Songs of summer 2019 (& their vibes)

Sky Full Of Song, Florence + The Machine. Walking in my neighborhood just before one of the many thunderstorms that took the chance this summer to descend upon Williamsburg without warning. Watching the darkness of the clouds above defamiliarize the same-y houses around me. Not knowing if my restless, unsettled feeling is one I’m experiencing of my own volition, or just picking up on the faint promise of lightning the air holds.

Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space”, Spiritualized. This one is easy: high up in a plane to Reykjavik in the early hours of the morning, knowing I should sleep and knowing simultaneously that I can’t. The northernmost parts of the continent fading away into the black expanse of the Atlantic. Far north enough that the light never really dies, watching the thin gold line of the sunrise just over the horizon.

Copenhagen (Let Me Go), Vienna Teng. Being driven in a taxi, unreasonably cheap due to the depreciation of the ruble, across St. Petersburg. Looking out the window intently, knowing my time is limited; that now that I’m witnessing a home city with adult eyes, I must remember it all. The grand palaces, the worn-down apartments, the horrible driving, the formal fashions of the pedestrians in the streets. Wondering at how, after all these years, I have perfectly memorized not the details of St. Petersburg in June but its color scheme – the gray of it, pale and bright at once, a special kind of northern light.

The Downeaster Alexa, Billy Joel. Sitting next to Gene with Liam behind us, and the rather unfamiliar sense of being a teenager out too late. Rain pouring down around us, blurring the lights of the shops; then the daunting darkness of News Road, made moreso by the sheets of rain around us. Nevertheless, us together, and a song we all know the words to. A gratitude for this summer; a knowledge of more to come.

Sicilian Crest, The Mountain Goats. Driving to work at the end of the summer. The brightness of summer in Williamsburg, heavy heat building up, always, to a thunderstorm of terrific proportions. Here and now, the green light filtering through the trees down the wooded section of Monticello Ave.; the first summer of my life of driving, and just as importantly, of choosing my own music. A belief, founded or not, that I’m heading into a future I want to occupy.

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