My 5 "Here and Now" songs
Strange title right?
There's a song by Regina Spektor called Hero, it's featured in the 500 Days of Summer soundtrack. It's probably one of my top 5 films, and the scene in which it features is one of my favourite moments in film. I know fuck all about films before you comment, so let me have this one;)!
What it did do though was transport me back to a point in time when I first heard that song, and first saw that movie. Like I can remember cinema in Warwick, I can remember the row that I sat in, I can remember being 20 and emo, stupid blonde hair tints and all, getting all caught up in it. That got me thinking.
There are a few songs which can transport me in a sorta 3 eyed raven way back to a moment, where the emotion and setting is as fresh as it was on the day. Rather than try and rank them, here's 5 that spring to mind straight away, and the corresponding background.
You know when I said I know fuck all about films? Well to me, the first 2 American Pie films are so dear to me it's not even true. The grim reality is that watching them now I realise a few chastening truths;
1) None of them can act at all, the guy who plays Oz in partic
2) I will never be 17 again
3) Absolutely nobody has the sorta Hollywood young love thing that happens in this film.
I don't care though, this song brings me back to being 18. As stupid and naive as I was, as clueless about the wider world, not a slave to any kinda rules except the ones I made myself.
I don't really think I was even that happy at 17 (shock), but I guess this song kinda brings back all the good things.
Special mention to Bruise by Oleander, out of the second AP film, which was close, but in the end, this was the winner.
Also, that scene in the American Reunion film when Oz and Heather get back together and this plays in the background....!!! Fuck all about films, warned ya!
Dashboard Confessional - So Long So Long
End of summer and times changing. Dashboard. always.
So 2012 was a strange year for me. Post uni, that life left in Southampton (or so I thought), I was back in Witney. Home I guess. It didn't feel it.
When people say gap year you conjour images of elaborately named MC offspring sitting cross legged in a yoga session somewhere in the backstreets of Bolivia, braided hair blowing in the wind, anklets and bracelets adorning their limbs.
My gap year was spent working at Sainsburys on the deli counter and applying to finance grad jobs.
I got one though, and even though I am now rapidly backtracking and trying to erase all of this as we speak, at the time, it was the biggest fucking ticket out that I could wish for. I got the offer in February, the job started in September.
As the sun drooped towards the end of August, it was getting abundantly clear that I was moving on from the little town that had brought me up. That I was leaving the slumber behind.
This song is the epitome of "moving on as time changes".
The middle bridge;
"And I will leave under the cover Of summer’s kiss upon the sky Like the stone face of your lover Just before she says goodbye
And I was certain that the season Could be held between my arms But just as summer’s hold is fleeting
I was here but now I’m gone"
That sums it better than I ever could. I'm not even kidding when I say I spent some of those last evenings in Witney wandering around some of the old places from my growing up. My old school field, my old sixth form, Ducklington Lake, Pens Close rec...
Wherever there is nostalgia, there is usually Dashboard.
Counting Crows - Round Here
This is the song that is entirely responsible for my love of Counting Crows and my idolisation of Adam Duritz.
Probably the most here and now of the songs on here, I close my eyes and I'm away.
I was on a Euro trip, sitting in the back of a BMW somewhere in the South of France. I'd been able to download my 300 song playlist from Spotify onto my phone for offline use! Success! I'd built this at uni simply by making up artists I thought I might like one at a time and adding their top 3 songs.
My old housemate had love for CC, and I liked that song out of Shrek (I cringe at this now), so they made the cut.
With a randomised playlist, we were on a LONG ass drive along the coast. The windows were down, the headphones were in, I daydreamed like I've never daydreamed before. With a crescent sun burning up the horizon, the soft amber lighting up my closed eyes.
I can't ever say I've ever been captivated by a set of lyrics as I was in that moment. I still haven't really deciphered them to this day.
Oh and the live version from the AAEA in full gig.....
The Avett Brothers - If It's The Beaches
A sad one
I've talked about a breakup I had in 2015 which had been coming on a couple of occasions.
You know the drill, when an argument free evening becomes something to cherish. When you're shackled to each other purely out of circumstance and fear of the unknown.
I'd say maybe...3 weeks before we broke up for good, we were up in Leicester at her parents' place, her yelling her guts out and me freezing and not knowing how to deal with it. An impending drive back home to Hitchin was a forced cooldown...
The song itself tells a tale of someone so so so fucking desperate for something to work when its just abundantly clear it wont. It's pure desperation. I didn't show anything like that level of desperation or spirit, but god I still felt every hit on the way down.
This song came on shuffle somewhere on a long country road between Hinkley and the Southbound M1. You know that road out of the Karma Police video? That, but at 60.
Neither of us said a word. The only sound a cocktail of rain, The Avett Brothers, wipers and wheels.
It was chilling and foreboding and we both knew.
I know some people who say certain songs were ruined by ex partners etc, normally it's their own fucking fault for assigning a soppy song as "theirs" ,read some god awful mush like Better Together by Jack Johnson. This though, it just adds another layer of melancholy to the music.
A good thing? Debatable. Effective. Always.
Bruce Springsteen - Meet Me In The City
On a totally different note.
This is a song of carefree and joy.
Maybe 5 months after the events of the above song, I was set up for an evening of drinking with old university friends. Things had picked up, I was dating a skinny quirky artist, I was on the verge of quitting shitty accounting job number 2, and I was starting to play a bunch of shows around Hertfordshire.
Jumping ahead, I got smashed that evening at a Slug and Lettuce on the Southbank and ended up throwing sticks of out of date pocket gum at a man with a metal detector on the banks of the river (I still don't get their logic, congrats! you found some needles and a dead fish).
Leading up to it though, running late/jogging late (standard)through the riverbank streets, I had this song blaring through my JVCs. Dodging cars and commuters alike, I felt so fucking euphoric and I have no idea why.
This song will always bring me back to that evening, the old friends, the good times, the "let's meet back here in 5 years" sorta conversations.
On that note, one of the group was off to South America for a year, and I had just made the call to try and do music as a full time thing in the future. We had a kinda "looking at the road ahead of us" conversation whilst drunk on the midnight riverbank.
So there you go, 5 songs that take me back somewhere. Please make sure you drop a like on the facebook page if you haven't done so already (link on the website).
I might do a few more of these in the future if the feedback is good, included the dreaded "top 5 favourite songs", so let me know if you enjoy it:)