An Ode To… Anathema

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Welcome to the first edition of An Ode To! Music has been a huge part of my life for a long time. But after leaving my music journalism gig last May, I’ve struggled to find a fresh and inspiring way to continue talking about music without committing myself to a routine meme. Now I have, and I’m very excited to share the music I love in a brand new way.

What can you expect from this and future Odes? Readers will learn a little bit about the highlighted artist and who they sound similar to (in case readers haven’t heard of them before). Then comes the best part: songs! I’ll pick out some of my favorite songs by said artist, briefly explain why I love them, and include YouTube clips so you can watch / listen for yourself.

So, without further ado…

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Music Mondays: Anathema – “Ariel”

Each of Anathema’s past three albums has at least one song that envelopes me completely in whatever feelings it conveys. On their latest album Distant Satellites, that song is the ballad “Ariel.” Understated arrangements at the beginning allow Lee Douglas’ evocative, angelic voice and the simple lyrics to shine. Then, in grand Anathema fashion, the music climbs in intensity until Vincent Cavanagh joins Lee on the mic. Brother Danny Cavanagh prolongs the already-gorgeous crescendo with a heart-cry guitar solo. Enough about the aesthetics, though. The true beauty of “Ariel” is its pervading emotion: love. It’s hard to describe, and I agree the lyrics can be interpreted as either pure happiness or lingering sadness… But “Ariel” stirs the former for me. Warm, auric, unmistakable, intensifying as the song soars on. There may be millions of love songs in existence, but to me “Ariel” defines the musical expression of love – the kind of love everyone deserves to experience in their life.