a few honest words

I posted a picture on Twitter and Facebook of something I had written to friends the other day, but I felt like I should post a little something here and flesh out what I was saying a bit more.

Growing up is weird, and time is a funny thing. Yesterday I spent some time looking through the lists of favorite albums since I started this here little blog in 2011 and was struck by just how much the albums from previous years have stuck with me and been consistently important to me since first hearing them. Granted, they were important because they had to be, because I needed those songs and those albums at that time more than even I knew, because those songs played in the foreground and background through the heartbreak and uncertainty and rebuilding and new life, because those songs were my life. The thing about albums like Typhoon’s White Lighter and Night Beds’ Country Sleep and so many of those albums I loved from 2011-2014 is that they sounded important and vital to me from day one because they had to. Where I was in life took those albums from being ‘great’ to being ‘vital,’ and that’s why they still matter and still bring back memories any time something from them comes on.

Conversely, I realized that last year didn’t have really any albums that stuck to me like those previous ones did. I loved some albums released last year, of course, but I didn’t need music in general last year like I have for so much of my adult life. It was a weird realization, especially for someone who always has music on and around. The more I thought about it, though, the more it made sense. My last year hasn’t been filled with the need to escape or the strife or drastic change that had defined so much of my adulthood. I wasn’t living somewhere that my friends weren’t or having my heart smashed or trying to put my life back together or moving away from my family or settling into a new life. I was living a happy life in a happy house with a woman I loved, hosting my family regularly and seeing friends I love regularly and working at a job that wasn’t soulcrushing on a daily basis. Music was around, but I wasn’t searching out new stuff to add to my story or help me understand it better because life was, and remains, good to its core.

Adulthood and happiness is a weird thing, you guys, and it’s not something I’m used to at all, even 10 years out of college. Who knows, maybe this year I find something that absolutely floors me and becomes vital to my life like Muchacho or For Emma, Forever ago did (and I have high hopes that something like that will happen, if only because so many artists I love and believe in and am excited about are scheduled to or rumored to be releasing albums). It didn’t happen last year, and that’s fine. Not every year has to be life-changing with a great soundtrack. Some years can just be comfortable and full of happiness and love and good times with the people you care about most with a soundtrack you already love. Music doesn’t have to be the ONLY thing to make sense in life (or way to make sense of it) for it to be an important thing.


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5 Responses to a few honest words

  1. Adrian says:

    Totally with you.

    BUT, I should note, that there are those albums that still break through, no matter how little you need music–White Lighter still hit me and stuck with me even though I was (and am) in a happy relationship. Great music still comes through. At least in my experience.

    • Adam says:

      Most assuredly. It was a bit unfair/unwise to use some of those albums as examples cause they would resonate either way. Great albums are gonna be great.

  2. lizsamdog says:

    very interesting comment I find you search out music that you relate too so much more in times of discontent, unhappiness or lost love,(especially) possibily because you read into the lyrics or the sound the vibes of the song, songs even musicians make their best albums in similar times

  3. Owen says:

    Well said. It’s weird what happens when life occupies you in that way. I definitely find myself grasping on to less, having less patience with finding new music, etc. It’s got to be really good really quickly for me to stay with a song/album. 2015 was not a big music year for me at all. Looking forward to what 2016 is set to bring though.

  4. Adrian says:

    I’ve been thinking about this…

    One of the amazing things about music–and I’m thinking about recorded music–is that it’s this thing that doesn’t change. That great record has the same ten or twelve tracks and each of those is exactly the same. They stay the same. And we change around them.

    I think sometimes when music is great and it helps us change or get through something, we can hear all of that when we listen back to it a year or five or ten years later. We hear it as the awkward kid that first heard the album, we hear that pain we were in and we also hear it as the changing, intermediate person. And we hear it as us now, hopefully with that stuff behind us. That’s strange and wonderful, isn’t it?

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