Alma Recommends: “Someone You Loved” by Lewis Capaldi


I used to collect songs. Every time I came across a new one —  on the radio, at a club, coffee shop or store —  I would get the name, bookmark it and keep it. This collection was my modern version of a mixtape: a list of links I would send to him, the one who had captured my mind, body and soul, day after day, with all the stories I had for him, heartfelt expressed through the lyrics.

Sometimes the moment wasn’t right. Maybe I was pondering a new thought or feeling. Or perhaps we were having a sour patch in our friendship, so I wasn’t quite ready to share the song and as such would patiently wait for the time to be right. But most times, the songs were fun, deep, twisted or exciting, or all of the above. And all in all, music was my conduit to say what I felt I needed to say, and for us to enjoy a moment of deep connection.

One day I shared a short poem I found on social media. It was very short by powerful, and metaphorically spoke of how songs can come alive, and either free or cage you, move or paralyze you, help you hide behind the melody or make you confront your truth with their lyrics. He responded with a song that perfectly illustrated that which said:

“I assure you those fools will never understand
that if we are unfaithful, it’s for a great love.”

 

It was one of the first times he admitted his feelings for me, and while I felt free, I was also paralyzed, trying to hide behind that beautiful song, but confronted with a truth I did not want to see.

Our kind of love was never meant to be a part of what we did. Our relationship was meant to be the best friendship one can hope for. Throughout the months we spent talking, we supported and listened to one another’s stories, hopes, fears. We shared knowledge, learned from each other, and celebrated growth in our individual journeys.

Our kind of love was never meant to be a part of what we did. It was meant to be an ear that would listen, a mouth that would give advice and eyes that would help the other see. It was meant to provide that “someone to know and to turn to” with our unique ways.

Our kind of love was never meant to be a part of what we did. Even in our moments together that left room for mischievous looks, accomplice smiles, and flirtatious conversations, our love was always meant to remain innocent.

Our kind of love was supposed to be a manifestation of our essence in a safe way. A release of our true spirits, a way to tap into our deep instincts and enrich our experiences without risk. Lewis Capaldi’s song “Someone You Loved” explains it beautifully:

[…] somebody to heal
Somebody to know
Somebody to have
Somebody to hold

 

He became somebody that helped me heal. I let my guard down, and he became somebody to know that knew the depths of me and shared his in return. He became somebody to have around not to feel lost or scared when our vulnerability was raw, and who could feel the same way as well. He became someone with whom I could share those levels of intimate knowledge of who I am, and somebody to hold and be held by spiritually.

I guess I kinda liked the way you numbed all the pain
I guess I kinda liked the way you helped me escape
I was getting kinda used to being someone you loved.

 

But emotionally charged days and nights of conversation shaped a love that was not supposed to be instead. A love that the masses would not condone. And the turmoil created carved wounds in our hearts and souls, shattering our friendship and keeping us apart. Those wounds are still open and bleeding in my case because I was getting kind of used to being someone he loved.

Now the day bleeds
Into nightfall
And you’re not here
To get me through it all
I let my guard down
And then you pulled the rug

 

The truth is that it is tough to live without the companionship, the laughter, the understanding, the compassion and, yes, the love and all he gave me. It was very easy to get used to it all, and very hard to accept that I am someone he can’t love no matter how much he wants to.

And I tend to close my eyes when it hurts sometimes
I fall into your arms
I’ll be safe in your sound till I come back around

 

I dream day and night about being able to rescue the friendship we once had. But I realize that the wrong kind of love sometimes causes tremendous harm and imprints wounds that exist beyond repair.

“Someone Your Loved”, Lewis Capaldi on YouTube

(Song recommendation by Alma Awakened)


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Juliette Recommends: “Forget Domani” by Frank Sinatra

Image via Amazon

Growing up, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents. Some of my favourite memories include car rides with them. We didn’t need to be going somewhere special to have a good time — the trip itself was inherently special.

Pop had a collection of cassette tapes, which he’s slowly converted to CDs (and, most recently, records because “vinyl is back”), almost entirely made up of “oldies, but goodies.” There were some showtunes, which I’m sure attributed to my theatre phase and long-standing love of Broadway. There were tapes recorded from the radio, something that just overlapped with my own childhood, and his favourite, The Beatles. But my personal favourite was a tape of Frank Sinatra hits.

Unlike many, I didn’t fall in love with Ol’ Blue Eyes through “My Way” or “Fly Me to the Moon.’ It was this album in particular that cast the Sinatra spell — his ’68 Greatest Hits. Even now, these are some of my favourites: “Strangers in the Night,” “Somethin’ Stupid’ (with Nancy Sinatra), “Tell Her (You Love Her Each Day)” and, my most favourite of all, “Forget Domani.”

Even as a kid, I was perpetually anxious. Anyone who knows me now knows that that is still the case. I think something in this song’s promise of forgetting those worries, ignoring the inevitable movement of time. and the concerns that come with it, drew me in just as much as Frank’s enthralling voice. I’m sure the song’s Italian additions (“ah, che luna, oh che mare….”) played a part in my existing love for songs in other or multiple languages (though there’s now a lot more Shakira involved).

“I get so dizzy when you’re standing near,
It’s not the music that you hear,
My heart is beating like a jungle drum.
Let’s take the minutes as they speed away
And hope it’s true what people say:
When you’re in love, tomorrow never comes.”

To some degree, I think I’ve spent the years since those childhood car rides searching for just that, the sort of all-enncompassing romance that makes you forget about everything else, even if just for a little while. Is Frank Sinatra to blame for my being a hopeless romantic? Quite possibly.

I’ve learnt more Sinatra songs as time’s gone on, but this album holds a special place in my heart (and, likely, a few more song recommendations). I’ve since heard other versions of “Forget Domani” (if you haven’t heard the Connie Francis or Perry Como versions, do yourself a favour and check them out as well), but Frank’s is still my favourite. And still, when my worries get especially bad, I’ll sometimes find myself singing, “Oh, let’s forget about tommorrow….”

(Song recommendation by Juliette Sebock)

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Venus Recommends: “Another Lifetime” by Nao

I know how to make mistakes
Wasn’t grown enough to fake them
Everybody makes mistakes
Do we live and learn to brave them?

One of my coworkers let me listen to some songs by Nao in the middle of a hectic shift in the drive-thru. I don’t remember what songs she played and I don’t remember even being able to hear them at the time. Two months ago, I was looking for songs to listen to in the midst of my breakup with a boy that didn’t know what he wanted. My friend played me Nao’s Saturn album as we drove around, reaching the highest peaks of my negative emotions and feeling high in other ways.

At first, I couldn’t tell the difference between Nao’s high voice and the low bass. As I came back down to planet earth, I was able to hear what she was saying more clearly. To me, I was like, “Wow. I do miss him even though we weren’t right for each other in this lifetime. I will wait another lifetime for him if that’s what it comes to. If he can’t see that we were perfect together, I’ll wait another lifetime and even then, I’ll keep waiting.” I interpreted Nao’s lyrics about her own personal growth and struggle regarding her Saturn Return, into something that someone filled with insecurities and doubts would think. I was that insecure doubtful person. I wanted to fit myself into the mold of the perfect girlfriend who would wait and wait and wait and, like a manic pixie dream girl, change his life when he needed me the most.

Now, I hear this song for what it is to me — a piece of time. This song means so much to me, mostly because I cried to it about seventy-five times while I was dealing with this breakup. It also means a lot to me because here I am, looking back on this relationship that ended without closure, and I don’t feel a thing. Here I am, listening to the song that pulled me through that hard time and all I feel is strength. I feel unbreakable. I have been through some terrible terrible relationships and I’ve lost more than I’ve won in love. Though, I’d rather wait another lifetime for true love than wait around for someone to let me fix them.

I hope this song makes you feel strong.

(Song recommendation by Venus Davis)

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K Recommends: “East Side Story” by Bob Seger & The Last Heard

In the spirit of two previous recommendations I wrote in honor of DJ friends Matt and Scott who passed away, I end a sad but important trilogy. This write-up is for my dear friend and mentor, Tim “Pop” Hervey.

As with the others, Tim Pop was one of my inspirations and a big help when I was an online DJ. He did a few shows (mostly punk, glam, and heavy rock), added a country show, and had an indie-inspired show with his wife, Beth Amber.

These Michigan sweethearts gave me insight and support. They were two of a few in the DJ community I got to meet in person. We were fast friends with no lull in conversation in our real-life meeting. One of the best nights, it ended with me and Beth dancing in the Meijer frozen food aisles.

I was lucky to interact with so many musically-minded people online and in-real-life. Our group of DJs had a kinship based not just in music, but humor, big hearts, the occasional meltdown, and patience. Most of my technical woes during shows or my nudge towards hearing something new-to-me were facilitated by Tim’s kindness.

On the mic during his shows, his stories of Detroit-area music were endless. He was a fan of many and had a strong reputation as a musician; someone who valued knowing his community’s scene. Tim would randomly turn his mostly rock and punk radio shows into dance parties with Prince tracks. No matter the show or station, the role or relationships he had, Tim Pop lived.

Tim passed away on October 13, 2014, after an unexpected illness. He died exactly 1 year after our DJ friend, David Scott “Drazzle” Rasile.

Tim shared this song with me after I told him I didn’t care much for Michigan’s own Bob Seger. Tim found a song to get me to love an artist I assumed I couldn’t stand. His is a friendship I miss on so many levels.

(Song recommendation by K Weber)

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Hannah Recommends: “Out of Order” by Highasakite

The winding road that leads to my parents’ house is lined with trees, so to me, going home has always meant going to the forest. As much as I might enjoy the fantasy of living in a big city, I don’t think I could ever do it — so I try to take advantage of the benefits of living in a less urban area. For me, that means looking behind my house at the thick stretch of forest. I’m a morning person, and on the weekends I like to get up as early as I can, enjoying every last moment of my free days. I walk outside and the air is crisp and cool, and the sunlight is a pale, pale gold and the world around me is soft and still and calm.

I take a breath and something fills my lungs along with the morning air. These moments of early calm feel special, thick with some unnameable importance. I don’t know why it matters, but I can feel that it does.

And that’s the best way to describe why I love “Out of Order”so much. I get that same punch of feeling — it’s serene but at the same time it’s almost momentous, full of something like promise. The song is beautiful — I can listen to it on repeat and still want to hear it again, just one last time, just to stick the chord and cadence of it in my memory. It’s warm and haunting in a delightful, shivery way, and it gives me the same feeling that those early mornings do. Like a long night’s fog slowly dissipating. Like the first curling steam, rich and fragrant, from a cup of coffee. Like a soft-knit sweater wrapped loose and cozy across my shoulders. I listen to it and I’m filled with a heady thrum: the soft, percussive pulse of the drums, and the tender ache of Ingrid Håvik’s voice.

I hope it will give you some of that same feeling.

(Song recommendation by Hannah Madonna)

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Memoir Mixtapes Vol.9, B-Sides

On “Days Like This” by Van Morrison by Madeleine Corley

About the Author:
Madeleine Corley writes mainly poetry, although she’s been delighting in longer forms as of late. She currently lives in Dublin, Ireland, and serves as Poetry Editor for Barren Magazine. When she’s not singing to herself in any socially acceptable location, she is poetizing nature and fathoming words like ‘pupil.’ Her work has appeared in DARK MARROW, Moonchild Magazine, and Anti-Heroin Chic. She loves her roommate’s dog.

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Memoir Mixtapes Vol.9, B-Sides

Skinnamarink: Grandpa Bernie’s Villanelle by Gail Bello

About the Author:

Gail Bello is a playwright and poet from Waltham Massachusetts. Her work has been published in The Sandy River ReviewRipple Feminist Zine, Collective Unrest,Turnpike Magazine, Bonnie’s Crew, Sad Girl Review, Tiny Flames Press, Philosophical Idiot, Vamp Cat and Pussy Magic. She is thrilled and honored to be published in Memoir Mixtapes. Follow her on Twitter @AquajadeGail and her blog https://thaumaturgedramaturge.wordpress.com

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Lindsy Recommends “All I Want Is You” By Miguel (Featuring J. Cole)

The first time I experienced heartbreak, I leaned on music for immediate comfort. I was unbearably sad, and could not fathom feeling anything else. Turning to gut-wrenching songs about heartbreak was the only thing I knew how to do for months. Until, one day, an upbeat breakup song on the radio made me feel like I had taken a shot of pure serotonin.

