Frisson, vol. 3

BY BRYN TAYLOR //

If music is the fruit of love, lets get feasting. This week, we’ll be diving into the make up of three songs that remind us of our first love. Songs of love, lust, and adoration create extremely powerful, tangible listening experiences. Not only do they tap into the most powerful emotion, but also the most powerful feeling: that sentimental recollection we call nostalgia

In 2012, Def Jam Recordings released artist Frank Ocean’s debut album, Channel Orange. The 16th track on that album is titled “Forrest Gump”, after the 1994 major motion picture. The song, compared to other tracks on the album, is extremely playful, with a motown-esque feel to it. Using an organ sounding piano track for the intro, Ocean loops in the light sounds of a cheerleading team. Immediately, we are brought into a high school football game. Ocean’s voice breaks the instrumental intro, with an eerie, light echo behind it. A gently strummed guitar follows, along with some distinct, resonating picking. The lyrics link the film character of Forrest to one of Ocean’s adolescent crushes. Later in a self published letter, Ocean revealed this was an unreciprocated love towards a male classmate, thus Ocean puts himself as the female character of Jenny. The song uses sound effects of the football game throughout the song to enhance the listeners environment, drawing them in. Along with this, the end of the song uses Ocean’s whistling of the chorus’ tune. This is auditorily stimulating in a very powerful way. The whistle, light and airy, compared to Ocean’s deep vocals, is a harsh but pleasing contrast to the ears, leaving the listener begging for more. 

The next love song we’re exploring is from Electronic music duo HONNE. Off of their second album Love Me/Love me Not, “Feels So Good” combines the use of synthesizers, tight harmonies, and immense electronic beat drops to enhance the feeling of new love. The song features vocals from Andy, a member of HONNE, along with a guest appearance from Anna of the North. Her light, airy vocals, give the listener an essence of young love: shiny, new, and pure. This goes hand and hand with the juvenile lyrics. Lines like “everything else seems to vanish when I’m lying by your side.” are simplistic and easy, playing into the simplicity of love’s honeymoon phase. The accompaniment is intensely electronic which, like most of HONNE’s pieces, makes it more like house music. However, “Feels So Good” uses a soft, retro guitar track underneath the electronic beats. This creates an easier, more relaxed listen. 

Our final song on this musical love expedition is “Linger” from The Cranberries debut studio album Everybody Else is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? Released in 1993. Members of the Irish alternative band, Dolores O’Riorden and Noel Hogan, wrote the song. O’Riorden states the song is about a 17-year-old soldier who she fell in love with. “Linger”, coming at track number 1 on the album, is one of the band’s most popular songs. It’s an easy, yet unique listen. The song begins with soft, high pitched violin strings, followed by light guitar strumming and O’Riorden’s humming. This fades into the song’s melody, created by a body of strings. The songs percussion is solely the use of a tambourine, which adds to the light, airy nature of the track. The lyrics, especially within the chorus, are extremely poetic, with many hidden meanings/messages within them. Iconic lines such as “You’ve got me wrapped around your finger. Do you have to let it linger?” touches at the most raw and ruthless part of love’s heartbreak. Although she cannot find the strength to end their relationship, she wants her love interest to break it off, instead of letting the two of them sit in this sea of uncertainty. Here is the link for the Frisson playlist. Tune in next week for some more dissections and distinct bodily reactions to music! 

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