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Does it all end when we die? Or do we keep existing at some paranormal level, a level where we can see what’s happening to our loved ones although they cannot see us? Better yet, is it possible to check in on them in person every once in a while, appear to them behind the wall of sleep for instance?

By now you are wondering where this is coming from. Okay, I’ll tell you.

A few years ago I had a dream where my deceased grandmother came to me. She sat by my bedside, as she had done when I was a kid, looked at me gently and asked me to confront a person very close to me about something. ”She is hiding things from you,” my grandmother said and then proceeded to tell me what those things were. When I woke up, my grandmother was gone but the experience felt incredibly real, as dreams sometimes do. However, the thing that set this particular experience apart from all the other ones was the fact that my grandmother turned out to be right. And here’s the thing, she was right about everything. I’ll never know if it was my subconscious that saved me from what would have been a devastating relationship or if this actually was a case of my grandmother’s spirit looking out for me.

Over the years, I have obviously forced myself to believe that it was the former but to this day, I have no idea how I could have known about everything that was happening behind my back. These were all deceptions that were very specific and surprising. It’s easy to get a feeling that somebody’s cheating on you or that you are being lied to but to, for instance, doubt that someone’s stealing forks and knives from you is not something that comes to mind every day. Be that as it may, the memory of that dream came back to me very vividly when I heard our track of the week, ”Green” by the east-coast dream rock band Mars Motel – a song that deals with the connection between this world and the world beyond the grave.

The press release of “Green” states:

The song grapples with the emotional connection between a person who has moved beyond this world and their grieving partner. Not quite a ghost or an angel, this figure is observing as their left-behind partner moves through life in despair and chaos, trapped in a lonely purgatory of their own.

Sounds rather grim, doesn’t it? Also, sounds like you could really easily go very wrong with this topic and end up with something utterly banal, right? Well, have no fear, “Green” is a track that truly delivers lyrically. Even though the lines in the song are very simple, they manage to form a rather though-provoking whole. The existence of the two worlds, the one for the living and the one for the dead, is described very subtly in the lyrics and it’s all done with elegance and style.

You fade away with green
Blind to all the unseen
Making clouds with plasticine
And I hope you never learn my ways
And I hope you never learn my ways

What an extremely smart move it was from the songwriter Sarik Kumar to make the lyrics of “Green” slightly esoteric. Yes, one has to pay attention to figure out what’s actually happening in the song  but the win here is that Kumar’s Mars Motel is all the better for it and comes off as refined rock group, a force to be seriously reckoned with, rather than another Iron-Maiden wannabe copying lines almost directly from their catalog. In addition, the world is filled with rock bands singing songs about the living and the dead, each song more childish than the other. It’s refreshing to finally find a band and a songwriter, who can make such a dangerous topic work to their advantage.

While some bands have difficulties defining their genre, Mars Motel certainly doesn’t as “Green” truly is the embodiment of dream rock: laid-back, ethereal, spacey and smooth. As is the case with the entire The Eclipse Sessions EP, “Green” too was recorded live on August 21, 2017, during the first solar eclipse the contiguous United States saw in 38 years. And while that date certainly possesses certain mysticism and has a very exciting ring to it, it is the solid musicianship of Mars Motel that truly makes “Green” (by far the most potent single on the EP) shine. I particularly enjoy the bass on this cut but to be honest with you, it’s all good stuff: jangly, inventive guitars, dreamy vocals and drums that seem to play all the right accents and fills.

Going back to the dream I had of my grandmother, the scariest moment was not when I woke up or when I realized her predictions were spot on. The moment when I got really spooked was when I was watching a documentary on psychic mediums. In this documentary, people were instructed never to talk to the dead without the help of professionals. The danger of this sort of chatting, according to the documentary, was that supposedly the psychic realm is filled with evil spirits pretending to be our dead acquaintances or relatives. To make a long story short, if you reach out by yourself, you have no idea who you are actually talking to. You might think you are talking to a diseased relative but the voice at the other end might actually belong to a demon!

I must say, I don’t truly believe in any of that stuff but just to be on the safe side, as that program was truly creepy, I have made a point of not saying anything to the dead, even by accident.

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About the curator - Tommi Tikka

Tommi Tikka - Music to Curator

Tom Tikka is a linguist, poet, professional songwriter, recording artist and a music aficionado. He started playing guitar when he was four and writing songs when he was six. Consequently, he doesn't remember a time when he wasn't playing or writing. It's fair to say, music and lyrics are not just something he loves to engage himself in; to him, they are a way of life.