Are we listening?
Annoyingly, for me anyway, I haven't posted as consistently as I had hoped to. This is down to a number of things, but mainly the fact that I just haven't felt very well. I always get super scared that I'm far too open in my writing, that I'm somehow being too much in these love letters to the albums I'm grateful for. Then I remember, I'm the one writing them, they're about music I love. I say this because I often punish myself a lot for doing what I want, and become consumed with this strange feeling that for some reason, everyone will care, and hate me for it. It's come to a point now where I find this feeling comforting, because it means I'm doing something I enjoy, for me, not because everybody else wants me to. Anyway, I say this because there's a lot of great music that's been created as a product of feeling, and I think it's important to recognise that, and to actually listen to what's being said. I planned on writing a post about mental health during the awareness month, but (ironically) I didn't feel good writing it knowing I wasn't really in the best way. Let's pretend it's a few days ago, and actually listen to what's being felt, and understand how it can actually affect us:
When I'm down, I am absolutely not one of those people who can Bridget Jones it, I can't put on sad music and cry, or watch sad films. I basically do a lot to avoid being unnecessarily upset, but have reached a medium with music where I can let myself be more quietly sad as opposed to sobbing with my headphones in. For this, then, my go-to would have to be anything Amy Winehouse. This is where I backtrack on myself, because I sort of wallow in my favourite song by her (Wake Up Alone) and then find myself unbelievably distraught that she's no longer with us, that she won't make music again. It's one of those heartbreaking songs that you don't think resonates with you, until you're sat focusing on one particular line thinking 'that's it! that's the feeling, but in words'. For me, the line was 'run around just so I don't have to think about thinking', because it really forced me to realise that I'm distracting myself, a lot, to protect myself. Every lyric in that song is a product of pain, of actual emotion, and it's so tragic that it sort of helps make everything a little easier. I mentioned this in my last post, about the fear of actually going through something, and got some really lovely messages. None of you have literally any reason to listen to me, so by all means you don't have to, but it was really kind of people to say that they got it, that they felt that, so thank you.
I very much want this post to be a holding hand if it can be, so I'll try my best to make sure it's not all doom and gloom. There's a lot of positivity that can be taken away from music, a lot of realisations about self worth that can be looked at and admired. There's some that are just a given, like Elton John's 'I'm Still Standing' or Whitney Houston's 'Greatest Love of All', which are both anthems for self love being the best type, and especially are relevant in overcoming obstacles. I think my absolute favourite is Kendrick Lamar's 'i', which is well known for that warm sunburst of guitar, borrowed from The Isley Brothers' 1973 hit 'That Lady', and the constant 'i love myself' which is repeated nineteen times! 'i' (rightly) won Grammys for best rap song and best rap performance.
So, I posted on my instagram asking for people to share with me some songs or albums that help them when they‘re down, or that they listen to just to feel some type of way. Thankfully, people actually messaged me so I wasn't sat begging my friends for some choices (though it is not unheard of). A few on the list are:
10/10 and Always - Rex Orange county
Love Will Tear Us Apart - Joy Division
Boys Don't Cry - The Cure
Anything Frank Sinatra (amazing)
Landslide - Fleetwood Mac (have to agree, cry every time)
Location Unknown by HONNE
There's quite a few more that I'll add to the playlist, but I'm going to make it collaborative and encourage people to add things that they love, or that have helped them. Just message me if you have anything to add but don't want your name to show up... or if you use apple music (yuck).
Lastly, this is a long one I know, but there is a real issue in the world that everybody needs to address. There is a difference between being not-racist and being anti-racist. Educate yourself and others, be aware of your privilege and listen to the black community. Uplift and support Black artists, businesses, and members of your community. If you are told you are wrong, do not react defensively, listen and evolve. If I am wrong, by all means please call me out because I want to learn.
Petition: https://t.co/ZgxWWm2q91 —> you can also text “FLOYD” to 55156 (International friends, use the zip code 90210, 20016 or 20814 if you don’t have one)
Minnesota Freedom Fund Donation link: https://minnesotafreedomfund.org/donate
Black Lives Matter Donation link: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ms_blm_homepage_2019
George Floyd Memorial Fund: https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd
All lives will not matter until Black lives do. If you subscribe to the “all lives matter” movement, unfollow or unfriend me.
Thank you so, so much for reading,