Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Air Inside Our Lungs

Ever since eighth grade, I have been obsessing over the electronic pop group, Measure. They are a beat-driven band based in Brooklyn, NY. You may know their song, "Begin Again," which can be heard on Pretty Little Liars. Otherwise, though, without the help of television, they remain in the dark.

Their first full-length album, The Air Inside Our Lungs, came out nearly three years ago, yet I feel like I haven't properly fangirled about it yet. I was able to purchase the album via Bandcamp, along with a grey shirt that I wear every once in a while. Yeah, it was a pretty darn good deal, and you'll want to buy all of the merchandise, too, once you hear some of the songs.

I was going to make this post about the whole album, but I think I'll just write about the songs that have (this seems like something I'd say during a book discussion) impacted my views on life, or made me think deeply. I mean, all of Measure's music is pretty deep (let's be honest, y'all), but these are the ones that take the cake. And it takes a lot to take the cake. I like cake, after all. And that had nothing to do with anything.

Track 2. "Point of You"

Pull us apart
What are you made of now?
So what is your point of view?
What is the point of you?
What is your point of view?
What is your point?

I can't get over Laura DiStasi's keys on the chorus of the song. I'd use specific numbers, but that'd require actually watching the video, and my sister may or may not be watching American Horror Story right across the room from me. The point is, it just sounds really beautiful, along with the what-sounds-like-a tambourine that comes in right after the first "point of view."

This song has always provoked thought for me since I first heard it when I was thirteen (whoa... I can actually watch PG-13 movies without being a rebel...), especially that line: "Pull us apart. What are you made of now?" I feel like the whole point of this song (no pun intended) is, what is your purpose? What makes you who you are? What do you stand for? What is your point?

Track 4. "Other Plans"

I couldn't find a video for this, so I'll just go on and skip to writing the key lyrics (all the more reason to buy the album).

I found out,
But not from you.
I found out,
And so it's true.
But you play it so cool,
She's just someone you met,
Well, go on pal, put it out there
You know I'm just someone you'll learn to forget.
And love turns into friends
Who always make other plans
And leave me by myself
While you hang out with someone else.
So where are all my friends?
And when were they all making plans
To leave me by myself 
While everyone's with someone else?
So, how'd it come to this?
Disposing of the evidence
And sitting by myself
You gave your heart to someone else.

This song is the perfect example of being lonely. It's kind of like Facebook, when you see everyone's doing something with someone else, and you're just like, "Oh. Well. Was everyone in on some kind of joke to leave me by myself while they're all having a good time? When were they planning this?" It also brings in romantic love, with the line, "Disposing of the evidence." I think of it as her trying to get rid of the love she felt for whoever this is written about, while he gave his heart to someone else.

 I love how this song is just utterly confusing. The song not only focuses on Laura feeling left out because everyone has someone, but it's about being in love with someone who didn't care much at all. She sounds angry, apathetic, and sad all at the same time. Like, goodness, Laura. Goodness.

Track 5. "I Want to Know You"

How 'bout roll down both of the windows,
So I can see you
While you sing at the top of your lungs,
Thinking no one
Can hear nothing at all
Uh-oh, I want to know you
Always come and go, uh-oh
And I just see you
That when you go
Uh-uh-oh, I wanna know
Uh-uh-oh, Where you go
Uh-uh-oh, oh, oh
Yeah, you gotta know, uh-oh
And I'm gonna tell you
That when you go
Uh-uh-oh, I wanna know
Uh-uh-oh, where you go
Uh-uh-oh, yeah come on, come on, you know
And there you go, uh-uh-oh, oh, oh.

Is this not the happiest song Measure has released? If "Begin Again" and "The End of Everything" didn't reach so deep down into my soul (with lyrics like, "You're no calendar, you're no concrete plan" and "The world keeps turning at the end of everything," it's hard to not be moved), this one might, MIGHT, be my favorite.

I can't even tack a meaning onto this one, because it can be taken in so many ways. But first, can we talk about the music?

Just so you know, this song is best experienced with sound-cancelling headphones.

1:42 is the part I wait for every time the song comes on on my iPod. Even if I'm not in the mood for it, I always tell myself to hold on until then, because I know it will lift my spirits every time. The entire song up to this point is just one long build-up until finally, exploding at this point. But is it my favorite part? I wish I could say that. And it's not that there are any flaws, it's just... well, it gets better.

1:59. That guitar. THAT guitar. Man. It goes perfectly with Laura's vocals. I wish I could say that's the best part, but once again, it's not. Surprisingly, it STILL gets better.

And then at 2:33-2:50, Woody Quinn just TURNS UP on that guitar again. Like many before me have said, usually, he and Tommy Harron (bass) fill out the sound, and for most of the song they're in the background, with few yet memorable moments (like the famous guitar in the final chorus of "Begin Again"). However, this is that beautiful place where all of the instruments can be heard. Especially the guitar. I can't really tell you why I like it; it's like trying to describe a color you've never seen.

Now. The lyrics. The amount of fangirl is strong with this one. I just really love how it sounds like being in love. What doe being in love sound like? I don't know, never have been. But, unless I'm wrong, this just sounds like being in love. It has the sound. Like, I just want to meet my soul mate one day, and then this song will play as I am completely smitten, just dreaming of seeing him again. Oh, wait. Now I know why I got Aurora as my result for which Disney princess I am.

Now, a fellow Measure fan reviewed this same album here, saying that the lyrics are "gasp, happy. Ish. And vaguely stalkerish." Yeah. It might sound a little stalker-like, but I really like it. I just think of it as being so in love with someone and you just want to be around them even when they're doing little things ("While you sing at the top of your lungs..."), and you just want to... know them. You don't want to do much, you just want to know everything about them, and you want to tell them. Now, I am that one creepy friend in my group, so maybe my interpretation is kind of stalker-ish, but I don't care.

Track 7. "Make You Love Me" cover

When I've used up the best you
And I'm breaking myself against the next you
I will think of
Your sweet and true love.
Just another inner monologue I've gotta ignore
Still a little too easy, too insecure, but
All I wanna do is make you love me.

This song, though a cover, is brilliant. What I love about Measure is that it doesn't matter whether they wrote it or not (although, I'm pretty sure this is the only song published that they didn't write). It doesn't matter who the lead singer is. Everyone has a large role in making me love their music. They've succeeded in... (*winks*) making me love them.

Can we talk about the percussion? It's perfect throughout the whole song, thanks to Casey Tuck. And that combined with the guitar... mmmmmmm.

But. 2:05. I don't know what instrument that is (I want to say it's a guitar but I don't think so), but... man. That lead.

I also wanted to embed "Fireworks 2.0," but it wasn't uploaded to YouTube or something.

Nevertheless, if you want to discover an indie band this year, Measure is the band to look for.

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