The National and our Rosie Minded Fuzz.

This is a great song by a great band. Matt Beringer’s velvety smooth vocals are like drinking a pint of Guinness with your ears. It’s got a perfect cadence for running but it’s also really nice to just listen to. The crooning smoothness lulls you into thinking it’s a super chill, lie on the couch track, but the tempo makes you do this aural double take, where you’re like, “hey wait a second…”

This video is great. I love the classy and unpretentious aesthetic; these are the people you’d want to be friends with. It’s music with storytelling. The filtered sound when the band first comes on over the din of conversation, people taking notice, getting up and participating, and the wonderful bit at 2:30 with the red shoes (and calves!) that are the catalyst that instigate the life, vitality, and what becomes the overall message of the piece.

To me the video, and song, speaks to what 30-something (or 40-something) is. People chatting. There’s kids. It’s nice. But its just nice. It’s a little passive. The lyrics are about hiding out, cocooning, slowing down. “Tired and wired, we ruin too easy.” But Red Shoes changes it. Red Shoes rolls out, shakes it, and reminds us all that life is to be actively experienced. The dude at 2:38 is thinking, “Yeah. Dancing. I used to do that. Man. That was good. That felt right. Wait a sec…I can still do that. I’m so doing that.” And he does. They all do.

I love that the couple grabs hands just as the lyric says, “so worry not, all things are well, we’ll be alright” and the guy lifting the baby just after pushes it home, conveying just how alright it is. This shows us there’s room for all things. That the new life is not necessarily the death of the old one. Go ahead, cocoon, nest, stay inside that ‘rosie minded fuzz’, but don’t forget to step out and dance every now and then ’cause that’s super important too. It makes me think of the couples I know that have kids and then, a week later, are back out at bike races and 10-k fun runs with this little human in tow, a little human that’s going to grow up into an interesting and engaging world. I can’t speak of these things first hand but I know that’s what I’d shoot for if that happens. A kid reared not just by parents but by the experiences of life itself. The world, curated by a guide, is a capable and wise teacher.

Maybe that’s a lot to pull out of a four minute song, but that’s art, people. That’s supposed to happen.

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