Enter circa 2004. This is me driving on the SLEX, windows down and music blaring from the stereos.
In my player was a bootleg burned copy of songs rakistas love. Metallica, System of a Down, My Chemical Romance and Rage Against the Machine were on that CD.
And then just right about when I hit my exit was an anomaly. Right there on the 7th track, the dude who burned my CDs accidentally burned a wierd little track on the playlist – an EDM bop called Ever After.
It was a strange song. It had an infectious happy groove that just made you want to dance the night away. But oh man, when you get to actually listening to the song, the lyrics hit you out of nowhere. It’s ostensibly a happy song but tinged with just enough sadness to make you feel the longing in the song. It was beautiful and oddly cathartic. It made me calm down the angry demons inside me.
Sixteen years later I’m driving down the same highway and I, a self-confessed metalhead, am listening to this girl group from Korea I just started to get about at the tail-end of a disastrous 2020.
It starts like most pop trash that’s out on the radio – a faded out repetition of the chorus with an overengineered sound that somehow works. Then Jennie goes in laying the groundwork. Lisa starts bringing the energy up straight to Jisoo who makes the song take flight. When Rose enters the picture, the song just positively soars. Then that chorus. Oh man, it hits like you something else the second time around. Right then and there, Lovesick Girls became the anthem of my 2020.
It’s a song about broken people saying to the world that hey I know who I am. It’s saying I am kinda effed up and I don’t really need anybody here and I can live in this world alone.
But when they ask why are we still looking for love it becomes a call for help because we aren’t really born to be alone.
It’s the jarring nature of the question. We look for people to fill the holes in our heart because no matter how solid you think your footing is, you still need help. You still deserve to be loved no matter how effed up you are.
It’s my Ever After nearly two decades later. Two songs from two different eras, talking about different things. They make you want to dance and they say what you needed to hear. They are both effervescent schlock that makes you think of why you’re in this world. Both so goddamn beautiful it makes me want to cry.
This year sucked majorly but I’m glad I found the perfect song to take me out of it. And these times, you take what you can. Because happiness ain’t a fish you can catch, it’s something that you take in from the hundred different beautiful moments the world gives you. And I found a beautiful moment in these songs.
Find your happiness wherever you can find it. Take it with you to the next decade. We’ll get out of this hell together.