Without realizing it, you slow down and exhale. As the dreamy feeling seeps in, you feel oddly lethargic yet hyper-aware. The melody strokes you with its light touch, as her voice awakens desire. Not the burning, frantic and greedy kind. More of a languorous and floaty variety where your limbs rise to embrace or fall boneless. As the music enter your throat, your head falls back and your mind drifts away.
I first heard Marissa Monte in the States on the radio. Her voice is an instrument and as she sings, the lyrics take on a seductive, languid weight and I am soon awash in pure sensation. I have resisted translating the songs. I just enjoy the way the words sound. My command of French and Spanish are not enough to decrypt Portuguese. (How do the Brazilians ever get anything done if the sound of the language makes you feel so gooey inside?) I am quite thankful – for I will never forget hearing snatches of a dreamy tune on the radio only to later learn the words to Billy Idol’s Eyes Without A Face. Between Marissa and Portuguese, even a car manual would take on an erotic quality.
Norah Jones has the same effect. Her magical, unhurried delivery instantly lets you sink into bliss. I don’t pay attention to the words and just let the sound wash over me. Is it the lazy undercurrent in her voice that starts a slow burn? Or perhaps the rhythm that resonates with a heartbeat? What is it about the liquid melodies that suggests slow afternoons filled with stupor inducing kisses and unhurried sex? Their music spins a cocoon with gossamer strands of yearning around you and somehow, time seems suspended.
I marvel at the power of music – that a mere arrangement of sounds can make you feel a certain way, let you retreat to a place in the past, allow you to taste again the lips of a lover or just exult in the sheer joy of the rhythm. I am grateful for the visceral response I feel to music. It is a gift.
Thank you, Marissa and Norah – my senses are yours to exploit.