Song 4: LCD Soundsystem, “Someone Great” (2007)

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It’s hard to know exactly what this one is about, which is why I like it. Loss, for all the acute pain, is a vague, confusing thing. We have hints here about what happened, but even those hints–was the early-morning phone call about a car accident? A relationship-ending fight?–are unclear. My guess is that this song is about a breakup, but it doesn’t really matter. On a basic level, loss is loss, and it’s awful.

LCD Soundsystem’s record Sound of Silver came out a few years after my dad died, and I’m glad it found me when it did. Even hearing someone singing “when someone great is gone” was a comfort; the recognition of someone verbalizing the experience was enough to make me feel less alone.

Also satisfying is hearing James Murphy assemble the song, starting with that warm synth and leveling off with those fax machine beeps, pulsating like a signal. The song fades in like a thought, builds on itself, and fades out like a memory.

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