LOAM: WOODLAND CITY

WORDS & PLAYLIST: Josh the Word
From a dear friend of Loam, a playlist for your ears. 

I grew up in the woods. When I moved to the city, suddenly some of my favorite songs didn't sound the same. Try listening to a guitar that sounds like wet earth next to a stream bed while you're riding the J train past row after row of brick high rises along East River. Contrast. And in that contrast, something new starts to take shape. 

The poet Saul Williams once wrote, "Not until you listen to Rakim on a rocky mountain top have you heard hip-hop." After moving to Brooklyn in 2011, I think I've come to realize that the opposite is also true. Take Volcano Choir's "Byegone," a song that always sounds to me like the forests of Eau Claire, Wisconsin where it was recorded. It always sounds perfect when I hear it somewhere wild, where the trees stretch as far as the eye can see. Try listening to it in the city. Extract the woodland element that created it and let the towering steel and concrete illustrate it. Something new starts to happen: dissonant, almost wrong, but slightly transcendent. 

Not every song on this playlist is about the wilderness, or was recorded in it, or sounds like some kind of woodsy anthem, but in my ears, these songs all lay against the city like the strangest lover. In town for a few days maybe, from a place you haven't been for a little too long. Take a listen. It just might take you somewhere else.