dancing on the beach
Yesterday afternoon I danced on the beach.
Now, before I go on with my story, I need you to rid your imagination of any romantic pictures these words might have conjured up. I did not twirl prettily in a flowered summer dress over the sand, nor did a handsome stranger invite me to dance a waltz, a rumba, a samba or any other dance, barefoot, under palm trees.
Instead, imagine a thirty-year-old woman, dressed for warmth rather than fashion in three layers of jumpers, wearing seagreen sneakers and a very boring, basic-navyblue scarf, standing on a pebble beach, toes perilously close to the waves licking up the slope, face tilted towards the autumn sun that peeks out from behind the clouds, eyes closed while the wind is whipping strands of hair around her face, earphones firmly in place, playing an air guitar and every few minutes breaking out into furious air drum solos or those kind of jumping, skipping dance steps that would not look out of place at a rock or ska concert… Have all that? Congratulations, that madwoman was me.
Instead of listening out for the police sirens coming to escort me to the nearest loony bin however, I concentrated on my new favourite album, Lord Huron‘s Lonesome Dreams. At just a tick too loud and with the view of white-crested waves on a grey-and-mint-green sea and having to jump back with every third or fourth wave when it rushed up and then left salty foam on the wet, sunlight-glistening pebbles, I couldn’t have chosen a more fitting place to indulge in this album.
This music is all about space. It’s big, wonderful, airy music full of oxygen and bursts of wind and energy. Or like the sea, with its powerful currents, sometimes lapping sweet and gently on a beach, sometimes raw and direct and dangerous. And I realize this description won’t do anything for you, until you’ve actually heard their songs. After that, I’m pretty sure you’ll agree with me. So listen to this:
And then listen to this:
Did I mention that they have the weirdest, most wonderful videos?
When I first came across Lord Huron’s music, I was doing a very demanding university degree and going quietly insane with assignments and I had two of their songs and I adored them because they kept me sane and calm with their cool, airy sound (like breathing fresh mountain air!) and I just played them again and again and then begged my music-savy friend for more of their stuff and he immediately understood my need and sent me all he had.
(I should add that I’m very, very much in favour of space and solitude and sitting alone on the beach or a mountainside and just being there.)
So maybe you can understand that I was looking forward to this album with an intensity that almost hurt and when I actually forgot the release date during my recent travelling, but then was sent the album by the same wonderful friend and had wiped away the tears, I did not immediately put it on, but kept it for exactly that: listening to it, just a tick too loud, on the beach, with the whole ocean right at my feet.
I’m going to leave you with this. I’d like to point out some of the lyrics, but that’s practically its own post. So maybe just a few lines that I especially love.
I was a-ready to die for you, baby
Doesn’t mean I’m ready to stay
What good is livin’ a life you’ve been given
If all you do is stand in one place
…Ends of the Earth
I lie under starlit sky and the seasons change in the blink of an eye,
I watch as the planets turn and the old stars die and the young stars burn
We’re all gonna die but I’ll never believe it
I love this world and I don’t wanna leave
…The man who lives forever