I have this vivid memory of me leaving the train station close to my university back in 2016. I was walking back to back with hundreds of other students on my way to my morning classes. On my iPod some new records I had found on AOTY the day before. Walking down the stairs, I remember thinking: “If people knew I like this stuff, it would be so embarassing”.
It was January, I was recovering from an heartbreak, and my appartment was haunted by bedbugs. ‘Depression Cherry ’ was on heavy rotation, and ‘Carrie & Lowell ’ was still echoing when I'd feel lonely. Despite my misfortune, however, I had found a renewed interest in music, transitioning from a genre to another, wanting to belong again – truly belong this time. Walking down the stairs, I remember thinking: “Why am I so intrigued?”.
It was January and I was looking for a placeholder. Everything I had listened until then felt distant, either culturally or emotionally – or I was just too young to relate to music made by a thirtysomething like ‘Burn Your Fire for No Witness‘, ‘On Your Own Love Again’, or ‘Overgrown’. People my age were almost non-existent in my library. I really can’t think of anyone except for King Krule, Jamie Isaac and Earl Sweatshirt. But I was looking for something else at the time. Something less masculine, less defined; something I couldn’t decipher at first glance, something I could have devoted myself to. I really just wanted to live my normcore dream where life is exciting but also mediocre; a dream where I didn't have to pretend that sadness wasn't my favorite and most articulate feeling. Walking down the stairs, I remember thinking: “This is so warm, so gentle, so quiet”.
It was January and I was used to check out new releases every Friday. Bulk downloading all the ones with a nice artwork, and hoping to be surprised. My place was 45 minutes away from uni, which was enough, back and forth, to keep up with my list. I often listened to stuff I didn’t like, as I felt the obligation to educate myself – or maybe it was just an excuse to break from my comfort zone; to allow myself to break from my comfort zone. Not that I wasn’t allowed to. It’s just that I was too afraid. Walking down the stairs, I remember thinking: “Don’t be scared”.
It was January and I ran into‘The Birds Outside Sang‘. I felt like she was speaking to me; I felt like I was her; I felt like I was comforting myself. It took me a long time to understand that it was much more than that. But I still love to sing this album quietly.
I am sorry it took so long, but I am happy to be here.