By: Harvin Bhathal, Features Editor
What I look for in music is the embodiment of self, where self is more than just an idea, it’s a lived experience. Each song is its own space, its own experience, and certain factors such as its lyrics, sound, tone, and more help the song become firmly entrenched in my mind. When it does, it allows for introspection — particularly late at night when the noise from the day quiets down and all I can hear are my own thoughts. These songs have given me moments of inner peace for the short time they span and they are moments I treasure.
Through subtle ambience, echoing reverb, and a soothing chorus, Toronto’s rising indie-pop sensation MorMor takes you to a place in your mind where you can release any built-up stress in “Pass The Hours.” The rhythm of the guitar pattern represents the mundane and repetitive nature of the day, and the groove of the bassline represents the desperation of wanting to break free from those shackles. It all culminates in the chorus where MorMor’s dreamy, atmospheric voice shines and you’re free.
The haunting guitar riff, a constant in the background, lays the foundation for King Krule, an artist whose music spans genres such as punk jazz, darkwave, and trip-hop, to express his thoughts in a way that can best be described as pure emotion. “Out Getting Ribs” doesn’t make you want to escape your feelings but to rather rejoice in them because they’re what make us who we are. Krule was only 17 when he created this masterpiece, a fact I still find unfathomable every time it crosses my mind.
The excellent production on “White Ferrari” is a highway for Frank Ocean, an R&B icon for today’s generations, to weave through a narrative of unrest and comfort — a dichotomy that comprises much of our lives. The lyrics that speak to finding inner-peace, haunting moments of silence, and a song structure that is uncommon to today’s music caught me off guard the first time I listened and brought tears to my eyes.
Beach House, a dream pop and neo-psychedelia duo, has made music that has gotten me through many tough times over the years. However, no song has helped more than “Space Song.” Listening to this song now is just as cathartic of an experience as when I first heard it years ago. The atmospheric voice of Beach House, combined with the chorus’ guitar riff that sounds as if it’s crying, create a space that is simultaneously filled with both emptiness and fulfilment. Coupled with lyrics that allow for introspection, the song is overwhelming in terms of the emotion it evokes but in a way that makes you want to return to this feeling again and again.
Lord Fubu, a young producer from Jacksonville, Florida, transforms a sample of Clara La San’s, “In This Darkness,” and makes it his own through an ambient beat, making the chorus deeper and the core of the song even softer. “Never Leave You Lonely” an amalgam of two styles that balance each other out. The ambience of this song releases any tension you may have and provides a calming presence.
More songs for late night introspection: