it is cotton candy, but it also has the right amount of sugar enough to tickle my ugly, rotting soul.
Ah well. Life, am I right?
Featured image made using Canva.
Oh wow! That artist of Magdalena Bay was in my class. Lol.
NO WAAAY 😂😂