Music Monday: Shelter

Under my umbrellaWhen it rains, it pours.


It rains a lot in this city. My 7-day forecast shows all the same icon: the Cloudy Thunderbolt of DOOM™. I suppose it has to: at any point, at any part in this city, there tends to be about an hour long shower, and weather iconography hasn’t evolved yet to a point where it will give us a little bit more detail than, “Stay inside or hate life today!”

But I’ve also noticed that, in autumn, for whatever reason, we seem to get assaulted by stuff. New deals, new relationships, changing forces and seasons, the return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte. It all seems to happen at once, doesn’t it? I think there’s something primordial and ancient in us that senses winter on approach and screams at our body, “BRACE FOR IMPACT!” Because we’re still not perfect creatures, we respond to this by frenetic overactivity accompanied by periods of hyperventilation, then go marching into a doctor’s office because we think there’s something wrong when we notice the weather’s a bit different from yesterday and have a bit of a reaction.

But then it rains. And we have to stop, if for but a moment. Rain is one of the greatest sounds to enjoy, as long as we’re not out there in it. And that means we need a bit of shelter.

The XX is…well, it’s hard to explain the XX. Their brand manager seems to push the label of “indie pop duo,” but that’s about as vague as calling Marylin Monroe “that pretty blonde woman.” You know, that one.


You kind of just have to give them a listen and see if you like them or not for yourself.

Actually, the XX was one of the groups that someone told me about when they played “pop” music in their class (as in, not “meditation music” or off-brand yoga chants). It found its way into the foundation that there could be an American urban yogi. “Shelter,” in particular, is one of their slower, more inward tracks (compared to, say, “VCR”), and the legato rhythm throughout the majority of the track really lends itself well to the low-light, slower flow style of classes.

In a place where the threat of rain is always present, I’m beginning to learn that there are two ways to deal with it. One way is to not ever go out, but then we’d never get anywhere. Instead, we could just bring your shelter with us. In that way, we’re always prepared for a little rain. And if it the sky doesn’t strike, then we still have the exciting adventure we’ve always been wanting.


Photo: Dirk Schießer/Flickr