Josh Recommends: “ii/Wonderland” by CHVRCHES

Trump’s tweeting while his government burns. Britain is making its Brexit. James Gunn is still fired from Guardians of the Galaxy. North Korea is doing… whatever it is North Korea does these days.

We live in an uncertain age. And we need an anthem for that.

Enter CHVRCHES with ii/Wonderland.

A short burst of brooding piano gives way to dreamy synthesisers, soft and dour spoken words are soon eclipsed by Lauren Mayberry’s young and vital voice. ii/Wonderland is always at war with itself, pulling the listener toward the heavens and trying to ground them on the earth simultaneously. We can’t live a life eternally detached from what is happening around us, for that is not life at all, but nor can our human spirit survive in reality as is, our world has a way of braking even the strongest wills as is.

Where then do we find solace, when we cannot find the dream of peace we desire alone? ii is the written title of the first half of this track. It can be read as “eye-eye” or two. One reading suggests vengeance, the other cooperation. I suspect it is in the latter as ii/Wonderland itself is technically two tracks, not one. The first, ii, is barely a minute long, bubbling and brewing, never climaxing. The second, Wonderland, is all climax — booming, loud, and certain.

Certainly, we can have Wonderlandalone, we can find it alone. But alone it is not as satisfying. With iiit is complete. As two we complete. We place happiness in the solutions to problems that far exceed the capability of a single person.

“Tell it to the skyscrapers, tell it to the sky”, instructs CHVRCHES in ii. Surely a task too big for one person to attempt alone. Perhaps then the reach of a single person should always extend their grasp, otherwise what are people for?

(Song recommendation by Josh Sorensen)

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