Is it ok to call you “dearest”? I feel like I can talk to you like that.
I have a surprisingly high number of regrets regarding the music I played at my wedding, but I am most sad I let my husband talk me out of playing “Sandcastle Disco,” because it didn’t smash as hard as “The Rat” or “Crazy in Love.” Maybe it was the chorus—”Baby I know you do that to all the girls/you know that I’m fragile/baby don’t blow me away.” In any case, I applaud you for putting out such a catchy song that hooked me and strung me along for years until you released “Losing You,” the first single from your triumphant, genre-leaping EP, True.
Every song you put out around that time was perfect, from “Sleep in the Park,” the b-side to “Losing You,” to the Jimmy Johns-referencing “Some Things Never Seem to Fucking Work,” but it is “Losing You” that I hold closest to my heart.
At first listen, there’s not much to the song: a sampled “Wow!,” good beats, and the repetitive lyrics (“Tell me the truth boy/am I losing you for good”). But it SWELLS and gains momentum. The beat drops around 2’35” and shortly after is my favorite part: when you sing the chorus and underneath you plead “Baby you know I tried/Can’t lose you from my life.” And the lyric, “We used to kiss all night but now there’s just no use?” UGH, the intimacy and sadness of it all just hits me.
When “Losing You” first came out, it was all I listened to. I even wrote a blog post about it. At work, I would put the video on one screen while I clicked away on the other. I told friends and strangers about how much more talented you are than your sister; “She likes indie rock! She covers a Dirty Projectors song!” I’d tell them.
The pairing of you and Dev Hynes, who cowrote and coproduced the song, is a magical one. The two of you were able to create a sound very unique to you, that is an extension of your style and influences. I would also like to thank you for re-introducing me to Hynes, as I have very much enjoyed his work as Lightspeed Champion and especially Blood Orange over the past few years.
And the video! Filmed in South Africa, it is filled with the brightest colors, the most beautiful local scenery and the most fabulously dressed people. You and your friends seem just-out-of-reach hip.
I have tried for years to emulate the pattern-mixing you perfected in the “Losing You” video, but my budget is more clearance Banana Republic than Suno and Kenzo, so I just looked like a very confused chubby schoolteacher.
In 2013, my friend Hilary won tickets to the Sweetlife Festival in DC. She led with, “Do you want to see Solange on Saturday?” realizing I was still hurt I couldn’t go to your 9:30 Club show a few weeks prior. The weather was so weird that day in May: rainy, humid, chilly and hot all at once. Because we are in our thirties, we drank a few craft beers (mostly to hide in the shade), slathered on some sun screen to prevent premature wrinkles, and then headed to the lawn to watch you.
When you played “Losing You,” my friends and I were dancing like the Solange fans we all are. We danced like we didn’t give a shit, which was absolutely true, because we were feeling it. Shortly after I noticed the lawn was full of kids at least 10 years younger than us, all chugging Lime-A-Ritas, and they barely acknowledged THE QUEEN that was performing in front of them. Maybe they were embarrassed to dance around their really cool friends who encouraged them to drink citrus-flavored malt beverages, wear high-waisted shorts that created insane camel toe, and spend $100 on tickets to basically have a boozy lawn party. In any case, your performance was as delightful and fun as something could be at 2 in the afternoon.
I know you have finished your new record and I am really excited to hear it, especially now that you and Dev have made up. I’m not saying you should have “Losing You II” on it, but it wouldn’t hurt. Also, please feel free to book a show in my town. I will be there at least!
Your Friend Forever,