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Songs and the Glasses of Water They Remind Me Of

The Beta Band, “B+A”

I rearranged the furniture in my bedroom a few times during the course of high school. I used to like rearranging furniture in the rooms where I was allowed to. When we first moved in, I had my bed up against the corner with one of the windows. I could sit against the wall, open the window, and breathe in the night air with the ambient noise of a fountain that was in the nearby pond spouting water continuously.

It was around this time that I was given a copy of The Beta Band’s Three EPs as a gift. It was probably almost two years old at the time but I had never heard it before and it blew me away. I loved to sit in the dark and listen to it.

The glassware in our new house was fancier than what we had had before, an influence of my new stepmom. It was more fragile too. The combination of the cold air, a glass of ice water, and the music, which felt somehow simultaneously intimate but also cold compared to what I mostly listened to (classic rock, They Might Be Giants, The Pixies) all worked together so well. This collection was probably also what caused me to come to appreciate songs that built over the course of 6-10 minutes, a gateway to obsessions to come, like in late high school with Godspeed You! Black Emperor or in the year after college with The Field.