Do you ever listen, read, or watch something that really hits you? Within an instant you get chills, a deep space in your soul shaken to its core? With the multitude of art and media released constantly, not everything can hit that part of yourself, a part so rarely reached that you’re thinking about that song/book/show for the next few days. The feeling reverberates into everything you do.
I haven’t explored or gotten into amy new music lately. I’ve kind of been stuck in a rut with either listening to the same things over and over again or just not listening to anything at all. For someone who loves music, I felt slightly defeated by that.
Until I stumbled upon one particular song that led me down a rabbit hole that has changed my entire perspective on how listen to and judge the depth and quality of music. You’re probably wondering what this song is, if it’s supposed to be so profound and revolutionary. Which, honestly, it really isn’t.
The song is “Ravens” by Mount Eerie. And today the entire album “A Crow Looked at Me” comes out today, as the relevance for waiting to share this discovery, one I cannot take credit for since my brother and I typically bounce different music off each other.
FYI, before you even attempt to listen, this stuff is sad. A ridiculously dark sadness that within the first few seconds, had me on the verge of tears. Mount Eerie is a single artist who wrote and made this album after the death of his young wife who succumbed to pancreatic cancer. He recorded the album on her instruments in the room where she died. Yeah, don’t expect happiness.
But this music has a refreshing honesty to it. One track, “Death is Real,” states it simply that singing and making art out of death is stupid. Trying to dance around death with flowery metaphors and deep messages with life lessons isn’t real nor helpful. Death happens. It hurts. It affects every aspect of life. It reminds us through subtle details and memories just how painful and unfair death can be.
Mount Eerie sings with poetic lyrics and storytelling that illustrates those little details. His daughter dreaming about a crow. Dumping his wife’s ashes from a jar. Getting a backpack in the mail that his wife ordered earlier for when their daughter goes to school. This isn’t easy listening. It’s emotional. It’s raw.
But ultimately, this is an album of memory and love, a hope that his wife’s death does not evaporate away without a trace. That the love of those left behind, continuing to live, have something to show for it. With new releases these days, nothing else compares. When I hear the entirety of this album, I have a feeling it will join the ranks of some of my favorite albums of all time.
And alas, now I am judging and seeing all music from a new light, a more critical one. I now have two clear eras of enjoying music: BME and ME. Before Mount Eerie and Mount Eerie, that’s how drastic this feels. If anything sounds too empty or repetitive, even if I liked it before, it doesn’t feel the same. I keep searching for something that affects me as much as Mount Eerie has, music that has me dreaming about it.
I compare this experience with Mount Eerie to that of the new songs Lorde has released recently. Now her first album, I actually bought the physical copy of the CD, a big testament to my commitment. I love her original work. And at first, I was still committed to enjoy her new songs, too, except once I actually listen to some of the current hits that my roommate plays on Spotify, it all sounds the same to me. A mass production of similar sounds and themes repeated through slightly different voices and faces. I can’t look at pop music the same way. I see how it lacks any real substance and emotion. It loses any artistic quality. Just singles released separately to rake up iTunes profits, then mismatched onto a random album that makes no real sense.
So I’m open to new suggestions whenever. Chances are I’ll be extremely critical, but I will at least try. I’m excited this weekend to declutter and refresh my iTunes library and just see from here where my exploration takes me because I truly do see it as an exploration, a passionate hobby of hearing what makes others want to drop everything and write and make music.
Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie