Welcome to the Voyage of the Mind Music Diary!

So, long story short, I had a lot of fun writing about Taylor Swift and her new album Folklore in a recent post. Point two, music is a big part of my life. I’m always listening. I love to sing. And, as I discussed in that previous post, I tend to get attached to songs, not artists. I dump them at the top of my Spotify playlist, where they get played on repeat until I get (a little) tired of them or until I find new ones I like even better. If I get really tired of a song I’ve put there, I’ll unlike it, and, poof, it’s gone! I try not to neglect the ones lower down, because there are of course great songs that I love there. 

But I do have a definite tendency to listen to songs almost on repeat, usually in clusters of three or four. So each week, I’m going to discuss three or four songs I have on repeat. This week, I have three picks for you. One is from the aforementioned Folklore album — and it’s not one of the ones I highlighted in my earlier piece. Because, as I said in that one, my impressions often vary from first to final. 

Are you ready to dig into some beautiful lyrics and voices? Let’s go!

a photograph of Taylor Swift
the cover of the album "Folklore"

These are the lyrics at the start of the bridge in “Mirrorball,” the first of the songs I’ve had on repeat lately. “Mirrorball” is one of the songs on Taylor Swift’s new album Folklore. 

When I first listened to it, I thought it was very listen-able, but wasn’t sure if I liked it. So I didn’t add it to my liked songs. But out of all the songs on the album, it was one of the ones I thought about the most after listening to it, so decided to give it another listen this week. And, man, I think it’s good. It’s sad. It paints a picture of someone maybe a little too eager to please and a little bit desperate to stop their relationship from falling through the cracks. If you’ve ever been in a position where you’ve felt like you’re pulling out all the stops to keep something from falling apart, you’ll want to give this song a listen. 

One thing I love about Folklore in general are the references to circus-type stuff. Circus imagery is a recurring theme in my writing, which is maybe why I love seeing it in other people’s creations. There’s just something very evocative, creepy, and overwhelming about the circus. It’s connected to a whole host of great words. All right, let’s not get me going here… On to song number two. 

“Another Love” by Tom Odell

Love this song. I’d never listened to Tom Odell before this week, when his name popped up at the end of one of my playlists (when Spotify goes on autopilot and plays songs like the ones in the playlist). This song is pretty intense, which I think is why I like it so much. It also has very moving background music that I appreciate. There’s also a line that reminds me a bit of one of my all-time favorite songs, “The Boxer” by Simon and Garfunkel. Here’s that line:

And if somebody hurts you, I wanna fight
But my hand’s been broken one too many times…

Know the part of “The Boxer” it reminds me of? The two songs aren’t too similar, but anything that reminds me of “The Boxer” in the slightest is likely to go on repeat. I also love the ghostly choral backdrop in “Another Love.” It gives me goosebumps! I suggest you give this one a shot. Odell’s accent took some getting used to, for me, and I’ve not yet listened to any of his other material, but I’ll definitely be sifting through it in the weeks to come.

On to song #3! 

a photograph of Taylor Swift
the cover of the album "Folklore"

That’s singer-songwriter Lorde, and that’s a lyric from her song “Ribs,” which is the last song I’ve had on repeat that I’m going to discuss in this first installment of “Songs on Repeat.” “Ribs” is a song about growing up, how scary it is, and how we pretend we’re doing fine — even with the ones we love the most — when really we feel scared to death. Almost like we’re going crazy! This song definitely resonates with me. Before this, pretty much the only Lorde song I’d really listened to was her hit “Royals.” 

If you’re just making it through the motions of growing up, give this song a listen for sure! Like “Royals,” it reflects on some of the realities of life. (Mostly at the end — I’ll leave it up to your own interpretation!)

Thanks for reading “Songs on Repeat”!

If you enjoyed this column, look out for it again next week. Here are links to the full lyrics of the three songs I’ve covered:

“Mirrorball” by Taylor Swift

“Another Love” by Tom Odell

“Ribs” by Lorde

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