Letting Music Happen in 2021

By Charissa Gagne

I am drinking a delicately fermented probiotic drink following two craft IPAs (wild Saturday).  Don’t get all excited, the idea behind this thought process is not the effect of the drink combination, but rather appeared previous to partaking of any such liquids. 

Every year around this time, I feel like my relationship with music unfolds at a standoff.  There I am with a slightly raised brow and crossed arms while all of the melodies and beats from late 2020, early 2021, and a few 1980-something jams are throwing down the best they can.  Neither of us are willing to accept that we have to give up a little of our preconceived notions, can’t you just “be perfect?” – “like me for what I am?”  Pursed lips, wild tunes.  Standoff. 

Two or more months of this and one random lavender diffused shower later and here I am bowing my head in shame.  In humble fashion I apologized to the music gods and realized my misstep that I often take in the cold and gloomy New England winter.  Music is not created FOR you.  Music is created for the one who is creating it and if you are open and accepting, it can equally work for you.  This year I had really pushed the limits of my snobby – “you better be a fire hit for me or else” attitude, and it unfortunately resulted in me just listening to almost everything as *gasp* background music.  That is the lowest of lows for me and my relationship with music… my savior and hero. 

How I could let it become background music probably can be chocked up to everything this past year has brought over into the new year.  With that being said, I am pretty close to feeling guilt-free about it and know that from here on out I will just need to take on a selfless listen.  Yeah, we’re all feeling stressed in our own ways, so I just have to suck-it-up-sister and use music as an escape to someone else’s problems, triumphs, annoyances, joys and not forcing it to be reflective of my current emotional state.  Now, I know some people need that complete connection from music, it has to reflect and help soothe them simultaneously.  Yet, that was never me.  I typically let it just happen to me and use the intense energy itself to connect, whether it is ecstatic or painful.  

This past week I discovered The Replacement’s 1984 Let It Be.  I need to experience that and not scoff it off as being “it’s great, but not what I’m feeling.”  What we are all feeling right now has a musical comparison of a Grimes B-side and, I for one, don’t need to go there.  So, I’m going to spend some more time with this oldie, but according to Rolling Stones goodie, and listen to it on repeat like I would have if it were a cassette and it was 1984.   Yes, I’ll mix it in with some 2021 beats and my Daily Radar and Hype Machine popular hits, but I’m going to experience everything and let it just happen around me.  None of it was made FOR us, so let’s jump into other people’s experiences and give ourselves a much-needed break from the constant processing and calculating (even if it’s only an hour). 

Cheers to all of our music experiences in 2021, letting music happen to you.