Melvv’s “Blank” Provides the Sound to Ponder Life’s More Complicated Questions

How can we continue to care when desensitizing ourselves seems easier?

Melvv

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This week: “Blank” by Melvv (Atlantic Recording, 2019)

Why we’re into it: A track for those days when you accept that life sometimes is so overwhelming, the best you can do is just feel…nothing. 

Melvv has long distinguished himself by creating the kind of tracks that stand out from those by similar artists.The electro-bops from “Heatwave,” “Babe,” and “Lifeline” all have stood the test of time. But “Blank” feels like a deeper dive into the artist’s psyche, making this his best piece of work to date.

The pleading vocal feature on the track, belonging to Kennedi, provide emotional depth and clarity that Melvv has not fully explored in the past. “I’m drawing a blank/How did it feel to be feeling something?/I’m drawing a blank.” She sounds full of anguish, while Melvv’s undercurrent of pulses and production techniques underscore the sense she lost in a state of questioning herself. And yet, the result is an oddly buoyant track with dark undertones. An especially striking, moment of self-realization, comes at the beginning of the chorus: “Well/Oops I don’t think I do why/Do I do what I do.” Sometimes, isn’t ignorance really bliss? 

There’s a real darkness in the realization of the emptiness that lurks within each of us. Terrifying? Yes. But essentially, it’s also what makes us human. It’s the ability to combat the blankness and feel emotion, care for others, and realize there’s more to give to the world than our own petty hangups. Many of us have asked ourselves, how do we continue to care when there’s nothing inside driving us to do so? A possible answer can be found is the emotional solidarity from bits of art that prove we aren’t alone. While we continue to ponder over life’s eternal questions, “Blank” joins us and provides some tunes to ease the way.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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