No travel bug escape is complete without music. I don’t want anything else in my ear as I wait on the runway, feeling the plane come to life beneath and around me while discretely staking a claim on the armrest. Sorry, Person Next to Me, it’s going to be a long flight! And White Lies is along for the ride! The lyrics suit the experience almost too well, it’s a bit too obvious, but the way the song builds in tandem with a departing plane and mirrors that exhilaration has been one of my staples of summer.
Off their new album Escape from Evil out March 2015 via Ribbon Music.
I love when a band surprises me in the best way possible. Lower Dens’ sound, most notably on their debut album Twin Hand Movement (2010), is very Beach House-esque, a broody walk through the fog that then creeps into dream pop with their sophomore album Nootropics (2012). Now, this taste of their upcoming album is much brighter and infectious, but with lyrics that remind you it is still a Lower Dens song. It’s a departure from what I initially expected. It’s better than what I initially expected. Lower Dens shows they have more in their arsenal, making Escape from Evil one of my most anticipated albums of 2015.
Music makes my brain happy.
Science tells us that the brain’s reaction to music is similar to its reaction to food or hallucinogenic drugs. The brain finds intellectual reward in following and understanding a sequence of sound. An appreciation of its understanding results in a pleasurable experience for the listener. And that’s just the sound alone! Music is more than an audio dopamine cocktail. In some cases, lyrics can heighten the listening experience with attached associations and memories. Music makes it possible for two very different people with very different political views and theological beliefs to have the same biological reaction to the same sound. Even with all the tension in the world, music is transcendent.
I often seek out new music and new ways to experience music whether it be through social media, word of mouth or live performances. Living in a world where music is so easily accessed and purchased via wi-fi connection and a few clicks shouldn’t mean the inevitable extinction of music stores, but a greater appreciation for them. I take trips up and down the West Coast a couple of times every year and this summer I visited Amoeba Music, both the Berkley and Hollywood locations, for the first time. Thus, my obsession with music stores that began with my first viewing of Empire Records as a younger person intensified.
Normally, I’m not a fan of reggae. The exception being Bob Marley because who doesn’t know, love and respect Bob? When is Bob never the exception to the rules? I distinctly remember having a Bob poster pinned to the wall of my dorm room freshman year of college, courtesy of my surfer-slash-stoner roommate. I also distinctly remember a time before that, my dad blasting some obscure reggae track when I was already agitated thanks to the 90-degree Hawaii heat and trying to study for finals in high school. Let’s just say we had words in the latter situation. I prefer indie and alternative or rap to reggae, but the scale tipped today.
I’m currently suffering through a hazy head cold and taking DayQuil as often as the small print permits. We were driving to dinner. I had my hood pulled up over my head, shielding my eyes, miserably leaning against the car window, wishing away my runny nose and constant sneezing when Gregory Isaac’s “Cool Down the Pace” came on the radio. I expected to be annoyed, especially when my uncle insisted on singing along, but there’s something so soothing and comforting about this song. It looks like I found another exception to the rules.
You know the “tunnel song” from The Perks of Being a Wallflower? At the end of the movie, Sam (Emma Watson) hands Charlie (Logan Lerman) a cassette tape (because it takes place in the early 90’s) and says she found the “tunnel song.” Then the young adults we’ve grown to pity and love and relate to over the course of the movie take a drive through a tunnel with the windows down and the song blasting. Charlie stands in the truck bed, holding his hands up above his head and swearing that in that moment he and his friends are infinite.
Tame Impala’s “Apocalypse Dreams” is my tunnel song. It is bottled infinity. It’s best heard while driving down a highway at night with the windows down and the volume turned up as loud as possible without ruining the car speakers. That baseline. The way the song just kicks into warp speed at the three-minute mark and runs free till the closing minutes. The way the fuzzy, almost lazy vocals contrast with the depth of the lyrics.
Well, am I getting closer?
Will I ever get there?
Does it even matter?
This song is otherworldly. It offers escapism and reflection simultaneously. It isn’t exactly a new song, but it is one that has stuck with me. This blog isn’t about discovering the newest and hippest the entertainment industry has to offer, but contemplating what remains once the hype fades. I don’t think I’ll ever be over this song and I never want to be.
5 songs you’ll listen to the rest of your life
5 things on your bucket list
- Be in the same room as Jessica Lange. (Because let’s face it, I would crumble and make an idiot of myself if I tried to talk to her. I’d die if she ever read something I wrote.)
- Travel, travel and travel! Currently, I really want to visit Greece and New Orleans.
- Go to Comic-Con at least once in my life.
- Go to a movie premiere.
- Be a Los Angeles Lakers season ticket holder.
5 celebs you’d love to hang out with for a day
- Tatiana Maslany — I’d ask her to switch between all of her clone characters on Orphan Black and time her with a stopwatch. She would probably hate me. (No spoilers for the Orphan Black season 2 premiere! I haven’t seen it yet!)
- Spike Jonze — he creates such distinct, visceral worlds in his movies and I’d love to pick his brain.
- Walt Disney — We’d spend the day at, well, Disney World.
- Gillian Jacobs — for the Vines.
- Donald Glover/Childish Gambino — Because The Internet.
5 things you always carry in your purse
- Pens I probably got for free somewhere
- Moleskine notebook
- Mini lint roller
- Something sweet!
- And hand sanitizer…and tissues…and sunglasses! Technically, I’d most likely be wearing the sunglasses. Yeah, that’s a little more than five… Oops?
Share the last 5 pictures on your phone
Honestly, the last 60+ photos on my phone are from the Childish Gambino concert and I’m going to do a whole other post on that later this week so these will have to do for now…
Questions Courtesy of: