This morning I was lying in bed with AlunaGeorge playing on my phone, trying to muster the will to stand and start the day. After rolling myself onto the floor and into the living room, I kept her voice as the background to my morning ritual: yoga, coffee, email, and news, all while piecing an outfit together slowly, one part at a time. Her music is breezy and cheery, upbeat and deceptively deep, a good type of music to get you out of bed without making you feel like someone dropped an anvil on your head. Once I had a sun salutation and some caffeine in my system, I perked up and started dancing around the apartment while holding coffee, brushing my teeth, grooving with little miss until I finally had to switch the stereo for headphones, continuing the dance party for one while turning the bolt. I was still humming to myself as I bounced down five flights of stairs and left my building (I’m crystallized ’cause you’re my kaleidoscope love) smiling and moving with the beat as I faced a new week.
Music is in everyone, good music can relate to anyone and all music inspires someone, sometimes in ways we don’t expect. I have approximately a million playlists on Spotify (rough approximation) with just as many different artists, haphazardly creating new lists every time I find an artist or song that makes me stop and think, inspires me, or calls memories to mind that make me smile. A funny habit I picked up from my last relationship is listening to the same song over and over, sometimes for a few days, sometimes for a few weeks. It used to annoy the snot out of me, if I’m being honest, constantly hearing his song of the hour on loop only to have it change two days before I finally memorized all the words, but lately I’m starting to understand it. There’s a calming effect to listening to the same lyrics, same tune, same artist on repeat, sitting in the mood evoked by that song, still and resigned, a way to focus on that day’s problems or triumphs without provoking anxiety. It’s just sitting with a song, same lyrics, same tune, and letting whatever you’re feeling build with the beat, rising with the bridge and falling as the last chorus fades.
I think at times, lyrics find us when they’re supposed to, and that’s why we can’t get them out of our heads. Last Saturday after a spirited afternoon playing drinking games on my fashionista C’s roof, I decided to stay at home that night, making bad delivery decisions for dinner and catching up on an SNL rerun. I stayed up just long enough to watch the first music performance, Sam Smith, Stay with Me. Even in my leftover sangria haze I perked up as that song played on, drinking in the live performance, the lyrics, even rewinding the DVR to watch it again. It’s been on repeat for me for two days, singing it in the shower, playing it on my computer, humming it in the elevator.
A combination of work, play and a few things in between have had the fact that I’m alone in the forefront of my mind recently, scary and exciting all at once. For whatever reason this past Saturday, Smith’s words comforted me (darlin’, stay with me/’cause you’re all I need/this ain’t love, it’s clear to see/but darlin’ stay with me). I don’t know if it’s reminiscing about the past when those words meant something beautiful yet painful, like an emotional concrete; pondering the present where they mean something wild, unfamiliar, scary and fun; or wondering if the future may bring a new meaning to that tune. I’m sure this will fade in a few weeks, edged out by new Beyonce or another welcome recommendation from a friend. It’s nice to sit in this mood with this song for a while though, and wonder where this vast music world might take my mood next.