If I Had Someone Else’s Voice

Music is an extraordinarily important part of my life. I’ve never been good at creating music myself, but I need it around me all the time and I’ve always been drawn to musical people. I have dance parties to bad ’80s songs in my kitchen. I like going on road trips by myself, because I turn them into massive sing-a-longs. I associate certain songs with certain people, and I like being able to connect to people through shared musical taste.

But it’s more than that.

I realized something recently about my relationship to music, and I wondered if it held true for other people. Then I read this quote from Frank Ocean: “When you’re happy, you enjoy the music, but when you’re sad, you understand the lyrics.”

And that’s exactly it. I usually connect most strongly to music, and particularly to lyrics, when I’m struggling.

Case in point:

Good News for People Who Love Bad News by Modest Mouse was released on April 6, 2004.

A Ghost is Born by Wilco was released on June 22, 2004.

I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning by Bright Eyes was released on January 24, 2005.

I feel like if you listen to these three albums, you’ll know who I am. And you’ll probably know me better than you would from years of conversation or spending any amount of time with me. I’m in “We Are Nowhere and It’s Now.” I’m in “Hummingbird.” I’m in “World at Large.”

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