I have been listening to Florence and The Machine’s latest album High as Hope and I am completely in love with it.
It’s been on high repeat all week and anyone who has come for dinner or been in my home has very patiently let me play all my favourite tracks to them – numerous times in fact 😉
As I write this, the album is playing in the background, and before I started writing I was asking myself – hmm, why do I love this album so much??
What is it about this particular music that has me longing for more?
The answer is that it evokes deep emotion in me.
I FEEL this music. I feel the pain. I feel the joy. I feel the intimacy. I feel the loneliness.
I feel her, that Florence!
As human beings, I truly believe that we long to feel. We go and watch action-packed films at the cinema to feel a rush of the old adrenaline. We jump out of planes to connect with our fear and tap into our courage. We watch the Sorbent toilet paper ad (with the super cute Labrador puppy) and go all squishy inside: “Awww, that is so cute!” and we feel so much joy and love for the animal.
It is in these sorts of feeling that we then find connection, and I believe this is actually what we are craving so much.
I’m talking about connection to ourself, others, our surroundings, or something greater.
I have never met Florence (or the Machine for that matter) but I feel like I know her. She has exposed her soul to me through her lyrics – in particular through the vulnerability in her words. She has been hurt, just as I have been hurt. She has been painfully lonely in life, and I have also been painfully lonely in my life. She has connected with her courage in the face of darkness, and I have done the same.
She gets me. I get her. We are connected.
Music is such an outstanding medium to help us feel connected and be a part of something greater. One of the most powerful music moments of my life was in a pub in the UK in the late 1990s. At the time an English band called Oasis(you may have heard of them!) was absolutely killing it in the charts with their song “Wonderwall”. It had become an anthem and was very well known to my demographic back then.
I recall it was late in the evening on a Saturday night, the pub was packed with about 900 people, and because of the time of night most of them were very happily drunk. There was a cover band playing (they were actually really good!) and towards the end of their set they started to play “Wonderwall”. Suddenly – I mean very literally – the air changed.
I was in the DJ booth (I worked at the pub and had snuck in there to get a great view of the band) when this legendary tune was dropped and I began to sing along with the 900 other people. The entire pub was singing in unison together – all of us present and connected, right there in the moment.
People put their arms around each other, groups swayed together cheersing their glasses, and when the song ended so many people hugged each other or slapped their friend’s shoulder with love and camaraderie.
It was so magical. I had goosebumps.
We were all so deeply connected for that 3 minute tune, a moment in time when I was part of something so much bigger than myself or my friendship circle I was with.
Connected. Aligned. Together.
To this day, when “Wonderwall” comes on the radio, I am compelled to sing it out loud with maximum gusto and total passion as I relive that moment back in the late 90s when I became part of a 900 person strong family, albeit for a few brief minutes.
My point is that without feeling and connection our souls will whither. Music is just one way to evoke feeling and connection. It doesn’t matter what vehicle you choose to experience it through… it is just really important that you experience it!