Earworms: Tiger JK, ‘Forever’
There are times where, sometimes for no reason at all, my anxiety spikes and it feels like my skin is a size too small and I just want to peel it off to get some sort of relief. Obviously that is not possible, so instead I end up trying to lessen the feeling by blaring some music and singing along. I feel bad for me neighbours when this happens.
Sometimes I play happy poppy songs to cheer myself up; sometimes it’s shouty angry songs. But other times the only thing I want to listen to is a sad song on repeat to sing along to while trying not to cry (and most of the time failing at that). Forever by Tiger JK falls very squarely into that last category.
But there’s something about this song that I love, even when I’m not in a mopey mood. Tiger JK’s voice couples really well with Yoon Mirae’s parts that gives it a dreamy feeling and makes Tiger JK sound so lonely. I understand a very small amount of the lyrics, but I feel like this is one of the situations where you don’t necessarily need to know what he’s saying to understand the point of the song.
The video also helps with understanding the song’s content, and I kept catching little details I had previously missed whenever I rewatched the MV. The muted colours and overall grey tone of the video, all the concrete of the city while he wanders through places alone; his tiny, shitty room; the scene where he chooses what to wear; recording the static from the TV; nodding along with his little noddy dog; getting out the letters he’d stored in the fridge to read over them; all these things hit me right in my big soft heart. I want to take him and give him a hug and tell him everything is going to be ok. Among all the bright and crazy kpop videos out there this is so simple and subdued and sad.
So sure, listening to sad songs while sad probably isn’t the best way to deal with these feelings, but sometimes you have to embrace the sadness, recognise what is happening, let it wash over you and then move on. One of the things I have realised over the years is that a lot of these times me feeling this way isn’t logical at all and while at that moment it feels like the worst thing ever, it will pass. This helps me to put some distance between the logical part of my brain and those waves of emotions, which is slowly helping me recognise these situations before they hit so I’m not blindsided and can handle them better. And if I handle them by listening to a sad song then so be it.