Do not laugh at me please when you know I am right. It is a door – it is! – right into your unconscious. Into eternity. Yes. It is magic. Real magic. Each note is.
But then all the studies keep telling me we close the, well, to go on with my metaphor, I suppose, we close the door, sort of at 14 but definitely by 30. Studies, studies, studies.
The music stops. Then we’ll listen to the same music or else we’ll listen to music that sounds like the same music but I don’t want that. I do not want to listen to the same music as before. I do not want to listen to music that sounds like the same music as before. It’s more though, it’s even that I don’t want to find new music that makes me feel as I felt the first time I heard the music from before.
I want to find new music making me feel new things. New wonder, new anger, new love, everything new. I am old but the door is open. These are my new favorite magicians.
10. Juan Wauters
They tell me he came from Uruguay, and he sings songs that sound so simple but they are surreal and funny and full of love and sometimes they are in Spanish, too. He sings, “Get a headache yeah / Take medicine yeah / Get better yeah / To another headache oh yeah!”
09. Caterina Barbieri
Her bleeps and her bloops do wonderful things inside of my head like they’re the sound of my synapses lighting up. I want to hear more.
08. Jeffrey Morisano (Kissed Her Little Sister)
I don’t know a single thing about this Jeffrey Morisano, really, except he creates very, very lo-fi electronic songs stuffed with profundities and light and sometimes a dead Dennis Wilson. And he keeps doing it, too, which is a fantastic surprise.
07. Kadhja Bonet
R&B. I guess it’s R&B. I’m no expert on these things. Maybe it is kind of an R&B that formed its own tiny world where everything from the little flowers to the sky to the people’s faces are all paintings by Kadhja Bonet. I can’t explain it any better than that.
06. Joe Casey (Protomartyr)
And last year, I went to go and listen to Protomartyr play. It is rare and it is no simple thing for me to give an American rock and roll band, you know, like a traditional four-piece, a real listen. I am glad I did.
05. Kate Tempest
Kate Tempest is a storyteller, telling her stories through hip hop and novels and poems. Most of her stories are about working-class British people. I don’t know any working-class British people and I do not pronounce “th” like “f” but still, they’re good stories, so here I am.
04. Russell Walker (The Bomber Jackets/Pheromoans/Charcoal Owls)
Russell Walker is… unbelievably… impossibly… even more British than Kate Tempest is. It’s like this: Kate Tempest is like a journalist reporting on beautiful losers from 20 feet up. But Russell Walker is one of those losers and it’s not beautiful and sometimes I want to stop him and ask if he’s only screwing with me.
03. Gareth Liddiard (The Drones/Tropical Fuck Storm)
Gareth Liddiard is a fuzzy and dirty Australian who sings dramatic songs which go up and then go down and crash and take me along with them. He’s probably an awful person but I do not have to live with him. Also he once sang this lyric, regarding extraterrestrials, which really should be read out loud:
“If they are there they’re there therefore
Their silence may be called for
If they are there they’re there and mute
So maybe we should follow suit.”
02. Aesop Rock
I don’t care if he has the biggest vocabulary in hip hop. I know he does. It is all they ever talk about him for. He is great even when rapping about his cat, which is something that happens more often than one might think. He made an album and called it Skelethon and it became the soundtrack to my last big breakup.
01. Jenny Hval
Best of all is Jenny Hval who makes, well, not concept albums, maybe song cycles which get better and better every time you listen. I could say they are psychotropic or I could say they are theogenic. This would not do them or her justice. I do not wish to do injustice. Let’s just say it’s magic that has rewired this rusty and alcohol-soaked brain of mine.
Do you listen to the same music you did when you were young? What are you listening to?