I told myself: “This is it! My sadness is over!”

If you have ever had your heart broken, you know that is simply a lie.

Breakup songs tend to fall on opposite ends of a spectrum of emotional extremes: the solemn heartbreak ballad that you cry along to on one end (ex: Julien Baker’s “Something”) , and the empowered single-hood anthem on the other (ex: Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts”). While deep in the throes of heartbreak, it is well within the realm of possibility that we can simultaneously identify with both. Songs that exist somewhere in the middle and reach beyond the binary of happy vs. sad are harder to come by.

It takes a little more effort to explore some of the more complex emotions that fall in the middle. Desperation, regret and lust are not quite as easy to identify. It is easier to have a clear cut understanding of how we feel. The more nebulous and complicated feelings, though? That is harder to navigate.

Miguel and J. Cole may have put this track out nearly a decade ago, but it remains evergreen because it does fall somewhere in the middle. The track openly admits to and names regret, lust, desperation, uncertainty, and the myriad ways in which one attempts and fails to move past heartbreak. This exploration and openness creates a uniquely vulnerable space for a listener to sit with discomfort.

This track exists just beneath the surface of anything that immediately sticks out to us as something worth exploring. It is not the rallying cry of your new best life or a companion to your wallowing, but it shines as an authentic exploration of something realistic, human, and complicated.

“All I Want Is You” is authentic without spectacle. It is not polarizing or demanding; it sits comfortably in its declarations of emotional vulnerability. It swims in the unknown and invites you to float along. Sometimes, we all need the reminder that you can only run so far, so fast, and away from so many things.

Take a listen, and try your hand at letting yourself feel. This is what it means to be human.

(Song recommendation by Lindsy Goldberg)

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Memoir Mixtapes Vol.9, B-Sides

Together // Alone by Federica Silvi

About the Author:
Federica grew up all over the place, but mostly in Italy; she now lives in London, where she works a 9-5 and scribbles eternally unfinished drafts on the Central Line at peak times. She has collaborated with an Italian online literary magazine as writer and editor, received a Pushcart nomination for one of her stories in English, and published work on Salomé, Dear Damsels, Memoir Mixtapes and more. Find her on Twitter as @edgwareviabank (reading suggestions, cat pictures and cake recipes always welcome).

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Memoir Mixtapes Vol.9, B-Sides

If Not For You by Adrian Ernesto Cepeda

About the Author:
Adrian Ernesto Cepeda is the author of the full-length poetry collection Flashes & Verses… Becoming Attractions from Unsolicited Press, the poetry chapbook So Many Flowers, So Little Time from Red Mare Press, Between the Spine published with Picture Show Press and La Belle Ajar, inspired by Sylvia Plath’s 1963 novel, will be published by CLASH Books in 2020.
His poetry has been featured in Cultural Weekly, Frontier Poetry,  Yes, Poetry, 24Hr Neon Magazine, Red Wolf Editions, poeticdiversity, The Wild Word, The Fem, Pussy Magic Press, Tiferet Journal, Rigorous, Palette Poetry, Rogue Agent Journal, Tin Lunchbox Review, Redshift, Anti-Heroin Chic, Pasadena City College’s Inscape Magazine, Neon Mariposa Magazine, The Yellow Chair Review and Lunch Ticket’s Special Issue: Celebrating 20 Years of
Antioch University Los Angeles MFA in Creative Writing.

Adrian is an LA Poet with a BA from the University of Texas at San Antonio. He is also a graduate of the MFA program at Antioch University in Los Angeles where he lives with his wife and their cat Woody Gold. You can connect with Adrian on his website: http://www.adrianernestocepeda.com/

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