Why do we listen to the music that we do? Does that sound like a silly question? Maybe, but it kept running through my head today. The emotional connections we build to songs, albums, bands, and artists are often helped along by the real life relationships that frame them. The records our parents danced around the living room to, the bands our mates dragged us to see, the album you used to listen to together. Personal moments and memories imbue sounds with deeper meaning.

That’s not to say those emotions weren’t already present in the music, it’s just that the personal introduction meant you were standing close enough to hear them.

And then other music comes out of nowhere and smacks you in the guts. Something so new, so fresh, so alien that it makes you see things differently.

Sometimes I want to remember and sometimes I want to wake up. Different sounds help me find different perspectives, change my world.

If you haven’t already, you should check out our Love Letter series on Dummy Mag. Read Veronica Murtagh on trip-hopStephen Kerr on Chicago juke music, and Mark Fisher on collective listening.

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