“I’m tired and I’m anxious. I’m tired and I’m normal,” Dylan Citron sings on “Attic of the Videostore.”
I’m tired. I’m anxious. And I guess that’s pretty normal now.
Humanity has weathered an impossibly demonic year. In March, a lot of us were convinced that life would return to normal in a matter of weeks. Now, normalcy doesn’t really exist or even matter.
Whatever you have to do to make it through, you should do it. Find comfort in whatever you can.
I find comfort in Bedbug’s record “Life Like Moving Pictures.” The bedroom pop stylings of Bedbug are perfect considering a majority of us have spent the last nine months confined to bedrooms.
“Life Like Moving Pictures” dropped in August and it practically carried me through the back half of the year. There’s something so comforting about this record. It’s like an old friend’s reassuring hand on your shoulder, it shepherds you into this feeling of rightness —this feeling that maybe everything really will turn out okay.
Buoyant synths lull you to sleep on album opener “Summer Mixtape.” Then a sampling from “The Wonder Years” bellows “Look, Paul! There’s more to life than being cool, athletic and popular!” Drum machines kick in as gauzy synths usher the song along.
Every aspect of this record is steeped in DIY tradition. There’s no gossamer sheen of production. Citron’s voice isn’t trained. Words get drowned in the mix. But there’s this intense beauty to it that I cannot find anywhere else.
Maybe it’s because it sounds like I’m sitting beside Citron as they record the track. Maybe it’s the subject matter of each song.
Life is truly fleeting. This year has proved that. Everything stopped except for the ceaseless march of time.
“You’re too tired for the nightlife, just like the song said,” Citron whispers on the outro of “Pretty Like the Weather.” “The one that used to play that just made you feel younger, like you’d exist forever. Until you overplayed it. It used to be your favorite. Now you don’t have a favorite.”
Before 2020, it felt like there was plenty of time. Now, I can’t exactly tell if everything feels more immediate or more removed. Some days it feels like I have to have my entire life pinned down, packed into a neat little box. Some days I feel like I don’t have any idea what I want to do about anything. For a long time I thought that I was the only one that could possibly be suffering from this paralysis, this inability to envision a concrete future amid so much uncertainty. But these tracks make me not feel so alone.
Loneliness has pervaded these last nine months. Everything is overwhelming. Comfort is currency. “Life Like Moving Pictures” is comforting in the best way. It allows you to momentarily break with reality, the warm, lush soundscapes enveloping you like a heated blanket. But the songs also remind you of what’s important.
“Cause everything is messy,” Citron sings on “Life Like Getting Older.” “The world is full of broken things. I still love it.”
Sometimes it feels impossible to fall fully in love with life again. But maybe it is possible. And that’s enough to keep going.