track commentary | side notes

elaboration on the song choices for coffee with him | the right track

no. 01: shape of you
now my bedsheets smell like you / every day we’re discovering something brand new
Ed Sheeran may just be one of my all-time favorite songwriters. “Date a guy who makes you feel like a girl in an Ed Sheeran song.” is my dating mantra. We’d started off with an impulsive date, full of excitement, and I’d say even until the end, he always had me dancing. Figuratively, and also quite literally as my shoulders sway back and forth as I type this out. Ostinatibly, Shape of You always pulsed through every part of me as we dated. It was my go-to song in the shower, on the freeway, at the office. If we ever did karaoke like we often talked about, I already knew it was going to be my choice. The entire second verse is excellent, highlighting the first date conversations, cheap eats, rich times. The chorus, however, is everything. The magnetic push and pull. Sheets. Smell. Shape. Something brand new. I’m lucky to now attach this song to specific personal experiences. I already loved this Divide track, and now it’s that much more special to me. It’s the best one to set the tone of two Geminis and their love affair. Well, it was more of a casual dating deal, but love affair just adds to the romanticism I’m trying to convey. So it’s a love affair.
no. 02: hello, you beautiful thing
and i shuffle my slipperless toes to the kitchen / still low to the ground, but high on living
Jason Mraz paints the best picture of a morning. Radiance in the simpleness. He references waking up, and eventually he pours a cup of liquid gold, which is what I think about nearly every ritual pour I do in the mornings. This track transitions nicely from the night before to the calm morning, a time to have coffee, and bring on the day. And it is specific to the day, not love or appreciation for anything else. I knew it was gonna be a good day. And it started with someone else who felt the same, which made for a nice addition.
no. 03: rainbow
got kaleidoscopes in my hairdo / got back the stars in my eyes, too / yeah now i see the magic inside of me
Kesha’s Rainbow album is everything. I’m obsessed ever since TripleB shared it with me, and I’ve been spreading the good Kesha news without restraint ever since. J-Sasterisk had never heard the album, but he didn’t need to in order to understand the Kesha essence I’d come to own. He just got it. I dyed my hair while I was seeing him, and put those colors in my hair, saw the magic in me, and he looked at me as if this magic revelation was not any news. Mellie was magic, and this transformative action was on brand. I loved being fully myself around him. His casual observation and comment on my hair during our last morning together as I walked into the kitchen — the sun shining through it, a highlighted kaleidoscope of color — made me feel so effortlessly beautiful in my sheer existence on this earth.
no. 04: like i’m gonna lose you
let’s take our time to say what we want / here’s what we got before it’s all gone / ’cause no, we’re not promised tomorrow
Jasmine Thompson’s cover of this song is so moving. And when things are quintessentially unfolding before my eyes, particularly in reference to romance, I hear the soft chord on the piano, and then “like a scene from a movie” is lyrically felt. I’ve had dramatic kisses in the rain, drinks in a dive bar on the east side, and now, morning coffee. When sadness starts kicking in, like it often starts to for me when I am reminded everything is temporary, I find the beauty in living in the moment and making the most of the time. I knew when we walked out onto the porch that day we were in an encapsulated moment — it was a scene from a movie —and it was one I needed to write about. So I did. Here.
no. 05: sound
Sylvan Esso is a new discovery of mine. Their sound, though, reminds me of a blending of J-Sasterik’s and mine’s(?) respective creative outlets: sound for him, words for me. A middle ground artist, if you will? I read the writer Amelia Meath’s description on it, and thought it would be a song he would love. I passively put it on once and it was welcomed. “That opening sound is an old, half-broken Korg MS-20 being tuned by my voice. So much was wrapped up in that initial sound for us — the mission statement of our makeshift reverse-auto-tune, the combination of the two of us in a single sound, the idea of translating your humanity through a machine in the hopes of connecting with someone on the other side, it all feels contained in that moment. It functions as a statement of purpose and a love letter to the listener.” He was really good at diving into the deep stuff, and just as easily talked about nonsense. He’d get what this artist was saying in the song, process it, and move along with life. There’d be no hangup to talk about how “You know how no one ever really talks about this stuff? We’re so deep.”, nor would he contrastly roll his eyes. It was the music, and the sound, and the thought processes he held on life that I enjoyed. It’s reassuring to occasionally meet people who are on the same wavelength as you. It seemed timely and perfect to put this here.
