Somewhere In My Heart : 16 Again…

imageMusic is inexorably linked to memory. How many songs can you think of which evoke a specific moment in time or event?

The song ‘Somewhere In My Heart’ by Aztec Camera takes me right back to the summer when I was 16 years old. The song not only evokes a moment in time but a tangible feeling of my hopes, fears and emotions at that time.

 I had just finished my exams and had just started my first band with my mates ( see https://leonwilson12.wordpress.com/2013/10/06/gaffa-tape-and-hernias-being-in-a-band for more details…). It seemed like a summer of endless possibilities.

So why is there this link between the senses and memory? Well, let’s look at the science (dons white lab coat and protective goggles…). Scientists have proved that sights, sounds and smells can all evoke emotionally charged memories as the same part of the brain that processes our senses (the sensory cortex) is also partly responsible for storing emotional memories. On a similar note, the smell of creosote whisks me back to being 4 years old again when my dad treated our new garden fence with creosote in that blazing hot summer of 1976.

Anyway, back to the music. The song itself is just short of 4 minutes of pure, unadulterated, perfect pop. After the horn section’s opening salvo, Roddy Frame sets the scene with a sublime opening line –

‘Summer in the city where the air is still, a baby being born to the overkill’

The chorus teeters between a major and minor key giving a bittersweet edge to Frame’s emploring tone, with the middle eight and breakdown section building towards the solo. No great pop song is complete without a memorable solo, and this one starts with a flurry of notes which give way to a screaming blues wail, finally culminating in a climatic resolution of sorts.

Ahhh, to be sixteen again….

Leon Wilson

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