Girls Girls
by Emma
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.

 

The Young Disciples & Co. - Girls Girls Girls

I have not been writing here too much because I am embarrassed at how little new music I've listened to this summer. I know the point of this whole thing is to write about very good songs and that's it, no time limit, but still - it seems like if I cannot come to you with a brand new gem between my teeth each week, some magic misshapen crystal from my travels across the internet and through the terrible world, then I have failed.

By this metric, I am failing the summer and then some. I have been doing a lot of work, sometimes for myself and sometimes for other people. I am writing in every spare moment I have, but not often about music, and in the few moments each day where I am listening to something other than the sound of keyboard on keyboard it feels like I have to re-learn my senses super quick so I can pretend to know how to use them, not freak everybody out. This is how you have a conversation, this is how you eat in front of someone else, this is how you walk when there are other people in the room. Remember? Sort of.

Some summers it's not like this; I'll feel tuned to the same frequency as the world, the same loose handful of top-40 bangers thrumming through every body in the city, moving us all at the same pace. But this month, at least, I'm out of step. I like the new Lorde, but I don't have much to say about it. The other day, crossing the bridge to Carlo's house, I passed through a cloud of teens all holding sparklers and nodding quietly at what I later found out was an Ed Sheeran song, buzzing tinny from a single iphone speaker. In a few weeks, I'll be in a car listening to the radio, and then I'll be at Sappyfest, listening to everything.

But for now, all I want to listen to is soul songs, the same kind I've been listening to since I was a baby. I want to expand my vocabulary of sadness and love and lonely and longing, get my heart dimly lit up at the edges by some new old convergence of voice and metaphor, plain fact and tape hiss and past.

This is how I tripped over "Girls Girls Girls," which might be the best song I've ever heard in my life. It is certainly the best song to ever have this particular title, and the only song I care about right now. It is also absolutely the song of the summer - this whole summer, the summer of the whole world, not just mine. Yours too, even if you don't know it yet. Last night I listened to this song while walking through my neighbourhood at dusk and felt as though I were made of nothing but light wind and stardust, and if that sounds corny it is because there is nothing as embarrassing as being in love.

The best quality a single song can have, I think, is the sense that it somehow contains every possible feeling in the world simultaneously, plus another ten you've never fathomed. A song that has sadness and joy and longing and fear and sex and humour and comfort all threaded through its DNA at the same time, intersecting at angles you couldn't possibly imagine without it. A song like this is a prism that teaches you a brand new colour each time the light hits. Just by putting it on at a different time, in a different light or mood, you can learn something secret and impossible about the world, about what you can think and feel inside of it.

Songs like this do not work on a principle of pure sympathy. If you are sad, they do not make you feel sadder, or give you reasons for your sadness. Instead, they give you a feeling that forms a perfect chord with your sadness - or your joy, your in-love, your weird summer walks through the neighbourhood at dusk, thinking about your terrible poems. They move with you, move you somewhere new.

There is no single second in the entire 2:55 of "Girls Girls Girls" that does not contain an entire world's worth of feeling. Some songs you wring out by listening to them over and over, but here, the more attention you give, the greater your reward. Its first fifteen seconds alone are a perfect sunrise, and if I start listing all the other wonders I might never stop. This song is full of stray moments that float into it as if by accident, that settle so perfectly into the landscape you feel almost tricked by their loveliness. You might need to listen to it on headphones to catch them. Someone hits a woodblock just once, just so. A bridge drifts across the horizon with its perfect horns, like a single parade float passing under your open window. Sometimes there are bongos. Near the end, when everything begins to unlace but nothing falls apart, someone strums a guitar just once, and it is impossible to tell if it is an accident or not.

This is the song of the summer, and the whole point of the internet - and this website specifically - is for me to make sure it arrives in your life in time for you to take advantage of its magic. If you put this song on at a party, everyone will fall hopelessly in love with each other, and also with you. If you put this on a mixtape, it will glow like neon. If you are sitting in your bedroom with the window open, put this song on and turn your speaker out towards the full moon, your dreams will be charged with a gorgeous melancholy and you will wake up feeling more peaceful and rested than you've been in weeks. If you play this song for your plants, they will appreciate it. If you play this song in your headphones, you will write a better poem. Promise.

[buy The Young Disciples]

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Posted by Emma at July 8, 2017 9:15 PM
Comments

Had not heard this song before, and really like it at first listen, but as good as it is, it cannot equal your brilliant review, which is still making me smile.

Posted by John Weiss at July 9, 2017 11:59 AM

Amazing.

Posted by Brayden at July 11, 2017 3:53 PM

Funny--I usually find a few songs that fit the nebulous mold of perfect summer tunes, but have struggled in 2017. Not for lack of new great music, but nothing really clicked as The One. Not sure if my mind isn't right or the abundance of great stuff just makes them harder to find!

Posted by Kris at July 21, 2017 7:59 PM

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Sean Michaels is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here. Click here to browse his posts.

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