We all love different things for different reasons—and that’s one aspect of humanity that I find both intriguing and endearing. What we love, and who we love—it’s like we were programmed to find certain things extremely appealing and others not. It’s like we follow a flow chart of “nos” until we find our way to the ultimate “yes” of art, music, style, author, genre, significant other—and the list could go on forever...
Why we love our favourite things can't always be explained. Sometimes no gene, trait or life experience can be held responsible for what we love: we just do. Some like one thing, some like another, and I am constantly amazed at the subtle flecks in our brains that cause us to prefer one thing over another. (I often wonder why some people love spicy food and others absolutely hate it—things like that.)
Arcade Fire is my favourite band.
This post is not going to include 101 reasons why I love Arcade Fire and why you should love them, too. Maybe you love them like I do, but if you don’t, I would not be offended because I can appreciate the variety in our preferences. Guess what? I have never been a fan of James Taylor. Something about his voice makes my neck and shoulder muscles tense up, and my mood gets a little darker. I don’t know why because I can appreciate the fact that he can sing and that his music has been loved by millions. I hope you don’t judge me for that!
Anyway, my goodness, how I love Arcade Fire. It’s like I was programmed to love them or something. Somehow, they fit every criteria—even those I didn’t even know I really had—for what the most significant and impactful and inspiring musical artist to me should be. I hope I don’t sound kind of “out there” or selfish by saying this, but it’s almost as though if I didn’t know better—knowing full well that they don’t know me by any stretch of the imagination—I would think Arcade Fire wrote their songs to impact me specifically. That’s the connection I feel: those songs electrify my arms, resonate with me and inspire me to create. Listening to Arcade Fire makes my pulse quicken, my spirits brighten, my emotions swell and my soul soar with inspiring ideas and a renewed drive to just be me. Their music, their lyrics (many of the best lyrics I’ve ever heard in my opinion), their vocals, their choices of instruments, even the look of the band members—all combine to form a sound and an image that appeals to a very deep part of me. That is, a deep enough part of me that I prefer to listen and experience and be inspired by Arcade Fire when I’m mostly alone—it’s hard to fully appreciate and be emotionally affected by music like that when I’m hanging out with a bunch of people. It requires introspection only available with solitude. Arcade Fire is not background music, to me.
How does this happen? How is it that when one person creates what is in them to create, that creation and the emotion behind it has such power to affect other people so strongly, so profoundly? How is it that one person’s DNA and destiny can combine to give something to someone—something that is exactly what someone else’s DNA and destiny have combined to desire to receive? Is this a random, lucky accident, or is there something more to it all? Obviously talent and a certain general appeal is part of it, but there’s that other sort of mysterious, intangible quality to this whole phenomenon—that is, the connection between creator, creation and receiver/audience.
What I love the most about this whole idea of certain things affecting certain people is that it basically perpetuates creativity. I am very much inspired by Arcade Fire when I write my own lyrics. I’m sure that Win Butler and everyone in the band have similarly been inspired by other creators when writing their own songs. The cyclical nature of creativity makes me feel like I have a part in creating these things we love—as though everyone who creates is connected somehow. God has given us countless different ways to connect with other people.
Perhaps that is the very foundation of this phenomenon. We feel a connection with others’ creations because we are all part of the creative cycle when we are affected and inspired by someone else’s creation. After all, we are not so different from one another on a deeper level. Sure, we all love different things for different reasons (many reasons that can’t easily be explained), but those differences are superficial to the deeper, God-given, significant similarities that we as human beings all possess—i.e. the way we love what we love, and the way connections are made through our creations, and perhaps most significant, the amazing feeling that accompanies the connections we make with others throughout life.