Loose Lips

These Days - Nico

Nana's Sunday Jams

These Days - Nico

Banner artwork by the majestic Trav, all of Nana's jams are gathered in this playlist. 



Yes, Yes Sunday Jammers. Warm welcome back and loves to you. Hope all is good, shiny and that you are in the company of excellent tunes. So, we are back with the ‘Get Right Sunday’ tour and playlist, hope you’ve been enjoying the bangers and are ready for some more joyous selections.

 

This week’s track is an old favourite of mine and was probably the subconscious inspiration for this mini tour. I love everything about this artist and this track. The musicality and the vocal intonation always puts everything into soft focus  perfect for your ‘Get Right Sunday’ som whatever way you are climbing out of the Saturday night haze (or even if you are still in it) consider this a pause worth taking. The track is These Days, by one of the coolest humans ever, short term The Velvet Underground vocalist and epitome of cool: Nico. Before I go on a note about this track, Nico covered it - so have various artists - but the original was written by Jackson Browne and it’s a masterpiece. It’s a deeply thoughtful, reflective piece that deals with ideas about loss and regret which sounds heavy but there is a light that sits right alongside. The track was written by Browne when he was just sixteen – which is mind blowing. There is a sense of knowing far beyond what an average 16-year-old might evoke, but clearly Browne was no average Jack. I am a huge fan of this version but have chosen the Nico version today but highly recommend you check out the original; it’s a magical musical feat.

 

This version manages to find space in a tight, musically speaking, track and add a sense of whimsy and lightness. It’s interesting how different interpretations can bring so many new facets and dynamics to something that feels complete. The Nico version feels like watching someone who has survived the crossroad and is heading into a more philosophical phase in her journey. If you close your eyes, you can feel the sense of the emotional terrain changing and the colours that accompany each change. Each moves towards some kind of realisation all guided along by Nico’s unique smoky, slightly off key vocal style combined with the orchestral arrangement of the string section and bassline set by the folksy guitar feels like the late afternoon or early evening set at a festival. There is an obvious melancholy in the lyrics, but I find comfort in the vulnerability being exposed. There is a sense of facing and owning the things that make the writer human, exposed and vulnerable with a sense of grace and honesty that can only lead to something richer, deeper and more connected.

 

A little something about Nico (if you are not already familiar with her work) she was a muse, model, singer – she performed for a short time with The Velvet Underground, apparently at the insistence of Andy Warhol, and general light of the 1960s. She feels like a motif of that era, beautiful, hedonistic, experimental, alluring and quirky which are all reflected very clearly in this track. Perfect for getting right. Enjoy and Peace Jammers, see you next week. Loves