“Everything that keeps them together is falling apart.” —Isaac Brock
On Hot Chip’s “Motion Sickness”, Alexis Taylor uses his gushing love affair with music as a cipher for the joys of lifelong companionship. It’s a song I mentally well up to virtually every time I hear it.
A few months ago, during the debate in the House of Commons to legislate for gay marriage, speaking in favour of the motion the MP Guy Opperman proclaimed, “I am not married. I have yet to find the woman who would want to marry someone such as me—but she is out there, Mr Speaker, I promise you.”
This week I felt my world simultaneously expand to fill the universe and shrink to fit in the eye of a needle, when I learnt of several friends’ relationship news. Reader, I was a little overcome. Few things give me such renewed impetus to ‘lean in’ to the future, and at the same time take stock of our shared past, like news of a marriage proposal, or the revelation that a friendship has blossomed into something more. Perhaps I overreact; regardless, here’s a playlist for those who take the plunge in a world of uncertainty and chaos.
Lest the fear exists that I have lost my miserabilist’s streak, the music herein reflects the sincerity of commitment, but also the malaise that exists outside that bond.
Out of primordial soup and trickling strings, Scott Walker reflects on a summer romance from the depths of winter, and a triumphant brass fanfare explodes out from behind him. Nick Cave is on a journey of Wikipedia discoveries, and the rumbling, glowing embers of the arrangement speak of a yearning for human connection, to replace the pseudo-histories and Miley Cyrus trivia found in our online basements.
In the dissonance and jarring tonal shifts of Sonic Youth, there is the panoply of emotions felt upon parsing other people’s news—and a similar sensation of voyeurism is present in “Radios et annonceurs”.
On the closing cut, Hannah Reid of London Grammar seeks a salve that will provide relief for an uneasy mind. Maybe it’s a substance with which to forget—or maybe it’s a shoulder to lean on. Swirling around her, Disclosure’s calming deep house resembles the blue ocean floor. On the Hot Chip track, Joe Goddard mumbles non sequiturs that hint at the deep-seated desire to be that shoulder. There is an airy French touch texture, and the sampled sounds of birds in flight and children playing, and all the mixture of fear and joy that comes with the thematic territory we’re dealing in.
Month of Sundays is:
“3rd Planet”, Modest Mouse;
“Such a small love”, Scott Walker*;
“Running”, Jessie Ware;
“Man is the baby”, Antony And The Johnsons;
“Let me be him”, Hot Chip;
“Hjartað hamast”, Sigur Rós;
“Radios et annonceurs”, Stalker*;
“Higgs Boson blues”, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds;
“Sympathy for the strawberry”, Sonic Youth;
“Help me lose my mind”, Disclosure.
Listen and digest. (Except asterisked tracks.)