One of the many things I thank the internet for is my current music taste.
I was in a dormitory with no real access to television (free TV or cable) for four years, so I can say with pure confidence that the internet played a huge part to what makes my head bop. One of the many (unlikely) sources of music I discovered was this chat site named Omegle.
I frequently visited that site during my collegiate days, back when it was still virus-free and you can actually troll Russians without having an image of a white penis glaring at you from your monitor.
One of the many discoveries I found while chatting with random strangers were this Sheffield band called Arctic Monkeys:
It was easy to say that I kinda grew up with this quartet: they and Urbandub were the defining sounds that were always in the background whenever I try to remember my university days.
A year or two after I graduated, I suddenly got wind of this other British dude known as Hozier. I first learned of him because of this 9Gag post about Natalie Dormer acting all hot for a video.
And I’ll go out on a limb and share a very unpopular opinion: “Take Me To Church” is great, but “Someone New” is better in my ears:
I have two excuses for my dissenting choice.
First: I am a basic bitch who has no idea of what he is talking about.
Second: The emotional R&B baby inside me, reared by years of formation under mainstream acts like Destiny’s Child, *NSYNC, Usher, Ne-Yo, Jojo and the like, connects more with this track.
Now that I’ve got the two involved parties out of the way, let me express my delight when I first heard this gem of a cover last year:
I love “Do I Wanna Know” as it is one of the poster songs of this greaseball-era Arctic Monkeys: the persona is rough, unforgiving, unafraid to unleash the bottled emotions it kept over the years. It is justifiably angry and it wants a sound explanation on why things ended the way it did.
What I rave about Hozier’s take on this song is how it transformed the song by removing the distortion and adding 10 tablespoons of soul to the mixer. Listen to the lyrics and the anger is still there. However, Hozier and the musicians he collaborated with added a complex layer of hollow sadness that you usually get after an exhausting row.
I think I can better elaborate the emotion I feel when I listen to this song by painting a picture.
You and your partner got into a drunken feud after your partner slipped and confessed that he/she has been cheating on you. You were feeling a mixed bag of emotions, anger, sadness, frustration, disappointment. You didn’t know if you wanted to hit him/her, walk out, cry or pass out from the sudden influx of emotion that is overloading your intoxicated brain.
He/she tried to make up for it, apologized profusely, cried oceans of crocodile tears, had a hand at self-depreciating humor, tried a bit of drunken seduction, but you were having none of it. The two of you slept on opposite sides of the bed without fixing anything.
You then woke up with the sun burning your eyes, a terrible pang on your head and the other side of the bed empty. You open your eyes and put your forearm over your eyes. You can smell breakfast from the kitchen, omelettes with chives. You smile, excited, like there’s nothing wrong with the world. Your hangover disappeared for a bit
Then you remembered last night. How he/she told you that the co-worker he/she told you not to worry about have spent many a “business trip” with him/her playing house, naked.
You suddenly didn’t feel that hungry anymore. You felt sick, smelling that he/she put too much chives in there. Again.
Your headache intensified. So much that tears welled up in your eyes. Your body was shivering. You suddenly felt cold even though it was 32 degrees Celsius outside. Something wanted to jump out of your throat.
But you don’t want to let it out. You didn’t want to make a peep.
You don’t want him/her to know you’re hurting. Because in this life, broadcasting your pain to world just gives them the license to hurt you more.
Yeah, that’s pretty much the kind of sad I get when I listen to Hozier’s cover.
(BTW, I still believe that the band’s sound depends on Alex’s hairstyle hahaha)