A look at what’s making me happy this week, and how you can enjoy them, too. You’ll find an archive of my “happy picks” here.
Teenage Talk by St. Vincent
Originally recorded for HBO’s Girls , St. Vincent’s Teenage Talk is an adult’s melancholic reflection on the terrifying, thrilling, laugh-so-hard-you-pee moments of youth that the young are too naive to appreciate.
Annie Clark (who performs as St. Vincent) explained the song’s origin to Jimmy Fallon, noting that it’s about the dear friends she had in her hometown of Dallas, Texas:
“Our entire objective was to make each other laugh. We were kind of outsiders and we had to find our way through the maze of a suburban Texas childhood. I wrote this song in memory of our fun times. It’s something that I cherish a lot.”
It’s so elegantly written. The second stanza of the first verse is:
“We snuck out that night
Rolled the Chrysler down the driveway
But once we were inside
Couldn’t figure out where we were off to”
Not only is that funny and relatable (Annie says it’s based on a true story), it’s insightful, suggesting how kids are often eager to grow up, even when they don’t know where they’re going.
The coda brings the relationship to the present day, and asks a question:
“How do you see me now?
Now that I’m a little bit older, older
Nevermind the albatross
Smoldering on my shoulder, shoulder, shoulder, shoulder”
It’s sweet and dear, recognizing that precious moment in time without succumbing to it. I just love this song.
Smoke by Mosa Wild
Smoke, the debut track by Mosa Wild , is a haunting display of emotion and artistry.
They lyrics feel like we pick up a narrative in the middle, and leave before we get to the end. As the last note fades, I feel mournful and wanting for the rest of the story.
Singer Jim Rubaduka’s deep, organic vocals seem in direct contrast over the swelling synths and guitars as he seems to sing about the end of a life, or at the very least, a love:
“I’m on track though our eyes dim
She said when’s the last time
You saw me smiling
You know I was on my final page
I can’t read your fast signs
And now I’m barely thinking straight”
This is such a powerful song that I can’t wait to see what Mosa Wild does next.