On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post every day (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be… legendary!
The War on Drugs – Eyes to the Wind (2014)
Lost in the Dream Released March 18, 2014 Recorded August 2012-November 2013 Studio Genre Length 60:31 Label Secretly Canadian Producer Adam Granduciel “Red Eyes” Released: December 4, 2013 “Under the Pressure” Released: May 26, 2014 “Burning” Released: August 11, 2014 “Eyes to the Wind” Released: December 8, 2014 “An Ocean in Between the Waves” Released: March 9, 2015 Lost in the Dream is the third studio album by American indie rock band The War on Drugs, released on March 18, 2014 through Secretly Canadian.
We’re staying in the US today, dear reader, but leaving Oklahoma and making our way over to Philadelphia in Pennsylvania. Formed in 2005 by Adam Granduciel and Kurt Viel, The War on Drugs specialised in indie rock and released their first album in 2008. Viel would depart soon after to go solo, leaving Granduciel to lead the band. We join the group in 2014 with the release of their third album – Lost in the Dream – and from there 1001 Songs have gone with the track – Eyes to the Wind.
This third album followed a period of heavy touring for the band with Adam Granduciel struggling to readjust to life off the road, sinking into depression as a result. Eyes to the Wind is open to debate about its content. On the one hand it seems to concern a relationship that has now ended and the narrator is looking back mournfully at what once was. An alternative take and more likely is that the song reflect Granduciel’s personal demons, his difficulties and maladjustments back in a world that probably seemed very still compared to the hectic schedules of life on the road.
Accompanied by a beautiful piano melody, Eyes to the Wind is a sombre exploration of physical and emotional trauma. The narrator here is clearly lost and seems to have little if any control over their life or even where they are ultimately going. Lost in the Dream is said to capture similar themes throughout and the result was an album that was critically acclaimed upon release. The group continue to perform and teased new material as recently as 2020.
Favourite songs so far: