Current Obsession: SOKO and AURORA

The thing about burying the people you’re closest to is that cemeteries assume new dimensions. Every patch of grass is personal and every gravestone a headboard, because you envision the ones you’ve loved sleeping peacefully below ground. Or rotting, depending on your mood. Grief is a gray area: you pray for inconsistency and secretly revel in its constant companionship because as long as you hurt, you’re still connected to those you miss.

In this headspace, two songs have been on constant rotation for me. And I do mean constant. The first is “Churchyard” by AURORA from her album Infections of a Different Kind (Step 1). The album is solid, front to back, but this particular song is blasting from my weak iPhone speakers in the morning during makeup application, through my car’s surround sound on the ride to work, and running through my head as I fall asleep. “He told me I belong in a churchyaARD. He told me I could walk away, but I wouldn’t get FaAR.” It’s the perfect pop song with sneaky substance that functions as the tie that binds. If I were Mary Tyler Moore, this would be my opening credit.

If I’m in a mellower mood, I lean on Soko’s “We Might Be Dead Tomorrow” from I Thought I Was an Alien. I encountered this amazing tune on the dark British comedy series The End of the F**cking World, which has one of the best soundtracks I’ve heard in a long time. Lots of midcentry soulful throwbacks and heartbreaking acoustic currents.

These two songs have been bookends for me this week. Some weeks are more challenging than others, but music is always there to provide context and solace; like when you heat metal–forcing the impurities to surface so they can be cleaned away, music makes the molecules move and friction makes the heat that purifies. As long as the sounds waves vibrate, everything is fine.



Daily Dose: AroarA, “#14”

What I love most about AroarA’s In The Pines is the album’s unpredictable intelligence. Each song could almost stand alone in genre and form, but instead of leading to incohesion they function like wind chimes–the longer they reverberate off one another, the more organic the sound becomes. With lead vocals that switch from feminine to masculine, tempos that consistently shift, and pared-down layers of instrumentation that pop in and out, In The Pines is weighted by a sense of whimsy that is playful yet commanding. Quintessentially Montreal in sound, so fun and eclectic that it’s impossible to be bored; a great Saturday in the city soundtrack.

Daily Dose: BIG DATA, “Dangerous (feat. Joywave)”

“Big data” is a term used to describe a monumentally massive volume of structured and unstructured data that is difficult to process using traditional database and software techniques. “BIG DATA” is a paranoid electronic music project from the Internet, formed out of a general distrust of technology and The Cloud.

Video is somewhat graphic (if your tolerance is low). For everyone else, an amazing cultural critique–especially for those of us having lunch in a cubicle.