Ingrid Michaelson

The first of this month’s recommendations.

One day I will expound upon my theories of Music vs Fashion Music – although not today. Basically, when I was a kid the music you listened to defined who you were and how you wanted to be seen. If you listened to Sonic Youth you were cool, and you ‘got it’. If you listened to Queen, like I did, you were not, and you didn’t. I don’t know if music is quite so important to kids now, as there’s so much more to choose from so much less money to promote the artists. I imagine it still is, to some extent.

But as the people I grew up with generally moved from music to books, I stuck with songs, because I’ve always loved what they can do. They can capture an emotion, a theory, a moment in time, a great melody and… some other magical factor that I still can’t put into words, and they can package them up into 3 minutes of joy. Sometimes dark, sinister, twisted, confused joy, but joy nonetheless.

I know almost nothing about Ingrid Michaelson as a person. I believe she came to prominence when her song ‘The Chain‘ was played in Grey’s Anatomy. And that’s the kind of music that I tend to veer towards at the moment: music that is punchy enough to be used in the service of drama. Rather than music which pleases critics, usually for reasons of fashion rather than music.

She does a mean pop song. There are plenty of Current Favourite Tracks I could chose, and ‘The Chain’ was my first choice, but I think I’m going to go with ‘Die Alone’. Great melody. Great guitar riff. Great lyrics. “I never thought I could love anyone but myself, now I know I can’t love anyone but you…” is a pretty enough lyric, but it’s followed by “But you… make me think that maybe I won’t die alone.”