Music is a huge part of our lives. I always have a song in my head. Whether I am nodding to a great song on the bus, running to the beat at the gym or staring out of a window pretending to be in a music video, I constantly consume music. On average, humans listen to 4.5 hours of music a day. In this case, I am well above average (woop!).
The one thing I really listen to music for other than drowning out the outside world is to tap into my emotions. Music elicits emotion. Some songs just fill you with an inexplicable feeling of joy, others release rage and some can make you feel damn swaggy before a night out.
However, there always comes a time when your playlist of 500+ songs just doesn’t sound good. You could be mid commute, zoned out and realise that none of the songs you’re listening to are satisfying. In fact, as you press next… next… next, you feel yourself becoming more numb to each song. There is no emotional attachment to anything you’re listening to.
No one really knows exactly why our emotions are so closely linked to music, although Philip Ball does try to decipher the conundrum somewhat in this article from 2013:
Only 2 months into 2020, I am in this situation. Nothing is doing it for me. I am at the stage where I would much rather be bombarded with the cacophony of the outside world.
Determined to drag myself from this melodical slump, I’ve jumped into the depths of my Spotify listening history and done some exploring. Here are 5 albums that I have been listening to recently that have made me “feel” again:
Odette – To a Stranger
I discovered Odette about a year ago. The Aussie singer’s debut album has been a hit so far with some of the tracks currently just short of 10 million streams. A mix of spoken word and dainty singing creates a raw and vulnerable tone to the whole album which pervades the soul with a sense of bittersweet satisfaction.
Favourite Track – Come Close
City and Colour – If I Should Go Before You
Genre: Alternative/Indie Rock
Yes. Alexisonfire were an absolute favourite back when I was 15/16 years old. It was until I’d “grown up” that front man Dallas Green’s work started to resonate. Haunting, ethereal and a tad morbid. Not much more is needed to describe the essence of this album.
Favourite Track – Wasted Love
alt-J – An Awesome Wave
Genre: Indie Experimental Rock
There is something about this one that just completely encompasses your being when listening to it. The chaotic layering of staccato and legato notes completely defy expectation yet somehow work perfectly to carry your consciousness to another world.
Favourite Track – Bloodflow
Arcane Roots – Melancholia Hymns
Genre: Progressive Metal/Math Rock
(Sadly) The final full studio album by the British band and arguably their best. Most tracks in this album start with Grove’s delicate vocals before building to a mighty crescendo of synth orchestra that envelops you in a pocket of post-rock bliss.
Favourite Track – Indigo
Seafret – Tell Me It’s Real
Genre: Indie Pop/Acoustic
I have seen this duo live too many times to count. Each time I am taken aback by how atmospheric their music is. Soft yet powerful, Sedman’s vocals can make you feel individual even in the largest of audiences. The whole album is captivating, chilled and heartfelt, it tugs at the heartstrings – in a good way.
Favourite Track (s) – Atlantis // Be There // Skimming Stones
And with these, I’ve fallen in love with music again. No doubt these wont work for everyone. What songs/artists generate the most emotion in you? What was the last song that gave you chills or made you smile or cry?