#964: ‘Sleepwalking (Couples Only Dance Prom Night)’ – Modest Mouse

Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock pays tribute to days gone by with this track; a loving tribute to the early days of rock and roll, mixed in with an overarching theme of being young and in love.

As some online commentators have stated, the track is truly anachronistic; borrowing elements of the instrumentation present in rock and roll’s early days. With arpeggiated guitars, echoing lead lines, and hushed vocals, the track is, at its core, a tribute to the popular music of these days gone by. The main musical accompaniment isn’t wholly original though, but rather borrowed from Santo & Johnny’s 1959 hit ‘Sleep Walk‘.

Of course, like many of the songs from the time, young love is the central theme. However, unlike many of the love songs of the time, this seems to have a happy ending, or at the very least, an ambiguous one. No teenage tragedy is at play here, rather we’re given small segments of the events leading up to an unforgettable evening with the one you love.

As I’ve mentioned previously, when I proposed to my fiancée, I also gave her two mixtapes full of love songs, and those which I felt meant a lot to me. Of course, this song was included. Partially due to my love of songs of the ’50s, partially due to my love of Modest Mouse, but mainly because this song is an uplifting journey of young love delivered by way of a trip back in time six decades.

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