Most people can remember the moment they knew they had fallen in love. It may have been when someone made breakfast for them or the first time they connected with a director’s film for the first time or even trying Eton mess for the first time (how my life was changed from that day forward).
When I first heard “Our Secret,” it was the middle of a particularly sticky and humid Wisconsin summer. The sound coming through my car’s speakers were unlike anything I had ever heard before. I was driving down a particularly shady back road and smoking a cigarette (because that’s what young idiots do). I can still remember that moment, hearing that strange deep, droning baritone voice and the subtle backbeat. That one song filled my heart with a strange sensation that can only be described as falling in love with a band for the very first time.
Beat Happening are an aquired taste, but they are surprisingly easy to get attached to. Washington-based indie group Beat Happening are ones worth savoring. Many of their songs are quite child-like in sound or lyric and “Our Secret” fits the bill. It is a hypnotic song that beats on in the mind with a certain feeling of darkness. Calvin Johnson’s, who formed the still-impressive K Records in 1982, has possibly one of the most memorable sounds to any musician’s voice (and he can hold an impressively long note).
To people who have never heard Beat Happening before, I’ve always described them in this way: “They are like drawing with a stick in wet cement.” It’s always met with either an amused or bemused look, but I think it still makes sense.
It feels like “Our Secret” should be sad, but the lyrics really convey the ease of falling in love. They are a little strange at times, “that’s why we’re running away. That’s why I had dinner with your family.” To me, these are the very thing young lovers talk about. You have such an idealist way of how things should be, and it’s sweet – a love purely your own.
With the sheer amount of music accessible today, it’s easy to move on from a group for a long period of time, but it’s just as easy to return. Remember that sweet sadness in “Our Secret” was like going back to those days where I was discovering a lot of new music that would could not be forgotten.
Falling back in love with Beat Happening is the best thing I’ve done in a long time.