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Music on the brain

A lot of the time I manage to convince myself that I’m a normal functioning human being. One of the great big pool of the many. A unique being in a world where everyone’s unique, so not really unique at all, but still unique at being unique.

Sometimes, though, I find myself noticing things about myself that aren’t really ‘right‘. Or ‘standard‘. Or ‘normal‘. They make me unique, but not in a conscious way, so maybe that’s just a nice way of saying ‘fucked up‘, or ‘broken‘. Or maybe I’m just so evolved that the normal brainwaves of you mere mortals are nowhere in the vicinity of my thinking capacities (I’m going with broken, personally).

One such moment occurred yesterday, when I was chatting away on some dating app or other, and the topic turned to music. Now. Music isn’t all too complicated a topic (unless you ask me to justify my taste for horrendous artists and the much hated ‘I love country’ statement) until it makes you come to a realization that music apparently doesn’t work the same for everyone. Or at least, for me.

How did I come to this realization?
Someone said that they loved just ‘putting on some music and relaxing‘. Which, granted, is a pretty common statement that I hadn’t really ever pondered all too much. A lot of people feel like that about music. I mean, how many times have you seen movies where the epitome of relaxation is the scarcely clad female lead sinking into a VERY foamy bathtub, with candles burning and sweet sweet music playing. I was all on board with that being a thing. Until yesterday when I suddenly felt weirded out by someone putting it like that. Because to me – music isn’t relaxing. Like. At all.

Even when it’s the most chill and flowy, musically gentle, sleep-inducing little tune – that’s NOT relaxing to me. Music to me is hard work. Seriously. I suppose it fits in with my overthinking persona, but when someone (or myself) puts on a song, my brain starts racing in about 10 different directions. Relaxation? Not an option.

Because regardless of what we’re listening to – I’ll be trying to decide on a great many things (instead of just, what other people apparently DO manage, appreciating the song). For instance:

– Who is the artist? I recognize this voice. They sound familiar. Who voiced that chorus? Damn, this sounds like Timbaland producing, I wonder who made this beat.
*Proceeds to Google all of these things*

– Damn, these lyrics are on point. I wonder if I’ve ever experienced something that way. Can I apply them to my life? Should I feel emotional about this? Hey, what was that sentence? I can’t hear what they’re saying exactly, what if I miss the entire message now?
*Proceeds to Google all of the lyrics and puts the song on repeat until she can hear them clearly*

– This song is so lovely. I wonder if there’s a videoclip that’s equally awesome. HEY, there’s a videoclip. I know that actor from somewhere, I wonder if he’s in that one series I once watched 5 years ago. YESS. I KNEW IT.
*And then I suddenly find myself three hours later, entrenched 16 levels in the depths of the Youtube archives, watching the blooper reel from the making of a Meghan Trainor popsong.*

Music, in that way, is complex. A simple song contains so many layers of information, all of which interests me in some capacity, that I can’t ‘just‘ listen to music. There’s so much to know, learn, connect and find when it comes to all of the samples, words, people (and people around those people). There’s numbers, and facts and live performances to judge against recorded songs and and and and.

Music is a LOT of things.
But to me?
It’s not relaxing.

26 thoughts on “Music on the brain

  1. Definitely agree! Sometimes even i feel that music can be pretty distracting n fall into thw spiral of searching n searching for that artist who once performed the same song live which i have heard once while i was in my friend’s house.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I can’t relate to music being work like you do, but I can’t listen to music when I’m working. My brain wants to pay attention to the lyrics and the beat. I can only work in silence or with white noise on. Guess I’m a little different too.

    All the best, Michelle (

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It gets to the point where Jazz and Lofi music seems less of a headache than regular tunes because there’s no lyrics majority of the time lol. In this era of digital streaming, I miss the days of getting a CD from Tower Records, unwrapping it, and having a session while I look through the booklet. Good times :).

    Liked by 2 people

  4. ULTiMaTE Mastery
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    Liked by 2 people

  5. I know I know I know! But there’s also a point where I’ve been through all that and know the music so well that it can take me higher… At work, though, I can’t handle music at the same time, it’s too distracting…🤪…

    Liked by 2 people

  6. For me, it can go both ways. If I’m listening to music I am familiar with and enjoy, it’s very relaxing. But when it comes to new music, or new covers of old songs, I am more like you in that my curiosity takes over and I find myself googling stuff ad nauseam, following all the threads.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I had to laugh. You’re so on point about Googling the lyrics. I’m older than you and probably a bit more entrenched in my musical tastes, but I find anymore that my relationship is much more complex . . . I think of how does it make me feel? How does the rhythm/beat hit me? What’s the artist trying to say? What do I think of the artist’s past work? I’m sure I make it much more complex than it really needs to be. Glad to know I’m not alone.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’ll never understand, or at least experience the concept of “background music’. No matter what, when music is playing, it races to the forefront of my brain and that of course becomes a source of trouble when someone is trying to have a conversation with me, or want my attention in any way. My brain dissects music to death and the medium itself is unquestionably an addiction to me. Had I been born deaf, I’d be a rich man having not spent so much on my CD collection, instruments, etc.

    Great article!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. As many things as I can take away or say about this post, the only thing that I can talk about is how frustrating I remember cassettes were.


  10. Maybe, just maybe you could / should try classical music more often? 😉
    Just close your eyes, breath easily and try to ‘concentrate’ (or even better: don’t … try to be ‘empty’ and let the emotion / association / images that the music invokes take CONTROL of you (instead of you taking control over everything else)).

    This one, for starters, could be nice (the second movement is beautiful as well):

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m listening to this and am playing about on Logic Pro, I’ve been thinking the same thing… what is it in music that relaxes you? I’ve just posted a song, Make The Day Your Own, sort of like the film with Robin Williams “Seize The Day” (carpe diem) ….. but more relaxed….. don’t like the idea of seizing, wish my dad had listened before he had his heart attack…. and I’m beginning to find the “ease” that you are on about. Great post, thanks,


  12. Wow now that you put it that way lol yes music is kind of complicated especially if you grew up listening to brandy lol like what did she say lol but more importantly I do also imagine who’s all in the studio are they there together who wrote that verse did they do it together… and then most days I just listen to the music cause I have one job 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  13. So, are there any songs or artists that you find more relaxing? That you feel you know enough about and can truly just sit back and let it wash over you?


  14. I cannot have background music. Because it will not stay in the background, and particularly if I’m at work it’s very distracting. So glad it’s not just me!


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