Remember me, I’m the one that’s back from over
Time’s gone by and I’m still so far from over
You reappeared like you had never been gone
I lose composure
You’re touching me like you have no desire for closure
Did you lie awake like I did
I stayed up ’til the stars didn’t recognise me
I waited so long
Now you don’t see the skies that I do
My sun becomes your moon
For a familiar love
I am familiar love”
I am currently sitting in a dark hotel room on the outskirts of Delhi, India. The last familiar voice I heard was over a broken Skype call and the last familiar words I read were the lyrics to this song. The XX have a haunting way of capturing moments like that. The voice of the singer (Romy) is ghostlike, with these lyrics echoing the corridors in my head.
There is something about being stripped of your familiar place, familiar people to let you see what lonely is and even when you think it gone, it emerges in those dark rooms. Echoing in your head. It is arguably that ability to conjure those thoughts as to why the XX have such a cult following. Coming from the depths of England, they create the music pretty girls with their cigarettes dance around to in their panties, not sure if the words in those lyrics are cuts or a relief.
In this case, it is relief. We never want to feel alone. I think it is true we listen to lonely music to feel that less. I had a dream last night, the kind where you have to tell yourself in your dream it is not real. But the whole city feels like that. Waking up and seeing a new world, an alien planet. Sitting in a car today I was toted around the city visiting schools and temples I had only seen in travel books. Seeing people, cows in the streets, monkeys were swinging around the trees as we waited for the Prime Minister of India to pass so the roads would clear. The 100 degree Fahrenheit heat covering my well covered body. Alien places are always an experience as you have that “Inception” moment, where you, everything is normal, but then you notice something off and then you realise you are the only English voice you have heard in three days.
I like this place and this song on repeat in the room. It is the good lonely when the lyrics are a safe place and a familiar story. I think everyone should take a trip to an alien planet. I recommend India.