Saturday, December 31, 2016

The 2016 Song of the Year

It's probably pointless to crank out another end-of-year post. I already kind of did two, and if I ever want to be a respectable adult person, I need to stop moping about my crappy 2016.

But, it's been a tradition of mine to celebrate my favorite shows and songs each year. And even at 7 PM on New Year's Eve, I guess it deserves at least a half-assed effort to keep that tradition going. 

There's no sense in attempting to do a "Year in Shows" post. I only attended one show this year, and it was more to hang out with an old friend than to enjoy the music. (Because -- sorry, Black Lips, but your "thing" doesn't do it for me any more). Frankly, the fact that the Black Lips are the only band I saw perform live this year is at least as disappointing as attending no shows at all would have been.

Still, I still listened to a lot of music this year. And as I tried to work though so many confusing things -- financial stress, career anxiety, fears over my health, and deep feelings of sadness and loneliness as I watched some of my oldest friendships die right before me -- I turned to the music that best suited the sense of confusion and withdrawal that defined my head space this year. 

That opened my eyes and ears -- and I guess my heart and soul -- to all kinds of music that I'd never heard before. And that's a very good thing.

No song spoke to my confused feelings more than Let's Eat Grandma's "Rapunzel."  

It's a dark, disturbing song that's worth your time. The themes - of feeling lost, of feeling wronged, and of possibly feeling that one is living out a life that isn't his or her own -- very much resonated for me this year. 

Indeed, the lyrics of the coda -- combined with the gloriously eerie harmonies -- still leave me numbly staring into my screen even as I listen to it now:

"And there is something strange in my mind
And there is something weird in my head"

None of my introspective nonsense even takes into account the phenomenal piano or drums on this track. Or the fact that the song was written and performed by teenagers -- artists who are far, far younger than their contemporaries in my earbuds this year. 

So, there you have it. I thank Let's Eat Grandma for making me feel slightly less unstable in my 2016.....or at the very least, for allowing me to feel less alone in my instability this year.  Yours is my song of the year.

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