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  • Karalynn Cromack

Wordless Songs That Say it All

Recently I have very much found myself done with people talking. After a long day of hearing words and reading lips, I slip into music as my haven and think if I hear one more sentence my brain will vaporize. As much as I adore the lyrics of Julien Baker or Stevie Wonder, I do enjoy keeping my brain (kinda). Although, this doesn’t mean I don't want to be spoken to. For those who feel the same, here are some of the most provoking instrumentals I’ve had on repeat lately.

Swimming- Flawed Mangoes

"Swimming" is watching the world turn from a thousand miles away, passing cars, and waking up an old memory that makes something click. The loop of this song is just simple enough to be delightful for the three minutes it plays through, with fluctuating ornaments around it. Textures of light ringing clarity bring forth the feeling of floating in still water. I typically listen as I walk to work and wake up alongside the sun.

There Is No There- The Books

I was in a cafe studying next to someone I love the first time I fell in love with this song. The only description I could give is that it's an audio collage, and while it does contain words, they aren’t the centerpiece. The revolving platter of strings, whistles, a broken-up orchestra, and perfect taps all net together as a soft place to stay. While every piece of this song might seem like an unlikely match with its counterparts, they all fit together like clockwork. Every second feels like gears turning in a great machine.

Albatross- Fleetwood Mac

I love Stevie Nicks and her voice as much as anyone with taste, but this is (by far) one of my favorite Fleetwood Mac songs. "Albatross" is for days when the world turns slow, sweet, and beautiful. Sitting by creeks and falling asleep in sunspots. The sounds flow smooth and deep with chirping and gliding riffs that co-exist in their presence. The influence of Peter Green is eternally radiant through this track, as the yin and yang of rock and blues form into a beautiful lullaby. I could never truly be angry living in the same timeline as this song.

Big Ship- Brian Eno

"Big Ship" has a particularly fond spot in my heart, as it plays over one of my favorite scenes from Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl which is also one of my favorite movies. Without saying too much, this song will never fail to make me well up just a bit. It fosters a build that leaves a ringing in my chest and ruminates through my soul. Small electronic noises lead to a gorgeous guitar while picking up mass like a rolling snowball. I have turned to this song in moments of reflection, questioning, and joy. Eno has found a way to convert these momentous, larger-than-us feelings into a song, and I believe I’ll carry it with me forever.


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