When I was a teenager and in a melancholy state and listening to music (mainly certain songs on repeat), I would take to sitting on the floor, sandwiched between my bed and the stereo in the corner of my room. To be closer to the repeat button, or to rewind the tape, of course. Also because it was the closest I could get to recreating a blanket fort at that age.
All throughout university when in that state, I’d take to stretching myself across my unmade bed, staring up at the ceiling, desperately wishing the cracks would spell out the answers. They never could, mind you.
Today, having moved into less run down housing, I am no longer forced to just one room, can play the music as loud as I want, and there are no cracks in the ceilings to distract me with. Thus, I have taken to occupying my couch in my living room, wrapped nicely in a warm blanket (same blanket that occupied the previous beds), and with nothing to focus on, I merely close my eyes, or scribble in a notebook if the mood fits.
What got me thinking of where and how I listen to music was putting on the new Dum Dum Girls album Only in Dreams, specifically the song Coming Down. Maybe it was the overcast slight chance of rain weather and the steam hitting my face from my fresh cup of tea on my desk, but I suddenly wanted to be on my couch, eyes closed, music filling the house. Not because I wanted to be sad, but because I was and I needed to get that out, if only for a bit.
Our listening is so mobile today, which is blessing and a curse. I think sometimes I need to be reminded to digest an album like a book, with no other distractions. To let the music envelope, and do its magic. Even though I’m partial to the music in the car, the albums that really stick out to me in my mind are always the ones I took the time to be with one on one. You know those albums that you played so much you had to get another copy. Or the ones you put on and then followed along with the lyrics in the booklet.
I don’t re-read any of my favourite books whilst computing or doing other chores. Good music needs a captive audience too.
Where do you do your best listening?
Coming Down – Dum Dum Girls