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White Foxes
Artist: Susanne Sundfør
Album: The Silicone Veil
Year: 2012
: Sunday before last: sitting in Starbucks, writing my paper, thinking of excuses to text you, decided to give The Silicone Veil -- downloaded on a whim, as usual -- a try.


I could feel my pupils dilate the first time I heard this song.

It was one of those moments where the world fades to background noise, and you might be staring at something but your eyes aren't processing any of it. Transfixed, transported; vibrating. My stomach dropped into my feet. I just sat there for 4 minutes and 16 seconds, feeling so much, so strongly, short of breath.



Like last week's Rasputina selection, "White Foxes" is a beautifully dissonant song about hunting. And what a concept: beautiful dissonance. This song is more beautiful than it is dissonant, by far -- it, maybe more than any song I've posted, swirls. Not like a ballerina, but a contemporary dancer in chiffon and leather. Susanne Sundfør's [stunning] voice is so tangible it's more liquid than acoustic, and just nasal enough to remind me, vaguely, of the singer from Imaginary Cities. The overall effect of this song leaves me feeling like it is midnight in Rigaud, surrounded by nothing but trees and stars, standing barefoot on the grass -- but it's midnight, not earlier or later: that hour when things shift, the day changes, everything starts to twist in different directions. This song is full of what might become, and it is so. beautiful.

But it is also dissonant -- and not just in the heady, almost nauseating (to use a Steph-ism!) instrumental and vocal explosion of each chorus. It's out of sync. Especially at the beginning. The piano strokes and the beat don't go together, they're not quite right and you know how it should sound, you know what the pattern should be, even if you can't articulate it, but it's been twisted and it's wrong, it's gone awry, it's new.


I have always been a little out of sync with reality, I think, which may be why I respond so strongly to unusual music, unusual patterns. I never end up doing or feeling in a way that can be classified; my reasons will always be my own. Ticking clock and piano strokes and thumping bass: I am a mess, out of sync, confused and confusing, but when I feel something, I feel it. Strong.

I think, for me, this song is a bit of a (musical, not lyrical) mirror, and it wasn't one I wanted to look in that Sunday. I felt raw when it finished, the first time. I have been trying to ignore, destroy, certain feelings for so long that to listen to something like this -- a song that brought up every single thing I feel strongly for, all the parts of my life I live for, explosively -- was brutalizing. And it's moments like that I live for, maybe more than anything else: the awareness that whatever I feel -- for anything -- can't be structured, or named, or defined. It is emotion, purely and intensely. And that is messy, a little horrifying, eviscerating, but beautiful.

That is more than enough reason to look in that mirror, full on.

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