Why Old Glass Table Is One of My Favorite Songs Ever

Whenever I listen to this song, I end up either screaming or crying. Or both. Usually both. I guess that makes the name of the album incredibly fitting. By the end of a play-through, the only thought that goes through my head is, “What the fuck is going on?” I end up a broken mess, but somehow feeling better for it. Maybe that’s because I’m a broken mess all the time, but I can put it out of my mind until something like this reminds me of how fucked up I am and how fucked up the world is and how fucked up social relationships are and how I can’t seem to fit in anywhere with anyone. Yet, I still feel better because I’m reminded I’m not alone, there are others that feel this way. I feel like maybe it’s normal to be fucked up.

That last paragraph is probably perfectly summed up by one of the lines in Old Glass Table. “And I guess that’s feeling sorry, but I guess that I just don’t care.” I’d try to find my own words to say that, but My Pizza My World has already found the words to make the point better than I ever could. Old Glass Table is one of those songs that has some quality in it through which I am able to immediately see myself. I know exactly what they mean in every single line (or, at least, I’m able to position myself in relation to the lyrics in such a way that I fool myself into thinking that I understand how the writers feel, even though truly knowing such a thing is impossible). It finds the words to describe how I feel in a way that has always eluded me. “Feel alone in a crowded room.” Why won’t my social anxiety ever go away? “And I’m not gonna hold your hand and I’m not gonna tell you I’ll be there cause I won’t. I’m already dead.” I always feel unable to help my friends struggle through life because I’m already too exhausted from living with my own issues. Then there’s the chorus. Holy fuck, that chorus. Somehow it manages to run the gamut of all my issues, from body image problems and eating disorders, to dropping out of life, to my inability to face reality, to loneliness induced insomnia. And it doesn’t even stop there. The song never stops expressing all of the thoughts and feelings that I never can. Wishing I was normal because normal people seem so happy. Fearing psych meds because they get rid of every feeling I have, not just the negative ones. Drinking so that I can somehow find a way to make it through the next day. I can’t help but scream along to the the lyrics, because in some way vocalizing what’s inside makes it hurt a bit less, even if they’re not my own words.

It’s pretty rare that I hear a song like this, a song that makes me feel accepted and like my emotions are valid. I wrote most of this up months ago, and I never published it because I didn’t feel like my emotions were valid enough to share with anyone. But I’m tired of that. I’m tired of holding it all in and only expressing myself in spurts of self-destructive anger. I want other people to know why the songs I care about mean so much to me. I want other people to understand why the music I listen to is one of the most important things in my life. I want other people that experience similar feelings while listening to this music to know that they’re not alone. I doubt this message will reach anyone like that, but I guess it can’t hurt to try.

Go check out (and hopefully buy) the whole album here.

“Never Going Back” by Stick and Poke

The latest release from the Vancouver-based folk punk duo Stick and Poke, Never Going Back, is one of the most heartfelt albums I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to. Much like their 2014 release Lost Kids, the tracks on Never Going Back seem to center around the themes of alienation, abuse, anxiety, and the people who make life worth living in spite of those things.

Like most folk releases, Never Going Back doesn’t rely much on musical complexity. Instead, the simplicity of the instrumentation allows the vocal harmonies and phenomenal lyrics to shine through, creating a feeling of authenticity throughout the entire album. Who needs complex time signatures and chord progressions when you’ve got lyrics perfectly describing the anxiety triggered by running into an ex at a show, like those in I Don’t Even Smoke, sung in perfect harmony by Al and Lauren?

A lot of songs seem like they’re coping mechanisms for dealing with less than wholesome relationships. Giving Up On You is an anthem celebrating the independence found when you’re able to think, “screw you, I don’t need your bullshit anymore,” about an ex that didn’t treat you right. Remember Me When You Sing, possibly a follow-up to the tracks Poison and Teeth on a String from Lost Kids, details the struggle of healing after an abusive relationship and finding the power in yourself to live a fulfilling life, burning those memories to the ground.

Yet, there’s more to this album than reflections on past relationships. Weary Traveller is a celebration of modern nomadism, the freedom of movement, and the notion that you’ll always meet up with those you love later on down the road. Community isn’t so much a lament on the state of alienation in society, but a call to create new spaces where that alienation no longer has to exist. Counting is described on their bandcamp as “A Big Gay Love Song.” There’s a lot of hope here, no matter how tough the struggle is.

Never Going Back is one of those extremely rare albums where I’m not able to pick out a favorite song, or even a handful of favorites: every track is a thing of beauty. When I first heard Lost Kids, I never thought that Stick and Poke would be able to surpass that release. I’m so glad that they proved me wrong.

Go support the artist by getting the album here. While you’re there, make sure to check out their previous releases.