Press play on this video and close your eyes:
Frickin’ wild, right? All this crafty YouTuber did is muffle a great song and make it sound objectively worse, but the effect is spellbinding. Here’s another:
Mazzy Star is already painfully melancholy, but these little audio tricks take me outside the sterile environment of the studio where this song was recorded, or my own desk where I’m plugged into headphones. It’s like my brain can’t process this as regular music just coming out of my computer, and instead it fills in the confusion with imagined sights, smells, emotions. It can’t square the organic quality of what it’s hearing with where I really am, so it takes me somewhere else. It’s like I’m biting into an apple and getting the taste of a blueberry.
This one is a little more upbeat:
I did not live in the ’80s, but dang I feel nostalgic. I need to construct a whole elaborate scene around why I’m hearing this song the way I am right now. Why am I just outside the main party room? Am I hiding? Do I know the people blasting this song? Did I time travel? Am I sad or happy?
This is another legendary night constructed entirely artificially:
Here is some extremely soothing Toto in an empty, possibly ’70s-era mall.
And I know this is not some absurdly complex magic trick, or even anything more than the “Redbone” meme from last year, but I’m amazed and happy and I want to be mesmerized by more music like this. I’ve listened to “Fade Into You” a million times, but I’ve never heard it slightly muffled while watching video of an atomic bomb explosion. It’s stirring, and sad, and it makes me think about death and love and the good and bad connotations of the lyrics right in the middle of a Friday afternoon, and I’m grateful it’s on the internet.