Kevin Recommends: “Only Shallow” by My Bloody Valentine


When I was in high school there was a really cool, super smart, indie music-loving girl that I was crushing on in a bad way. I wanted nothing more than to take her out on a sweet date to Starbucks (lol), but there was a problem: she was wayyyy cooler than me. She had a downright intimidating knowledge of music. I needed to get up to her level. I needed to impress her by showing her that we liked the same bands. Doing so would surely demonstrate that I was cool enough to secure a date with her (lol us guys are so fucking dumb like why didn’t I just try talking to her like a normal human fucking being lol).

So one day, when I saw her wearing a My Bloody Valentine shirt she’d worn to school a few times, I decided that MBV would be my way in. I’d heard of them before, but I hadn’t listened to them. I’d have to check them out if I was going to impress her. With this plan in mind I went home and setup a download of what the internet told me was the best of their (at that point) two albums: Loveless. A few hours later, I sat down with my freshly burned “digitally acquired and free”* CD of Loveless, and settled in to begin cooling myself the fuck up.

I was not prepared for what awaited me.

All thoughts of said really cool, super smart, indie music-loving girl were evicted right out by the new sound that filled every available space in my brain. “Only Shallow” left me reeling, and elated, and confused. It was like I’d been kicked in the head. How could music sound so heavy and discordant and chaotic and anguished, but soft and dreamy and heartfelt and warm, all at the same time? I’m still not sure, but I think that’s why I keep coming back all these years later. I love how rich and complex Loveless is, and I often linger on the opener for at least three plays before moving on.

Come. Give yourself the aural equivalent of having the wind knocked out of you and get cool with “Only Shallow.”

*I have since purchased Loveless legitimately in at least two different formats so for the love of fuck don’t arrest me.

(Song recommendation by Kevin D. Woodall)

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