10 Day Album Challenge #7: NNAMDÏ, BRAT

If you haven’t been following this series of posts, a friend of mine nominated me to do an album challenge. “The task is to post once per day for the next 10 days about the top ten albums that have an impact on your life, and to pay it forward by nominating someone else each day to do the same.”

Okay, so I’ll play. But I’m changing the rules to suit me. First of all, I’m not writing about this for 10 days in a row. I will write about 10 albums, but only on the occasional “Music Monday”. And I refuse to nominate anyone else, because I try to avoid adding stress to the lives of the people I love. Having said that, if you’re reading this, and would like to take up the challenge, go for it!

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Once again, my commute with NPR has sent me to an unexpected, yet delightful, place. (In my mind, anyway. I always manage to get to work or home, despite my flights of fancy while in transit.)

When I first turned on the radio, a song by NNAMDÏ was playing. I thought that maybe my speakers needed adjusting. Or perhaps I was actually at the dentist office, reclined in the chair, grooving with some much-needed nitrus oxide. I was hearing sounds I’d never heard before, and they made me disoriented in that calm, pleasurable, laughing gas kind of way. Naturally, I wanted more.

NNAMDÏ is an artist from Chicago, and BRAT is not his first album. You can tell he has a knowledge of music, and all the ingredients thereof, to the point where he can experiment with the musical recipe and cook up things that shouldn’t taste good, but actually do.

I struggle to choose the songs from BRAT that deserve the most attention, but here’s my best effort on this given day. (Ask me tomorrow, and the answer would be different. I recommend the whole album.)

The first amazing song that I hope you’ll listen to is It’s OK. I find this song extremely comforting in the stressful times in which we all live. He says, “There’s no need to pretend you’re OK if you’re not,” and the way he sings it, it feels like a much needed hug.

On the other hand, Glass Casket makes you feel like you’re floating through space. “I wish I was a farmer, I wish I was an astronaut, so I could feed my family, and then take them somewhere very far away.” This song makes you want to take that journey with him.

The third song I highly recommend is Price Went Up. It’s accompanied by a fascinating music video. It’s about frustration, but it makes you feel like frustration is the stuff of aliens, so that kind of makes everything all right. But I think everyone’s price is going up in this riotous atmosphere, so maybe the aliens have landed.

I listened to the entire album on Youtube, and I loved the emotions that washed over me. They were both intense and remote. And that made me feel like I could handle anything.

If concerts ever become a thing again, I’d love to see NNAMDÏ live. I’d probably be the only fat, 55-year-old white chick in the audience, but you know what? It’d be worth it.

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