if it isn’t obvious already, I love music—maybe even more than video games. Thus, one of the most unexpected joys in being on Talk Amongst Yourselves has been its more musical side. It was how I learned about and attended a concert a couple months ago. It’s even expanded my tastes a bit!

We Can Die Happy
Tennis
“I Miss That Feeling”

During the Open Forum for the last day of last November, I answered DamsonRhee’s “How’s life?” question be mentioning that I went to a St. Vincent concert earlier in the week. That ended up catching the attention of a certain pocoGRANDES, who excitedly approved. I gushed to them about good St. Vincent was live in response. Then they related potential plans to see the band Tennis live in the next couple of months.

And embedded the song above as an example of their material.

Only in retrospect can I now say that it’s obvious that I was being handed some great music, because as it turns out, pocoGRANDES has some real neat taste! Their commemoration of last year’s music, 2017 in 10 Tracks, is a good sampler of what eclectic and cool stuff they’re on, and I’ve gotten privy to some other jams through that as well.

“I Miss That Feeling” will always be a bit special, though, and it’s just a great song at that. It’s some endlessly catchy and tuneful slow indie pop that, as the music video suggests, is steeped in 70's pop sounds. Considering how that era’s pop is often vastly overshadowed by the legacies of classic rock and disco—hell if I know much of it at all!—it’s an intriguing reference point to bounce off.

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And the piano chords, organs, light sprinklings of guitar, and Alaina Moore’s vocals totally make it shine. Everything adds up to exude a gauzy, warm, nostalgic vibe that is just lovely to take in. I especially dig the wordless singing following each chorus; how could it be so catchy??

My favorite detail, however, is the disconnect between the assumed meaning of the lyrics versus they’re really talking about. One (i.e. me) would think the sentiment of “I miss that feeling” as a sentence, along with the track’s sound, as a yearning for a past era of music. On first blush, a lyric like “recorded by the needle of an EKG” would appear to reinforce it; yeah, this is about listening to a vinyl record, and EKG must be a particular brand of record player!

Except that it’s not. I am not proud to admit this, but this song was my first time finding out that “EKG” is an abbreviation for an electrocardiogram. It’s not a record player. It’s a heartbeat monitor. Look into it just a little bit more, and that lyric was, in fact, about detecting a panic attack.

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Just slightly outside of that whole nostalgia angle, in other words! Something tells me Tennis must have been trying to invoke that misinterpretation, however, as if both those ideas are meant to be intertwined. It’s a bit of texture that enriches the whole song even further.


RedStripe Loved Trax—originally from days of Tumblr past—is a series about the music Justin adores, with special emphasis on songs from (or introduced by) video games and anime.