Monthly Archives: July 2014

The lost art of listening to music.

How many of us listen to music whilst doing everyday chores, hobbies, activities? How many of us just put our iTunes (or whichever player one may use) on shuffle (or not) and let the songs roll on by? I often tell people, or my housemates, that I really don’t mind cleaning up, washing up or anything because I describe it as such: my main activity is listening to music and the secondary one is washing up. If I were to concentrate on my washing up skills, I wouldn’t be listening to the music, it would just BE there in the background and a few snatches of certain catchy moments would stream into my consciousness. But if I’m concentrating on the music, I can just let my hands seamlessly work themselves into washing everything up.

[I HIGHLY recommend absolutely any AC/DC when performing some sort of chore deemed “boring”, it suddenly makes it so much fun]

What I’m saying might seem a bit superfluous but think about it: you’re playing some music and scrolling down 9gag, or reading someone’s post on Facebook, the song you might have been listening to just drifts into the background and when it finishes and a new song comes on, if you notice the switch, you might think “wait, I missed that bridge section I really love”..
People listen to music in different ways, no doubt about that, hell I constantly have music playing in my room even if I’m not always concentrating on it, *clicks on iTunes to actually put some music on…*
And especially in this day and age, the ‘album’ seems to be a dying breed, especially in modern, popular, commercial terms of course. Don’t get me wrong, my posts are aimed at people like me who still listen to an album from A to Z so I guess I’m just rambling about the state of current music. Have we not all seen articles by different indie, rock bands claiming they might just release a succession of singles, or some EP’s, or free to download songs, the landscape has definitely change: one does simply put on a record or CD and lounge around contemplating, enjoying and listening to it..!

Having done my first night shift last night (working in a hostel), I found myself in the tranquil quiet of the night, able to put on album after album whilst performing my nightly tasks, interrupted only by the rare returns of weary/drunk backpackers. During these peaceful working hours, I was able to listen to a half a dozen records I’d say starting off with:

Future Weather EP – The War on Drugs.

These guys are fast becoming my new second favourite darlings (behind The National) and having seen them live a month or two ago, I was glad to recognise a song or two (Baby Missiles which is SO GOOD, they’ve got such Springsteen vibe, fast paced drumming with his singing style / and the other song was, well not sure, but Brothers was quite a standout as well). On the whole, just what I’d want from an EP, not too long, one or two short interludes, and it’s just enough to hit the sweet spot.

Royals – Lorde.

Not my typical sort of jam but hey, she’s good goddammit. Might not have been 100% attuned (I was still “working” yaknow) but TEAM definitely hit the sweet spot, and other songs as well, such as the well-known Royals itself, will be giving it another shot when I’ve nothing else to do but listen..!

Promises – The Boxer Rebellion.

Not quite their strongest effort but damn that first song Diamonds is a sad beauty. Such a pretty song. A pleasant listen on the whole, especially in the circumstances I found myself in. Not much else to say, like Lorde: some moments had me stopping whatever task I was performing to properly listen to it.

I also played Coldplay’s Parachutes and Radiohead’s In Rainbows, but that was whilst at the desk, with a FUCKING CRAPPY little speaker belting out the soft melodies. Both great albums I dno’t really have to praise. Also, Andrew Bird’s early stuff, a LOT of violin there, quite squeaky…

Anywaaaaays, will go through another bunch of albums tonight! Hopefully Port St. Willow if I remember…!

I started off defending the art of listening to music but seems I wasn’t 100% there while working but yeah you get what I’m saying.