The Avalanches, “Since I Left You”

It’s been 11 years since I first heard this album and 15 since it was released, something I promise I’m not mentioning as a way to disparage the inevitable passing of time: “Want to feel old??” No. Sometimes it’s nice to think of my brain as a warehouse for a lot of thoughts and junk that are moving at their own speed on their own schedule; I give them a prompt, like, say, the echo of a man’s voice saying (in the embedded video above at 0:46) “Get a drink, have a good time, welcome to Paradise,” and I’m back in the front seat of my then-boyfriend’s first car, turning the CD over in my hands to look at the track list, because each song blends into the next so seamlessly it’s almost silly to have a favorite when the whole point is so clearly to listen to the entire album as a whole.

But I do persist in having favorites because I am the kind of person that likes to have bests and rankings and also retain the right to change my mind in the future. Favorites are a different kind of timeline, like a way of tracing distance without getting weird about the years piling up. “Want to see how much time has passed? See if this song still makes you feel the same way you did eleven years ago!”

When I heard that one of the founding members of The Avalanches had left the group I wanted to test that theory. Want to see how much things stay the same? That boyfriend is my husband now, and my favorite song is still the very first one, and I still love to sit in the front seat and watch him drive, even if he sold that car an unreasonable amount of years ago.