There is something about a beautiful song that makes it beautiful, obviously – but what is it? Is it how it captivates you to the point where you are unable to focus on anything but the sweet sound filling the space between your ears? Or maybe it’s the pattern of foot prints that your mind makes, walking in circles trying to wrap itself around how everyday words, woven together by the simple keys of a piano and gentle strings of an orchestra can, with repetition, relieve your body of an invisible weight that you know you’ve been carrying but were never really sure why? Perhaps it is the tidal wave, you know that tidal wave that takes you down and washes you clean of the creeping feelings that have been lingering above your head like three floating question marks; setting you free and pushing you forward.
Rachael Yamagata may best be known to the masses for her hit Be Be Your Love which was featured on the Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants soundtrack in 2005. Like most artists with actual talent who find mainstream popularity, it is very often not their best work that garners attention, unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how protective you are of beautiful things). Yamagata’s most recent release, Elephants…Teeth Sinking into Heart, is a 2 disc set with Elephants offering up a weighted, darker expression of emotion while Teeth Sinking into Heart allows Yamagata to release herself from the chains of life’s vulnerability and gives her the opportunity to tighten her vocal chords and grit her teeth, with a more aggressive delivery of expression. However, despite the differences between the two halves of Yamagata’s final product, they compliment each other beautifully and either would be incomplete without the other accompanying it.
So, do you remember that beautiful song that we were talking about? The one that stops you in your tracks, sends your mind spinning and knocks you over? Now, you may think that we’ve fallen in love with this song because of our mildly inappropriate obsession with all things having to do with animals (we refer to ourselves as The Wolf and The Sheep, must we explain further?) but we can assure you that if only for this instance in the history of instances, the relationship between title of this song and our love for wildlife is a total coincidence – we would have felt the same if the song was called Feta Cheese Omelet, Yum – but it is not. Elephants, the opening track to, um, Elephants is that beautiful song that we were talking about. It seems as if the only way to offer this song to new ears would be to simply suggest that you open a separate tab, find the lyrics and read along. What is most phenomenal about this song to us are the lyrics (c’mon don’t act like you didn’t know) – Yamagata relates human behavior to animal characteristics while divulging the listener in a perfect depiction of the vulnerability of the human heart in the reflection of what went wrong and the struggle to move on when what it is you are trying to forget will not allow you to. What finds its way into the finale of the song, however, is a sugges- no, more like encouragement to be fearless, and while there is always the 50% chance that you will find yourself “ripped to shreds and laughing as you bleed,” once in a while the flip side of the coin may just be in your favor. Never miss the opportunity to dive head first into love but always remember to keep “one eye open at night.”
Have a listen and let us know what you think, actually, have a couple of listens and then let us know how it makes you feel.
And I am dreaming of them with their kill, tearing it all apart
Blood dripping from their lips and teeth sinking into heart
And how dare that you say you’ll call
When you know I need some peace of mind
If you have to take sides with the animals
Won’t you do it with one who is kind
– the wolf & the sheep