It takes me several listens to add a song to my circuit. Listening to the lyrics requires more attention than I have give; typically if it crops up on a Spotify or Amazon or Pandora playlist or radio, I bother to note down the name of the song when the form of it snaps my attention back to that tab — typically repetitive, building arpeggios or marching drums.
So then, as here, I’ll add the song to a playlist, and meander back to it later, probably weeks later, again leaning into the musical formation that attracted me in the first place. Not really paying attention.
But only on the third or fourth listen do I _hear_ the lyrics. I have to feel like I’m being rocked by the sound first. Such was the case with Josh Ritter’s “Change of Time.” And then a phrase, not even a whole verse but just a phrase — in this case, “the whitecaps of memory” — will tear me out of whatever sore-eyed screen tunnel I’d been staring down and I’ll replay it over and over to hear that one phrase.
The whitecaps of memory, man. Goddamn.