We’re at the time of year that’s devoid of grey. Scratch that – decade. End Of The Decade. Best Of The Decade. The Most Important Lists We Can Capitalise And Get Away With. As if we were processing events exactly as they happened, when they happened, and can’t admit we need more time to reflect than an arbitrary year asks us to.
Music is particularly pernicious. Some songs smack us in the gut and get weaker over weeks or months or too many sessions with a weed baggie. Others land like a lame kestrel, and end up soaring when they’re nurtured enough. I remember hearing ‘Paranoid Android’ for the first time and thinking it was just the kind of song that people who like being known for their difficult tastes want to be known for. Seven years later, I’m singing it in the shower, shampoo pouring into my throat on the Gucci piggies line. I am a convert. And like innumerable music fans before me, I am a murky stranger to the oik who said that Eddie Vedder was the very top of the achievements of Western civilisation. That version of me is 16 years old. I wanted Eddie’s hair and tonsils. Now, I’d rather take Thom Yorke’s ash tray and hide it under my bed. The pace of development we undergo over a decade is tied directly to the music we deem most important as this change is playing out. Hence why, in 2014, I might’ve said Mac DeMarco was a genius, whereas 2020 me considers Mac to be the fart from an arse that’s been sitting on one idea for too long. Since then, I’ve met my share of slacker-arse-geniuses. All of them annoy me. Ergo, I’m less impressed. The evaluation of DeMarco’s aesthetic is notched down just a little bit.