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The Curse of the Obsessive Listener

By Groove Girl // PB & Jams


I, like many others with bad self control, have a habit of listening to the same song on repeat until what was once a beautiful masterpiece becomes a melodic corpse to my ears. My 2020 Spotify Wrapped revealed I listened to my top song about 115 times (“Luzon” by Augustine, if you're curious,) and that was just in the span of one month. A song that was once your own personal theme becoming, well, boring, thats a true tragedy; especially when it’s all your fault (cue "Selfpity" by Lucifer.)

I think one of the appeals of repeated listening is uncovering the layers of songs. Some tracks are so deeply constructed that a lot of the additions you can’t hear initially, you just feel that they exist.

When you hit play those first few times, you know what to expect generally, but on the fifth listen you find yourself digging into the bass line, and after following it along for awhile, you discover some odd harmonic thing you hadn’t realized before. That’s always a cool feeling, like you're becoming more closely intertwined with a song.

There’s also those connections songs are able to make in my life, lyrics that feel too close to home, like the singer experienced that moment of life before, too. It’s reassuring, knowing you’re not alone in a feeling, and being able to match that moment with this new melody.

“Luzon” in particular for me was actually kind of none of those things. It evoked in me a sort of nostalgia. When I found out this was my top song, I was kind of surprised. This was a song I found in February, listened to while on long, dramatic walks on the Horseshoe in 40 degree weather, and then barely revisited throughout the year. This is also the only song I listen to from Augustine.

The appeal I found in this song is that it serves as inspiration. With “Luzon”, I found my mind creating a visual narrative, a scene in my head about some dark love triangle in the city. I could feel the heavy rain, the blood on the knuckles, the deep set scowls, the aching feeling of something new in the chest. Yes, I am a film major. My imagination ended up being a lot different than the music video, but music can be that powerful. It transcends sound, and permeates itself in your brain, morphing itself into something else entirely. That feeling is as addicting as drugs.

Do you also have no self control with music? Let me know your reasons why in the comments! And check out PB & Jams from 8-10pm every Wednesday night on our station.

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