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Love on Wax: The Latest in Music
Some thoughts on Syd’s 'Broken Hearts Club' and Vince Staples 'Ramona Park Broke My Heart'
There’s nothing like turbulence to make you pine for something steady and fulfilling like love to come into your life. It’s 2022 and we’re all getting over numerous bouts with depression, anxiety, claustrophobia, and trauma—from a pandemic that’s not even over.
Who wouldn’t wanna feel love right now? Stephen Sondheim will tell you there’s nothing that’ll make you feel more alive than someone loving you. The small comforts of another hand rubbing yours and the heat of a body pressed against yours means everything right now. Just listen to the music coming out. Rema’s Rave & Roses, Tree River’s Time Being, Mitski’s Laurel Hell, Oso Oso’s sore thumb, even Drip Season 4ever has a lot of romance to it.
There’s plenty of longing and pining and forlorn melancholy about the romantic past in a lot of different records right now. You might argue how that isn’t necessarily connected to love, to which I’d counter that it takes a real strong love affair to be so heartbroken about it. That’s certainly the basis here for Broken Hearts Club by Syd of The Internet, an elegiac, wistful record that’s all about longing. There’s part of it that’s like a Sade album made by Anderson .Paak, but like if that actually turned out to be a good idea somehow. The music can be too tinny as times with Syd’s voice so precious it risks breaking, but it grooves and enchants plenty.
There’s also Vince Staples’ latest Ramona Park Broke My Heart. I remember after Vince dropped his self titled album and Tyler, the Creator declared that Vince had perfected his style to the point that the next album would be The One. Well that next one is here and it doesn’t disappoint at all, RPBMH is a foreboding, confident record that is nevertheless dripping with romance, it’s more nostalgic than anything and filled with just as much hate as love for the place that made him, but isn’t that what true love is about? Love and hate are just two sides of the same passionate coin. What both these albums have in common is a reflectiveness towards memories. A memory can be like a bomb set off by an old song, the familiar scent of an old perfume, or someone else’s shirt at the bottom of your hamper. These are songs about memories and nostalgia and melancholy, which in itself is its own form of romance.
Perhaps 2022 will be the year of love, at least in our music. At the very very least maybe we can have another summer of love in the records. I’ve been too burnt out by everything else that all I want to listen to are emotional love songs. I want to feel someone else’s fire heating me up and live out my own longing vicariously. I want to feel that same desire you feel, it’s better than feeling nothing.
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