Who among us hasn’t emerged from a terrible relationship with nothing but some wounds and some songs you’ll love forever?
I have a terrible relationship from many years ago to thank for some of the songs and artists I still love, including Concrete Blonde. I vividly remember the day I sat on a shitty couch in some shitty house with that shitty guy and someone put on Bloodletting and the titular opening song came pouring out. I didn’t talk to anyone during the length of the album. I simply sat in wonder.
I stole the CD from said boyfriend and listened to it incessantly for weeks. It was an album I could play the whole way through without skipping a song.
As you’ve probably guessed, that relationship ended. Badly. But I kept the CD.
Over the past several years, I’d kind of forgotten about this album. For a long time after that relationship’s demise, Bloodletting — as much as I loved it — served as a reminder of the sad, timid, lonely girl I was for those few years. It also served as a reminder of who I was in the aftermath: distrustful, ashamed, lost. So, after randomly hearing one of my favorite songs by Concrete Blonde from Bloodletting, the agonizing final track, “Tomorrow, Wendy,” and revisiting the full album for the first time in perhaps a decade, I was grateful to take stock of who I am now.
“Darkening of the Light,” the fourth track on the album, is the one that solidified my love during my first listen all those years ago. I played it constantly on that old CD. It’s gorgeous and witchy and mysterious. And it still holds up, all these years later. (I still anticipate the place that the CD would skip on this song.)
I’m listening to it repeatedly today as a reminder that beautiful things grow in shit places. In celebration of a bad relationship that ultimately gave me the courage and insight to become who I am. And that gifted me a gorgeous, emotive album that kicks a lot of ass.
(Song recommendation by Emery Ross)