When talking about obscure favourites, it can be hard to pick from my extensive song collection. Obscure is hard to define, because nobody has the exact same taste in music. What is classed as ‘obscure’ for one person, isn’t necessarily the same for someone else. So, for the sake of this article, obscure will be defined solely by me; music that is not commonly known, either by name, or by sound.
Music is one of the most powerful forces that we as humans have the capability to produce for the masses. The flexibility of the chords instruments provide allows a whole range of genres to form, spoiling us for choice. A lot of the time, when we are younger, the most common genre that we listen to is that of mainstream music. But, once we go through the stage of wanting to be like everybody else, and we eventually gain our own identity and independence, there is often a change that occurs in us regarding the music we listen to. Often enough, we branch out and the genres we discover broadens. Once we break out of the threshold that our desire to fit in holds us in, we can make the most beautiful discoveries.
I was never a fan of any other music other than pop and rap when I was thirteen. That all changed, however, when I stopped restraining myself to one genre. Admittedly, I didn’t do this willingly. In fact, it was only whilst I was watching an episode of the first season of Love Island that I found one of my favourite songs, which will be the focus of this writing. It was different, beautiful, enough to resonate something within me that I didn’t know I felt.
Hoppipolla, created by Sigur Ros, is the song in question. The lyrics aren’t in English, so I have never been able to decipher what they mean (nor have I had the initiative to look up the lyrics and translate them), but the music is beautiful. The chords are simple, but the order of them is astounding. The music is the masterpiece of the song, and maybe this is why I have never bothered to look up the lyrics – they are not important in the whole scheme of things.
Hoppipolla was the first song that I had discovered which subverted my expectations of any genre outside of pop. To me, prior to hearing the song, every genre that wasn’t pop was inferior. I’ll admit – I was a bit of a music snob. But you know that feeling when you listen to something or read something, and there is something in you that just connects with it? There is something that ignites in you bigger than anything that you could have ever put into words yourself? That’s what this song did to me. It sent my imagination wild, it allowed me to feel things that I didn’t think I was even capable of feeling, and it opened my eyes to the kind of magic that music can produce, within us and our community.
Every time I mention to a friend if they’ve heard of Hoppipolla, all I get is blank stares in return. And, as much as I’d like to say that those stares disappear when they actually listen to the song, they don’t. They don’t tend to understand the power of the song as much as I do. I get people saying to me ‘why do you even like this song?’ or ‘this is so weird.’ It gets laughed at just because it isn’t classed as something I should be listening to. But that doesn’t matter. My obscure favourite is exactly that; mine. I get to revel in the emotions it makes me feel, and not have to explain it to anybody. I get to open my heart up to the chords and not feel silly for the salt water that appears in my eyes every time I hear them. My obscure favourite, like a lot of music allows many of us to do, gets me through the majority of things that life throws at me.
This a plea, not for you to necessarily listen or like a song that someone shows you, but to at least try and understand that a certain song, no matter how obscure or weird it may seem to you, is the reason someone allows themselves to feel. Please respect the obscure favourites. They help us much more than you might think.