Lost my head there, whoops!

Maybe it’s the jetlag, the 10-day Cava bender, or general lack of sleep, but I am definitely feeling like I lost my head on my trip to Spain last week (humble brag).

In any case, it makes Kurt Vile’s 2015 earworm “Lost my Head there” ring nicely this Wednesday mourn. 6 minutes and 55 seconds of a circular piano & snare jam, winding round long enough for you to get stuck in for a while. 

The lyrics feel light and airy, as Vile opens:

Lost my head there
I don’t wanna sit around, walk around today
I’d much rather levitate

Levitating introduces a magical, supernatural power to the song early on. This is mirrored with the sound, as we get a little xylophone action mixed in after our verses end; it takes us further away and leads us through the last three instrumental-only minutes of the song.

Listening activity: Easy music to work to, or 420blazeit.

Vile sings about how making music is an anxiety-reliever. When he’s buggin’ out, he picks up a mic. Something takes over that sets him beside himself: “I was feeling worse than the words came out/ Fell on some keys, and this song walked outta me.” He describes effortless, almost accidental actions that ultimately bring comfort.

The relief that creating music (art, poetry, etc.) brings, although seemingly manic, is also natural. Vile’s earworm strikes again, “Lost my head there for a second/ Had a funky little psychosis – oh sweet relief!” This is a necessary and welcome part of the process, losing your mind a lil – “Lost my head/ Yes, that’s how we like it there.” It’s singing – not talking or yelling – where he finds some respite.

By the end we see that even though the speaker sees making music as a distraction from facing his feelings, it also serves to confront them: “Didn’t wanna mess around, look around at all of it/ But then I did though.” 

This sly Philly music maker knows how to give a classic rock tune a little twist. Enjoy.

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