no. 06: just dancing
it’s just pretend / but it feels so good when we begin / so let’s freeze it now before it ends / let’s never stop starting
Sylvan Esso’s second of three appearances on this playlist! We were just dancing. I tried dancing with other people while I danced with him but couldn’t do it. He could, and wanted to keep dancing with other partners, and not to the Ed tune like I wanted with just me, and so it ended (inevitably and predicted, might I add, which removes much of the standard sting separation usually brings). Again, Amelia Meath does a better job of describing what makes the song appropriate for this moment. “I wanted to talk about how Tinder has made it possible to only go on first dates forever. How all of the sudden it is completely possible to be in control of how potential romantic partners see you. How if you wanted to, you could be your own most ideal version of yourself. But you would have to keep on changing who you were dating to keep that beginning of a relationship feeling. How you could live in this false image of yourself, reflected through your partners’ eyes, never landing.” I was having a blissful time with him in the setting we’d staged, knowing he’d probably entertained other company in the very chair in which I sat, and I’d soon be off to have coffee in some other setting with someone else.
no. 07: liability
they’re gonna watch me disappear into the sun
Lorde, how did I never hear of you until last month? Spotify, you and your Genius Behind the Lyrics help me so much. Genius is my best friend as of late. It helps me learn more about songs I love, so I can love them even more.“It’s kind of not really about anyone. It’s about me and just feeling the pressure of people finding it difficult to be friends with me, to be close to me. It was very much a product of me sitting alone in taxis and alone in my living room, and working out how to be my own best mate really.” I excitedly told my friend about this “band” named Lorde, and asked if she’d ever heard of it. I always get evangelical when I come across artists I love. Unlike the usual response, my friend actually had heard of Lorde. Innocent, open me thought it was exciting we finally had a mutual deep appreciation for an artist, but my enthusiasm was greeted with social cuts into me. “Mellie’s never heard of Lorde. She asked if I’d heard of the ‘band’ called Lorde.” It really hurt me. The comment, however, was just the climactic cut of several tiny slits she’d been slicing into me. Passive-aggressive digs at this new J-Sasterisk fella I fancied, my latest obsessions with astrology, my fascination with crystals, my preference of champagne over red wine. I told J-Sasterisk about her harsh, side-angled attacks masked by a smile. He understood my analysis of my friend, let me sort things out, and helped me find my resolve. Also, he’d never heard Lorde’s songs, despite hearing of her. Cool people can have not heard cool things yet. All the more opportunity for fun things to learn! This song for me is a reminder to be enough for me. It’s a reminder that I may be behind the times in many ways, and weird, and curious, and passionate, and scattered — but I do things my way. I should celebrate that. I need to be enough for me. This placement seems like an odd one in a romance story, but like any, it’s not just about the other person. Most often, it’s about self-discovery. Relationships with old friends, new lovers, and the person you’re stuck with at until death: you (me). I have to be okay with me.
no. 08: wildest dreams
some day when you leave me / i hope these memories / follow you around
Taylor Swift is queen. 1989 was a definitive album in my life, and continues to be. You always want to be remembered, right? Even if just in their wildest dreams. What makes this a particularly-relevant track is that the music video for this is about a passionate actress who falls in love with her co-star while they’re making a film. We were always in a film, and though I am the leading lady of my own life for God’s sake (or so I learned I should be from Kate Winslet’s character in The Holiday), we were making a movie and I fell for my counterpart lead character. Even if it’s just pretend, I hope he sees me in his wildest dreams, in every way Taylor describes.
no. 09: coffee
sentiment’s the same but the pair of feet change / my baby does the hanky-panky
Sylvan Esso’s three of three appearance! Interestingly, I found this song when looking up a song to use as an Instagram caption of a photo of me from when I went to a coffee shop one day to read a book J-Sasterisk loaned me. I searched Spotify for “coffee”, which is when I learned of Sylvan Esso. The song isn’t about coffee, but how love comes and goes. The sentiment’s the same, but the pair of feet change. It doesn’t take away from its beauty in any way, and touches on all those special things like talking about your family and learning the other person. So beautiful, and so tragic. Everything ends. I knew right then this was the song that described the scenario I was living in, and was looking forward to soaking in every second until, well, the pair of feet changed. I’d originally always expected to write a closure blog that would end with this one song, but I seemed to fall a little harder than I anticipated, so closure required an entire soundtrack. If there’s a song to highlight that should stand out over all the rest, it’s this one.
no. 10: style
i say “i’ve heard that you’ve been out and about with some other girl, some other girl” / he says “what you’ve heard is true but I can’t stop thinking about you” and i, i said “i’ve been there too a few times”
Taylor. It’s never not Taylor in a romantic tale. J-Sasterik. Mellie. Classic. Unfortunately, I suck at casual dating! He’s so much better at it than I am! I tried it, and it wasn’t for me. He’s darling, and a keeper for my life. He’ll date his girls, and we’ll be friends. But now, when I hear the chorus to this, I get to think about him, and think about me, and remember back to early Spring in 2018. The thought paints an audial-visual fashionable picture that’ll hang in my heart’s gallery, well lit and prominently featured — an image that’ll never go out of style.
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