Song of the Day: “Oblivion”

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For today’s Song of the Day, I’m confessing a sort of guilty pleasure. I’ve been a fan of Grimes since I first heard this song several years ago, and it’s ultimately what got me listening to her full albums.

I don’t mean to say that anyone should feel guilty about listening to her, or any music, really. I only use the phrase ‘guilty pleasure’ because there’s a lot of variety found in her work, and I don’t like all of it. Or maybe because she and Elon Musk have dated, or are still dating. Still confused by that whole thing.

Despite this, there’s really no reason not to give Grimes a listen. And if you’re only going to listen to one song, I strongly recommend “Oblivion”.

Oblivion

“Oblivion” is the third song of Grimes’ third studio album, “Visions” (2012). The song hits on themes of fear and paranoia, but also manages to strike this interesting mix by balancing in a sense of carefree whimsy. If you watch the music video above, you can also see the lines she draws to toxic masculinity. It’s not that subtle, so you won’t have to look that hard.

The first few lines of the first verse touch on the themes above. And with the accompanying minor synth progression, the song starts off in a pretty dark place. The main fear we see displayed throughout the song is expressed in these first lines. “I never walk about after dark / It’s my point of view / That someone could break your neck / Coming up behind you / Always coming and you’d never have a clue”.

The chorus echoes this sense of foreboding that Grimes is trying to express with just one repeated line: “See you on a dark night”.

The all-encompassing fear and paranoia at being attacked at night would take a heavy toll on anyone. And in the second verse, Grimes shows some self-awareness by acknowledging that she needs someone to help her.

“You know it’s good to be tough like me / But I will wait forever / I need someone else / To look into my eyes and tell me / ‘Girl, you know you’ve got to watch your health'”.

At the same time, however, in the very next lines, Grimes negates this with a touch of whimsy. Here, she’s displaying even more self-awareness, and showing how she might respond if she had someone. The following lines seem to suggest that the advice might just go in one ear and out the other.

“To look into my eyes and tell me / Lalalalala / To look into my eyes and tell me / Lalalalala”.

Hopefully, this song gives you a good enough impression of Grimes that you’ll check out her other albums. “Visions” is probably my favorite, but there’s plenty to like on “Art Angels” as well. Happy listening.

 

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