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Music to Grieve To
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Sometimes all you need is the perfect voice with the perfect piano and you’re transported to the perfect place. And while I suspect that perfection is highly overrated - this track makes the whole pursuit worth it.

The “Grieve to” playlist is a weird beast - it reflects all aspects of human grief and covers pretty much every genre from Hip Hop and Rock to Country and Classical - it’s amazing how many ways musicians have found to express this most powerful of emotions. And yet - for me anyway - it’s this kind of track that I was thinking of when I started out.

It’s the solitude.

There’s something uniquely alone about a singer at the piano - the nature of the instrument that negates the need for anyone else - if sad music inspires empathy, then this track transports us to the isolation of grief and yet - it does it so exquisitely. The vocal performance is stunningly beautiful - the piano wonderfully understated and performed to present the singer in the spotlight - it’s just really, really well done.

As for the lyric - as with all great tracks it’s suitably opaque - what could ostensibly be construed as a love song isn’t quite so clear on the second listen - and of course - the melancholy of the delivery hints at something not quite right. What I love about lyrics like these is you can interpret them anyway you want - I’ll let you draw your own meaning:

(Oh and - thank you to Maria from Music to Explore Everything for the recommendation - you were right - it was a must listen for me!)

I went to tell her she could say
If she ever needed anything
If there was something I could do
She said “My heart is overgrown
A weight I never knew

”In age, I find
I feel an ache as though I’ve overstayed my time
I pray to God I never come awake sometimes
I’m farther in time, from most of my life
It’s only out of love for you
That I don’t know what else to do
In fear of moving on
You’re here and then you’re gone.”

She took the flowers and licorice
She said “It’s just the thing I needed
It’s such a pretty gift.”
And so we faced the megalith
Standing in the corner of her kitchen

”Here, I’ve found
A feeling long forgotten as I’m older now
I feel it like a motorcade approaching down
I’m farther in time, than most of my life
It’s only out of love for you
That I don’t know what else to do
I needed cheering up
You’re here, and that’s enough.”
— Megalith - Stello

You can learn more about Stello here:

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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.