My Song Recommendations

A song recommendation every day (be warned, they will probably all be weird folky songs that no one will have heard of or want to bother with.) Hozier, Sara Bareilles, Hudson Taylor, Passenger, Ben Howard, Bear's Den, Vance Joy will all probably be featured quite heavily.

Basically this is just my response to how much I love certain songs and writers at the moment and how I listen to something and get that "weird evangelical zeal, and become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans [hear it]".

Enjoy!

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13. Day 12 - Elysium

 

Elysium by Bear's Den:

Brother do you believe in an afterlife
Where our souls will both collide
In some great Elysium
Way up in the sky
Free from our shackles, our chains
Our mouths, our brains
We'll open all the gates
And we will walk careless
Straight into the light

I've never felt so enlightened
With every page I turn
I only find myself feeling more alone
Posing questions to a silent universe
My very thoughts a curse
They just seem to multiply
Forever in my mind

Brother don't grow up
Brother please never grow up

Hold out against the night
Guard your hope with your life
For the darkness, she will come
Oh and you will have nowhere left to run

Oh but your eyes are wider than mine
And help me to sleep
I just hope that age does not erase
All that you see
Don't let bitterness become you
Your only hopes are all within you

Hold out against the night
Guard your hope with your life

 

I absolutely love this song and the video although if you read the YouTube comments you will notice that there has been a lot of argument over how appropriate or inappropriate the video is and whether it acts as a memorial or a money-grabbing device to milk the tragedy. I could say so much but I'll let the film maker do the talking:

"'Elysium' was one of those tracks that became very personal to me very quickly. It made me think about my younger brothers and their transition from kids to adulthood — how they are carving out their individuality and quickly leaving youth, innocence, and wide eyes behind. "Brother don't grow up.... /Just hope that age does not erase all that you've seen/Don't let bitterness become you/Your only hopes are within you." With the video, I wanted to capture elements of that transitional experience in my brother, Turner's, life. I wanted to film him and his real friends doing actual things that they normally do. I wanted to document the actions and emotions of people at this age — the highs, the lows, the noteworthy and the mundane. I wanted to get inside what it feels like to be a teenager today. On a personal level, I wanted to freeze the last remnants of youth still left in my brother — to record him in this tender, fleeting age of early college years.

"Soon after I arrived in Seattle to begin filming, an armed man walked onto Turner's college campus and shot four students. One of them died. I was staying on my brother's couch in his campus dorm room, living amongst sixty or so sophomore boys. The name of the slain student was not released, and no one knew when it would be. As hours passed by into night time, one student was still left unaccounted on my brother's floor, four rooms down from us. One of the dorm-mates decided to sleep in the hallway just outside the elevator to wait for the missing student, so that he would wake up when the missing student came home. Others followed suit until the entire dorm floor hallway was filled with mattresses and students unable to sleep, all waiting for the elevator door to open.

"When the victim's name was released the next day, the fears were confirmed. Turner's friend and dorm-mate, Paul Lee, was dead. With the music video as a last priority, I was thankful just to be with my brother — to support him, to be near him. In his dorm room, he played the song 'Elysium' over and over. A few of the other kids played it a lot too, and sent it around. While in the midst of a dormitory full of very broken and lost students, I couldn't stop listening to the song either — it took on a whole new weight and meaning.

"That weekend, my brother and his friends wanted to finish the video, in honor of Paul. The end result is a video that depicts real friends, real teenagers, experiencing something far too real."

 

I really hope you enjoy today's as it is a particular favourite of mine - it is taken from Bear's Den's debut album 'Islands' - let me know your thoughts as always!

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