taught your cold English wife how to feel

I know, I know, a sudden influx of posts. This one came from a Feelings place, though, and better and more emotionally sound people are always telling me that Feelings are important. I have to suppose they know what they’re talking about because, in that department, I have no clue.

Recently I saw a graphic that said “If anyone tells you a song is important to them, you should turn it up loud, close your eyes, and really listen, because at the end you will know that person much better.” It’s not a new or unique sentiment, obviously – and I’m not putting the actual graphic here because it had a dude wearing headphones and looking ~deep, and, like, I’m super not here for that – but then, on my internet travails, I coincidentally came across a post in which someone said, hey, this song is important to me. So I listened. And it was important to me too.

Obviously it is almost impossible to write about anything that makes you have a feeling without accidentally sounding like a twat (or possibly that is just me, being both British and intensely bad at recognising my own or anyone else’s emotions if they’re not a fictional character) but please forgive me, because I’m going to do it anyway. Here are a handful of songs that I would eventually hand over if someone said, let me listen to the music that has reached out to you. (Eventually. Screw you, feelings.)

Me and Mr Wolf – The Real Tuesday Weld

When we had just started dating, L and I were having a conversation about how love feels different to different people, and how terrifying it can be to tell someone how it feels to you. (L is much better at feelings than I am.) She said there was a song that so closely mirrored how she felt about love that it felt private, even though anyone could listen to it. Ah, I thought, I have one of those too. It was this.

This song feels like fear and need and a little bit like resentment, that someone else could do this to you, but, underneath all that, a knowledge that it is, ultimately and irrevocably and wonderfully, something you want.

I have the thing you love
But the need in me is way too much
If I
Open wide
One of us may get lost inside
Me or you
One of us is going to need to die

Atlas Hands – Benjamin Francis Leftwich

I assume everyone, at some point, feels like they’re small and terrified and have no earthly idea who they are or where they want to be but whoever and wherever that is, they’re not quite there. It’s like you can almost see a happier, healthier version of yourself, a few years ahead, but the steps that will take you there are still shrouded in a fog you can’t quite peer through. (This is why I don’t try and talk about feelings – or music – just by the by. Look at this travesty.) I first heard this song when I felt like I would never be the person I wanted, and hearing this was like someone clearing away the fog. I have a tattoo from this song.

I’ve got a plan
I’ve got an atlas in my hands

But if I had to pick just one, it would be this:

Werewolf – CocoRosie

I have listened to this song on repeat for actual literal days. I have listened to this song when I haven’t been able to listen to anything else. This song feels, to me, like anything is possible, even – and perhaps especially – everything in your life or your mind is telling you the opposite. It feels like hope when everything is numb enough that the thought of hope hurts. It feels like going on is possible. And it is. I promise, it is.

In the dream I was a werewolf
My soul was filled with crystal light
Lavender ribbons of rain sang
Ridding my heart of mortal fight


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