There are some songs that you listen to passively. They resonate with you, but only for the three minute or so time mark after which they dissolve into the atmosphere. Then there are songs that resonate through your whole body and when the track ends you dissolve with it. Some songs become an extension of yourself and the catharsis is transcendental. These tracks hit you in just the right spots at just the right moments. Often it’s a surprise and catches you off guard – just when you think you’re merely listening to music you become it. This track, from Seattle based duo M∆de In Heights, is one of those tracks.
Kelsey Bulkin’s ethereal vocals float over an exquisite sample of Sufjan Stevens’ “Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland” and Blue Scholars’ DJ Sabzi’s production. The track begins simply by sampling Stevens. Bulkin tip-toes her way in as Sabzi toys with the production beneath her. The Sufjan sample here is done with taste and honors the track rather than abusing it. I had a thought while listening to this that Sufjan and Kelsey should team up for a few duets, their sounds melt together in a delicious sonic concoction. Anyway, I digress.
Call you up on my celly, just to hold me down
Tiny knots in my belly when you come around
Ah ah ah ah didn’t mean to get so carried away.”
I think it’s safe to say that what Kelsey sings about is a feeling we’ve all had. You meet someone, they pique your interest, they show you attention and you like that because you perhaps haven’t had this kind of interest in a while. You both are blank canvases figuring one another out while simultaneously creating your own image of you for them. All of your intentions are good, but in the process of learning the other person you lose your sense of self. I came across a wonderful quote yesterday by Ernest Hemingway that reads, “The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.” Like Bulkin says, you don’t mean to get carried away but sometimes you do. This track embodies that sensation: the mixed up independence, the odd needy feeling you have, and how it can drive you mad. Sabzi gets it at the 2 minute mark where Stevens drops out and the track plows through you (put on your headphones because you’ll need them to feel it, trust me).
Listen up! Here’s to catharsis and good tunes.