“Is my terracotta heart breaking ?”
I didn’t discover how amazing Blur can be until twenty years after 1994’s Parklife. I watched Britpop explode from a distance; I didn’t think it was saying anything to me, and I held onto what I listened to in the 80s hard (and still do.) Parklife changed how I felt about Blur: it was playful, sneering/snarky, observant, and surprisingly (for me) beautiful. If you don’t believe me, listen to “This is a Low.” The band came back in 2015 with The Magic Whip, and this song, steeped in romantic melancholy and loss, with the sounds of the city running through it. Damon Albarn sounds almost exhausted: to sing this means opening up for the world, but to keep these feelings to himself might kill him.
While the song is specifically about Albarn’s relationship with Graham Coxson, it spreads itself out, and I embrace it: will my heart break again ? Will the people who are closest to me now remain so ? The song approaches an acceptance, if not a resolution, and I love it all the more for that.
(Song recommendation by Sarah Nichols)