I sometimes find it quite amazing how music has a way of sneaking into our subconscious. Now in particular, when I don’t consciously seek out new music to listen to, I am often surprised to find myself humming to songs I thought I had never heard before. The radio would announce a song, and it won’t even ring a bell, but the moment the song comes up I find myself going “Oh so this is what the song is called!” There used to be a time when I made it my business to stay on top of new music but let’s just say things have changed since then. The last two years I had blindly put my faith on Spotify to keep me updated and well, the readymade mood based playlists didn’t hurt.
Ever since we moved to Dubai, I have been thrown into the ever changing currents on my own. Not to mention having to fight over which song to play next with my two year old. Yes, Miss Munchkin has demands. Many, many demands. And it always starts with “Do Dododo dododo xuniba?” Which is my cue to start playing Uptown Funk, her jam. Once that it over, it is usually followed by requests to play Shake it Off, Dear Future Husband (I know, I know!) and Roar and then again back to Uptwon Funk. All this while, we basically run around the coffee table while shaking our head to the beats and stop for squishy cuddles whenever we feel like because it makes her giggle like anything.
So you can imagine how it would make me feel to come across a magical song once in a while that makes me stop in my tracks. It usually starts as a tingle in my toes, creeping up to my fingertips, until I feel it all over like goosebumps on my skin. And then, without knowing, without meaning to, I have a smile on my face, and I close my eyes and drown in the music. I feel it filling me up, bit my bit, until it floods my entire being, specially that little vulnerable bit in my heart. And it feels a lot like falling in love, when you can’t contain all those feelings inside you anymore. The words wash over me, and snippets of lyrics make room for themselves in those tiny recesses I didn’t even know existed. When the last note strikes, I know my life has been changed. That the song is then played on repeat for the whole day until it basically runs in my blood stream is a given.
The last few weeks I have been extremely lucky to chance upon good song after good song, and things have gotten such that I keep sending random music related messages to random people. Call it a hangover of the times when I wrote about music, reviewed music, interviewed band members and made playlists for Fried Eye, but I felt a playlist post brewing. So here I am. To write about music. After ages.
Don’t cringe when I start the playlist with Justin Bieber, although a disclaimer is in order. I had been one of those who loved to hate Justin Bieber. I thought myself “above all that” And then something happened. A fresher and definitely more matured Justin Bieber came up with Purpose and it included this simple song that moved me beyond reasoning. I think it is the simplicity that got me hooked. It is about a break up, but you can’t deny that it is another facet of love itself. Free from any sort of chaos, with clean notes and a video that is innovative, Love Yourself is my morning cup of coffee these days. I listen to it the first thing in the morning, and then for a zillion times later, so much that whenever the first notes come up Miss Munchkin starts saying “Eitu nohoi!” You know the song’s been lingering in the air when even my two year old knows that after “My Mama don’t like you” comes “And she likes everyone”
If Love Yourself is like a white sheet with that crisp clean linen smell, The Words is like a dessert that surprises you with unexpected tastes, like chocolate with say, chilies. It is about that glorious spell when you realise you are in love with someone and are slightly scared to admit it, and it has unexpected notes that make you tilt your head a bit for a while and then go “Aah, it makes sense now” I can’t imagine anyone singing it better than Christina Perri. Her voice has this captivating power that leaves me incapable of doing anything else but let myself be totally engulfed.
Keeping in the theme of undeclared love, Distance is yet another Christina Perri song, albeit a duet with Jason Mraz and it is yet another beauty of a song. “So I will, keep my distance, say I love you when you’re not listening”… My favourite lines in that song. I have always maintained that the best part of falling in love is the hesitation, that ever so slight faltering right on the edge of that cliff before you take the plunge. Normally I wouldn’t really club Christina Perri and Jason Mraz, because their style seem quite different to me but in this song their voices come together in such beautiful harmony that you wonder why they haven’t come up with more duets since 2011.
This next song is about the most painful kind of love: unrequited love. “You’ll say I’m sorry, Believe me, I love you, But not in that way” Kinda packs a punch in itself, doesn’t it? What drives the knife deeper is Sam Smith’s voice. Like good scotch, his voice starts off smooth and then warms you from inside, leaving you feeling satiated and yet wanting more… Mmmm. And although he’s got quite a few chart busters to his credit, something about this one stuck with me like no other song. So simple and yet so potent… This is one song where the voice rules over everything else, so much that there’s no need for any bells or whistles.
I was saving the best for the last, I was. Now this is a bit of a cliched song; the love anthem of 2013 if you have it, but there’s a reason it is so. Can anything be more encompassing than “All of me, loves all of you; love your curve and all your edges, all your perfect imperfections”? I had always loved John Legend for his “Ordinary People” but “All of Me” is the song that squeezes my heart till I can’t breath from all the love oozing out of it. To be loved by someone like that, to love someone like that, surely is quite something.
So there. Pour out the wine, follow it with a heart warming dinner and let soulful conversation flow, or just drift in the music and take it all in. Valentine’s Day can be everyday if you wish it to be!