I’ve been writing about songs every day for the past few years. Like, every day, including Christmas, birthdays, days when I’ve been to the hospital, etc. And because of how fast the Internet moves, I’ve learned to react fast—hear a song, think of something to say about song, write things, press publish. This is how music blogging works, and it’s not always pretty, but we learn to adapt.
Sometimes I don’t have a quick reaction so I’ve learned to fall back on some old tricks. For example:
- Comparing music to food is almost always a good route. If it’s sweet, talk about it being sugary and candy-like. Maybe it’s meaty. Maybe it’s got a lot of sauce. Is it hot sauce? What kind? Sriracha? Texas Pete? Cholula? You get the idea. The more detailed you get with it, the more people will be like, “Oh yeah, I totally see that!” even though you are really making some pretty absurd connections.
- Identify the mood being set by the song, and match it with a setting. Most songs will be good for either a picnic, a beach, a basement, or 3 a.m. when you’re alone in a dark room. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve described a song as something to listen to when you’re awake at 3 a.m., alone in a dark room. I’m actually depressed now, because I just realized maybe I spend too much time alone at 3 a.m. in a dark room listening to music.
- Body stuff. To me, songs have always been like body stuff: bones, muscles, veins, blood, organs, teeth, tendons, skin, etc. Using this kind of imagery can really bring a song to life and make it feel like a living thing instead of some boring sound waves. Also, people absolutely love reading about bones, from what I’ve gathered.
So you see, writing about songs isn’t that hard once you do it a few thousand times.
But Soap&Skin’s “Me and the Devil” has been sitting in a folder since April 11, and I haven’t been able to write a fucking word. I was so excited when I first heard it that I wanted to let it sink in before even trying to tackle a write-up. “I’ll write about it when I get home. Maybe at 3 a.m., when I’m alone in a dark room.” Days went by, then weeks, and now here I am.
I won’t describe this as food, or talk about bones, or tell you to listen at 3 in the morning. I will just tell you that this song gave me goosebumps, and it actually left me speechless.
Soap&Skin is Austrian artist Anja Plaschg. “Me and the Devil” is a cover of Robert Johnson’s “Me and the Devil Blues.” Hear the original below: