Listen to this: The incomparable, Superheroes of BMX by Mogwai
So, I was in my second year of university. It was something like 11pm on a weekday night and like students should be we were playing videogames. Most likely one of the later Quakes or Command and Conquers (because when we were on the LAN that's all we ever played). I was the only Arts student in the house and my three housemates were all taking Computer Studies, so they all had computers but not me. So, I'd usually sit around for a game to end and then I'd get a go.
Don't pity me too much though; I had the only console in the house - my second-hand Mega Drive (bought with money that probably should have been spent on books); so if anyone wanted to do any brawling or platforming I was the boss. The time me and Mark somehow managed to beat Streets of Rage 2 was the high point of that year.
Anyhow, I'm sat up in Mark's room waiting for him to get killed, and we had the radio on. Of course it was John Peels’ show and it was mostly just background noise we weren't paying attention to. And then, a minute or two into the latest tune, I realise I'm listening to something… different. I ask Mark to turn the volume up and we just sat there listening to this extraordinary track.
It was mournful and beautiful and meditative and seductive; all these things and more, all at once.
The next day we found ourselves in the city centre, found an indie record store and bought a copy each.
It's a track for certain times and places - if it's morning and you're looking for something to get you pumped up for the day ahead, please don't listen to this for the first time now. It's a tune for night-time. For thinking. For taking you somewhere else.
I suppose I'd better let you listen to it now.
The drums clip along softly. What sounds like a child's Bontempi organ slowly wheezes out its see-saw refrain, and then that mournful bass kicks in - a hint of sadness and longing and wanting to be somewhere or sometime else. Or is that just me self-projecting?
But then the guitars pile on - turbulence, feedback, trouble; but fought back by a sweet, tunefully picked, lead guitar melody. Pleasure and pain. Like looking back at a relationship that ended badly but that you remember with affection and regret.
Or maybe you’ll get something else from it. Maybe it's one of those tunes we invest ourselves in - everyone's experience being different. Give it a few listens; learn how it rises and falls. You may not appreciate it at first, but it may just grab ahold of you and never let go.