My Fix

The year I started believing in sliding doors and lost faith in humanity. Kindness and decency like rare gems difficult to find.  Rising anxiety levels and therapists’ tricks that only sometimes help. I try to subdue worrisome thoughts, not be an alarmist, preoccupy myself with meaningless tasks and socialize with good people.

Last week a blast from the past circa 2006 emerged, Sufjan Stevens and his Carrie & Lowell. Much has been said and written about him and it. For me, here is a heartbreaking farewell full of softened memories. An instant classic to add to this life’s music catalogue. The right solution for right now.

Start to finish, my fix.

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The Songs of 2013

I don’t know if I believe in words anymore. Hence the silence.

December struck with its accompanying force to reflect, look back in anger, add and subtract, cherish and discard, sit back and revel in the sound once more.

Time flew by. Mid-April (snow again!) I managed to hone in on ten songs, the great ones. And in October I finally brought my hyper-subjective soundtrack to life.

Shared with few sentences, my annual list of songs-to-save is here.

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10 • Daughter • Youth

A song on youth saturated with maturity, echoes in the dark and pretty angst. A new generation gone bad. And sometimes good.

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9 • Son Lux • Easy

All in one. Fine sliced tension, heavy saxophones, familiar hardship and buried loneliness. Steady beat with a steady heart while trying to diminish memories and thoughts.

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8 • Autre Ne Veut • Gonna Die

A snail-paced synth reiterates the obvious and a soulful 80s yelp is truth, pushed aside.

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7 • Haim • If I Could Change Your Mind

These Hipstersisters released the best album of the year. A gem that is more Michael Jackson than Fleetwood Mac. Perfect pop constructed and an addiction that comes to fruition at chorus #1. Underneath it all, it’s joy.

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6 • Yeah Yeah Yeahs • Sacrilege

Demonic and coy. The moment of truth where gospel transcends us to Heaven. And on Canada Day at Echo Beach, YYYs delivered a thunderous and electric show. The highest high.

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5 • David Bowie • Love Is Lost (Hello Steve Reich Mix By James Murphy For The DFA)

Icon2 .Past and present heros on an epic ten-minute voyage, a masterful union of music visionaries. A landmark.

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4 • FKA Twigs • Water Me

Unzip –> Pull out heart –> Sing. The most vulnerable girl in the world and the drop of an artificial tear that forever feels real.

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3 • TEEN • Big Talk

A tidal wave conducted by silken voices. Rocks, slings and arrows thrown, followed by apologies and dancing in corners. And then noise erupts again.

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2 • Phosphorescent • Song For Zula

The grandest testimony of love and heartbreak is also the most beautiful ache, disfigurement and demise.

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1 • The Preatures • Is This How You Feel?

Sugar. Addictive and full of overwhelming groove. This is the most infectious and loved. For a change lacking melancholy or gloom. Still searching. Accompanied by a slightly more upbeat tune. Moderately cheerful and buoyant and well.

This is how I feel.

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Against the Wind

Look by Anton Marrast

Todd Terje • Johnny And Mary (feat. Bryan Ferry)

You wake up in the middle of the night and rethink dreams. Paul Newman just gave you acting tips and a sommelier discussed SEO tactics to further your reach. Yes, these are transitional times. Moments where back wind is an impetus to run and achieve. Then, the same force is a wall blocking that trajectory. The new place you’ve set for yourself seems like a reachable yet far away dot. Your similarity to Johnny regarding running and certainty and loneliness isn’t a wonder. You choose the path that goes against the wind.

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Still.

The SmithsStill Ill (Live)

I didn’t grow up with rock or angst or harsh critical thought. The canon consisted of pop mainly. Appreciation for the greatest band in the world grew only in my mid 20s as life came to fruition. Kind of. Seeing it for what it is, grasping and pasting fragments on my own accord. Resigning to darkness, temper and moody nights. Capturing those moments in time to this soundtrack.

Now it makes me miss smoking, ponder nineties simplicity and old forgotten dreams, envision this playing on vinyl under Mediterranean sky while the rest unravels.

I celebrate the band I love most daily. This song, arguably my favorite of all time, a punch that pierces with its philosophy and yearning. Still on heavy rotation. Still.

Happy 30th Anniversary to a debut album that changed everything.

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This Farewell

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Active Child • Evening Ceremony

 

This isn’t the place I thought it would be. Once there was a fork in the road and turning right seemed right. Voices, sounds and lyrics misled the way. Naïveté. Now, a decade later I’m back agreeing with this farewell. It’s moderately tolerable. I’ll head towards that middle ground of mud. With prospects of flourishing grass. Snap shots of this odyssey. Record moving images of newness on the horizon. And see.

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