‘All My Friends’ is about aging, feeling disconnected, simultaneously reckoning with and missing your past. James Murphy turned 37 the year it was released, and it should appeal to people in their 30s. And yet Murphy’s impressionistic verses evoke more widespread experiences than chronologically approaching middle age. This millennium was kicked off with 9/11, and as it progressed we became able to carry entire decades of pop culture and history in our pockets. All of this ages us before our time, whether these were the years in which we grew up, or whether these were the years where we ourselves had children. 'You spent the first five years trying to get with the plan/ And the next five years trying to be with your friends again,’ Murphy sings. That could be about the struggles of aging and figuring yourself out, but it could also be about the seeming impossibility of navigating the people and culture around you when 2010 suggests 2001, 1987, 1964, and 1999 as much as it suggests itself.

It’s too overwhelming to face that all at once. Is it then any wonder that perhaps the two defining behaviors of our era have become nostalgia and ironic detachment, that we prefer our world through the perfectly faded haze of Instagram or the performative quips of Twitter? Even if you’d argue that the last thirteen years have been primarily characterized by a push and pull between irony and earnestness, it all stems from a sense of disassociation from our time and place — we intentionally say things we don’t mean so we don’t have to bare ourselves to all the noise that comes with infinite digital voices, or we overcompensate and overshare as a proposed salve to the supposedly corrosive effects of ironic living. Murphy buried some of the most earnest pop songs of the last ten years under a veneer of ironic wit. 'All My Friends’ taps into that same disassociation. It’s like, to paraphrase an old Don Draper quote, watching your life, knowing it’s right there, and futilely trying to break into it. That’s the engine behind 'All My Friends,’ behind its oscillation between sentimentality and one-liners. Thanks to the speed and abstractions through which we live our lives in the new millennium, you no longer need to be 37 to feel that way.

Voxtrot – “The Start of Something”

This time of night I could call you up
I’d get angry with athletic ease
Break common laws in twos and threes
If I die clutching your photograph, don’t call me boring it’s just ‘cause I like you
Oh, take me on back, take me on back, take me back 
To the place where I could feel your heart
Is this the end or just the start of something really, really beautiful
Wrapped up and disguised as something really, really ugly?

Won’t you

Come by and see me, I’m a love-letter away
I’d break your name before I’d say
“I really love you, loved you,”
Now, I don’t care if you saw
I watched every inch of film flash across your Roman features
And I loved it, loved it

No, I don’t care if

You think I’m eager to shut your eyes
Well, I’m sorry everybody knows you can’t break me with your gutter prose
Would you believe it? She sent me a letter
The ring, it nearly weighs her down
She’s got another boy, oh boy

Steady your ears, steady your ears and read my lips
Poetry is not a luxury, it’s how I break this home
And when I’m really ill, won’t you cradle me?
Man is not a noble animal but maybe woman is

Remember: I heard you

Inside your room you said
“You never really live until your back’s against the wall,”
Oh did you really mean it?
No, I never break my gaze, if just to see the scar
Remain reflected in your eyes
I think it’s time to go home

Oh tell me your thoughts
Tell me your thoughts on liberty
See there’s a place where I sink to sleeping
She said, “Oh, my vote is as red as my blood,”
Will you join me for another round?
I haven’t had the chance to speak yet


I break the law once every week to feel your touch
What’s a book to you in bed?
Do you feel better? Older?
This just makes me ill
Your name is dripping from my pen
Still, you’re not around to curse
I’ll drop the gun now
I’m still under you

Marianne, let the ghosts sleep tonight
Marianne, let the ghosts sleep
Just shut your eyes, burn the past

Marianne, let the ghosts sleep tonight
Marianne, let the ghosts sleep
Just shut your eyes and burn the past away

“Well, I’m sorry everybody knows you can’t break me with your gutter prose” is such a perfect line.

Made with SoundCloud

Had we never come across the vastness of pavement
The barrenness of waves and the grayness of the sea
Never lost or ne'er been misguided
We’d have ne'er reached seas so shining
Or come from out of a hansom in Camden
To a bar in the basement
While all the while it rained
Or come around to the friendliest of faces
Handsomest in ugly places
Or come from out of the tunnels we dig in
To see that tunneling’s not living
And working doesn’t work
Or come to find that loving is labour
Labour’s life and life’s forever
Or come to see that keeping’s not giving
You get what you’ve given
You get what you deserve
And in the midst of all of the action
Maybe only there found satisfaction
Chasing sea-foam dreams
Around another dirty old town
Parallel run streams
Toward the gray ocean from the green ground
‘Oed und leer, das meer
But look beneath the glassy surface
All the songs you hear
Down there they have a purpose
All in all we cannot stop singing
we cannot start sinking
We swim until it ends
They may kill and we may be parted
But we will ne'er be broken hearted

Biomusicology - Koji