39. “Waiting for You,” Minor Alps

Minor Alps Juliana Hatfield Matthew Caws

I didn’t realize how much I loved his song until it popped up on shuffle today. The second the repeating eighth-note guitar pattern, which never lets up throughout the song, struck my ears, I actually felt tears of joy well up in my eyes. It was a completely unexpected reaction.

Certainly, there’s a magic to this whole album, the first and to date only album from Minor Alps, Get There (2013). The voices of Juliana Hatfield and Matthew Caws of Nada Surf, two singers that blossomed in the grungy world of ’90s alt-rock, blend together so seamlessly and beautifully. There’s a sense of peace to their voices singing this song together, as one voice. It feels like being on a small boat cruising slowly along a still lake at dawn. Not that I’ve ever done that, but somehow that’s how it feels. It’s simple, it’s peace, it’s stillness. It makes me feel like I can breathe and that breathing is a drug that fills me with peace and contentment.

Unlike most of my posts here, this one is not about a memory. It doesn’t take me back to the autumn of 2013 at all. And it certainly isn’t about the lyrics, which seem to revolve around lost love. What this song gives me is a feeling of being simultaneously in the moment, but also somewhere else entirely. I’m enjoying each moment, each beat, each arpeggio, each random line of French lyrics, of this song and each of those moments is helping to transport me to that other, still-watered place, where I’m enjoying every moment of the solitude and stillness it’s gifting me.

Maybe part of the reason I find myself out on that still lake is because of the line that always stands out to me, “Like an island, okay, I guess.” Maybe I’m that island, isolated but content. I love that the line is sort of shrugged off: “Yeah, okay, I guess I’m kinda like an island, whatever. I’m cool with it. Let me just be an island, then.”

Well, okay, I guess I am kind of like that island. I always have been. I’ve always been introverted, solitary, but all the while happy to have good friends and family around me. And now, more than ever, I’m okay with that. I guess. No, really, I am. I just couldn’t resist ending it like that. And now I’ve ruined it. I’m such a stupid island.


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