England.

Because I miss London, oh so very much, the song to break the silence is the one and only England by The National. I highly doubt anyone could dislike this song. With it’s slow, steady drive it leaves you wanting more.

Just like England in real life. And for me, specifically London. This song is special to me because it meant something to me before I left for my year abroad and means even more now. My mom fell just as deeply in love with the National’s orchestral sound as I did. Using it in her yoga classes, playing it on road trips, and in the background of our home- the song never disappeared. And yet, it became even more to me once I went to England myself.

Now, it’s impossible to look down at my phone when the piano begins to crescendo and see “England” and not have a bittersweet taste in my mouth. The song is beautiful. The country itself is beautiful. And, the experience and people that came along with are irreplaceable.

If you are in need of a song for distant mourning- this is it.

 

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Making the Wait Worthwhile

It takes a lot of patience to wait for one of ‘those’ songs that only come around once in a blue moon. But when the rifts spark an uplifting melody, the lyrics questions your being, and the harmonies are stuck in your heart you can’t simply forget the feeling. You remember the first time you listened to the song like it was your first kiss. The sound, the people you are with, the temperature, whether you were sitting down or dancing, etc.

I would say this feeling comes along with a song maybe once or twice a year. More, if you are lucky. Like many things you yearn for, they come when you least expect it but need it the most.

The 4 minutes and 24 seconds that did this for me is titled “Other People” by Beach House.  Authentic grittiness reels the entirety of the song as a simple heartbeat by the drums keeps the song in a vicious cycle. The singer easily tricks you to believe she holds the all knowing. You are tempted throughout the song by its simplicity and soul. You sit there eagerly waiting for the song to finish so that you can immediately play it again.

Now, this song may not strike these crazy feelings for you as they did for me. To try to write about it is to only illustrate the feelings you most likely have experienced in your past or for you to realize the feeling so you can grasp the moment the next time it happens. Like a love story, it’s not the actual story that entraps you but the feelings it ignites—past memories, present bliss, and future hopes.  I hope these moments are plentiful in your life. Songs like these, paintings that make you stand still, skylines that are too beautiful to capture with a photo, a laugh easily recognized, and moments that threaten reality with their surrealness are the moments that make the wait so worthwhile.

Once Upon a Time in the West

En route to the beautiful Los Angeles. My big brother, Ben, moved out to LA with his girlfriend, Britni, a couple months back and I can’t wait to see there new life! A visit to my Uncle Mac is well over done, too. Last time I visited I was an uprising senior in high school. We shared my first cocktail, chilled in the hills and discovered our similar liking of 80s inspired modern indie.

We’ve made no concrete plans for these next few weeks so that we can really take in the LA vibe. Although, Mac and Ben has packed this weekend with a Matt & Kim concert on the Santa Monica Pier, a snazzy Magic Club, and dinner in Malibu for my 21st birthday!

As a tribute to the other coast; a little Dire Straits for the journey. “Once Upon a Time in the West” is my Dire Straits choosing at the moment. It will probably be old come next week when Mac suggests a new one. I always loved “Money for Nothin,” “So Far Away,” and “Sultans of Swing” as a little girl, but like any expenditure your taste matures as you discover more. Little did I know my taste would lead me to the Dire Straits, but they are pretty damn cool. “Once Upon A Time in the West” has the sharp lead guitar, rough lyrics, and authentic sound like all Dire Straits classics. This one has a little more funk to the beat—almost a white man’s reggae at times.

So here is to the West Coast, new musical discoveries, and the Dire Straits!

Fitz and the Tantrums– Go Grab that Money

If you haven’t heard of Fitz and the Tantrums, then it’s time to start listening. The Rolling Stones claimed the group as a “band to watch” on their list back in 2011. Fortunately, Fitz and the Tantrums have been able to stray away from the top 40 list in the past few years while still being widely popular in the indie rock scene.

Their songs are carried by funk and indie/electronic vibes. The band is able to capture the young internal debate between soul and new wave indie– one in which I’m constantly trying to find a happy medium. MoneyGrabber, one of their most soul-infused singles and my favorite, is one to download right away. Listen to it loud and proud.

Check out their most popular track, “Out of My League” a more catchy melodic track. And don’t pass up “Dear Mr. President” which tops off their album Pickin’ Up the Pieces with motown harmonies of gold.

From Eden, Find Heaven

Don’t be mistaken, Hozier is no God but he comes pretty damn close. It takes awhile in the music scene to catch on to a talented young man who has the vision of an old soul, lyrics that can heal a wound, and a rhythm that can make you move. A spiritual guru you may say– physically even fits the part. I’m not yet a follower but absolutely a fangirl of Hozier.

I didn’t give Hozier the chance he deserved and that led me to miss out on a concert of a lifetime. While studying abroad in Glasgow, he was playing a concert at my favorite club. Tickets only 18 pounds. I waited, like the patient indecisive person I am, to think about if it was worth the pretty penny. After 24 hours the tickets jumped up to 60 pounds and that was far beyond the budget of a 20 year old college student. I didn’t go, and left Hozier as just the artist who wrote “Take Me To Church.” A mistake indeed, but while I waited for new musical discoveries I came across him yet again.

His song “From Eden” got to me first with its bluesy, raw rhythm. The second time I listened to it the lyrics stole my heart. If you ask anyone who knows how much I love music they will say I never pay attention to the lyrics. I do, but the rhythm always speaks to me first, then I give the lyrics a try. So for me, the rhythm is the first impression; the lyrics the soul. “From Eden” is one of those gems that embody an old soul and has the charm to impress anyone. His words are a poem. A literation of honest feelings. “From Eden” captures the beauty of imperfect contradictions. My favorite line describes the subject as so lonesome yet so wholesome. He is able to provoke genuinity in just one simple phrase.

The lyrics and song are below. Trust me it is worth your time. Who knows you may find a little piece of heaven from Hozier’s lyrical garden of Eden.

“From Eden”

Babe, there’s something tragic about you
Something so magic about you
Don’t you agree?

Babe, there’s something lonesome about you
Something so wholesome about you
Get closer to me

No tired sighs, no rolling eyes, no irony
No ‘who cares’, no vacant stares, no time for me

Honey, you’re familiar like my mirror years ago
Idealism sits in prison, chivalry fell on its sword
Innocence died screaming, honey, ask me I should know
I slithered here from Eden just to sit outside your door

Babe, there’s something wretched about this
Something so precious about this

[Live version inclusion:
Where to begin

Babe, there’s something broken about this
But I might be hoping about this.]

Oh, what a sin

To the strand a picnic plan for you and me
A rope in hand for your other man to hang from a tree

Honey, you’re familiar like my mirror years ago
Idealism sits in prison, chivalry fell on its sword
Innocence died screaming, honey, ask me I should know
I slithered here from Eden just to sit outside your door

Honey, you’re familiar like my mirror years ago
Idealism sits in prison, chivalry fell on its sword
Innocence died screaming, honey, ask me I should know
I slithered here from Eden just to hide outside your door