Music has the power to possess you, at least in my case. And not haunting in a ghoulish, demonic way, as Halloween music intends to do so. It’s more than lyrics of songs driving me to obsession. I say obsession because I listen to a song, artist, or album until, and pardon the expression, I’ve beaten said song, artist, or album like a dead horse.
I do not cast them aside, though. Death Cab for Cutie serves as my very best example. They released Plans in August 2005, my senior year of high school. I subjected my sisters and a neighbor to the album for the month of September on our commute, only giving into their pleas to stop them from pestering me; I could have listened to the album, on repeat, well into the following summer! I wrote briefly about music in June’s blogging challenge, and introduced my top ten artists and songs.
Spotify describes Bear’s Den as “pastoral folk-rockers like Mumford & Sons, the Avett Brothers, Stornoway,” a trio from London in the alt-country/indie folk genre. I’m listening to ‘Above the Clouds of Pompeii’ as I write this post. After a quick Google search, I uncovered the song’s opening lyrics references Nietzsche, and member John Haynes explained the idea came from talking with someone at a pub:
someone was talking about Nietzsche, and this guy said that he said you should build your home on the slopes of Vesuvius and life your life just as any day that a volcano could just erupt and flow. As soon as he said that, it led to the lyrics “We built our home out on the slopes / Pompeii beneath, she lay above.” It felt like a really good way of opening; I knew I wanted to write a song but I just didn’t have the first line, and then it was just like, “Yeah.” In the pub.
Yes, I’m well-aware there are religious, biblical references in their music. And that ‘Above the Clouds of Pompeii’ deals with loss and death. Listen closely, though! There’s a universal truth behind all the sadness to “hold your head up high.” The tempo picks up, too.
I said in June I’m able to appreciate all music, and I like Bear’s Den for their sound, and the unique blend of indie, folk, and alternative country creating ear-phoria. “Haunting” does describe it.