“Blackout” by Breathe Carolina

So, you like music. Chances are, you’re getting a little tired of your standbys, and even your favorite tracks are getting a bit stale. Well, you’re in luck! I’ll listen to just about anything, and I have…let’s call it “discerning” taste. This Is My Jam provides you with alternatives; stuff you may have never heard of before, and insight as to why it’s worth a listen.

“I’m only getting started…”

How very appropriate. “Blackout” is a fantastic track by Breathe Carolina, an Electronic Rock band originally from Denver, Colorado. You may have heard this song before. You may even already have a copy, as it has hit Platinum status, having made over one million sales. It charted in a number of countries throughout 2011 and 2012, including hitting #32 on Billboard’s Hot 100. I didn’t have the pleasure of hearing this song while it was popular, though, but I can attest that this track still has some serious staying power.

“Blackout” has a distinctly defiant tone; not against authority, but against one’s own weakness or frailty…even mortality, with a stretch. It is an anthem of willpower; to never surrender to sleep, death, substances, or distractions. It brings the listener along with this feeling, imparting a certain stubbornness, which can be quite useful, in the proper moods. The distortion of the vocals works in concert with the highly synthesized tune, and provides a digital feeling; I find myself slightly reminded of chiptune and dubstep tracks during certain segments, but without the beat breaking in half or the tin squeal of a truly bent circuit twisting my inner ear. I can listen to Blackout for hours.

HOW I DISCOVERED IT

Every now and again, I fire up my World of Warcraft account and mourn the lack of the promised Dance Studio, a feature that would allow players to customize their characters’ dance moves, rather than simply use the standard dance allocated to the character’s race. At some point last year, my regret turned masochistic, and I hunted down every speck of Dance Studio-related news I could find. Thus did I discover that others who share my plight but not my complete lack of skill at animation had created their OWN animations for the WoW models, and shared them on YouTube. One such video, simply entitled “Moves,” enraptured my attention like crazy.

Now, I love this video, and I like how different models were used. I found the photograph section of the video to be particularly heartwarming, really conveying the sense of community that you (at least want to) have when you play an MMO. Regardless, it was the choice of song that had me watching this video over and over again. Or, more accurately, listen to; although I never tired of the animation, I found the song the more compelling element. It’s a hell of a lot better than the official music video, but more on that later.

SUGGESTED USES

The driving beat and intermittent syncopation make this song absolutely PERFECT for freestyle dancing in your living room or parking lot. Headphones or nice neighbors are recommended, as you will want to turn the volume up as high as you can bear it. If you’re not comfortable with dancing even in a slightly-public environment, chairdancing is an available option, as the pulse of this song is prominent and will have you bobbing and swaying before you even realize it. If the video above is still playing, I would be shocked if you are not chairdancing RIGHT NOW.

Another useful use I have found for this song is as a focusing tool while writing. The lyrics are repetitive and masked with enough autotune to be more instrument than poem, which will allow this song to get into your head subtly and block out extraneous/distracting thoughts. Obviously, you will want a lower volume for this use, and it is key to put the song on loop. Headphones may come in handy for this, if you live with people who might get annoyed if you play the same song for hours on end. Weirdos.

THIS SONG IS AWESOME HOW DO I GET IT

If you want to purchase this song so you can have an mp3 on your computer/device so you can listen to it without using up your data plan, you can get it from iTunes by following this link:

ANYTHING ELSE?

Yeah, uh…I can’t really recommend you watch the official music video. At least, not until you’ve experienced the song through another avenue first. Breathe Carolina takes a more literal interpretation of the lyrics, and though that is clearly the authorial intent, I feel it detracts from the feel that I got, and I hope you are able to get as well. So, go watch the music video at your own discression, but I think the WoW machinima I embedded earlier in this article is a better introduction.

Next Jam – “Little Drop of Poison” by Tom Waits

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