“Blackout” by Aloha

92. Song No. 1,112: “Blackout,” Aloha
Home Acres, 2010

While I absofreakinglutely love Aloha, their songs mostly fall into two categories: songs I’ve played on repeat for at least a full day and songs that are a smaller part of an overall album that I adore. There’s an awful lot I’ve been enjoying about this project so far but nudging some of those songs from the latter designation to the former has been one of its most gleeful treats. Aloha has not yielded an inch of its claim to being one of my all-time favorite bands over the years and it’s kind of awesome to realize that a band I have loved for this long still offers up some delightful discoveries. New reasons to love an old favorite is some straight-up gottdamn magic.

A lot of the tracks on Home Acres got handily eclipsed by the irresistible bundle of energy that is “Searchlight,” a song I am further partial to for its inexplicable association with Matt Pond PA’s equally, winsomely spirited “Sunlight.” I don’t know if its the similar song names, habitually putting them in close proximity on too many mixed CDs and playlists, or something else entirely, but there are just some songs that couple themselves to wholly unrelated other ones and I’m just along for the ride forever.

When a song I’ve been listening to for years but clearly not really hearing suddenly demands that I start giving it the whole-hearted love it deserves, it’s usually with some lyric leveling me with a line or image or feeling. For “Blackout,” that lyric was “I want tomorrow to be so far from today” and I had to stop everything I was doing to play the whole thing through a few more times.

Sometimes all it takes is one thing to open the floodgates of memory, and that one nibble of lyric was that one lone thing this time. There are so many moments, whether they drove the day or were some fleeting snapshot elevating the whole damn thing forever, that have made me want to crawl inside them and ward off the future just to take in everything I can in the rare but wonderful moments of pure bliss that are the oases of joy sustaining the long slog from one interminable bout of prevailing bullshit to the next. Happiness so infrequently gets to be the opening act for its own headliner — it’s all too often accompanied by shittier feels that tinge it with guilt or greater melancholy or anxiety or whatever emotional tradeoff keeps the human experience in balance because things are so rarely all good or all bad — that I think the only logical reaction to being blessed by a visit from it is that protective instinct to freeze time going into overdrive in the hopes of maybe keeping a comparatively more disappointing future suspended on the horizon for as long as possible.

You know, kind of like letting a song you’re currently obsessed with play on repeat until it’s gone on for hours longer than its own album’s run time because you just can’t get enough of all the ways it makes you both feel about and fall in love with it and you know damn well no other song will do until this one works its way through the labyrinth of your veins.

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