I am a massive fan of test cricket. For those that don’t follow the sport, it’s the version that lasts five days and can still end up in a draw. There is time for a story to develop, for subplots to thicken and for a grand finish to be set up.
Give me five days of ebb and flow, with regular breaks for food and drink, and I am a happy man.
I also like long songs. So when I heard Aimee C. Alexander’s “Storage” I was a happy man once more.
Yes there is a radio edit, and you’ll enjoy that too, but you’ll miss out on the coda, and the full 5:28 version of this intriguing original debut.
It’s a linear affair. Like a train rolling along the tracks. It isn’t a rollercoaster of intensity; the motifs are present throughout, and you’re excused if you struggle to pull apart the verses, choruses and bridge.
This is a song that goes where it wants at a pace it wants to.
With all that time, you can be patient with the layers, which meander in and out of focus and draw on influences far and wide. The heavily processed clean sound around the minute mark has shades of Bat for Lashes. Or Bjork before she got into all those heavily processed beats that give you a headache.
And then there is Stranger Things, or more specifically, the synth.
This is where the song “pops”. It comes from Alexander’s co-creator and husband, Paul – the synthesizer ninja as she called him on Instagram.
The synth builds tension and sometimes offers release. The thing it does most well, however, is to allow the vocals to dip in and out of focus whenever needed.
I’m still in search for what’s inside of me
Aimee tells us that this song is about how to unpack (stolen pun intended) the things we bury inside, and for her, this is a religious experience.
If I have things to unpack, I’ll go for a walk and listen to music. In days gone by, I’d have played Minecraft.
For Aimee, after trying meditation and yoga, it was becoming a Christian that allowed her to understand all the emotions within and the things she had surrounded herself with.
It seems we’re lucky and have both found a way. But it’s the word “search” I like so much.
You never really fully get everything out or understand your emotions. It’s like trying to find all the odd socks from the laundry; there will always be one missing, and it tends to be one-half of your favourite pair.
How this internal search takes place is different for everyone, and as the song comes to an end we are met with the final vocal line. Wait for it…
Perhaps even with her faith, Aimee is still searching. And perhaps after listening, you’ll start a search too.
There are radio edits of songs and shorter formats of cricket. But radio-unfriendly music and the five-day test match are both honest. There’s nowhere to hide, and a lot of time to find a way.