You know how sometimes you can listen to music for a very long time before really ‘getting’ it? You can eat foods for years before you start to like them, though they would call that an acquired taste. In today’s example, it’s not so much an acquired taste, but something that took me far longer than it should have to appreciate.
When I was about nine, I realised a distinct pattern in my musical consumption. Namely that it would take me at least twice to enjoy a song. In fact, I remember watching music videos one morning when Alien Ant Farm’s cover of ‘Smooth Criminal‘ came on the TV. I watched it, didn’t care for it, and moved on. The next time I saw it, I loved it so much that I went and bought it as my first single. I have no way of explaining this phenomenon in my mind, but I would always have to hear a song once or more to enjoy it. As years went by, I had to learn to rid myself of that so that I could actually enjoy music as I first heard it.
Somehow though, that escaped me when it came to Slow Six’s ‘The Night You Left New York’. Upon the recommendation of Internet users, I added this song into a list of relaxing songs which I would listen to before or during my time spent asleep.
Frequently I would find myself waking up with a song playing, and I would use it to go back to sleep. I remember hearing this song repeatedly, but I never cared for it. In fact, I frequently considered removing it from my playlist.
When I was in America in 2015, I played that same playlist while relaxing with my now-fiancée. The slow-moving intro of the song drew me in; what was I listening to? I’ve heard it a hundred times but couldn’t place it. I looked at my iPod and saw the song; “Oh,” I thought. “I thought I got rid of this song? Oh well,” and I continued using it as background music.
Then, when the song really kicks into gear, I was shocked. How had I neglected this for all this time? How many more songs have I chosen to listen to superficially, not appreciating their true beauty? Since that day, I’ve tried immensely hard to listen to every song that I can with my full attention so that nothing slips by me, and so at, thanks to Slow Six, I’ve managed to catch many gems I would’ve otherwise missed.