Anjulie - “You and I”
I know Anjulie has other songs, but I never want to hear any of them. Have you ever felt that way about a song, that it’s such a perfect little capsule that you don’t want to even risk tainting it and piercing that bubble of flawlessness? I feel this way about “You and I”.
I heard this song for the first time on Friday night, while stuck in horrendous traffic on the way to Toronto with my boyfriend and his mom. It took about five seconds for me to fall in love, at which point I asked, “Who sings this song?” They both knew it was Anjulie, which leads me to believe I should be paying more attention to the radio if I’m being scooped on incredible pop tracks by both my casual listener boo and his mother. I was pretty sure I had seen Will and maybe Alex mention this song on Tumblr, but I had never actually taken the time to listen. Trapped in a sedan on the 427 a few months later, it was all I could think about. I rummaged through some homemade mix CDs lying in the glove compartment that Justin’s sister had made, and lo and behold: one of them had “You and I” on it. Once an acceptable period of time has passed, I popped the CD in, skipped to the song, and cranked the volume. It felt so good to give myself over to the joy of discovery.
It’s now late Tuesday night, and my feelings about “You and I” haven’t subsided. I’ve spent enough time with it to isolate some of the elements that helped the song sink its hooks so deeply into my brain. The first key is present right from its initial seconds: I’m a sucker for a guitar that slowly morphs into a synth. Anjulie also deploys what I call “the submerged sound” to great effect throughout the song, the one that makes the synth sound like it’s being kept under a thin layer of water before bubbling up to the surface. I don’t know what the technical name for that effect is, but it gets me every time.
For a while I thought a piece might be missing from this song, a bit of escalation to really hammer the last rendition of the chorus into the listener’s heads. Ke$ha is currently the foremost practitioner of this tactic: she uses it multiple times throughout Warrior, and every time it’s as if the song has clicked into a different gear. The addition of a huge pushing-pulling beat into “Wherever You Are” when the chorus was already a weapon of mass destruction sends the song into the stratosphere. But after plenty of reflection, I’ve decided that the hook of “You and I” is so strong that the escalation is rendered unnecessary.
Lyrically, there are bits that aren’t exactly ripe with beauty or meaning: I’ve heard Anjulie sing “The stars are loud” during the pre-chorus approximately 50 times and I still don’t know what that’s supposed to mean. Why not “The stars aligned”? I also like pretending that it’s “The stars allowed”, as if the stars are a celestial governing body that permitted Anjulie to fall in love. To be honest, 96% of the lyrics in this song don’t matter, because every time Anjulie sings the titular words with that irresistible synth line and piston of a beat behind her, I can’t help but lose myself in the sound. It’s the sound of falling in love the way I did a few nights ago, trapped on the highway and headed for a chance encounter with this wonderful song.
P.S. David mentioned to me over Gchat that Anjulie had a hand in co-writing Nicki Minaj & Cassie’s “The Boys”, and I think that’s awesome. Way to represent Canada, girl.
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- mconor said: it’s a low pass filter
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