I’m 30, and at this stage in my life, I thought being greatly affected by a Pearl Jam song was a thing in my past. Sure, I still love “Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town” and “Black,” but I know the appreciation I have for those now is more a nostalgic thing vs an emotionally core-shaking one, as it once was when I was 14 and aching. (Rewinding the cassette I recorded from the radio over and over and over. And yeah, I was probably wearing flannel.)
But times have changed and I have, too. I’ve moved on, my life has gotten more complicated, and my musical taste more varied. I still love Pearl Jam, but I am not in love with Pearl Jam–I do not seek them out for emotional validation or comfort.
So imagine my surprise as I’m driving home tonight and I hear a song that is clearly theirs, and it’s definitely something I’ve never heard before, and it’s most certainly ripping open my insides, but in that weird, good way that music does when it touches you and whatever fucked up you’re currently feeling. At first I thought maybe it was a rare b-side that I haven’t heard, but with all my random radio listening and friends who are PJ fanatics, I figured something this good would have gotten heavier play in the rotation.
I sat in the driveway and let the song finish, and the DJ confirmed this was a new track. I immediately walked over to my computer and pulled it up on Spotify. And then I pulled open the login for my blog.
It’s not a perfect song; it’s not terribly complicated, it’s a bit rock ballad-y, and it will probably end up getting played to death, but tonight it was magical. Tonight it was just what I needed to hear.