Everyone has a story about discovering a song at exactly the right time.
Maybe it was the break-up song playing on the radio as you said goodbye to someone for the last time, maybe it came on in the car as you drove home from the hospital with a new baby in the backseat, maybe it was the first thing you heard after finding out you’d got the job you’d always wanted.
For me, it was Dry The River’s “History Book” playing in a friend’s room just before graduation, without which I couldn’t have even considered life after high school as anything other than terrifying. Whatever it was, however it found its way to you, most people have at least one song that came into their life right when they needed it most.
I feel like “Forget” is going to be that song for a lot of people.
I mean, even on the surface it’s a perfect folk song. The vocals are earnest and soulful, the guitars are gentle and romantic, the strings are lilting and hypnotic. There are a handful of tiny intimate touches that elevate the song to more than the sum of its parts scattered throughout, from the audible slides on the guitar, to the occasional snatched breath between phrases. It folds over and over itself, building momentum and then letting it go, coming to a close in a way so gentle that it almost feels like falling asleep.
And then there are the lyrics. Not just sonically but lyrically as well, “Forget” feels like stepping into a cool summer stream on an unbearably hot day. It’s a mind quietener, giving you permission to slow down and take a breath, giving you a space in which you can process, to forgive and heal and move on. The opening lines:
“ Come on and be free with me. Let’s forget about the world and what the world thinks.
Let’s forget about ourselves and what we chained ourselves to.”
Are sung with such grace and gentleness that it’s hard not to feel like they’re being aimed squarely at you, reminding you that whatever your circumstances, you’re not as trapped or as helpless as you might feel. It’s a message pretty much everyone needs to hear, and though vocalists Phillipa and Hannah no doubt had their own people they were focussing on when they wrote it, it’s hard to imagine anyone who wouldn’t benefit from hearing it.