Hope and despair live close to each other. Euphory and melancholy are siblings. Can there be happiness without sadness? Can there be joy without pain? It's the kaleidoscope of emotions that makes us human.
To me, there's no other art capturing our inner mysteries as powerful as music. It's a constant source of fascination.
And today, we take a glance through the colourful imagery of feelings, notions, and impressions of humankind in music, from the valley of pain and suffering to the highest peaks of ecstasy.
One of 2020's songs stuck with me: Rub My Eyes by the Austrian group Hearts Hearts. Although I can't remember exactly how I stumbled across the track, it immediately got hold of my soul. This erring piano intro, the suffering tone in David Österle's voice, the sound's urge to plough forward no matter what.
In the meantime, Hearts Hearts have released their third record, Love Club Members. And this week, the band won the FM4 trophy at the Amadeus Awards. There's no way around it: Hearts Hearts walk the stairway to music heaven.
On Friday, the quartet dropped a live recording of Rub My Eyes. The song loses nothing of its qualities; no, it instead gains traction. This version is raw; you can feel the depth in the sound; it's euphoric in how some aspects of the composition take centre stage. The guitar scratches on the shiny surface, the strings dance bolder than they did in the song's studio version. It's all you can wish for in contemporary pop music.