"Come On Get Higher" is the song i listen to when i'm exceptionally emotional, which means it's been on repeat lately.
no one would ever call it a sophisticated song. it's easily categorized as pop—not even indie pop, but straight-up mainstream pop: the kind of song which gets covered by Boyce Avenue, overplayed on the radio, found in the background of every grocery store circa 2007. it's four chords (Em7 Cadd9 G D, Csus if you're feeling fancy) repeated in what is objectively an uninteresting pattern, with a capo on the second fret, playable by even the most beginner guitarist.
it's a love song; a sappy, extra, over-the-top love song which is decidedly sensual. it's unmistakably, impossibly rich and sure and sexy, wanting in its rawest form. even better: it's not a song about unrequited pining. this narrator knows that they are allowed to want the subject like this, and something about that is glorious. it's not a crush song, not really even a falling-in-love song; it's a relationshippy, in-it-for-life, all-consuming-wanting song. it's all the intensity of being twentysomething, and the way it feels to want something—really, really want something with every fiber of your being. to want like this is an act of cosmic defiance against every inertial force which might scare you into settling for anything less. it is audacious to love like this.
in an interview on the writing process, songwriter Matt Nathanson says,
"The experiences I had when I was 25, and the songs I wrote about them, are completely foreign to me now. It’s impossible for me to feel those things as intensely as I did. Some of the songs on Some Mad Hope are desperately romantic, like unbelievably hungry. When I go back and listen to those songs now, I can still remember what that felt like. But I can’t get back to those feelings to write about them."
it's terrifying to think that i may not always be like this—intense and hungry and capricious and fiery and stressed out and alive, awake and wide-eyed at midnight, certain that magic is possible, convinced that there is always a new adventure around the corner if only we dare to look for it. i have a lot of feelings and sometimes i think i would like to be able to turn them off. but that's not really true, not at all. i want to always have the capacity to feel this much.
i like love songs because they are celebratory by nature, a tribute to extraordinary emotion and the rare magic that happens between two people, wild hope and openheartedness, being twentysomething and absolutely certain of another person, our capacity for can't-sleep-can't-breathe-without-you love.
“Come On Get Higher” is a tribute to extremes, an appreciation for heights. it's about perfect storms, the way it feels to be swept up in another person, intimacy and intoxication and consensual drowning, missing someone in a whole-body, one-way-flight, searched-the-world-for-this* kind of way—the only way to miss someone, really, because what's the point of anything less?
i've never been one for balance or calmness. i spent a year trying to understand the appeal of stoicism and chasing the supposed inner peace promised by meditation. i say that it never worked for me, but i secretly suspect that i never really wanted it to work for me. i never want to dull the intensity of existence, never want to miss the way it feels to stay up all night, feeling every possible feeling to the fullest extent even though it is emotionally exhausting.
i like extremes; i like the edge of emotion. i like the thrill before the leap, and staring into the great unknown. i like things which feel most like living, reminders that you are alive and your very existence is incomprehensible magic to other people. i think that if you're going to rain, you should really just storm, and that the world is not yet too old or too jaded for wild romance. some of the best things in this life would never fit into a rationality framework.
everything in moderation including moderation, indeed.