The beginning, after I’d just left London, was heavy on the pretentiously indie electronica. Still in a strung-out state of mind, not really, in my head, having left yet, I listened to Aavikko and Emir Kusturica and chain-smoked the toxins out of my system. A few weeks later, I’d mellowed. Ohio and Michigan and Wisconsin had rolled by, green, robust and wholesome, and mostly I listened to the folksy twanging of Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, indulged in a little Matchbox 20 even. I was thinking about a lot of things.
In France my cousins uploaded me a bunch of French music. But once they’d left there were weeks I wouldn’t see a single person I knew other than the grocer, and the music was constantly, continuously on. The soothing invariability of noise was like having another person there, I guess. I ate lentils, leeks, poached eggs, baguettes and nutella every day, in some new configuration—it became like a game to figure out new relationships for them. Those days I’d just press ‘random’ and a thousand songs could defile between tea or bathroom breaks without my ever focusing on one. Once, I listed to the first four hundred or so, in alphabetical order. A lot of work got done.
After a brief and perplexing, acid-house pop back into London, I got to Cork, where there was too much to do for music to play constantly. When the day ended, though, I’d retreat into a world of headphones, rizla paper and literature. It was the first occasion I’d had in years to read as much as I wanted to, and it lasted for weeks. The music became backdrop then. Baroque, acoustic, ambient, world. It didn’t really matter; I wasn’t really listening.
Vickie doesn’t drive, so she DJed instead, and I discovered music I owned that I’d never paid attention to before: Röyksopp, Tricycle, Lemon Jelly. The accordion in the music of La Rue Kétanou made us manic; we swerved in hilarity, circumventing sheep and old men.