I am writing about a song. It is a song I have been meaning to write about for quite a while now, but I have kept putting it off. Which is ironic, considering the song's subject matter. But I'm doing it now, and that's what's important.
The song is ‘Amy + Jen’ by The Spinto Band . (This link takes you to the music video, which contains bright flashing lights, just to warn you.)
The music video looks like it was made in KidPix or Mario Paint. It has the most garish colors I’ve seen since the ‘90s, but it still manages to be playful and fun. The Spinto Band members make appearances as multi-colored floating heads. They’re lost in this colorful world of creativity, but at least they seem to be enjoying themselves. There’s a joyful chaoticism to these images, and i think they’re the perfect backdrop to this lovely song.
‘Amy + Jen’ is a song about two friends trying to record an album. Well, they’re not trying, they’re actually doing it. They’ve been “recording all week” , according to the singer.
The singer is just an observer. We are not privy to Amy and Jen’s musical process. The singer says “From what I hear it’s pretty good” , and that’s all we know. The first verse is casual, like the singer is just explaining what Amy and Jen have been up to lately. They “wanna put it out on cassette” and “haven’t settled on a name” . They’re just two girls making art in their basement, and it’s wonderful.
The singer is simultaneously impressed and somewhat surprised that he likes their music. The chorus explicitly tells us this.
“I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve been impressed
And I was starting to think that nothing would happen, I guess.”
He’s happy that his friends are actually creating something good and that he can still have positive emotional response to art. Not only that, he’s relieved that they aren’t giving up.
“No one ever finishes as much as they hoped for,” the song continues. Everyone has projects they wish they hadn’t abandoned. They pile up without you even realizing it. And revisiting them can be painful, as you wonder why you let yourself walk away from these ideas. But Amy and Jen aren’t going to let that happen. Their music will be fully realized, and on cassette, no less. People will hear it.
I’m always afraid that I’ve read the last book I’ll ever love, or watched the last movie that will make me feel anything at all. I’m worried that I’ll have run out of ways to enjoy things sooner rather than later. I’m worried that I’ll run out of exciting things to write about! But I haven’t yet! It is a dumb fear, but understanding that it's dumb won't make it leave your head. You never know what kind of art will be in your future. The singer wasn’t expecting something good from Amy and Jen. But he’s getting it.
'Amy + Jen' is a song about watching your friends succeed with their art, or at the very least, create a finished project. It’s also about realizing that you can still enjoy things, even if you feel drained or disillusioned, and that’s something we need to be reminded of once in a while. Amy and Jen want us to feel good about our creations, and so does The Spinto Band.