Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hush, Darling

Every now and again I fall upon a song, and for a sweet little second - time stalls in the haziest of ways. With music, I'm a hopeless romantic, certain instruments make my arm hairs stand on end, and I love pretty and peculiar melodies that cause my heart to beat heavily and me to think, "How come I didn't think of that?"

When I ask that question, I don't ask it because I'm an unbelievably talented instrumentalist/songwriter with a mile-long scroll of song ideas - I'm not. I ask it because I'm affected so strongly by that heavenly and heartwarming listening moment, that you would think I would cultivate a way to arrange a similar breathtaking progression of sounds on my own. I couldn't, however, because some of the best things that you didn't know you felt or adored are what others manage to drag out of you. And, alas, that's the beauty of listening to music - we put our hearts and delighted expectations into the hands of these musicians, who at one moment, might be able to pull a sound of out their sleeve that causes us to feel something we hadn't anticipated.

I suppose I heard one of those melodies today. One of those songwriting moments when you listen to the first few notes of a tune, feel the slow-down of a single minute, wait for it to continue, hope for it to follow the path you've already laid out in your mind - and then it does. Late today, I heard the song "Need You Now" by one of my favourite synthpop Aussie bands, Cut Copy remixed by Architecture in Helsinki. And, no - there wasn't anything life-changing about it, but at that moment, I felt like I was at the end of a film, waltzing across a dance floor or sifting through an airport crowd to the chiming, romantic beats of this song. It's like the last dance of a 1950s prom - with its doo-wop arpeggio guitar runs, lead Dan Whitford's longing new wave vocals and a feeling like Roy Orbison or The Buddies never left the building. Soaring Enya-esque background hums, sparkling instruments and building volume are actually a hacked-in-half rendition of the original - an equally beautiful version, but one with synth, an uppity beat and Euro-clubbing possibilities. Like most things, it depends on your mood I guess.

As the sun was fading, the sky was laced in pink and I was curled in a big round chair with a still glass of red vino - this song, from an otherwise amped-up band, was just the ticket. One of those melodies that pulled a little happy feeling, from a little unknown place, out of a little gal. Enjoy those rolling strings, you might need them now.

Cut Copy - Need You Now (Architecture in Helsinki version)

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