“How I hate this time of year
It’s dark and it’s cold
And I feel I’m getting older…”
Resonating with anyone out there?
I’ve been looking for the right track to get on the Music to Holiday List and while Tim Minchin’s White Wine In The Sun is always perfect I felt we needed one more from the Grieve To list and lo and behold - out come The Staves with a cracker of a Christmas track.
Not for these ladies the joy of the present, the warmth of family and friends and all the good things that are associated with this time of year - no - for these three it’s the melancholy of the past and the memory of love lost. Oh yes - who hasn’t been miserable at Christmas.
It’s hard isn’t it - when everyone else is leaping about spreading good cheer and enjoying the season and all you want to do is punch people and retire to your snuggy. And when you’re grieving someone you’ve lost - it’s the rituals you remember - the Christmas Eve caroling, the silly gifts that you gave every year and in The Staves case - watching the Christmas movie together. And once that’s in your mind you can’t help but remember all the shitty things that went on - how you personally fucked it up and ruined things and in remembering that you feel even worse and before you know it you’re on a downward spiral fueled by eggnog and self loathing.
But - there is a way out.
And that’s to embrace the memory - not to avoid it - know it for what it is and wrap it up in beautiful three part harmonies and lush instrumentation - to be playful with it and throw in the odd sleigh bell and chorister inspired move while finishing with a self empowering message.
And don’t worry if that seems a little beyond your current capacity - ‘cos The Staves just did it for you! Go check it out…
You can learn more about The Staves here:
About the Curator - Andrew McCluskey
The first visual memory I have is that of the white upright piano in Singapore, Hell and the dark forces lived at the bottom, Heaven and the Angels at the top. They would play battles through my fingers and I was hooked.
After my dad died I was very sad - I couldn't play for a while and when I did, the music that came out reflected my grieving state. I wrote an album of solo piano music called Music to Grieve to - from which the idea of the Music to community originated.
If you'd like to know more you should read Nicole's fabulous article on why listening to sad music can make you feel better.
25 September 2021
Why write a song reflecting on the suicide of a beloved friend? Why send it out into the world? What purpose does that serve? Ever since Gerhardt reached out and sent me this beautiful track, I’ve been reflecting on those questions – and while I don’t have an answer, I have an idea of one…
13 April 2021
I was feeling sad – and I know why, but damn it’s so hard at times.
I’ve sat and watched as circumstance came in and deconstructed my defences one by one – constant pain leading to lack of sleep to lack of writing to lack of self care to lack of confidence to lack of hope to – STOP!
31 March 2021
There’s this idea in life that just because you know a thing it makes it easier to deal with.
Like sitting down with a therapist, driving through your history until you find the behavior that causes you, many years later, to run away from connection or drink too much or insist on cleaning everything 3 times.